5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA

5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA
In retrospect at my one-year stay in the United States of America

Carousel near food court INSIDE an outlet mall!
In the initial days here I compared everything, from places to prices, to what I was familiar with back home in Bangkok.  Every other weekend my husband took me shopping to the bigger main department stores and retail stores around, at times to shopping centers, and sometimes to Galleria and NorthPark, the upscale shopping malls in Dallas.  I realize I actually could have saved hundreds of the thousands of bucks I’ve splurged so far if I’d gone to the smaller off-price department stores instead like Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Big Lots, and outlet stores, thrift stores, or surplus warehouses for certain items.  I didn't know about it, so people, here’s what I’m telling you: if you don’t think shopping from cheaper stores is shameful – shop at those off-price or discount department stores and save some money.
Where Alok took me for my first lunch in US...bah.
Apart from shopping, eating out was fun.  Not because of the food, but because of the people.  I’m a connoisseur (though self-proclaimed) of Indian & Thai cuisine, and have been disappointed with food in several restaurants here, besides being too pricey for its quality and taste.  But it was observing people that I enjoyed most, and then the comparisons began again, because I didn't know customer service in restaurants here was so amazing.  Starting with how we wait for the available server to specially lead us to a seat, whereas in Bangkok we’d enter and go sit anywhere we want.  Or how a particular server is assigned to attend certain tables and would introduce oneself, but back home anyone would take the order or serve or answer question for any table, and we’d never know their name.  How in Bangkok after the food is served, the waiters/manager would leave us alone to eat peacefully, and come by once to ask if we need anything else.  But here, they’re so friendly and casual, starting a conversation, making us feel comfortable, and coming by every once in a while.  Though in fact once we had a server come by every ten minutes, and after the “you guys doing good?”, “is everything okay?”, “is the food wonderfully delicious?”, and “everything all right?” – I wish there were doors around the table we could lock.

My food intake has no limits.  At Indian fast food joint.
Then there were some appliances that surprised me.  Such as dishwasher – had somewhat heard about it but hadn’t seen one.  I thought it was really cool how it washes by spraying hot water and then uses heated-dry method, sanitizing all the utensils while I’m away watching series back-to-back on Netflix.  Initially, I didn't know that dishes had to be lined vertically and separately, that bowls, glasses, or anything with depth had to be placed upside down to be cleaned from within or water would collect inside if kept face up, that plastics went on top rack, that utensils systematically arranged for a full load was more efficient, or that everything had to be lightly rinsed first so that no food remained before putting in dishwasher.  No free lunches, eh?  Oh well, no complaints; dishwasher sure is a time-saver.  And sometimes an amuser.  My aluminum ice cream scooper came out charcoal colored.

At a live game for the first time in US, for Baseball.
Besides the dishwasher, the types of washing machines I had seen in the past had the ‘dry’ button or ‘dry’ section that only squeezed out extra water from the clothes, and then you hung the clothes on racks and ropes to let them dry.  But over here, I didn't know there were two gigantic separate machines and the twins are called Washer and Dryer.  The dryer uses heat to remove moisture from clothes and in about fifty minutes you have the whole load of clothes dried, almost ironed, ready to put back in closet.  Wonderful.  Now I only wish there was a Sorter-Hanger machine too, you know, to separate the clothes and automatically put each in the hangers, because this easy life has made me quite a lazy bum.

That reminds me, I didn't know there would be only toilet papers (bathroom tissues) in toilets here, no bum guns (aka water spray pipe, or toilet hose).  Nowhere.  Even Thailand, India, Laos & Myanmar have the bum guns in toilets, but USA doesn't.  WHY!?  I don't know if it's an ecological concern to use more toilet paper and save water.  Paper and water can be recycled, but I don't know how flushed paper in water helps the environment.  What I do know, though, is the water spray sure cleans arse better.

Apart from that, I love everything about this country – both the place and the people.  I didn't know USA was so incredibly amazing.

31 comments:

  1. Lol.
    I hate 'tissue rolls only' toilets as well.

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    1. I don't mind becoming a plumber in order to install the bum gun system in my apartment, that's how much I HATE!

      Delete
  2. Lol Nisha. such a beautiful post that is. These days I hardly see people get amazed at anything. but you and your post has this characteristic of a baby being all wide eyed with things that she has not seen before. I guess we have many things in common.

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    1. Aww, thanks Sayantani.
      I guess we all do get amazed but few express the excitement. I'm just one of the few :)

      Delete
  3. High End shopping malls are only for window shopping. We gets our clothes from JC Penny, Khols Macy's etc.

    Regarding tissue only toilet I have problem in the beginning but not now.

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    1. Yes. And I realize it's worth shopping at Kohl's only with their occasional 30% off coupons.

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  4. This brought back so many memories of the times when I moved to Sugarland,Texas as a new bride around 6 years ago.

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    1. Sometimes feels good to walk back the memory lane :-)

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  5. My parents have come back from the States after a stay with my sister and were exactly pissed off with the toilets. In fact my mom, who normally never carries a bag, used to carry one with a small bottle of water for cleaning, while going anywhere!!! :)

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    1. That's funny!! :D
      I'm sure millions of people migrating to or visiting US have had this problem, but they're still continuing the same system here! :-/

      Delete
  6. I've never been out of India... So it was fun to read all the new stuff you've learned there... I have friends who are in US and one thing that a friend mentioned was that they have different sections for different hobbies or interests in the supermarkets. Like you will get baking stuff to fishing stuff under one roof and everything is organised well. It's changing here in India but I don't think the market is more hobby sensitive here... I mean I get wool n crochet thread from a small shop which is located at a very hard to access lane in Bangalore, while I live in Kerala.

