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What have you absorbed? What have you rejected?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A light hearted thread.

I moved here 10 years ago. I absorbed the wonderful quietness of the people who keep their comments to themselves and never butt into your business. I was lonely, for it was so hard to make friends with such aloof people, but once a friend was made, it is a friend for life, through thick and thin, blood, sweat, tears, birth and death.

After all this time though, I have to say I have rejected the food. Not all of it, of course. But there is only so many days in a row a person can eat pork, potatoes and ice cream before dying of boredom. I mostly cook my own way, although this is a mish-mash of american, indian, tai... And I have completely rejected pickled herring and leverpostej (baked mashed up pig liver, often with bacon on top.) It looks, smells and tastes like bad dog food, though my kids LOVE it.

So, what have you accepted, even rejoiced, in adapting? And what have you kept for yourself, or downright rejected?
post #2 of 14
Hee-hee! I think this is a really cute idea, so I'm game (though I should admit I'm not living in my DH's country anymore--I think the idea is still pertinent...)

The truth is that there are so many things I've absorbed... and so much I've rejected. Hard to narrow down, but here are some of the easy answers... Absorbed: tortillas and beans as the foundation of our diet, the Spanish language, the deep-seated belief that family should be at the heart of everything we do and the highest priority always. Rejected: parties with really, really loud music, way too much candy, juice and junk food for kids, machismo in all its forms (fortunately, my Mexican DH is w/ me on this one), the idea that sensitive boys are somehow something to be ashamed of...
post #3 of 14
wish I could try this leverpostej actually .... reading your post made me feel that I would very much like to visit your place !

if I was to live in the UK ever again ... I would have to try to live in a place with no sash windows, they make me feel so bad/closed in/imprisonned ....

what I REALLY like when I visit ... is the fact that I can go in any town .... and the shops are mainly the same, all from the same chains of shops, I find it SO reassuring and it makes shopping so much easier since you know what to expect ... SIL complains that it's all the same of course/ lack of diversity .... but since I'm a foreigner, anyway, to me it's "all new" ...
post #4 of 14
I have a friend in Denmark and she has rejected the food too! Boiled potatoes all the time! It is the same way in Belgium.

In Belgium I love the variety of languages/cultures in this tiny country. It is really interesting! I love the biking and how enviromental/frugal most people are.

I have rejected boiled potatoes, soup as a first course all the time, ironing everything including underwear and socks, gossiping mothers at the school gate, gossiping family, eating on a strict schedule, having to see the afternoon news.

In my first years of being in Belgium a lot of dhs family members acted like I had to become Belgian perfectly. Take over the Flemish culture, way of life, etc. Now I just ignore people that think that! Our household is simply that...OURS. It isn't typically Belgian or typically American and I love it!
post #5 of 14
I have some belgian ancestors, ... was wondering where that idea that everything MUST be ironed was coming from (dropped most ironing after child number 3 !), now I know !
post #6 of 14
I want to play!

My DH is from Ireland, and I used to try to cook Irish food often. We both got really fat. We've retired our fryer, and no longer have chips, pasties, fried bananas, fried pineapple, more chips, roasties, etc.

We miss them.

We also no longer have "A Proper Fry for Breakfast." This is an insane Irish breakfast where everything is fried, even the bread. It's yummy, but once again, we both got fat.

He thinks I should iron everything, but I've explained that I'm an American. He got a greencard out of the deal, but NO ironing!
post #7 of 14
We are living in my culture, so this is more a 'Things I love/don't love and things I want to teach my children/don't want to teach them'.

Dh is Ethiopian:
Love:
-the food. omygosh, the food! Whole foods, immensely tasty, very filling. Just yummy.
-the friendly, welcoming, polite, and highly social culture
-the beautiful art and music
-the incredible, fascinating history

I have a love/hate relationship with the language. It is *beautiful*. It is also hard for me to learn, especially the written aspect.

Don't love:
-FGM. Reject it outright, and wouldn't have married dh if he didn't also reject it.
-the lackadaisical attitude towards things that are really important, whether that's making sure there's an infrastructure for clean water, or taking medications for the proper time, and the like
-the inevitable bribes and kickbacks necessary to get anything done
-the complete refusal to do anything on any kind of timeline, ever. Dh's "year long" course is now up to 13 months. They "graduated" all the students, regardless of who's actually finished. Dh has no idea when it'll be done. Maddening.
-some of the old school attitudes towards women and children.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I want to play!

My DH is from Ireland, and I used to try to cook Irish food often. We both got really fat. We've retired our fryer, and no longer have chips, pasties, fried bananas, fried pineapple, more chips, roasties, etc.

We miss them.

