I got used to most of American cultures so far, but I still remember when I first came here.
I thought I was already Americanized before I came here. However, I was shocked so many times. Culture shock was REAL.
Everyone has a car
America is a huge huge country. Even Oklahoma is bigger than South Korea, so everything is so far away. Besides, since everyone has a car in Oklahoma, public transportation system is not really developed... Because of that, everyone get a car. It's like a cycle. As an international student from a such a tiny country, this was the hardest thing for my first 2 years before I got a car.
When it rains in Korea, EVERYONE uses umbrella. We don't like to get wet. But Americans seem like they don't care. Since almost everyone has car, they only have to walk in the rain to the parking lot. I assume that might be the reason why they don't use umbrella.
- In America : 16 driving / 18 cigarette / 21 drinking
- In Korea: 18 for Everything. Glad that I came here when I was 21!
This is my favorite American culture! On my third day here, I was on the line at Starbucks. It was a long line. Then, all of sudden, a lady behind me said "It's so nice out there, isn't it?" I was like "Is this person talking to me? Why?" Eventually, we had a small talk and found out that she adopted a kid from Korea. It was great! People were generally nice and friendly to everyone, but, in Korea, nobody talks to strangers. If a stranger talks to me in Korea, I would definitely think that person is a weirdo unless that person was asking the direction.
Price not including taxes
Price on menu or price tag is not your final price. In Korea, there is only final price on menu or price tag. So you know what you are paying at the end.
While we don't tip in Korea, American does. Servers here get paid less than minimum wage and mostly make money out of tips. I used to think tipping was a waste of money since employers pay enough to server in Korea, which already includes tips.
Wearing shoes in a house, sometimes even on the bed!
This was the most shocking thing when I first came to America. Since Korean takes off shoes in a house, there is less dirt on the floor (we still wipe the floor pretty often). Shoes are covered with lots of dirt and germs, and some Americans just get on the bed with those dirty shoes! I was literally shocked. Here's the second shock. they walked around in the house with barefoot. Their feet were turning black. In Korea, the place you wear shoes and the place you take off shoes are completely separate. I still haven't got used to this culture and will never get used to this.