Michaela Kopecna, Czech Republic
For someone who wasn’t born in Santa Barbara some things can be completely new and strange. Every country has its own customs or traditions. Some of them could be normal, but some of them could seem little bit weird.
I am a girl from a small city in Europe and I have never traveled across the ocean before. So the words like “jet lag” or “culture shock” were, for me, completely new. I never understood the meaning of them because in Europe we all go to sleep at same time. That means that we have different traditions, but close and similar to each other.
What time is it?
When you land at the airport your first thing you must check is the time, because in Europe it is 12 pm. What time is the right one? That’s the question. Here in Santa Barbara it’s 12 am , so should I go to sleep? No! And that is what jet lag is.
How to use the toilets?
It could be strange, but the toilets are also different. And for someone from Europe it’s a shock. Are there really gaps when you close the doors? So everybody can see me through the gaps, right?
Are people here my friends now?
It could happen that you are standing at a bus stop and some stranger starts to talk with you. Just in Santa Barbara. The people here are so kind and helpful. They just talk with you and at the end of the conversation you are friends. How easy. That’s why I feel so welcome in this country.
How to say hi?
Hearing Spanish in Santa Barbara is really common. All the names of the streets are in Spanish and also in some public buildings you can hear this language. That is because Santa Barbara used to be a Spanish colony. However, for every day use, just learn how to say hi in Spanish. That will be enough. So “Hola” and “Gracias, senora”!
Sometimes you can feel cold here because of the air-conditioning or cold weather. Don’t underestimate it and take a warm sweater into your classes. Even if Santa Barbara has the ocean it isn’t warm all the time. Surprisingly.
You can say you are citizen when you help tourists get to the beach. You won! Santa Barbara is not so hard to orient oneself. So after a short time you will feel here like you are at home. Culture shock is gone and jet lag is your very old friend. WELCOME TO SANTA BARBARA!