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.