The Culture Shock of Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken: Philippine Style,
Kentucky Fried Chicken: Philippine Style. Chicken, mushroom soup, mashed potatoes with gravy, rice, served on a ceramic plate with metal fork and spoon.

Is this a Pulitzer Prize Winning photo? Of course it is! Well.. maybe it is. Okay, no… it’s not. But cultural differences are fun to learn. How different would this meal have appeared in the USA? Styrofoam and plastic forks/spoons.

Things like this contributed to the culture shock I experienced the first few days in the Philippines. I recognized the world-famous KFC logo. But then the food was served slightly differentl. Just like I recognized Coke but I had to drink it from a bag. This country has many of the same products as the USA, but they are all different from the USA.

Sometimes the cultural differences were interesting. Sometimes the differences gave me a headache because I knew something was different but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My brain would work overtime trying to figure out what was different… only to realize the bottle was smaller than I am used to in the U.S. (or a similar difference which is not initially obvious).

My first experience with culture shock actually happened when I visited New York City for the first time. There was advertising everywhere, flashing billboards, and people on the sidewalks all the time. I went to a restaurant, ordered a Sprite to drink with my hamburger, and drank four more Sprites. When I got the bill I was shocked that this restaurant did not offer free refills for Sprite. Seriously!? I paid over $10 for Sprite. After that I drank only water in New York, and made sure the water was free. I’m not sure if that counts as culture shock or “bill” shock.

Anyway, have you ever had culture shock?

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