From South Africa to the USA – Useful tips
September 5, 2017
Are you planning to make “your American dream” come true? Do you just want to experience life in one of the most important countries of the world? We have asked to expats living in the USA, the best tips for newcomers. Here, the top five:
1. Tip, always!
In the USA, workers such as taxi drivers, waitresses or hairdressers earn a considerable amount of their salary through tips. Thus, tipping is an essential part of the services. Tips in the USA are normally between 10-20% of the service price and if you are paying with card, it is likely that you will find an empty space on the ticket to write the amount that you would like to give as a tip.
2. Start learning Spanish!
The more south you move, the more likely you can find people talking in Spanish. This is due to the immigration coming from Mexico and other South American countries. However, don’t get scared: most of the Latin-Americans speak English daily and they only speak Spanish with the family and with other Spanish speakers. However, it can be a good opportunity to learn the second most spoken language in the world!
3. Say bye to public transport!
If you like to move around the USA using public transport… get plenty of time and patience! Distances among cities are large and a bus or train journey can be really, really long. Moreover, Americans are not keen on public transport and the typical methods of transportation are car and plane. Cars are convenient to move around the city -unless you are living in a big metropolis such as New York- and planes to cover the longer distances between side and side of the country.
4. Fast food, fast lunch
The US is the home place of the fast food, which it is especially eaten during the busy weekdays. Most Americans take a 30 minutes lunch break (not more!) around midday and they grab a sandwich in a nearby place. However, in the USA is also really common to have lunch at the office desk!
5. If you say “feel yourself at home”, you have to really mean it!
If you are inviting someone over and you say “feel yourself at home”, be sure that you really mean it. Otherwise, you might find your guest suddenly going to your fridge and grabbing another drink without asking!
6. Get used to compliments!
Americans are open and friendly, even with people who they don’t know much. They love to give compliments (for the good work, clothes…). Get used to it as you will hear them frequently! And start practicing on give some to your colleagues!