They say “Family is Everything” and i totally agree. To mark my birthday in November 2016, i traveled to the United States of America to spend time with my brother who shares the same birth month with me, with just a day apart. This was indeed one of my best moments.
I have traveled to different parts of the world and have experienced different cultures but on getting to America, I noticed a completely different lifestyle.
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Culture Shock as some may call it, these are some of the things i observed in the city of Orlando where I stayed majorly.
1. Customer service is exceptional compared to what i have experienced in my part of the world.
In Nigeria where i live, the likely set of people to be that polite to customers are online store owners on Instagram! I’ve had to patronize people simply because of how courteous they were, which is rare.
But in America, sales attendants are pleasant. I went to Ross to get some things and this sales attendant was chatting with the customer who was right in front of me. Back home, I’m very sure I would have called out the lady. They say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so i waited patiently for my turn.
When it was my turn, she smiled at me and apologized for keeping me. I appreciated that and smiled back and said it was all okay.
2. The roads are very wide.
Each road has up to three to four lanes on each side. There are designated lanes for bicycles and commercial buses. The wideness of the road makes it difficult for traffic to build up. Everything in America is large.
Road signs were visible and they differ from state to state. There were speed limit signs telling you what speed to drive. Zebra crossing is well respected too.
I know some states in Nigeria do have some of these but enforcement is usually the problem. Americans don’t play. 🙂
3. The people are courteous and friendly.
If you are sitting alone and someone wants to share the seat with you, what you hear is “excuse me”. No one just walks up to an empty chair to sit.
4. There are varieties of food and every culture is represented in America.
They call it the land of the free.
But not anymore. Lol
5. The Dollar Store.
Here, everything goes for $1 but this is a trap to get you to spend more. 🙂 Ensure you buy only what you need.
6. Return policy on items purchased is sweet!
Buy something today and if you do not want it after some days, you are free to return it and get your full money back provided you have your receipt.
This is rare in my part of the world. Once you have paid for an item, you are completely on your own. Some stores even have bold signs that goods purchased can NEVER be returned… not even five minutes later. Lol
7. Shopping is bliss.
There are membership stores where you can shop for less and numerous retail stores where you can get good bargains on top brand names.
Have you experienced any culture shock in America? Share your story here.
In the words of Jerome Bruner, “Education must, be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world and a strengthener of the will to explore them.”
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I won’t exactly describe some of these as culture shock. For example, there’s nothing cultural about road construction, dollar store or shopping. These are mere observations and experiences.
Number 6 is actually very note worthy. That doesn’t happen in many parts of the world.