WanderingDan’s Weblog

Culture Shock
October 24, 2012, 6:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Insomnia…not what I needed before a sea day. There’s only one sea day on this particular cruise, which means it will be extra busy. Oh well, it gives me a chance to catch up on my thoughts since coming aboard four days ago. Culture shock, plain and simple…not bad culture shock (except my natural aversion to petty rules). I love the ethnic diversity on board. As the only American in my immediate social circle, I am bathing in a glorious sea of accents: English, South African, Aussie, Kiwi, Ukranian, Croatian, Dutch, Scottish, Jamaican, German…and more. After four days it’s already creeping into my own speech, can’t imagine how I’ll be talking in seven months.

The scramble to get myself squared away has been both exciting and frustrating, owing to my preference for perfection and optimal efficiency. Slowly getting there…not only is working onboard a ship new, but so is working in my own practice. A lot of bugs are being worked out at the same time. Quickly, I might add…which helps me breathe easier, and hopefully most of them will be sorted by the end of this first cruise, and the next one will flow much more smoothly. Most of my spa co-workers call me doctor, even the spa supervisor…me walking around in a lab coat and all…I find the designation both flattering and unnerving, but roll with it. There are nineteen of us in the spa I think? Personalities are starting to emerge now, or at least I’m able to start sensing them better.

Clinical success started on day one. My first patient in fact…chronic low back pain gone after the first treatment. It was a confidence booster I needed in order to mentally justify charging money for medicine, a concept I am just now beginning to successfully reconcile. Medicine…I was starting to forget how much I love the social aspect of medicine…and talking to patients with accents is only icing on the cake. Speaking of cake and icing, I have been able to avoid such foods thus far on board. I’m not sure where this discipline came from, or how long it will last, so I’m rockin’ it while I can. And because I’m flat ass broke until we cash out at the end of this cruise, I’m not going to the bar either…great excuse to go on a mini-cleanse. But somewhat limiting on the social agenda. On the bright side, I’m getting good at finding the free entertainment on board from the get go. Tonight I listened to a harpist play a beautiful set…last night I attended the formal ball, orchestra and all, followed by a show in the theater. There are so many awesome performances everynight, I don’t think I’ll ever get bored…and I get to mingle with the passengers. And pretty soon I’ll even be able to walk around without getting lost every other turn, fancy that…

Ok…I better try sleeping some more, or else I’ll be a wreck at day end tomorrow…


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