Weekly Recap – 9.

Last Saturday started off the 15th day of nicotine free existence. I finished reading the last of the trilogy and heaved a sigh of relief. I won’t be tempted to stay up late to finish any more in the near future. Another book on philosophy that I had ordered some time ago arrived and I have started the serious stuff again. Under my father’s supervision, one South Indian dish was cooked which turned out to be quite tasty.

Sunday saw one of my fellow caregiver club member in some distress. I landed up at the hospital to visit her and her father to cheer them up with a couple of gifts which I think was much appreciated. It was a change for me too as I had been cooped up and felt the need to get out a bit. I also got acquainted with a brand new hospital about which I had not known.

Ranjan helped me make my friends lives a bit happier by taking some idlies and vadais to the hospital. Quite whether the patient will be allowed to eat them has been left to the care giver. I hope that the latter gets to have some. I managed two trips to the pathology lab to give samples for various tests and will get the results tomorrow.

Tuesday’s visit to the hospital was tiring to get three tests done. Fortunately, all the results are positive unless the surgeon finds something wrong somewhere. I was able to tie up a couple of loose ends at the bank too.

Wednesday saw my father’s bridge being fitted and him comfortable. I got my dentures adjusted while at the dentist too. Much more comfortable since. I got all my pathology reports and to my amateur eyes they look okay. Appointment with the surgeon on Friday should confirm one way or the other.

My nephew came to visit and has assured me about his availability for any assistance during my hospitalisation and subsequent recuperation at home. He is also arranging to modify some furniture at home which will make post surgery life comfortable for me. It is a great relief.

Thursday was quiet and I was able to talk with my GP on the phone for the first time after his hospitalisation and return home to recover from a cardiac arrest. I think that he appreciated the call and I was able to cheer him up quite a bit besides his giving me his green signal to go ahead with my surgery. I cooked three dishes, all favourites of my father and son and they were much appreciated. My nephew had brought over some traditional sweets for the Ganesh festival starting. Another bonus was Ranjan’s ex sending some delicious cakes across.

Friday was meeting with my surgeon who after perusing all the medical reports announced that I am in great shape and can safely undergo the surgery without any pre-surgery preparations/medications. So, countdown begins on a note of optimism.

Culture Shock.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Nema, Noor,Ordinary Joe, Paul,Maria the Silver Fox, Padmum , Rohit, Will knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by gaelikaa.

Who else in the LBC but gaelikaa, could have come up with this topic? She is still getting over the shock after so many years in India after transplanting herself from the Emerald Isles. If she would like us to learn if she has, or she is still recovering from it, this should be the opportunity for her to share with us on the subject. I eagerly look forward to her post on this subject

I have been exposed to culture shocks of a type rather unusual to most people. They were all, thankfully experiences in my work place and did not affect my family, particularly my late wife who blissfully lived through some traumatic times that I went through, as I did not share those problems with her when they happened. After retirement of course, I shared all of them with her as we had a lot of time together to talk about things that we did not have during my working days.

The first culture shock for me was when I first visited the UK on summons from our Head Office. In India, I was used to working long hours, traveling over week ends, etc. I found that my hosts, including my immediate boss and his boss were, what we in India call clock watchers. At five past five pm, you could not find a body other than the janitor in any of our offices. Friday afternoons went mostly in talking about the ensuing week end and Monday mornings about how the week end went! I told myself that I could get used to that life style, but on return to home base, the local culture simply would not allow for that kind of nonsense!

Then came the next one, when I quit my multi-national employer to join a family owned and run Indian company where the culture was totally different. Luckily for me I was recruited by a friend who was the founder of the company who wanted change to be brought in and had agreed to let me have a free hand. In all fairness, the culture shock was more for the employees than for me as they were not used to a professional style of management and as usual, went running to the owner when they thought that I was doing anything crazy. The owners stood by me and I was able to do what I was contracted to do. To some extent, the fact that I had to do some explaining to the owners was a shock to me never having had to do anything like that before. The five years there were very productive for both of us and I retired from work, amicably and we are still friends.

I retired from that five year stint and stayed at home for six months, when another friend dragged me into a consultancy assignment which quickly became a full time employment. It was with a much bigger company but still run by a patriarch though for legal reasons it was a public company listed on our stock exchanges and managed by a board of directors. The culture shock here was different from the earlier one as, the employees were of a different caliber,the Chairman was an Oxford educated sophisticate and the customers were completely different. I had to adapt, they had to adapt to me and it was a see-saw roller coaster ride for three years and finally I went back into retirement.

The next culture shock was not so much a shock as an adjustment as I went to South India where I had roots and was comfortable with the local culture and that particular industry. My late wife and son had problems adjusting to the local conditions and so they stayed on at Pune and I ran a bachelor home there. I thoroughly enjoyed that assignment and had to spend two stints there to set everything up and had a grand time doing that as more or less the swan song of my managerial career. After that I really retired from active full time working and came back home for a different career.

I would summarize that culture shocks in my case were more to do with finding new environments to which I had to adjust and/or get the environment to adjust to me. As long as the adjustments took place, there were no upheavals. Things quickly became the norm with a bit of give and take. A similar adjustment had to be made by my father when he moved in with us after having lived his way as the Lord and Master of everything he purveyed. He has had to make adjustments to his new environment and now life is placid for him and his environment too!

Now to lighten up the mood, here is a subtle message on culture shock.