In the past six months I've been living in a country were I
didn't grow up. This means that in the last few months I've experienced notable
cultural differences. Even though I grew up in a Western country, there are
still some big differences between Europe and America. I've experienced
negative as well as positive differences. Here are some surprising and common
differences. Going from the negative to the positive ones.
1. Food. Although some traditional American dishes are really tasty (gotta love the grilled-cheese), most of the food is terrible in my opinion. Biscuits with gravy at 9 a.m.? Seriously, my stomach is not built for that. I just want to have some good bread (not the chewy kind they have here in Cowan) and milk in the morning. I'm also surprised with how many fast food restaurants a town can have.
2. Banking. Why do I have to pay $1.50 if I withdraw cash from a bank other than the bank where I have my account? And what about checks? I'd never seen one before I came here. I thought only old people used those, but apparently I have to use them here too. America lacks a good banking system—it's neither efficient nor customer-friendly.
3. Discipline. Americans are more hard working than Europeans. Personally, this helps me to work hard also; a thing I didn't do a lot back home. However, I have questions about the efficiency of the time that Americans work. It's not all about quantity, it's quality that counts.
4. Restaurants. The food might be terrible but the service is excellent. Here the waiters really know what service is, unlike the grumpy ones in Europe. The fact that you don't have to pay for water and that there are unlimited drink refills make it even better.
5. Traffic. Although I still don't have a driver's license and I'm not on the road much, the traffic in America is more relaxed and friendlier than in Europe. Everyone isn't that hasty here and people have more patience than in Europe.
6. Americans. I just have to say that I love Americans. They always seem happier and more welcoming than Europeans. It's uncommon in Europe to have a little chat with a stranger. This is no problem here in Kentucky. It makes me feel welcome, comfortable, and almost at home.