събота, 27 август 2011 г.

3 Things I'll Have to Get Used To in the States


Soo... I'm finally here. I won't say that the journey was easy, but all was well and I'm finally here, safe and sound, at least for now. I've been adjusting to things these last couple of days and let me tell you, that's not as easy as it sounds. I live on the other side of the world, so it was natural that I would come across certain things that are different around these parts. Of course, people warned me about the customs and the traditions, as well as the different laws and rules, so I won't say that it was all unexpected, but some differences caught me by surprise. Some things like...


SQUIRRELS


Let's talk about the squirrels, people. The squirrels… are everywhere. Are they meant to be like the pigeons of Penn's campus - in that there are a lot of them, they're not at all scared of you and you don't pay any attention to them? How is it that no one cares that a squirrel is sitting there and eating its food like a boss right next to him? Am I just supposed to believe you don't consider those furry bastards a big deal? That would never happen in my country. My home town has a huge park in it and I think we have, like, two squirrels at the most. Two. If you notice a group of people standing in one place and looking up a tree, chances are someone probably saw a squirrel and strangers passing by wanted to see it as well.


Awkward Social Interactions with Strangers


In the past couple of days I've been walking around campus a lot, which meant that I came across a lot of people - in stores and restaurants, asking for directions or simply passing by them on the streets. In this time, I've found out something interesting about Americans - almost all of them will say hello to you, and almost all of those will ask you how you are. Now, when I was leaving, I was warned about this - should they ask you, don't bother answering because they don't really care, they're just being polite. But here I am now, feeling like a jerk for not answering this poor woman who wants to know how I'm feeling, stuck in this awkward smile that probably creeps her out. On top of that, this social interaction makes me nervous and my already unintelligible English gets worse.


- Hello, how are you?

- Hello, I'm… gh.

- Um.. Just let me know if you need any help, alright?

- Agheet, I leel et y oh.

- …


Coins with no numbers on them


Seriously, America? Y u no have coins that tell you how much they're worth? I know you can tell them apart by size and color at this point, but I've never seen one before, so I have to stare at the fine print in the bottom and remind myself of how much a dime or a quarter is every time I go to pay. I now have a wallet full of at least $5 worth of coins just because I feel uncomfortable rummaging through my money and getting the quantity right. I feel like I will have to spend an hour at home one day, just looking at those coins and doing exercises on paying with them. This shouldn't be this hard, people!


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