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Henry

What Didn't You Like

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Hi Guys and Girls.

 

Many of you posted lots of great advice and article about life over there, but I would like to find out what didn't you like living there or what took time to get used to?

 

Hopefully I win the lottery this year and I can't wait to go but I want to know what to watch out for and what you didn't like coming from an SA background.

 

Cheers from sunny Sandton,

Henry

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Well, the guys who like it here will give you short lists, they guys who hate it here will give you 7 pages.....

 

I'll try and be short <_<

 

Not Like

1. Syrup is like water, you will cling on to any bottle of Ilovo or Lyles when you find it, as peanut butter and "jelly" is not for normal people.

2. You have to learn all new terms that exists in American English that you have never heard off....you also have to write the date with month first.

3. Your cuts in meat mostly dissapear...lots of new cuts to figure out(but it's worth it).

4. There is NO cheap labor charges on anything, so you learn to do a whole lot of new things yourself....

5. I will keep thinking, and I'm sure others will throw a lot out there too....

 

I have more than 7 pages of likes.....

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2. You have to learn all new terms that exists in American English that you have never heard off....you also have to write the date with month first.

3. Your cuts in meat mostly dissapear...lots of new cuts to figure out(but it's worth it).

4. There is NO cheap labor charges on anything, so you learn to do a whole lot of new things yourself....

 

 

True.

 

South Africans must quickly adapt to their new surroundings, otherwise they will soon try to fault the Americans and their way of life. It is then when driving on the "wrong" side, the accent, American English and gas bbq's become "stupid".

 

Shopping-wise you'd have to accept that many familiar items do not appear on the shelves, or that their equivalents might not be as effective or as tasty.

 

My biggest gripe is: It's never my fault or responsibility. I will always try to blame someone else for my mistakes. It is McDonald's fault that I'm obese. It is the school's fault that my kid(s) get poor grades. The fact that I seldom show any interest in my children's daily activities and allow them to stay away from school for the simplest of reasons, does not form part of the problem. I will always look for an opportunity to sue someone. Etcetera.

 

Not all Americans are like that, but there are many who really are like that, and that irks me.

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A lot of (not all) Americans chew with their mouths open or speak with food in their mouths. That is my biggest pet peeve with them.

 

As you can see my list is short too :D

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Local and State speed cops who trap you from the rear :angry: . LOL

Buying SA groceries online like Judy's pickled onions, only to find out that they are so old that they are frot.

Pumping gas in the freezing cold.

allowing for travel time traffic and traffic delays.

inclement weather is nice if you can stay at home.

shoveling snow.. it's a novelty at first.

Credit score only in the first few years.

No Boerewors rolls !!!

Get yourself a gas braai grill as soon as you can.

 

but overall it's great here, you just have to learn and adapt and be willing to try new things and different cusine.:D

Edited by oscar

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I think the first thing one must understand is that the United States is not the America of television and movies. It is large, complex, and diverse, with distinct regional identities. For instance, I live in South West Louisiana which is very French influenced and the people here are very strong on preserving their cultural heritage. I think people overseas think of America as ‘a whole’ when in fact it is more like each State being an independent country with it’s own rules and regulations, flag etc., Americans often seem very friendly, even when you first meet them but this friendliness does not always mean that the person is looking for a deeper relationship. Most Americans do their own housework and gardenwork which brings me to the next ‘difference’ and why some South Africans find it strange that Americans don’t socialise like they do in South Africa.. ie. rock up for lunch and leave well after midnight. Americans usually visit for a couple of hours and then leave. That is just the way it is and with ‘everyone having to do their own housework etc.,’ people tend to respect that and try not to impose too much. You will find that people would rather meet ‘outside’ of the home at a restaurant, bar or coffeeshop.. that way if the house is in a mess, no-one gets to see it or if the house is tidy, no-one gets to mess it up! 

I have been here 10 years now and South Africa has become a bunch of distant memories to me. I have been too busy building a foundation here. One of the things that took awhile to get used to and bear in mind I was 49 going on 50 when I arrived here was the food. Especially in these parts, I found I couldn’t even pronounce the names let alone think of eating some of the stuff… but here I am 10 years down the road and I am now an ‘honorary cajun’ who has embraced the culture, the food and the music. Here is a video I took at our local Black Pot Festival. A few Cajuns jamming….

 

 

I can’t say that there was ever anything that I really disliked when I first arrived but it did take me awhile to get used to the way things are done here. Like someone mentioned earlier, there is a tendency call everything and everyone ‘stupid’ as soon as one is taken out of one’s comfort zone. It took awhile to get used to the different Brands when shopping. I was not used to drive-thru’s so Fast Food was a no-no for me in the beginning as I had a few uncomfortable experiences ordering from the apparatus outside. The person on the other side had no clue what I was saying half the time and likewise, I had no idea what they meant when they asked how I wanted my Burger dressed! Huh? So I found that if I did stop to get something it was easier, for me, to park and go inside to the counter! Also, when ordering a Sandwich…you will find that it comes on a burger bun. I found that rather traumatizing at first but slowly got used to it. Now I find it strange if something comes between two slices of bread! Hahaha! I very quickly learnt to say ‘hood’ and ‘trunk’ as opposed to ‘boot’ and ‘bonnet’ which I found raised a lot of eyebrows whenever I spoke to someone about cars. I found myself wanting to photograph every truck (bakkie) or 18 wheeler I came across when I first got here because I was fascinated by their size. Believe me, they are humungous!

