John Mason +44 (0)151 449 3938 International House 35 Wilson Road Huyton Business Park

News

Guest Blog: The New Neighbours

We asked seasoned expatriate Diane Lemieux, author of Culture Smart! Nigeria and co-author of The Mobile Life: A New Approach Moving Anywhere, for her tips on relocating

We relocate to a new place – different climate, food, traffic, house, smells, sounds and sights. And we relocate to a new neighbourhood with people who have different customs, habits and expectations of neighbourly conduct. Most guidebooks tell you about the first but not so much about the second. I was fortunate when I moved to Lagos, Nigeria, to have been asked to write the Culture Smart! Nigeria guidebook that primarily talks about the people of a country – the events and beliefs shapes their values like their history, family traditions and social organisation.

 

This gave me an excuse to go out and ask everyone I met any question at all, no matter how trivial or seemingly silly. My task was made easier by the fact that Nigerians are open and happy to talk about their customs and traditions.

It was a tough job: understanding a country that was totally new to me and is made up of more than 200 ethnic groups took a lot of legwork. But it was an ideal way for me to get to know people in my host culture, to dig deeper to understand behaviour that didn’t make sense to me: What does it mean when someone asks me ‘how was your night?’; Why do mothers hold their child’s wrist rather than their hand? And I made friends in the process.

At the end of a year, I was able to share what I learned with others. The book has been published for a few years now and I’ve met people who were grateful to have received the book from family or friends before their departure. The expat partner group of Abuja used the book to create a quiz game for newcomers; an ESL teacher used it as the basis for her conversation groups. Between the moment you step off the plane with a few suitcases and the time your shipment arrives and you finally create a home, this resource helps make sense of some of what goes on around you.

While packing your boxes in your current location, grab a copy of a culture guide for your country. “A party at the most impressive venue with the most sumptuous food and the greatest band will not be much fun if you are alone or do not meet people you like.” (The Mobile Life, p121). In the end, the quality of the time you spend at your destination will be determined by the relationships you build with your new neighbours.

More information on Dianne’s books can be found here:

The Mobile Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Canada

Healthcare in Canada and Health Visa Requirements

13 November 2017

Company News

John Mason International Awarded FIDI FAIM Quality Assurance Certificate

8 November 2017

USA

Moving to the USA? What you can and can’t take with you

6 November 2017

Moving with children

The US President trumps Walt Disney World in poll of UK children

1 November 2017

Pets

Moving your pet to the United States

30 October 2017

Awards

John Mason International win prestigious digital award for hilarious Australia Day campaign

25 October 2017

Our Credentials

As one of the leading Movers on a national and international scale, we pride ourselves on providing a professional and friendly service from our highly trained and competent team. We have been recognised by the networks below and we are, therefore, proud of our credentials.

Some of our Customer Reviews

Thank you and everybody involved, you are an excellent team and an absolute pleasure to deal with.

J.D. Liverpool, UK to Toronto, Canada -
July 2017

My whole experience with John Mason's has been very good, from having Tony surveying till today with the container being packed, I will definitely recommend John Mason to provide removal services.

M.H. South Shields, UK to Perth, Australia – July 2017

Thanks Suzanne for all your help – it’s not easy trying to sort things out from such a long distance away and you’ve been superb! Thank you!

C.H. Warrington, UK to Edmonton, Canada - August 2017

About us