Wednesday, 18 January 2017

What I learned about America and the Americans

I’m home again! I wasn’t completely over the jetlag I had there so I’m even more tired. But that’s okay. It was all worth it. I had an amazing time, met wonderful woman and man and all of them had wonderful views for the future. (That was one of my hypotheses, the homework.) I had good conversations with everyone and got to know the culture much better. That was part of the trip. So here I’m going to list some things I learned about America and the Americans. 

Do you know to which pixel you should look? I don't, but Ben and Emily were Margit and mine host family on sunday
I do understand why Americans hate tax so much. In our country, when we buy something, tax is calculated in the price. We know it’s there but it’s not visible. When something costs €4,- it is €4,-. In America when something is €4,- I think, oh nice, just 4 dollars and then I want to pay and then it turns out that it’s more money because I get tax on it. They fake you with a cheap prices and then you get the tax. That made me hate the tax too. Because it was visible. For us, here it’s not. Which is easier shopping and less anger while shopping!! ;)

Also, American students are wonderful creatures. Everybody I talked to was hard working and not lazy. They wanted to get the best grades they could. They did more than they had to do. And did lots of other stuff besides their study to get extra credits or just so they could prepare better for the future. They are helping with so much extra school stuff.
We don’t have that. We have to study and we’re happy when we pass a test. No matter what grade we get. Passed is passed. The grade doesn’t matter. We think like this: when we pass a test higher than a 6, then we did too much work. Over there only an A or B is good. Here is a 6 okay and if you get higher grades you're showing off. I wish I was more like Americans at this point. (I immediatly make  a promise to myself to work harder and not being so lazy.)

Making a snow angel at Meijer Gardens
The other thing I learned is how nice they are. Americans are people that immediately are your best friends and they are so polite. In a restaurant, we messed up the money. So we first sent her away telling her we were fine when she offered her help, then we weren’t fine and we did need her help.(Because paying a bill is sooo difficult -.-) So we had to ask for her help we just declined 10 seconds ago. And she was so nice. It was no problem, she was happy she could help us. I mean, if we do this in The Netherlands the waitress would have been VERY annoyed. Also, I was 15 or 20 minutes late for an interview. I was still working on the other interviews and time got ahead of me. And he was acting like it was no problem I wasted his time... I was so late and I hate being late and I apologized and he was okay with it. He didn’t show any annoyance by my lateness. Americans just don't show they are annoyed with you.

And the language. When we sometimes lost the words, they were waiting patiently when we were discussing in Dutch what word we were looking for. They just stood there hearing us blabbing Dutch to each other and then hearing us describing words to them when nobody knew the word. And they just we’re ALL so nice and understanding. Even when we messed up words and stuff like that.

Sharon, me, Anna
I’ve learned much more but I’m not going to write it all down. That would be pretty boring I guess. But I learned about politics, the American Dream, school pressure and I learned to understand a little bit better that you own weapons to protect yourself and for hunting. I've talked to lots of people about it because it was part of my homework, so I heard different opinions about it and it really helped me understanding. It’s just a big difference between cultures. But I do understand it a little better now.

Sanne, me, Jessie, Margreeth
And there was one special American, my roomie Anna. Anna shared her room with me and Sharon which was very kind of her. And we had a lovely time together. The painting with a personal story special written for me was so kind of her to give!! And even though we were gone often on trips to gardens, museums, business stuff, radio stations or whatever we were visiting she was always very kind and helpfu as soon as we got home. I had dinner with her and friends and we went to a cute little coffee shop in Grand Rapids which I never would have found on my own. It's fun to see some local stuff instead of all the big high lights of a city. Thanks Anna!!
  Also, Jessie, if you read this: Thank you so much for the bracelet with cute letter. Thank you both for being such loving and kind people. I’m glad I had the chance to get to know you both. And of course everyone else I’ve talked to and had lots of fun with. I love you with my whole heart and hope we’ll ever meet again. How unlikely it may seem right now!

Xx Rianne

Ps: I haven’t been blogging as much as I hoped to do in America. I thought I would be blogging every day. But every day was full of tours, visits and lovely Americans to become friends with. So every free minute I spent with my new friends! (Or I did homework, there was lots to do) No time for blogging. So I’m going to make it up by still writing posts. In one post will be two days just like the first four days. Because I promised to blog about the days. So I have to do it one way or another.
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