At the end of the day it really is just about getting used to change. Relocating to another country is challenging and some days are wonderful while other days literally suck but with the right attitude, a little patience and a dash of humor one manages to get by till one day you realise that you are well on the way to becoming an American  It could be waking up to the smell of breakfast, or driving down the highway listening to Bruce Springsteen, or maybe walking into your local coffeeshop for the umpteenth time but finally there comes a day when everything ‘just clicks’… that magic moment when you ‘stop thinking about what and how to do things’ and realise that you are doing things naturally again. Some people get to this point quicker than others but we all get there in the end.

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Fantastic post Eileen!

 

 

I think the biggest mistake anybody can make is trying to change their new environment to be more like their past. Do not expect things to be the same here as in SA but rather get used to things as it is over here and adopt to it as quickly as possible.

 

It truly is a great country and life can be really good once you are willing to except and work on adapting to life over here.

 

Sorry, that was slightly off topic, now to get back on topic. I cannot remember a lot of the stuff that we did not like once we arrived here. The one thing probably is that I miss a proper butcher shop, being able to walk up to the butcher and ask him for specific cuts etc.

 

The one thing that had us negative most of the time was the whole immigration process. Getting from Visa to Greencard can get you really down and it took a lot not to just pack up and leave. We nearly did but things worked out just in time for us.

 

Life is so easy and convenient over here there is honestly not much to dislike. :rolleyes:

Edited by C185

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Thanks Kobus! Yes I totally agree, it was the same for me as well - the immigration process - the worst part is the waiting, the uncertainty and not being in control of your destiny. Took a few years but worth it in the end!

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I have to agree with Kobus. Excellent post Eileen!

 

What you said about America being made up of 50 "independent" states is absolutely true. And that, I might add, is also a problem, politically, that is.

 

And yes, the food... it took me a while to get used to it. I still can't (really) get used to the bread though. I don't like the donuts either - it's not the same, not by a long shot.

 

It took me a while to get used to the local red wines as well. Beer too. But now I can honestly say that the local craft beers are second to none. The wines... well, that's debatable.

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Thanks guys, good comments!!:) Well I have made the mind shift about new things and embracing the new culture. I saw similar things when I lived in the UK. The saffas that adopted the British culture loved it and the ones who didn't lasted 6 months.

 

Well hold thumbs that I am selected int he GC lottery.

 

Cio

H

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Guest Boer08

1. Syrup is like water, you will cling on to any bottle of Ilovo or Lyles when you find it, as peanut butter and "jelly" is not for normal people.

 

 

King Syrup is like SA Ilovo, nice and thick

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What you said about America being made up of 50 "independent" states is absolutely true. And that, I might add, is also a problem, politically, that is.

 

 

 

Depends where you live I guess...that is one of the biggest "likes" for me, the ability to choose who to represent and serve me locally, (local councils, police, sheriff, schools, property taxes etc.) and not by some dictator or burocratic party 2000 miles away, like South Africa.

 

 

Boer....I will look for that syrup, not that I'm suppose to eat sweet stuff now anyway..... :ph34r:

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Hello Eileen,

I enjoyed reading your contribution. So well said. My wife did something similar on www.tramptravellers.blogspot.com

I had a real good laugh reading about your experience at a drive through. I will never forget my first time, I never actually got what I thought I ordered. Now I too just park and order inside.

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Hello Eileen,

I enjoyed reading your contribution. So well said. My wife did something similar on www.tramptravellers.blogspot.com

I had a real good laugh reading about your experience at a drive through. I will never forget my first time, I never actually got what I thought I ordered. Now I too just park and order inside.

 

Thanks for posting the link to your wife's blog, Stana! Always interesting to read how others settle in the U.S.A. :D

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I wanted to jump in late since I like this question ....

 

1. Eating french toast with maple syrup ... I don't know about you but I always thought that you ate it with ketchup or tomato sauce. Everyone still looks at me dubiously when I order the offending item!

 

2. Having to do another drivers test ... felt like I was 18 again (although that should have been good)

 

3. The absolute push from the far right Christian movements to want to legislate all their beliefs onto everyone - I call that legislative terrorism. I also have a problem when it comes from the other side (for those on the forum already living here :))

 

4. I do not smoke, but I still find it offensive that smokers in NYC are treated like criminals because they cannot even smoke in designated areas in parks, despite the fact that they pay the highest sin taxes for those cigs and smoking is not a banned substance.

 

5. Labor laws here are much more employer friendly. Vacation time on average is 10 days per year, and an employer can fire you at will, meaning you have little or no recourse if something was fundamentally unjust. I like that employees have more protection in South Africa, but then I also think that there the pendulum has swung too far to the other side.

 

Those are my dislikes, my list of likes are so long that you would fall asleep reading it! I am firmly established here and blissfully happy that I have a say in my life on every level. I feel safe, free and excited to see what my fellow citizens will do to fix our problems because in the end we will all come together and fix it! This land is not the land of opportunity for nothing ....

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