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Статьи
AMERICA, My Impressions of it
Статьи и Обзоры
01.08.2010 19:16

Лето - время отдыха, путешествий, новых знакомств и открытий. Студенты нашего класса «Англикана» выезжают за рубеж, работают и приобретают опыт проживания в англоязычных странах, такой незабываемый и незаменимый во взрослой жизни.

Мы предлагаем вашему вниманию впечатления человека, впервые попавшего в США и успешно проживающего и работающего там. Это то, что удивило его, возможно, это поразит и вас!

OUR VIEW OF THEM

Lines

You really get impressed from the very moment you step on the concrete floor of the John F Kennedy Airport. As everywhere there are lines of people not the lines in Russia, where everyone is getting closer and closer to you, when you even begin feeling his hot breath, but ones, where people are following unwritten rules of personal space and nobody wants to interfere in it. So you just stand in this line, and every minute you make one more step towards the customs officer. Again here you are impressed as the line moves slowly but with constant speed and never stops for a long period of time. Believe me, this thing with lines repeats itself everywhere - in post office, even on bus stops and while you wait for a taxi.

Police and Courts

Following next days you are getting used to people, and, in my case, the police. As on the fourth day I had a close contact with them. The striking thing is that they are very nice with you... They are very pleasant and friendly, but this attitude ends once you have broken the law. Again this is my personal experience. On the fourth day it was the policeman's fault... but on the fifth day - I got busted. And none of police officers was ever friendly, strict, doing his job, never bothering about you asking him for a favor. He's doing his job, and you are the one, who is guilty, so get used to it, and get ready for justice to come after you.

On the fifth day I got my ticket, and had to go to the court, to plead not guilty. There was a court date and exact time, when I should be in the court. When you get in there, you see again one more line. Having stood this line up to the end, you will be enrolled in the court process. After that you just wait until your name will be called by the prosecutor. In his room - the guilty ones admit their fault and go to pay down the ticket, those who plead not guilty, either get "the case dismissed" by the prosecutor, or go to the court room to get judged in there. Unfortunately, this is the most time taking thing ever. You can even stay in the court until late at night. As the courts work all night sometimes, but usually until the last "customer".

Communication

As my job presupposes communicating with lots of different people, I faced several problems. First and the worst - is a language barrier and my being afraid of speaking with strangers. It is difficult and peculiar. Peculiar in a way that you sometimes can easily speak, argue, defend your standpoint back there, in Russia. But once you are here - you just get stuck, you can't put two words together. It takes time to overcome this, and only through practice. I am lucky - only I can more or less speak English among the guys working with me, so if any problem occurs - it is me to solve it. Again, you can't get used to openness of people. As they all smile in here, and can easily without any particular reason greet you - raise a hand, nod their head, or simply say "Hi". That is the thing I am still getting used to - as driving my truck for 10 hours a day I can exchange, though a pair of words with a hundred of people, I can greet twice as many people.

The next thing is the attitude of people to you, by you I mean a Russian, because any time you begin talking to people the first thing they ask you is if you are Polish. All the time. Kind of interesting, even weird mania on Polish people, not Slovakian, Serbian, Albanian, Ukrainian, or anything, only Polish. I don't know why it is so... maybe peculiarity of the States.

Banking service.

It's different from ours. The first thing that an eye of a driver catches is that all the bank offices have drive-thrus. You don't have to leave your car to use an ATM machine or to deposit money. You just use a drive-thru. In all other things it's mostly similar with Russia. Though again - the service is much faster and easier. You never face big lines in the bank. Two or three people, not more. If you don't know how to fill in any blank it's all done for free. You just have to ask the cashier about that.

Personal traits

What else can astonish you is the fact that everyone there is absolutely self-sufficient. They are taught to be from the very beginning. The greatest example I’ve seen there is that a mother was charging HER own son for renting a room. We were, and you would have been, shocked to see how the son is paying his mother a rent. On the one hand, it’s part of that upbringing, which explains to a child that he has to be able to pay for everything in this life. But on the other hand, it’s not mother-like at all.

In conclusion, I can say that America is really a country of contrasts. Absolutely everything is contrasted there. You may like it or you may not. But, all in all, having an opportunity to live there on your own for some time is the one not to miss. It will really change you way of seeing and attitude to the world. I bet it will.

© Pavel Izotov, 2010

 

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