Culture Clash

Very busy day today, with a ton of code and other changes to the site. Too much to do.

Several people from the Korean offices were here, and I met with them to walk them through the site and explain the benefits of all of the recent changes (i.e., I suppose I was supposed to sell them on the benefits of letting our team handle their site rather then them doing it in-house).

It’s always a bit strange meeting with people from a radically different culture to our own, always an element of it being somewhat of a comedy of errors and best intentions. I know they bow, they know we shake hands, so there is always this weird hybrid thing where you both bow and simultaneously shake hands. I was prepared for the business card ritual, but then they didn’t offer theirs – is it only Japan where it is so important? Was I supposed to offer mine first? I don’t know. They had a minder, a European from the Korean office, who was signing in when I went out to reception to get them, so he wasn’t available to immediately introduce anyone. I stuck my hand out and did it, but I had no idea who was senior and who I should have introduced myself to first.

I mean, it’s not awkward in any way, you always get through these things, but I always feel as though we’re sidestepping through this forest of preconceptions and being very careful with each other. I know how polite they are, so I become superSUPER polite, and I always feel as though they (with their perception that we are generally boorish) are impressed that I’m not cursing in every sentence or spitting on the floor or whatever. lol…

Good lesson tonight on Kip, and we finally got him to canter (with the help of a ground pole, then a lunge whip, tons of rude “pony club” kicks and much vocal encouragement. He feels as though he’s going to fall over at any moment, very unbalanced, and a HUGE stride, as though he’s leaping with every stride. Rather exciting, especially since I didn’t die. :)

And now, to dinner…and collapse.

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