What is your biggest “only in the USA” moment?
It was during the month of September 2015. We had just relocated to Minneapolis from Bangalore, India.
Myself and my wife had completed Online DMV test, driving test was still pending. We both had Indian Driving License. As per our knowledge, we could drive in USA based on our foreign driver's license for couple of months.
On a long weekend we drove to Duluth. On our way back I didn't realize I was over speeding. Also I didn't realize that on a freeway little bit of high speed matters.
Few mins later, a cop was behind us.
I was supposed to PULL OVER. If I had done that I wouldn't have to write this post. Though I had read in theory, I suddenly didn't realize I had to pull over first. There is no pull over concept in India. Since it was my initial days of driving, I didn't expect something like that would happen to me soon.
I keep driving slowly for couple of miles and the cop continued to follow. Another cop car came beside me and he signaled me to stop. I immediately pulled over the car.
The next second I realized I screwed up big time.
Suddenly lot of cop cars around mine. All the cops were holding guns and pointing towards me. They asked me to open the window and drop the keys. Then to step out and walk behind. I got hand cuffs !!! They did the same to my wife also. They asked if I was carrying any weapons. I said NO.
They took both of us to different cars. They asked us same questions. We answered the same. By this time I was already thinking of spending night in jail, deportation, losing job etc etc.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46519.html 译者：Joyceliu
We told them that we were not sure whether to pull over or not as I had started driving recently. They did not consider our foreign licenses. A cop dropped us to a nearby gas station. He wrote couple of tickets and told I can go to office next day and I can drive once I have the license. What a relief !!!
He told if I go to my car I will be sent to jail. The options we had was to call someone and pick up back with car or to tow the car. I was on bare foot, they didn't let me take my belongings from Car.
I called a friend, waited for an hour and then they dropped us back.
I didn't drive any car for next 6 months. I took driving lessons and got my DL in 8 months.
After 12 months I bought a car. Another shock was waiting for me. Even though I got violation tickets before getting the license, they somehow had associated those tickets to my Driving history. My Car insurance was high and till date I am paying high Car insurance.
I’m from India. While there were many “Wow” and “Oh” moments, these 3 things stand out.
- Self checkout - I was at Walmart and saw that they have self-checkout. As the name says, once you are ready to checkout, you don’t need to waste your time by standing in those long lines. You can go to one of the self-checkout counters, scan your items, bag them and pay by card. That’s it. You’re done.
- Power sockets with no switches - You just pull the plug out of the socket to switch them off. In India, every socket has a switch.
- Online reservations - Ok this is a big one. We reserved an enterprise car online. All I had was a confirmation number. Typically in India, you need to make a payment for a small amount to confirm that it is a legitimate deal. It was hard for me to believe that I could actually get a rental car by just producing a confirmation number without any prior payment. But to my surprise, there were self-service kiosks. If you have confirmation number, driver’s license and credit card, you’re all set! We were out in 20 minutes of which 10 minutes were spent in choosing the car
Jeremy Markeith Thompson, News Junkie, NE Asia Watcher, Chinese in previous life, Music Lover
Updated Sep 9, 2017 · Upvoted by Josiah Schulz, lives in The United States of America (1993-present)
I have many “only in the USA” moments to share. I am an American, but I have lived abroad.
In the USA, many people go absolutely crazy the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is where families come together and express their thanks for family and being able to celebrate together. They usually share a meal with each other consisting of turkey, ham, dressing, vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, dessert, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, and many other tasty foods.
But the very next day turns to complete mayhem. Stores open with extreme sales to get people to come and shop. You can find televisions for $100 and laptops for $50. The trick is that they usually have very limited quantities. You will find these types of scenes on Black Friday.
Lola Sugimoto (杉本 ローラ), lives in Shiga, Japan
When I recently realized that, in the U.S., kids and moms are considered a nuisance.
I visited my relatives in the New York/New Jersey area for about three weeks. Then I packed up everything to head home to Japan from JFK airport with my one-year-old.
