Packed your bags, shipped your belongings, and bought your flight tickets for that final leg of immigrating to the US? As you are about to become part of the American dream, there are some common practices in the US that may seem quite out of place to South Africans.
We list six of the most unusual practices in the US which are a bit strange to South Africans but pretty normal to US citizens. Some differences may just make you chuckle but others may have quite an impact if you are not aware of them.
Did you know that immigrating to the US will have an immense effect on how you write the date? In the US, it is common to write the date in a format starting with the month, followed by the day and then the year. South Africans start with the day, followed by the month and concluding with the year.
This is a rather important difference to bear in mind as you may rock up at an appointment months too early (or too late) if you misread the date format!
In South Africa, as is fit for a rainbow nation, our rand notes are a myriad of colours. Just think of the brown R20 note, bright pinkish R50 note, blue R100 note and yellowish R200 note. However, US dollar bills are all the same light green colour with slightly different images.
This is another important difference to take note of as you may easily mistake a 100 dollar note for a 20 dollar note when tipping a waiter at a restaurant. At least, you would have made that waiter’s day.
Remember your granny who used to refer to inches, miles, ounces and pounds and you would not have a clue what she was talking about? Well, time to get used to the imperial system. The US is one of three countries in the world that still hold on to the imperial system.
Using the metric system while measurements given to you are actually part of the imperial system can have catastrophic consequences, for example, if your nice American neighbour shares a favourite cake recipe with you but you use the metric system, your baking expedition may be somewhat disastrous.
Buy a loaf of bread in the US and you will be surprised at the sweetness of American bread. It is not really as sweet as cake as the heading suggests, but South Africans will definitely find American bread much sweeter than their counterparts in South Africa.
Except for bottomless coffee at some coffee shops in South Africa, free top-ups are an uncommon practice in South Africa. Not so in the US. You will be pleasantly surprised that you can get a free refill wherever you buy a drink in the US. Cheers!
Using the lavatory in the US may make you wonder if there is a problem with the sewerage system because of the amount of water in the toilet bowl. But no, the toilets are not blocked. American toilets simply use much more water than what South Africans are used to in South Africa.
We, at the Law Offices of Grant Kaplan, have been assisting people for almost 30 years with immigration matters ranging from routine applications to the most complex immigration issues. Our experienced team has an in-depth understanding of the effect of possible changing legislation on immigration and is in the best position to provide you with the best solution to immigrate to the US.
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