“Culture shock, then, is thought to be a form of anxiety that results from the loss of commonly perceived and understood signs and symbols of social intercourse. The individual undergoing culture shock reflects his anxiety and nervousness with cultural differences through any number of defense mechanisms : repression, regression, isolation and rejection. These defensive attitudes speak, in behavioural terms, of a basic underlying insecurity which may encompass loneliness, anger, frustration and self-questioning of competence. With the familiar props, cues, and clues of cultural understanding removed, the individual becomes disoriented, afraid of, and alienated from the things he knows and understands.”
-Peter Adler
I recognize that I’ve been overwhelmingly negative-sounding in the last while when I speak of Korea, and I know why. In time, with a few more non-smoggy days, I’ll get better.