You leave your country pretty sure that you’re prepared for whatever the country you’re moving to has to offer… then there’s America.
I moved to Orlando, Florida to work at Disney World, now never mind what it’s like working for a mouse let’s just discuss America. There are very specific things that happen to bother me, and because I need to complain about it, I’m going to complain to the people at home who understand.
Litchi Juice. At the moment I’m 90% sure litchi’s are just a figment of my imagination from my childhood… Never mind the fruit, I just want a bottle of litchi juice and every time I think I’ve spotted one, lemonade.
Hoot. Because apparently, only owls hoot. Feel free to tell an American that we hoot and not honk, the jokes that follow involve a lot of angry owl noises. Don’t even get them started on the fact that we stop when the robot is red.
The Knat. Now I’m winging it with my knowledge but I’m pretty sure a knat is a miggie, those really annoying teeny bugs that will fly into your mouth, ears nose and probably nest in your hair, especially knowing my luck! Today alone I have come int contact with at least 3 million of them.
The Street. We know that for some reason, all driving aspects are different here. But what gets me is not the driving, it’s being the pedestrian, because the rule “look left, then right and left again” will get you hit by a car here.
Permanent Markers. Now this one might just be me, but growing up, a permanent marker was a cokie, more well known here as a sharpie. And I have been offered cookies every time I ask about a cokie.
Measurements. I just don’t get it. Is it normal to want to order a pound of biltong online, is the equivalent like 50 kgs? I don’t know. Because shortening it to LBS makes more sense.
Water. Knowing I’ll probably thirst to death If I don’t pronounce it as waaahhhder because water is something that doesn’t exist here. Or the fact that I now say eDULT instead of adult so people understand me.
Words. Yeah, just words… like, it’s not a bathroom, it’s a restroom. Definitely always a pharmacy, never a chemist. It’s a trunk, not a boot. You never have flu, that’s a VERY bad thing, always just a cold… unless you have swine flu. You text on your mobile, you don’t sms on your phone.
Weather. Well boy was I lied to, the land of sunshine my ass. To be fair it is winter, but Florida winter has been a mix of severely hot, humid days, freezing cold, windy days, rainy, wet and cold days. Some days it’s a combination of all three.
And oh boy, if I get asked once more if I’m, ” really from Africa? ” I might just lose my mind. And yes, my parents are South African too, no I didn’t go to school in Britain, and .I honestly don’t know how Oscar Pistorius is doing.
Not an American just yet, having the best time learning though… because no matter what, the United States had my heart the moment I tasted green bean caserole.