Like any mom with common sense, I thought it would be a good idea to change my son’s diaper before boarding. I went into the bathroom looking for a changing table and saw… a filthy shelf. “Is that really the changing table?” I wondered. See, I’m from the U.S. originally, but I had my kid in Japan and don’t really know how baby stuff works in my home country. I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask whether there was an area dedicated to changing/nursing or at the very least somewhere clean to get the job done.
I approached a security staff member. She was talking to a friend and ignored me until I said “Excuse me” at least three times, all the while balancing my heavy toddler and carry-on baggage in my arms. She finally responded by glaring at me.
“Is there an area where I can change my kid’s diaper?”
She pointed to the bathroom I had already been in.
“There’s a table in there, but it’s dirty. Is there another place where I can change and maybe nurse him?”
“No. This is America.”
1) We were in a bar yesterday and were served some complimentary chips. After 20 min or so, when the chip bowl was not even half empty, the bartender took it and dumped it and gave us a new bowl full of chips!
2) I Went to a grocery store to buy milk only to find 27 different kind of milk varieties.
3) After knocking on a store door, I waited for a while thinking that someone will open a door. Some random lady told me it was already closed (with all lights on and fans running).
4) I Ordered and got a sandwich only to realize it contained beef, told the server. She said no problem, dumped that sandwich and gave us a veggie one for free.
5) Someone offered me a free ride when she found me with both the hands full of heavy bags. When refused, she still insisted and even helped me loading and unloading bags. She just took thank you and left.
6) Fresh veggies cost almost twice as much as frozen veggies.
7) Water is more expensive than gasoline at tourist places.
8) Offered a homeless man a fresh veggie pizza and then I saw him trashing it.
9) Saw a totally young and strong man (honestly) begging for drugs.
10) Strangers are extremely nice to me and often go out of their ways to help me.
Shraddha Gupta, worked at Mu Sigma
1.Regular water is ice-water - Yes, it’s true. No matter how cold the weather is, and I mean real cold (<10 degree Fahrenheit), people drink a glass half filled with water and half ice. If you are visiting a restaurant for the first time, you better ask for water “without” ice.
2.Self-Checkout counters - I loved this one. From fuel stations to supermarkets, they have self checkout counters everywhere and you don’t necessarily have to wait for anyone in long queues.
3.Traffic Rules - Even in scarcely populated area, people wait for almost a second on turns just to ensure that they are not getting into someone else’s way. On highways, changing lanes is a big deal and if you are doing that, you need to give indicator well in advance.
4.Strangers smiling and greeting you - I had heard this one from a lot of my friends, yet I found this strange when I visited US for the first time. Totally random people will smile at you if you happen to have a direct eye contact with them.
5.Plastic Money - Even for a bill of less than a dollar, credit card is accepted, well at most of the places.
6.Conversations with cab drivers - This may not be totally “only in the USA moment”, but cab drivers in the US are encouraged to start a conversation with passengers, and it could be anything from knowing where they are from to their favorite music to suggesting local places to visit for. At least in Uber, drivers are compensated on how you rate them on these parameters.
7.Ohh and I almost forgot to add this one, Accurate weather prediction! If the weather prediction says that it’s going to snow next day or two days later, it will and everyone will be prepared for it in terms up stocking up for food, fuel, planning their work for that day etc.
- Open Malls - Instead of one building with 100s of shops in it, there are huge open areas with shops around it.
- Thermostat - Because of extreme temperature, every single place has temperature control
Ben A. Wise, I see, I feel, I write.
Answered May 13, 2017 · Upvoted by Jeremi Shearon, Assistant Manager at Casey's General Stores (2017-present) and Joshua Chen, lives in The United States of America (2005-present)
“I’m going to switch off the lights now,” said the technician.
My wife squeezed my hand, craned her neck up, and we both looked at the large flat screen mounted on the wall.
This was on the umpteenth floor of a high-rise building in Seattle, about two years ago.
As the edge of the device made contact with her ball-shaped belly, the inside of my wife’s womb materialized, grayscale and pixelated.
