My first visit to the US was little disorienting. My trip was unplanned and it was the first time that I am traveling on two 11 hour flights consecutively. Adding the jet lag for 11.30 hrs time difference and standards in America for orientation of switches, driving directions, portion sizes contributed significantly to the disorientation I had on the first day.
The very next night I landed, I had dinner with the client’s board members and their families. They were very considerate and arranged for a large range of vegetarian food in the middle of Texas. One of the ladies at the dinner made sure that we are doing well and adjusting to the new place, she kept us occupied so that we don’t feel left alone at the dinner. She was curious to know how I felt being in America, I immediately blurted out that “people drive on the other side of the road, that is disorienting.”. She burst into laughter and then replied “I like your attitude, if I were you; I would have said people drive on the wrong side of the road. It shows that you are open to experience new cultures and accept other standards. Whenever I go to London I always comment that we drive on the right side of the road and the English drive on the wrong side of the road.”
I was surprised to know the fact that subconsciously I was open to many things even though it pushed me out of comfort zone which helped me to learn and experience a lot of new things. I suppose it is partly due the work environment as well. Most part of my work life, I have been working without cubicles (dining table setup) and the companies I had worked practiced openness as its core value. This has made me feel that everyone are at the same playing field; standards, rules & conventions are fine tuned for individual and societal needs. I am right from my perspective, but for someone else it could be wrong from their perspective.
If we get into an argument about something is right or wrong, may be trying to find which way we would express the driving side (right or wrong side?) will show how we are inclined to accept other standards.