Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Personal Space

You know how one of the factors of cultural differences is how much personal space you need around you to feel comfortable. It’s sometimes referred to as an invisible bubble that your own culture knows cannot be entered. But in warmer climate cultures let’s pick on Italians for example, they will get quite a bit closer than Americans to one another in a social setting and talk right in your face.

Today as I was driving in rush hour traffic here in the Twin Cities, I noticed the same was true of car space. American driven cars need more personal space than those in Kenya. As you follow a car in “slow and go” traffic here you need to leave more room to feel comfortable. But in Nairobi, everyone is much closer together for very practical reasons. You can get cut off!

Yesterday I noted the same thing with parking lots and parking spaces. Good grief, a Kenya given the same amount of surface space for parking would probably get twice as many cars in the space.

I’m often amazed that there aren’t more accidents in Kenya. If there were more people that thought they needed more space – maybe there would be. I’m thankful there aren’t.

I’m fighting the urge to be Kenyan here. I’m learning to adjust.


Alice said...
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Alice said...

i disagree there would be less accidents. It sin't just the comfort of space but the following of road rules that differs between the two cultures, and I like feeling safer on the road. Road rules in Kenya is one thing I do not miss or all the holes....