Be more specific

Tips

In an earlier post I tried to work out some advice to self for the upcoming trip to the US. To avoid sounding like a pre-fab culture manual, I decided to tailor some of the vague recommendations to suit my specific situation.

  1. Don’t get stuck on your firsts
    I did fall in love with my first American town and my first American state, but you have to appreciate the new surroundings, too.
  2. Don’t assume you are befriended
    Appreciate the nicety and politeness, but don’t take them as tokens of a nascent friendship. Better be pleasantly surprised by the resulting closeness than disappointed at the distance.
  3. Admit you are a foreigner
    This may sound strange since I just emphasized the importance of being open-minded and fitting in your host community. However, coming from a different background, you are bound to do some things differently. It will often spare you a lot of funny looks if you tell the locals you are new to the area and ask for help.
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