Here we go, recent grad, as I stated earlier I will now be throwing unwarranted advice your way. I debated not posting this because it is obvious and who am I to give advice? But, I had written it up and didn’t want to just throw it out (i.e. I didn’t want to write something else), so here we go!
Done with college! Done with dense books! Done with learning!
Ok, maybe not all three of those … But at least for a while two of the three may be very true. And what better way to celebrate than with a big trip? ESPECIALLY a trip overseas!
Turns out, we (U.S.A.! U.S.A.!) aren’t loved nearly as much as we love ourselves. Fret not, my friends. On an individual level, there are a lot of us who are very likable people. As a recent college grad you are, hopefully, somewhat intelligent. Put that big brain to use.
Here is some advice (again, apologies if it is obvious or you already know it, you world-weary wanderer):
1. Get a Toronto Raptors sticker and throw that on your backpack.
2. Get a Toronto Blue Jays sticker and throw that on your backpack.
3. Say please and thank you.
4. Imagine yourself going to a friend’s house. You hang out and watch movies and you end up crashing there. The next morning he/she says, “you want some cereal?” and you happily say yes because of course you want cereal, cereal is delicious.
Your friend says “please help yourself” (note the please) and you get to work. Your friend ends up keeping their silverware and bowls and cereal boxes in the LAST place you check for each item. You started logically, “where would I put the spoons if I lived here …” and eventually you gave up on that approach, blindly checking.
Now, does the confusion in a different setup you’re used make the cereal any less delicious? No, don’t be silly. Does the different setup make you want to say, “wow, this is really weird” (but the way you say weird makes it seem like you’re implying crazy or stupid)? No, because you’re not a jackass.
(Note: For dudes, you may say things like this just to be a jackass … Hopefully you know that you can call yourself and your best friend an idiot, but no one else.)
Ready for the shocking jump in my little analogy?
When you go to a foreign country where the culture is very different from what you are used to … Things may seem weird to you. But they are weird in fascinating ways. Your friend has his or her own logic for the spoons being in the drawer closest to the fridge, while you keep the spoons closest to the bowls.
You may meet some people who are cool with the fact that you’re wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. The world is an amazing place and far too few get to see enough of it. These cool people you meet may understand your fascination and you can ask them, “so why DO you keep the spoons in that drawer instead of that drawer?”
Good luck, globetrotters!