In the mind of those from the outside: Acculturative stress stories
Ikhwan and Ukail
PART 1: Bobbyâ€™s stories
A foreigner lining up in a Malaysian supermarket. Diary Entry 23/04/2016 Their actions are indefensible. What I am about to say about them is irrefutable. The supermarket here is populated by savages. I do not know if it is the supermarket itself that has such a hold on them, or whether there is some innate trait within all of them renders them into beasts the minute they step foot into this place. I stood in line for what felt like hours. Hours upon hours of torture - the unbearable sort that wouldâ€™ve left my eyes twitching if this was an american film. Picture this, dear reader, you standing in line, a family in front of you and one behind you each with a baby wailing as loud as god wills babies to be. Children running around the corridor, bumping into everyone without care. Each time they do that, the line breaks and you suddenly find yourself in a different position and the family who was once behind you is now four places in front of you. You cough once, a type of offering to the old man in front of you (who you swear was not even in the line prior to this) - let me go in front of you and I wonâ€™t make this a bigger issue that it should be. The man refuses to budge; either he is deaf to the world or he has just ignored you. You stew in anger but you cannot do much. You donâ€™t want me to be that guy in the news who sucker punched a pensioner. I was at this point that I came to the realization that I was surrounded by beasts. Awful, ghastly creatures that had no respect for common human decency. I left as fast as I could. My suffering is immeasurable and my day has been ruined. I will never, ever come back to this hellhole.
Bobby’s Blog for Busy Backpackers - Don’t be a stranger!
Blog post #37 The culture shock of arriving in a new country can often be severe. However, after leaping past the first few months, every expat begins to become accustomed to their surroundings and slowly, but surely we begin to adjust and even forget about the little things that bothered us so much in the beginning. Every now and then however, every expat will stumble upon something unexpected that will throw them off balance. In my case, what threw me off balance was the realization that not all toilets look like American ones. Side remark: My annoying wife keeps on joking that ‘not all toilets are created equal’. The toilets in Japan are, for lack of a better word, strange. You’ll find all sorts of toilets here. Square ones, circle ones, oval ones, rectangular ones, Anglo-indian types, normal ones and even the modern, self-cleaning ones. Those ones I do not mind so much. It’s the one I haven’t mentioned yet that shocked me: Squatting toilets. They are horrible, horrible, horrible creations. It upset me so much that most of toilets here are squatting ones. I just don’t know what to do with them! My word of advice for all you busy backpackers: learn about the toilet customs of your chosen destination before you go! You will thank yourself later on, trust me.
PART 2: Mohd. Wadood’s Stories
Biography of Character Egyptian named Mohd. Wadood He grew up Alexandria, 17 year old He has Three brothers, Salah, Elneny and Mahrez Mother: Khadijah Father: Ahmad
ّٰ ِﺮ اﻟﻞ ُ أَ ْﺳَﺘ ْﻐﻔ
, Oh Allah please give me strength to go through the days. Why did Abi have to come to America. How did he even get a job here. I know I do not belong here.
I have been to three classes today and have said Assalamualaikum before going into all of these classes and people have stared at to like i have signalled a terrorist code. Nobody talks to me in class. They run away from me like I’m a ticking time bomb. I can’t help it. It’s in me. Its automatic. When i go into a room it just comes out. I try to explain but no one will listen. I wonder how Salah, El and mahry is doing. It can’t be as bad as me. Back home it was greeted with smiles back but now i get looks . I cannot go back into school
23rd of March
ّ ِﺮ اﻟﻞ ٰ ُ أَ ْﺳَﺘ ْﻐﻔ
I am so stressed out, I really cannot believe it. I was able to make friends. When they call me they do the funny “Whats Up ma DOOD” which I find charming at times but when they do it often it does get on my nerves. But hey it is not something that hurts anyone else….. They always put a smile on my face, Jack, Cole and Aaron. I have never met another group of people that have done that. Not even back in Alexandria. However I am unsure if I can do it anymore. Today I went out with them.. They just said that we were going to the movies, and I happily followed them inside. Right after however they brought me to a bar and forced me to go in. I am almost positive I saw them give them a fake ID, there was even one for me. II tried going out but they just pushed me back in, asking me “Are we even friends” Again I tried to explain that I am not allowed to be inside let alone drink but they just would not listen. I really did not want to offend anyone else, so I stayed inside a little bit longer but it just didn't feel right at all. I was not supposed to be in there. I am not allowed to be in there at all. I was shaking. Then I saw a dreaded drink being passed to me. It was alcohol….. At that moment I contemplated, these people I was with just made me happy. I enjoyed their company so much, and I was so alone. I did have Mahry, Salah and El, Umi and Abi as well but they just made days so much more better. Should I just keep the friendship alive and just take a drink. It was only once. I cannot believe that I was thinking for such a long time. But,,, I was not permitted to be doing this because of Islam, I was not going to make Allah angry. If my parents found out I would be disowned…. What am I to do How did I get myself into this mess.
I need to just get up and leave, NOW!
ّ ِﺮ اﻟﻞ ٰ ُ أَ ْﺳَﺘ ْﻐﻔ
4th December Coming here is and adjusting is one of the most hardest thing to do. Every Friday is usually the days that I go for prayers and back in Egypt our school ended early so we were able to go for the solah, and because Abi was very strict and religious my brothers and I would almost never miss this prayer. However here in America school ends at 4.00 pm but prayer is at 1.00 pm. Usually there is no matter and I can pray zohor when I come back from school,, but by the time I get home it's asar, and I have missed prayer I am unable to leave class early , Abi has already tried to ask for early leave from class but the school did no allow. Abi has said it's alright because I was not missing it on purpose and I just need to kodor Zuhor like I know this but I still feel guilty every SINGLE time, I can’t concentrate in class. Every single time I just look at the class and I blank out. I keep thinking that I am doing a sin. We all know its compulsory but I am in class learning Maths. I keep telling myself that it’s alright but I just can’t. Why is this happening to me? I am not sure how Salah, Elneny and Mahrez feel but I just can’t. Many times teacher has asked me questions and I can’t answer because I am freaking out. I am missing a prayer because of school. I keep trying to find ways I could skip class so I can do my prayers but to no avail. There is nothing I can do, I want to ask the teacher if I could just have 5 minutes and pray, but what will people think of me. They will definitely be giving me looks and I will be embarrassed. You know what , I’m just gonna kodor, I don’’t want to ask.