Cultural Distance: A Brief Analysis

It's 3am and my nap turned into a full on snooze. I have my highlighter in hand, texts on the bed and my hot new reading lamp on full glare as I try to compile info for an essay on the implications of cultural distance in marketing.

I can however give you a full on report of the implications of cultural distance on my everyday life. Firstly, the implications of poor oral and general hygiene. I am not saying that Trinis are the cleanest people on earth but I think my encounters with smelly people in London far outnumber my daily interactions with them at home. I sat in class today and kept second guessing whether I had put on deodorant this morning because there was a pervading smell of rank underarm in the room. And while I understand that 2 showers a day may not be essential for some, as the temps are so low here most of the time (I take my 2 showers), one shower is a must. Also, toothbrushes aren't retro, and even if you're doing the hamster run, please carry a bottle of mouthwash with you. Spare the rest of us.

Then there is the corpse syndrome on the trains. Trinis are naturally gregarious, in your face, overly friendly and often farse* people. It is a real shock to the system to sit on a train where eye contact is presumably outlawed and where saying good morning or smiling with a stranger makes you look like a psychopath, sex offender or terrorist. I have followed the adage, when in Rome, do like the Romans with this one because London is not ready for my natural Trini persuasion to be outgoing and fun. I stick my nose in a textbook and scowl at others just like the rest of the surly lot. It does not augur well for the rest of the world after that. It almost puts you off for the rest of the day.

And I always recounted my stories of Trini men approaching me in the streets of Port of Spain, declaring their love for some part of my anatomy or wanting to marry me or something. Their pickup lines were always original and hilarious, e.g. "Miss, I want to ride you like Seabiscuit". That was a classic one. Man, don't you miss the water when the well runs dry. Again, corpse syndrome. With the exception of the psychos in the bar on Sunday, the men here are Johnny Conservative and it then becomes necessary for the woman to be like a raging cougar, or at least to make the first move...risking stares or being labelled, as before, a psycho, sex offender or terrorist. lol. Today I played visual cat and mouse with this HAWT dude on the train. I saw him first on the bus and lo and behold when I got on the train after purchasing my hot new lamp, there he was again. It was a sign. I caught him staring at me, then he caught me staring at him but that was it until he got off at his stop. I was actually more concerned with keeping my seat on the packed train, especially with my brand new lamp being such a burden, than getting up to go say something. At least he made the 25 minute ride entertaining.

 I really missed home today. Not a heart wrenching, beat up the pillow crying kinda homesickness, but a yearning for the things and the people that make me smile.

Okay, that was my abridged report on cultural distance. Please give me an A+.


  1. Good job portraying cultural differences.

    I'm new in the Hippo group and popping by to say 'ello. I've subscribed now so I won't miss out on your London fun.

  2. Hi Amy. Thanks for stopping by. I am going to check you out now. London is never dull, that much is true. lol.

  3. I admit I love London but like you say talking to people or looking at them etc its like you are a lunatic! hope you are feeling better! passed from SITS


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