South African in New Jersey

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by phoebe1, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. phoebe1

    phoebe1 New Member

    Thank you to everybody who responded to my post a while back when I said my husband is going there for business, well he came back yesterday and here is how it went :)

    He stayed at a place in Parlin and saw snow for the first time in his life which he loved and was very excited about.
    He also said that the stories about everything being bigger in America is true LOL! He didn't attempt to drive as americans drive on the "wrong" side of the road and are apparently quite aggresive drivers, not to mention that the driver seat is on the left side of the car meaning you have to change gears with your right hand, verrrry confusing.
    He had some difficulty with some of the words like petrol (gas), gym (health fitness centre), bakkie (pick-up truck), Coke Light (diet coke), toilet (restroom) etc.
    He once asked for a pizza without onions and the pizza guy was kinda speechless and asked him how can he have a pizza without onions, we don't eat onions on our pizza but lots of garlic, which he couldn't find.

    One negative point that he mentioned is that the people are very rude and wasn't helpful or friendly or even polite at all. He was also amazed at the amount of fast food and junk food restaurants, he said his eyes nearly popped out of his head, and for breakfast they got served pastries like doughnuts and croissants!

    Now don't take offence about what I'm going to say next but one day he was talking with me on the phone and saying something about being on the other side of the world, in our language the word for "side" is "kant", which in english is a very rude word and he said people were giving him very dirty looks and he only figured it out afterwards lol!

    Also when we are going somewhere and will be back in a little while we say "I will be back now-now", and he said the guy was looking at him like he was an idiot and asked him why does he say now, now twice? He could have just said he will be back now :)
    Oh well, I found all this very funny and it is so interesting to hear about other countries' culture.

  2. Muddieanne

    Muddieanne New Member

    about your husband's trip to U.S.A. I was the one who told you he shouldn't try to drive here. I bet he is glad he didn't.

    I am sorry he encountered so many rude people in N.J. This part of the country is very fast paced,traffic in the northeast is extremely bad and it is so expensive to live here that people are driven nuts to make money.

    I hope he found some nice people;we aren't all like that. Other parts of this country are slower paced but the 2 coasts are hectic.

    Did he get to sight see? Did he go to NYC? I love it there but don't have the stamina or money to go much,even though I'm only about 20 miles away.

    Maybe he will have another opportunity and you can come,too.

  3. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    Glad your husband made it back home safely after his American adventure! I am an American, but I have several very good South African friends (there are a lot of your countryfolk on the West Coast where I live). I've also traveled...unfortunately not to your beautiful homeland, yet..but to Australia (multiple trips w/ hubby's work), and New Zealand (among many other places), and driven in both, so I have an appreciation for cultural differences. And for us, it's challenging driving on the left! Poor hubby kept tripping the windshield wipers when he was trying to hit the turn signal!

    Unfortunately, not a lot of people in the U.S. have the opportunity to travel internationally, and with it being such a large country, we aren't as exposed to different cultures, per se, like people in Europe or your part of the world. Also, where your husband was for work does tend to be a pretty fast-paced part of the country, so I can understand some of the "rudeness".

    Please don't judge the U.S. and Americans based on the not-so-great parts of your husband's visit! I do hope he managed to have fun and didn't get too cold (rough time of year for him to visit, being it's your summer)! Again, I'm glad he got home safely.

    Your country looks absolutely beautiful from my good friends' photos (they grew up in Port Elizabeth and Durbin), and I hope someday to visit it. And being the bold American I am, I'll even drive around...on the "wrong side of the road"!

    Take care, and happy holidays!
  4. fairydust39

    fairydust39 New Member

    You really made my day. I just loved to hear about your husband impression of our country. What do you all eat for breakfast food. You mentioned that he thought it strange that we eat pastries?? We eat lots and lots of other things for breakfast beside pastries LOL. He would NOT love snow if he had to struggle with it like we do. I HATE snow LOL. I sure hope you can come back with him sometime b/c not all Americans are rude. LOTS and LOTS of wonderful people here and I bet there is many wonderful people in your home land.
    Hugs Shirley
  5. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I moved here from Sweden a few years ago (intended to stay for a year til the jobs got back in shape back home, but got stuck in everyday life and starting a family) and I was also chocked at the food portions, the sweet and the drinks with the meals. It took me quite some time to get used to. I still eat regular portions so I haven't changed my habits there, and I cook my own country food as far as I can since the ingredients are not here all the time and the quality of groceries is different. There are cultural differences. In South Africa I am sure there is a touch of British culture, am I right? If so, people are awfully polite even in their sleep (laugh!) and thru rush hour, at least in general. It does depend some where you go as the other guys said. I have desided to keep the good from my own culture and adapt the good from US. I've gotten a bit of an attitude too, but I think that's from living in Rapid City, SD for 5 years working at a homeless shelter. You won't last long there unless you peel off the fake and get ready for the rumble! LOL! God, I miss that place!
  6. phoebe1

    phoebe1 New Member

    Unfortunately he didn't have any time to sight see, he flew from South Africa last saturday and arrived on sunday (back in time), his schedule was very hectic during the week and he had to catch a flight 6am fri morning back home, and when he arrived here he had terrible jet lag as NJ is behind us in time.

    Don't worry, we don't think all americans are rude, my cousin is married to one and I love him, he is the funniest guy I know and he always refers to me as FF (favourite family).
    When I met him I used to think it very funny that he put hamburger patties and hotdogs on a fire and call it a barbeque! That is not at all traditional in our country.
    I would love to visit the US with him and my cousin, there are so many things I would like to see.

    My hubby also said that one morning they even got pancakes for breakfast, we eat fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli or cereal, to indulge we have bacon, eggs and toast, but never pastries lol!
    We do have some british influence, but on the other hand we are not called the rainbow nation for nothing, having 11 official languages and all ;)
    Some people are very polite and others can make you hang your head in shame ;)

    Going to the US is definitely on my list of things to do, I think it will be so much fun, everytime my cousin and her hubby goes there to visit they come back with the funniest stories, especially about culture clashes.

  7. FM58

    FM58 New Member


    Glad to hear your husband is back safe at home. I thought his stories of NJ were pretty amusing!

    What a shame he missed out on any sight seeing.

    Yes indeed, the states are full of fast food restaurants and junk food is available everywhere. As for the pastries for breakfast, that's the "continental breakfast" thing. We don't all eat like that LOL!!

    A typical breakfast for me is hot oatmeal or a good whole grain cereal & some fruit. Eggs, bacon & toast are a special treat.

    It's too bad he saw the negative side of NJ. I can assure you, that there are many kind, caring & polite people in this state.

    Phoebe- thanks for sharing his impressions of NJ. Hope the next time you can join him & we can figure out a way to meet you.

    Gentle Hugs,