I’m looking for stories about expats exploring the complicated terrain of cultural differences, attempting to come into some sort of a mutual understanding.
I’d like to hear about how you navigated the ups, downs, sudden about-faces and gradual revelations of attempting to integrate yourself into another culture. Your stories could take place in the classroom, on the street from your perspective as a man or a woman newly aware of your gender in another culture, in a restaurant or a smoky kitchen, in wellies knee-deep in the mud, in a board conference room at a meeting with inscrutable colleagues, smoking a pipe around a campfire.
The point is, give us a sense of place and a sense of movement, internal as much as external. Move us through your changing perceptions as you adapt to life abroad. Please, please, avoid the maudlin and the cliché. Avoid a pretty little realization wrapped up like a Christmas gift with no tape snaking round the edges of the gift wrap. Show us the tape: the process. What cultural assumptions have you confronted? How? Where? What cultural differences have you bumped up against, have surprised you, interested you?
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