At some point in life we all dream of going to the States or living there, thanks to the pop culture in the West that’s influencing the travel ideas of the population. United States of America, the land of opportunities, has surprised everyone who has set foot on its soil for better or worse, and if you come from a cultural background that differs greatly from that of the United States, the behavior of Americans may be very strange, annoying, or even upsetting to you at first or until you start seeing the brighter side of the coin.
Newcomers to the United States are often shocked by the informality of Americans. People dress very casually, call superiors by their first names, and eat just about anywhere. This might be related to the American idea of equality. If we are all social equals, then we can be informal in just about any situation. Walk into a store, restaurant, bar or club, and nine out of ten times, the employees will smile at you, greet you with enthusiasm and make small talk.
Follow the traffic rules and mind the red lights. If you want to cross a road press a button which is located on the pole of the signal. Allow pedestrians to have the right of way. Give a little wave if someone lets you merge. If you are driving slower than the most people, use the right lane. These are just a few points you need to have at the top of your mind, follow these and you won’t face any problems on the road.
Need assistance in a restaurant, raise your hand and say, “Excuse me, please!”. Other methods used in other countries may not be understood or liked in the U.S. which means your whistling skills might not be appreciated there. Tipping is not optional. When you visit a non-fast food restaurant, it is customary to leave at least a 15 percent tip as gratitude for the person who is or has been serving.
Driving in the States
Driving in the U.S. with its serpentine interstates and automatic vehicles is boring for a person who’s learned to drive in India as there are no cows to dodge, no rickshaws to honk at and knowing traffic rules is not optional. The lack of noise on the road might come as shock to you, in the U.S. people largely use their horns to warn or complain.
Environment is clean, with refreshing air and negligible dust or dirt in the surroundings, and they ensure that it remains the same. It’s almost natural not to clean your house daily.
Experiencing the US is unparalleled to whatever you have heard and read about it. We all know about the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Universal Studio, Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Niagra Falls but living there, traveling to these places, eating at local diners, having quick conversations with strangers, it’s the little things that matter. Well, isn’t it why we travel?