Today marks my fourteenth day in the United States, and so far I’m having a swell time. I have heard some people wonder that I’ve been able to find my way really fast in such a short time. I seem to have got used to the weather, and all the flour foods a little quicker than they expected. Well, what can I say? I’m a Nigerian. We always adapt.
Surely, the number of days I still have to spend here far outnumber the one I’ve already spent, so I can not do any countdown. It will be futile even to try. I can only count up. Today also marks the 16th day since I first posted on this blog. The blog journey began two days before my travel, and now it seems to have developed a mind and character of its own, with so many visitors every day, many of whom just sneak in and sneak out, leaving only a digital trail and no comments.
Let me share with you a few more things I’ve learnt so far in the past couple of days. Some you already know. Some not.
#1. Smile at everyone when you walk/ride past them, then give them a gentle nod. They should respond in kind. If they don’t, don’t take it personally, just keep moving.
#2. Don’t panic. Ask questions. Keep an open mind. Well, this is a no-brainer. They told us this at Providence.
#3. Collect all your change in coins, preferably keep them in quarters. You would need them for the darling washing machine.
#4. America may be an expensive country to live in, but they still do have structures to give back to the society.
#5. Riding will help you sleep better. You also get to exercise your muscles, which is good to burn off all the fat got from eating junk food.
#6. The cold is coming soon, and it will be brutal. Less daylight and more nighttime. Be ready to write some really boring romantic poems. For winter clothing, follow Karen’s advice: buy only wool and fleece. Those would keep you warm. Run away from cotton.
#7. Buy stuff from the internet. You’re no longer in Nigeria where all the online shops refuse to ship their products to for fear of criminality. Patronize Amazon and the rest of them online bookseller. They deliver promptly and affordably. Buy from BestBuy and Goodwill.
#8. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can.
#9. The fact that almost everyone here use their phone while driving doesn’t mean you should do the same if you have to drive. What’s more, don’t try it when you get back home.
#10. Have mad fun, but do not be careless. Listen to Papa Rudy. There are as many dishonest people around as their are honest ones in America. If I ever get a new camera, or anything else for that matter, keep it safe.
And in spite of a few negatives which is not peculiar to this country or any for that matter, America indeed is a land of opportunities, and the Fulbright programme is one powerful vendor of crosscultural understanding. Here’s to the next ten months! Yea, that DOES sound so looong.