    I always heard my mom say that we need a dish washer, every time our help didn't show up. I always imagined it to be like a box with hands inside that scrubbed and cleaned the plates... kids imagination... On a serious note after reading this...I would really love to get one. If I tell my husband about this he might ask me to top reading blogs... LoL

    I hate toilets without the bum showers...I can understand it's a different way of cleaning in another country but in India too they do that in the high end hotels...I mean maintaining international standards is all good but when in India behave like Indians. Let the foreigners experience themselves that nothing cleans your arse like a water spray... LoL

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    1. Yes, such as in Walmart they have sections for groceries, home improvement, decor, arts & crafts, kitchen items, and even furniture. In fact there are hugeee stores dedicated to hobbies & interests, like Hobby Lobby & Michael's. We could spend all day there & not get bored!

      And about your bum shower comment...LMAO (pun intended) ;) :D

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  7. interesting article. since i've lived here like pretty much all my life, i'm not quite used to the bum gun toilets. when i visited india when I was younger, i had to use my "you know what" because back then my aunts and uncles didn't bum gun toilets.

    recently, my brother installed a fancy toilet in his home with a spray and he loves it since it does clean better and it is better for the environment. after your butt is clean, the dryer goes off and dries your butt.. love it. :-)

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    1. Hahaha, whenever I visited some relative's home in India, I had similar issues ;D

      It's great your bro installed something like that! Reminds me of some pictures I've seen of toilets in Japan with various buttons and options. So cool!

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  8. That is an interesting post and the experiance is similar to mine when I moved to UK. Washer, dryer, hoovers, lawn mowers and conservatory always made me amazed also number of times "Sorry" and "Thank you" are said..6 yrs down the line, I see that I do the same things and have lost the account of number of times I utter these words:) Loved your concern about the environment regarding tissue paper. We now have bought a house...and are having terrible time locating a toilet hose to fix in our toilet:) Wish us luck...

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    1. True, same here. One thing I know, after I move out of this country I'll definitely learn more manners :D

      I just searched on Amazon, they have toilet hose :D But good luck in your search, and thanks for your comment, Preeti :)

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  9. I remember my dad buying his sister in Lucknow a washing machine - even though there wasn't ANY power to run it - but it was a huge thing for her. I bet it's still sitting there unused.

    Anyway, this is a great post. I love to read books about how people adjust to live in America so this was a fascinating little snippet. Thanks for sharing my friend!

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    1. Hehe. My mom also used to take appliances from Bangkok for her family in a small town, where electricity went off 8 hours everyday!

      Thanks for your comment, Ameena :)

      Delete
  10. lovely post so true, with the countries like US and Canada trying to be eco friendly having water in the toilet would be cleaner and good for the environment
    although service maybe good prices are too high in restaurants

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    1. I may sound selfish if I say they should switch to the spray - if not for being eco friendly, at least for being bum friendly :D

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  11. hi... i loved reading this post.. i wish someone had written some article about dubai.. u know where to shop at cheaper prices , that wud help.. as of now ist carrefour and lulu for me.. no one has mentioned anything else!!! ur last part about the bum huns an dtoilets reminded me of toilets in japan which had amnay many buttons.. one it was interesting.. it would keep playing teh flushing sound( though there wud be no actual flushing)so that people outside do not hear any sound... not going into teh possible sounds!! but i was amazed seeing tjose toilet seats.. looked a little arm chair!! anyway , wud love to visit US someday!!!

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    1. I can't stop giggling reading your comment. Playing the flushing sound ... is hilarious. Reminds me of my school days when we used to do it manually :D

      I have seen the buttons in a Japanese toilet in one of my friend's photos from her trip to Japan few years back. Fascinating, indeed!

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  12. did'nt you tired fixing the bum gun in your apartment?

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    1. We have been on 1 year lease and shifting apartments here, will have to fix it ourselves, plumbers are expensive, and apartment office will charge big time for damaged walls, etc, so didn't want to take the trouble...

      Besides, I haven't seen the bum gun in anyone's house so far, let alone apartment. I think I'm the only one in the entire country who is the most concerned. Lol.

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  13. Loved going through your lovely post! have heard so much about life in USA and am fasinated by it. Hope to visit someday :) but the toilet issue is a bit irritating though! I totally agree with you on that front :)

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    1. Thanks Leena :)
      Life in USA sure is fascinating, you must visit some time. Remember to bring some sorta spray pipe along with you ;-)

      Delete
  14. Loved reading this one... My little one who got used to the bum gun in India will miss that here for sure...

    If you haven't been to Tuesday Morning (kinda upscale discount store), that is best for Kitchen Gadgets, Home Decor, Garden and Bath accessories. I just love that store...

    Enjoy your stay in USA!
    -Mythreyi
    Yum! Yum! Yum!

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  15. Interesting! Loved reading it

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  16. Such a honest post..i had same amazement when i came to US in 2008. I wish you would have been in Dallas. W ecould have met :-).

    Keep Sharing.
    Sheetal

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  17. Same feeling buddy!! Same stupid feeling, at times, rather all the time, I feel so homesick for the v same reasons!! And loved your post :)

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