If you’ve decided to make the move to America or you’re brand new to the west, read along. Consider these 7 basic comandaments to follow and keep in mind. I’ll keep adding more tips and tricks for you to feel at ease in the American land. Until then, follow these 7 basic things and you should be set to get started 🙂
If you plan to shop clothes, shoes etc. you should know that sizes are different in USA as compared to UK/Australia or Asia. The American system of sizing and measurement is different from what you may have learnt in school. So, it’s important to get to know all the conversions to understand the basics.
Weight is measured in ounces and pounds.
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 pound = 0.45 kg
The basic units of distance are inch, foot, yard and mile.
1 yard = 0.9 meter
1 mile = 1.6 km
Temperature is measured in Fahrenheit, not in centigrade. 1 Celsius = 1.8 Fahrenheit
1 Ounce (OZ) Fluid = 29.57 ml
1 Gallon = 3.785 Liter
In many restaurants, you will come across buffets. At buffets, you need to use a fresh plate for every serving. You need to leave your earlier plate at the table itself as the server will clean it up. When you want a drink without ice, you need to say “Water No Ice” and not “Without Ice”. At fast food places, you would be asked is for “Here” or “To Go”? “Here” means to have in-store, and “To Go” means packed/ parceled. And if you wish to take left-overs home, you ask for a “box”.
All watches are reset twice every year (viz. April and October), in order to make the maximum use of the day light.
Don’t call a person of color by addressing their color. Also never call an “American Indian” as a “Red Indian”. Being courteous and considerate is the key. Saying ‘excuse me’ to get someone’s attention, greeting with a ‘hello’ when you meet someone, saying ‘appreciate it’ when someone helps you out – are all things that’ll take you a long way!
Public local transport buses
In America, you don’t find ticket conductors, unlike Asian countries. You also won’t get formal tickets unless you need a day pass. The stop request can be made to the driver by pulling the bell string. And make sure you carry cash and coins when you commute. And if you haven’t ridden a bus in your city, you must 🙂
When a cop stops you
It may be obvious by now, but I’m just saying – Police are commonly called cops. While driving, you need to follow the rules and regulations to the T. You will be fined if you cross the speeding limit or drive too slow. When the cop car starts their sirens and lights it indicates that you pull over and stop the car. Do not step out of your car unless asked for. The cop may consider it as an offense and might pull the trigger for self-defense. Keep calm and breathe! Also, there’s nothing to fear about as long as you have all documents with you.
Using Electrical devices
Electrical devices like hair dryer, microwaves, music system, laptops etc may not work in the US if bought from your home country and vice versa. The electricity voltage in USA is 110-120 volts and in Asia, it is around 220-240 volts. If you have to bring it to the US, get some converters too.