So, you’ve made up your mind to go across the pond? There is not only striking differences in weather but also in the lifestyle and culture of the USA. And a memo which helps you know what to do and what to avoid is in order. Making a fool out of yourself or being stared upon is the last thing you want in foreign lands. So, read on to find the most quintessential tips for visiting the USA.
1. Be Polite, Polite, and Polite
Indians are not the politest of people on the globe. And, you might carry on your old practices and manners there as well. Irrespective of anybody’s occupation, everyone is treated with dignity and respect. “Thank you”, “sorry”, “please”, “you’re welcome”, and “excuse me” are common courtesies and are not just restricted to formal environments. And, respect boundaries. Never ever make the mistake of jumping a queue, you might set up yourself for some big public humiliation. Finally, while tipping might not be very important in India, it definitely is in the US. Whether it’s the barber’s shop, pizza delivery guy, or complimentary services, tipping is expected from you.
2. Be Ready for the Spicy Food Crisis
The first problem after you land up in the USA is going to be food. American food is highly bland and you might have to go miles before you find your first Indian restaurant. And, they are going to be expensive. The scenario is nothing like restaurants here, where easily under Rs 500 you can order for two. So spices and pickles are off the table, both literally and figuratively. However, if you’re there for the long haul, it’s better to learn cooking. Frozen Roti and Naan are there but you know what they say about frozen foods. Not much healthy. You might pack some homemade masalas like Garam masala, Chaat masala etc. to make your dinners more flavourful. Hopefully.
3. Get Your Documents Straight
What do you carry when you go out of your home here? Probably, your style and purse/wallet. But, in the US, you need to have your ID with you all the time. You might be asked to show your identity proof any time by the police officials. Always carry your ID and passport with you whether you’re out for sightseeing, lunch, or just casually hanging around.
4. Medicines Are a Tricky Affair Here
You sure can run down the street here and ask your local pharmacist to give you something for that runny nose. But, that’s not the case in the US at all. You need to have a prescription to buy medicines for each and every condition, as minor as cold. And, you can’t consult a doctor just like that. You need to register yourself with a hospital first. Medicines are quite expensive there and one barely survives without health insurance. So, get one if you’re planning to stay for long. However, you can pack from home some basic set of medicines and balms like Crocin, Vicks, etc.
5. Understand the Transport System
If you’re in for a few days here, try the local transport system in a place where it’s good, like New York. It would be much cheaper than a rental car. However, in other places, you’ll feel crippled without your own vehicle. Many rent a car as it is a comfortable ride. People really stick to the traffic rules there, so driving is a breeze. And, oh people drive on the right side of the road in that part of the world!
Do you have more tips about the USA? Tell us in the comment section below.