And now, the Amazing Frog Chorus!

Once upon a time…The frog kingdom of Rizpadon held court near the borders of Whereisleep.  (Was it a planned invasion or were they just having a good time?)  Around 6:45 each evening, the party begins.  A pleasant, deep solo belted by The Frog King kicks off the festivities, followed by another high chirping solo by the Court Jester.  Once their solos are finished the court joins the fray and cranks the volume to eleven.  And they keep it up until the cows come home, um… I mean, until the chameleons come home, taking a brief respite only during attacks by wyrms and lions, and the hulking machines.

The poor kingdom of Whereisleep struggles to maintain its sanity against the frog kingdom of Rizpadon.

They tried holding court as well but they don’t have the manpower to compete against such numbers.  There was even a short bombing raid, but it did no good, Rizpadon was fortified against all attacks.  Finally, the kingdom of Whereisleep accepted the frog kingdom of Rizpadon as neighbors and learned to live with them in harmony.  In fact, the residents of Whereisleep actually missed the cacophonous chorus once Rizpadon moved on to other locations.

A lesser-known event that occurs in the Hita area is “Frog chorus season.”

Three rice paddies near my dwelling.

It happens when the rice fields are flooded in preparation for planting.  Three rice fields rest comfortably less than ten meters from my dwelling.  If you live near a swampy area or adjacent to standing water you may have experienced the harmonious cacophony of a frog chorus.  I’ve heard my share of frogs during my time in the U.P. but nothing like this.

Intensity.  Is.  Amazing.

So much so that I thought the frog chorus would be a suitable way to illustrate the four stages of culture shock.  Thanks to the JET Programme for creating a simple and effective page about culture shock.

1. Initial Euphoria (Honeymoon Period)

Anything new and different to you is intriguing and exciting.

Dear diary, The frog chorus is so cool!  I’ve never heard such power!  I think the rhythms and voicings could lead to a new song!  (Record the frog chorus)

2. Irritation and Hostility (Culture Shock)

You often feel homesick and have negative attitudes towards the host culture.

Help me diary, I can’t sleep. 😦  Those effing frogs won’t shut up.  How can such small creatures make so much noise?  They just go on and on and on and on.  They even made my recorder jump into the red when recording them!  What was I thinking?  “Lets make a song about the frog chorus.”  Yeah, brilliant.  No. 

3. Gradual Adjustment

You begin to adjust and the culture seems more familiar.

Dear diary, I ran into a friend today that was complaining about the frog chorus.  I know I’ve had my issues with it but it almost seems like part of the scenery now.  I can sleep again and the noise almost feels like a lullaby singing me to sleep.  I’ll have to rethink that song I was thinking about. 

4. Adaptation and Biculturalism

You are completely adjusted to the host culture and may even experience reverse culture shock upon returning home.

Dear diary, it’s too quiet.  The frogs seem to have moved on.  I miss them.  It’s kinda sad now that I think about it.  I was wondering why I was having such a difficult time sleeping.  Maybe it’s time to write that song…

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About Matthew J. Durocher

Matthew Durocher is a graduate of Michigan Tech University. He acquired his BA in English along with a minor in Music Composition and a certificate in Writing in Spring 2012. His style is one of passion and musicality. One foot is firmly rooted in tradition while the other slides dangerously close to the clouds.
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