When you move to another country, it’s expected to have cultural shocks. The food, the clothes, everything must be very different. I’ve moved from South to North America and things are, how can I say, north-americans, here. Lots of things, like houses, clothes, food, are different. But I don’t consider these to be a real cultural shock, as I can deal with.
It’s funny what’s been a REAL shock for me: greeting people. In Brazil you usually hug and kiss everyone. The number of kisses you’re gonna give depends on where you live: people from Rio give two kisses, in São Paulo it’s just one, but in Minas Gerais they must really love the kissing, because it’s three. And the kissing keeps changing from state to state. I was born in Rio, and lived in São Paulo, so I was kind of used to one kiss. But, still, kiss and hug.
Canadians shake hands and that’s all and you’ll scare the hell out of them if you try to come closer. I tried to do this a couple of times (I’m sorry I totally forgot) and the guys were totally freaked out. The funny thing, I was hugged by a greek-canadian, and hugged-and-kissed by an italian-canadian at a concert – exactly like you do in Brazil and you meet someone. So, I believe in latin-ish communities, the hugging/kissing is allowed because of the cultural background.
Although I think I’m gonna miss the “touching” in the beginning, I believe this is totally cultural and I can get used to this as I got used to the one-kiss in São Paulo. It’s just a matter of time and going out with different people, so you can get more adapted to the local habits. But, it’s funny how a small thing like this is affecting me more than the weather.