Culture shock. Or why it’s better (not)stay at home

  • Labas! My name is Šarūnė and I am from Lithuania. I am 25 years old, and this August I started volunteering in Turkey, in Izmir. Now I’m sitting in Pi Gençlik Derneği office and writing this blog. I am EVS volunteer, and working in Karşiyaka municipality. And I hope this year will be wonderful. ♥

Only after passed thirteen days in Izmir, I realised that finally im here. While I was in Lithuania, days goes pass so slowly, that I thought it will never comes leaving day. In other hand, I was already packed my baggage in my minds. And already am here, realizing that I don‘t made my „homeworks“. Maybe that‘s come just because, I hate do homework at school, but after I graduated secondary school and go to „ocean of world“, to started job, lectures, traveling, planning my times, I realized that „homeworks“ are very important to do. This time I didnt done it, because I know that, I have hole years to done it. And this showed me straight to cultural shock, that I understand only small piece of this world and I will totally changed my mind after years here, I mean to better side.

First day. Actually that first day takes around two weeks, just because I was not get used heat. Not funny at all, then you are sweating even you are just standing, sky is clear, no clouds, no rain, no chance that rain drops the ground. Now, then autumn changes summer, heat for me is same like ice cream on summer and I getting used to it. First day left to me good impression, even I was tired and reach new home just at evening. The coast, beach, sand, terminal , sea, massive traffics of people, houses lights in dusk horizont, were greeting me finally come here. First impression in streets – lots of cats and dogs, they all feeded and happy, nobody disturbing or harming sentinels of streets. Mostly, then it‘s so hot, cats and dogs just sleeping or waiting evening on streets, in any spot where they want to do it, and nobody complaing about that. First impression about local people are very kind and helpfully, also they tring to gain mone from everything: selling lots of various balloons, sunflower seeds, bowls of corns, taking photos with animals or only letting to pet and of course, read letters on of the palm of your hand straight in streets.

What is that cultural shock. Is that, then you telling your friends and family, that you are going to spend one years in Turkey, and 99percent told you that, you will came back with husband and womens is trapping on streets there. And it‘s no true. Nobody cares where are you from, and nobody trying to attract you on streets, there aren‘t bunch of man who are following you on streets or other nonsenses. Nobody surprising on street in Izmir with „love confession“  and nobody staring on you. Mostly you can feel cultural shock, then you don‘t know, how you to behave on streets, what kind of topic are unwanted or not so good to speak in public areas. Speach barrier its not myth, lots of people aren‘t speaking in english and your religion is not popular here.  At 13th day I realized, that I came here not for short holiday, but spend here one years surrounding people which I never show before, they are strangers for me and mostly I can‘t understand them till now. In that moment, I realized to see what is behind that faces I mean, sea, coasts, sun, landscaping, exotic culture and time for knowledge and traveling.

That thirteenth day I was comfused maybe better was stay in my homeland and second years there spend with snoozeing clock alarm and with full of shedding wake up every morning for work or walk with my dog same borring streets, to do nothing and wait for something, just drifting one years more and search for excuse to afraid or just do nothing. But for me there is no biggest fear of waiting. Because there is no chance that someone will come and do that for you, we have to make miracles by own steps to leaving home and routine.

About Sarune Sidlauskaite

Labas! My name is Šarūnė and I am from Lithuania. I am 25 years old, and this August i started volunteering in Turkey, in Izmir. I am EVS volunteer, and working in Karşiyaka municipality. I hope this year will be wonderful. More about me - instagram @rozalibam ♥

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