I have moved here to immerse myself into the Ecuadorian culture. I have unplugged from the American culture and feel like I have jammed three prong into a two prong outlet. But do I have to do this to truly experience this culture? There are some behaviors, customs, and traditions that line up with my native culture but there are sooo much that is blowing my mind. This change is hard for me. Its an uncomfortable process especially for someone that has a strong personality that questions everything. I have wanted to fit in. I have not wanted to cause any inconvenience for my family or friends I have here. I have want to just be apart without causing friction. But when you shove a rectangle into a square hole, there is bound to be some overlap. That overlap has shown itself in my house, at school and in public. Why are the gender roles so traditional here? Have I gone back in time? Why do the women put up with this treatment? Why does it matter if I have an accent from the mountains or the coast in Spanish? Why do people not clean up after themselves when there is no maid to do it for them? Why do people not recycle? Why do they feel the need to use the entire plate setting every meal, can't I just put all my food on the same plate? Why is every night club open bar? Why has it taken me over 4 weeks to open a bank account? These are just a few of the questions that have passed by. I think I have been forcing it and its not working. I have to choose to coexist to survive rather then become "Ecuadorian" . It just feels wrong to try an make myself into something I am not.
Maybe I need to coexist? I think through time I will shed the "In the states, we do or don't...(fill in the blank)" phrases and find the phrase "I have learned to do this because..." never defined by a culture but rather what is logical. What fits me. Have you ever been to someones house that is well traveled and they have an eclectic taste of decor, food, and speech. You never know the stance of these types of people because they have seen the world through different lenses and can make judgements based on these experiences, not stereotypes and assumptions. Most people have one lense and that lense becomes the center of there judgements just like in my case. Maybe through time I will create a new lense to view the world. I want to be more open minded and patient especially when coexisting with new peoples, places and things.
Maybe here they see me like an ant. A creature that is driven with goals in mind, not that they know what those are. I will not come to dinner unless invited and will hope to stay in line otherwise. These ants live with me in my bedroom. They keep to themselves unless provoked or invited by food left in my purse or book bag. No matter how many I kill the come back with even more. Lets coexist I have told them verbally. They haven't said no so I assume we are on the same page. So today on I will attempt this not only with my roommate ants but with the new culture I have submerged myself in. I want this process to be easier and by surrendering to this notion I think this friction of past and future will be more like a present in the here and now. Wish me luck!