I found out recently that like grief, there are expatriate stages. They are: honeymoon, culture shock, adjustment, and enthusiasm.
“Within a month or so of arrival, the honeymoon phase ends and expatriates quickly begin to comprehend the magnitude of the barriers they face to doing their jobs. They discover that methods used successfully over their entire careers are either worthless or even destructive in another cultural environment. The result is expatriates who are severely emotionally distressed and ineffective at their jobs.”
I don’t know what happened yesterday but I think my honeymoon with Quebec ended quite swiftly and even shockingly. Sure, it’s not a developing nation and it’s not even THAT far from my hometown of Chicago. But it’s a completely different country with a different language and a winter that lasts forever. Continue reading