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10 Things I Have Learnt About America and Americans That Are Fundamentally Different From my Experience in Nigeria

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28th December 2021.
It’s exactly one year since I left Nigeria.
Here are ten things I have learned about America and Americans that are fundamentally different from the experience in Nigeria.

1. Punctuality is a big deal: Every minute counts. People expect you to always be on time. Lateness is very disrespectful. You will often see flights/trains with ‘odd’ schedules like 12:48. If you are right on time, you are late.

2. Americans trust so much in government, institutions and each other: There is public trust in the police, emergency services etc.

3. People and businesses are scared of liabilities: Everyone is extra careful. There is the documentation for almost EVERYTHING. You go to the hospital, and before you are given a drug, they bring out documents for you to sign.

4. Marriage as an institution is going extinct: I have probably met more single/out-of-wedlock mothers than married ones.

5. A lot of Americans are passive-aggressive: An American can tell you to go to hell and you actually look forward to it. Such disingenuous politeness.

6. Americans don’t joke with Holidays: Most businesses shut down completely on holidays. On Christmas day no single restaurant or grocery store was open in my town.

7. Your accent is not a big deal: Almost everyone here has an accent. Nobody is going to judge you or evaluate your competency solely on the basis of your accent.

8. Americans take their Zodiac signs really seriously: I didn’t even know what mine was until I landed here.

10. There is a huge decline in morality: A lot of people do not go to church, have no vocation to religious life, have lots of broken homes and consumerism are some issues.
These are my personal observations and may not reflect the reality of everyone here.
Regardless, it’s been a wonderful year. I have learnt a lot and I am here for all the opportunities.
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