It was the first—and last—ultrasound we would take. My wife was nearing the third trimester.
Several moments of anticipation passed, the only sounds in the room the rustling of the technician’s white coat and the device gliding along the lubricated surface of my wife’s stomach.
Boy or girl?
My wife and I exchanged smiles and I knew she was thinking the same thing.
“Oh, that’s interesting,” said the technician. “I see two hearts—a penis and a vagina, although I can’t commit to that…”
There followed an intense squeezing of hands, a look that was delight, surprise, and—at least from my part!—apprehension.
“I told you!” said my wife. True—she did tell me that she felt it would be twins. Also, this was her second pregnancy, and the belly was much larger than it had been the first time around.
Fast forward several weeks, the bill for the ultrasound comes in.
To put things into perspective, my first one was born when we were living in India, where the ultrasound had cost around $8.
What the scorching-hot fudge?!
I was told it wouldn’t be more than a few hundred dollars.
I look at the description of services.
COMPLETE MULTI GESTATION
WHAT?! You charged me so much because I have two babies coming?!
Whoa! What do parents of triplets have to pay?!
四胞胎呢? ! ? !
After several calls to the management of the company, I got them to lower the price considerably, and I paid.
Looking online, I saw that this is fairly common practice in the USA. You pay extra per baby.
By the way. The twins are great. Twice the fun and twice the trouble…
Sameer, Studying here
In no particular order:
1.Hi, How are you doing? How are you? from random people. Being an introvert, this was nerve-wracking for me, I always used to walk with my head bowed down on the roads so as to deliberately avoid any conversation
2.Vast open spaces with no humans around. Coming from a densely populated country like India, it felt really weird to not see any humans around after 10PM
3.Ice in everything.
4.Women here are awesome, I got approached by 3 women in the past 6 months and almost never in the past 21 years in India.
5.Everything from cornflakes to bread, milk has an insane amount of sugar on it.
6.Dinner at 5PM, back home it was at 8:00 PM
7.Alcohol age is very strictly enforced unlike in India. You just cannot bribe a shopkeeper to give you beer. If you don’t have an ID, there’s no way you’d get it.
9.Beautiful national parks. Really, Really well maintained
10.I understand tipping waiters, we do that in India as well. But here you have tip Barbers too. So you pay the Barber for cutting your hair and then you tip them for cutting hair. It’s like paying twice.
11.People of a specific race would always be together, like all the African americans would be concentrated at one place. I’ve never seen a White person living in an Afro-American neighbourhood, but I’ve seen the vice versa though.
Swati Arora, works at EY
First morning in New York city,
My family wakes up to a loud knock at the door.
Guess who do we see in our half asleep trance state? Two absolutely hot handsome men dressed in blue.
1st one: "What’s happening? What’s the problem?"
2nd one: "We are here to help you"
Me – "Hey, we are good. Is there any problem?"
1st one: "You made a call to 911 and we need to ensure that everything is okay."
I am aghast. Here are two NYPD men greeting me on my first morning in the USA.
I look back and ask my brother “Who called 911? Are we not safe here?”
Brother, eyes wide open to see cops and a bit tensed, “No, we are all okay. “
1st cop – "Are you sure? We have to do a quick check of the rooms."
They entered our room, investigated, analysed our expressions and there appeared my sister with a shivering tone “It’s so freezing cold out here. Bro, why didn’t you wake me up?”
Bro, in deep thought – “Ahhh, I had to call 6+119 to wake you up and by mistake, I must have dialed 9+119 and the call got connected at 911. I am really sorry about it.”
It was our family vacation from India to US this August and we were staying in one of the hotels in New York City. Since we are a family of 6, we booked two rooms numbered 118 and 119. Yes, you got it right. Bro was making a call to 119 and ended up calling cops instead.
The cops understood and told us it happens with them pretty often. Kids calling/people calling by mistake. They were really good to us. We apologized for the trouble. Smilingly, they wished us a nice stay in America and gave us a warning to be careful next time <facepalm>.
I wish for such a speedy response when someone in need dials 100 here in India.