Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Culture Shock Counter

Gives you a measure of how Culture Shocked you are.
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When you live abroad for extended periods you tend to get Culture Shock and start to act strangely in ways out of proportion to external events.

This device would process information pertaining to the user and her environment (the processing for the prototype could be housed in a van or a truck) and analyse it to give a indicator of the degree of cultural isolation experienced by the user. This would allow someone to rethink their actions and cool off.

I've been effected by this and I generally found it sensible to talk to countrymen who have already adjusted and gradually immerse youself in the local, foreign cultural activities.

Aristotle, Nov 13 2001

Anti-US feeling hits Chelsea's Oxford studies http://news.bbc.co....1647000/1647176.stm
She needs one of these, badly. [Aristotle, Nov 13 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

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       By the "acting strangely" part I mean that people suffering from culture shock can get things out of proportion. When you are emersed in a foreign culture you have to learn to sink or swim and over-reacting is is a symptom of sinking. You can mis-intepret cultural signals unless you have a Culture Shock Counter (with optional bell).   

       For example in Paris French waiters can be very abrupt with people, throwing people out of restaurants because they asked for coffee first. Someone deep in culture shock might think that this was a personal insult directed at them, or their countrymen, while Parisian waiters in fact are prone to do this to everyone. The device would spot that this is normal and the waiters are being indifferent, rather than vindictive.   

       Before launching into a tirade, or setting up "Foreigners Against Evil Conspiracies", people could check the device, spot the faux pas and calm down.
Aristotle, Nov 13 2001

       vegetarianism is not common in Scotland. As such, I am running the risk of over-reacting to each day's single (cheese-dominated) veggie option in the canteen by considering returning to my previous carnivorous existence. I believe I am not completely culture shocked, because at tea-time I am fully prepared to go out to the chipshop and get a deep-fried macaroni pie. My favourite Scots delicacy. [I also think I'm probably missing out on a lot of good fish dishes by resolutely staying veggie... might reconsider.]
lewisgirl, Nov 13 2001

       As an Englishman in France I suffered a fair bit from some of the formalities. I was expected to shake hands with all the men and kiss all the women that I worked with each morning. I compromised by shaking hands with everyone, an option I noted that some French co-workers had also opted for. The kissing just wasn't cricket and I didn't want to get used to it ...
Aristotle, Nov 13 2001


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