Daily Archives: 30 December 2007

small culture shock

Oh, this is awkward. Only for me, but still. An uncle-in-law is dying, which is the usual bummer that a death in the family is. But beyond that, I like this uncle and his family, and there is literally nothing I can do. No really, literally nothing. In the States, there would be little things. I’d send flowers or a card, I might call the wife or son and say how sorry I am, and if there’s anything I can do, please let me know, but here, none of that is appropriate. It’s just not done. And I don’t want to step on any cultural toes, so I won’t do or say anything, but it just feels wrong to me. Like I’m telegraphing indifference. Of course nobody here would see it that way, but I’m still operating on American assumptions, so I’m uncomfortable. Awkward.

Speaking of awkward, today’s song du jour is Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Old Man River. Seriously. What was he thinking?