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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.