5 Things That I Missed Since I Was Here

I am glad to have another opportunity to come back to this land called the great US of A. It feels nice to see familiar places, streets and mannerisms. Having been here for only three days, here are 5 things that I missed….

1 Efficient Transport Network

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Yah when the bus or train schedule says the bus will be here by 8:10 am it will surely be here…

2 Excesses of Life

The last time I was here this aspect really struck me…that people here have what in my language I would call “anasa za dunia” i.e “excesses of life”. I mean if you want milk, you have to choose between whole milk, 2% milk, skimmed milk, if you want coke you are asked if you want diet coke or regular coke, ..I mean for some of us back home the aspect of choice and variety doesn’t come before availability…for some the question of availability of milk comes before thinking about the choice of milk (Brookside, Usiseme maziwa sema ng’ombe :-))

3 Smiling and Walking Ettiquettes on the street

While attending college at Kalamazoo, I first encountered this very unusual phenomena – that while walking past someone, most people (read strangers) would smile at you or nod as you passed by. Now for someone coming from Nairoberry where most people care about their business, this confused me, especially when it is someone from the fairer sex smiling at you. This is because how was I supposed to interpret the smile or the nod as a polite gesture of recognizing the other or as a way of saying “hi”. Anyway, after much reflection and encounters on the streets it also made me question this American mannerism – is it a genuine smile? is it something people do to fulfill their emotional sense that they are being polite yet they don’t care a cent about the other person? My sense is that you only smile at people you know not any tom, hannah and sandra on the streets. Another strange walking etiquette is that if you were walking up or down a stairway, you are meant to keep to the right and when you don’t people really find you strange or impolite.

4 Good Old Big Mac Donald

Cheers to the guy who invented this one!!

 

 

 

5 Pronunciation nightmare

My first experience at a local restaurant, I requested the waiter to give me a glass of “wota” and she looked at me with a blank face signifying she didn’t understand what I wanted. It was not until my host friend politely asked her to get me a glass of “w-o-r-ra”. And by the way, while we are at this story of water, why do Americans have to drink water or cold beverages with ice cubes even when it is snowing? I never seem to understand! In another instance I went to a Subway outlet and requested for a turkey sandwhich with extra cheese and “l-e-tt-u-ce” and the guy also couldn’t understand my order since I dint pronounce the lettuce properly 🙂 Cant an African be let be?

It feels great to be back!!

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