Dear Ol’ Quirky America
I came across this article, and it made me laugh. It’s so accurate! Even though I’ve been in the US for over a year, I still think these things are odd. Here are just some of my thoughts when I was reading the blog post. Call this a peek into the mind of an international student if you will.
I find it strange when I see lawyer advertisements on the highway. What’s up with those billboards? I actually feel a little bad for those lawyers. The competition must be tougher here, and that’s probably why they have to put their faces up (complete with cheesy smiles and thumbs-ups) in blown-out billboards along the highway.
Don’t get me started with bathroom stalls. The large gaps in between the wall and door bothers me. Sometimes, the gaps are so large, I can clearly see the people standing outside the stall.
The loud and friendly people? I’ve (mostly) gotten used to it. I have to. After all, I’m living in Oklahoma. When I’m in a large group, and the Americans are being their usual self, I find the facial expressions of new international students very amusing. What I find puzzling is how these perky Americans can be so energetic even after midnight. It’s almost like they have an endless energy supply. Confession: The Asian in me finds this really irritating sometimes, but really, there’s nothing much I can do about it.
I dislike pickles. Whenever I see my friends happily munching on a pickle, I can’t help but wonder how anyone can enjoy it. I’m very adventurous when it comes to food, but I refuse to eat pickles. Really, pickles are the only food I don’t eat.
When I first came here, I was introduced to the concept of “how are you?” being used impersonally as a colloquial phrase. I’ve finally understood why all international students dislike this phrase. However, this is just something that is so ingrained in the culture here, that I can’t help but go along with it. I use it casually now, but I still cringe and feel bad about using it so meaninglessly sometimes.
Sales tax, oh how I dislike you. I still forget about it sometimes, and then I’m caught by surprise at the total cost of my Walmart bill.
Changing my meal times is something I was forced to adapt to quickly. Of course, it helped that my body’s concept of time was turned upside down because of the time difference. But, I had to get used to the idea of eating at 6pm instead of 7:30pm though.
By now you should be able to understand a little the struggle of adapting to a foreign country. All these being said, America is America, and I truly love my American friends, quirks and all. The culture is so unique and diverse in every part of the country. I definitely don’t regret coming here!
Side note: I’m sorry if this blog post offends you. I’m trying to give a perspective that is unoffensive, but yet honest at the same time. My opinions here are just my views of the general American society.