We also no longer have "A Proper Fry for Breakfast." This is an insane Irish breakfast where everything is fried, even the bread. It's yummy, but once again, we both got fat.

He thinks I should iron everything, but I've explained that I'm an American. He got a greencard out of the deal, but NO ironing!

L
M
A
O
!


post #9 of 14
Great thread!

Love:

-- Most of my pros fall under quality of life:
being able to work PT, 5 weeks holiday, safety/low crime, some sort of social welfare and safety net (not trying to start a political debate here, btw!); public transport; biking everywhere; good free schools, etc.
---- Small local shops! Love them (or the market). Love that we have a butcher, cheese shop, green grocer and a fabulous twice weekly market. We're not dependent on the large grocery stores. I love to support small local businesses and that's easy here
--- political stuff (although that's changing a bit) recognition of gay & lesbian marriage and rights, including adoption; euthanasia, no real debate about the right to abortion (once again, *not* trying to start a political debate! )

Don't like so much

-- Traditional cuisine (potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, sausage, kale, fried stuff, herring) We do make a lot of our own great food and we do have some fabulous restaurants
--- Manners (or lack thereof!) -- extremely pushy, abrasive, "direct" (aka rude); everyone has an opinion that s/he will voice, whether it's wanted or not
--- customer service (or lack thereof). Feels like Soviet era Eastern Europe sometimes
--- birthday parties -- sitting in a circle for hours drinking coffee is just not fun. I go to as few as i can get away with
--- stinginess -- frugality is good, cheapness is bad. I'll never get used to or embrace this aspect of the culture.
post #10 of 14
DH is from Kenya, and we live in the US.

Love:
--the food. Tasty, economical, filling, totally healthy (with the exception of ugali, since I'm so carb sensistive)
--emphasis on family and love of children (but see below, this is a good and bad)
--finding a way to include God in everything
--the use of lessos/kangas (wrapping them around your waist when cooking, cleaning, etc.)
--babywearing! even though mine are getting too big for this now

Don't like:
--all night clubbing, parties, drinking (one of the reasons, well, the main reason, we seldom visit extended family)
--interfamily dynamics (who is feuding with who, etc)
--everyone assuming we have lots of money because we're in the US, and therefore should give them lots of money whenever they feel like they need some
--all night funerals
post #11 of 14
One of the many things that I love about Australia and have adopted is....

Vegemite!!

Salty, yeasty, perfectly strange goodness- especially on top of hot buttered toast in the morning.
post #12 of 14
Fun thread!

Well, we've been here six years and counting...(DH is bicultural, so it is partly his culture and not mine).

This is just off the top of my head...

Finally, after many years of eating "American" (breakfast, lunch at noon and dinner at night) we eat our "comida" (the main meal) in the middle of the afternoon. DD is in school and just makes so much more sense for us in so many ways.

I love the friendliness and good manners-in general-of people here. We have relationships with the people who own the local businesses and people are geniunely warm overall even if it is just purely for good manner's sake.

It's so great that I can get a doctor's apt. the day of or even with a specialist the week of. Things tend to be more in the moment and what I would consider last-minute. Of course, there can be definite cons to this! For example, when you have your car in the shop or a home project and it just seems to go on, and on...

I'm sure there's much more but that' what I can come up with right now.
post #13 of 14
I've adopted the drive less/use public transportation lifestyle, a pain when it' raining but have bult in exercise to my life, riding a bike w/ my 2 yearold in the seat in front of my handlebars and my 4yearold behind my seat to and from kindergarten for a daily total of 1 hour per day, plus grocery shopping and other errands by bike or walking since I don't drive here.

Eating fresher food though it requires shopping every other day
rather than loading up once a week

love, love, love sushi!!

love the beautiful presentation of food and the variety and health of ingredients and dishes.

love the attention to detail,

customer service


rejections:
indirectness all the time, it's very tiresome, just freaking tell me!
conformity a common phrase here is " the nail that sticks out gets hammered"
includes agreeing for the sake of keep social harmony.....ugh

women being docile, cute and harmless as an ideal

sometimes the things I love are also the same things that bug me,
for example, the love for things that are cute sometimes bcomes annoying when it extends to everything, even the eveing news and weather report with pastel animals everywhere,

anyone else in Asia?

sorry.....having a negative past couple days here
post #14 of 14
Love: The food
The simple faith in God
The history of Mexico
Traditional music, dress, and festivals
Breastfeeding in public and not covering up

Not so much: The adultery
The drinking and drugs
The promiscuity
Giving pop and candy to babies
"Cheat them before they cheat you" mentality
Nosy/interfering family
Horrendous behaviour of children
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