16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here

8. Brian Crouch

I’ve had many long talks with refugees, recent immigrants and international students. Each had a personal perspective (individuals from same town still have unique perceptions), as well as a culturally driven perspective (different countries but similar socioeconomic backgrounds and ideologies). The one thing in common that all of them shared was a tendency to not understand the nature of the friendships/relationships they were making when they first arrived. A lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings because of the sometimes shallow nature of American social interaction.

Yes, they’d meet with a lot of friendliness and amicable treatment, but there was a bit of cold water splashed in their faces as they assumed it was the beginning of a real friendship, and they’d seek the person out for activities, interaction, etc. A lot of Korean, Japanese, West African, and Middle Eastern folks said the same things: they thought they were making friends but they turned out to be arms-length acquaintances. Several expressed that they started to feel that the initial friendliness was phony or superficial. Fortunately, not all of their relationships went this way, and they often met great new real friends.

Here in this discussion, others have responded that they were surprised that Americans live so far from family. These interpersonal issues may be related: perhaps the depth of relationships aren’t as strong here, and bonds quickly forged are more easily broken. I don’t know.
I do remember a Nigerian friend expounding on this by asking me, “If I woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you to come with me, what would you say?”

“I’d ask what was going on…”

“You see,” he said. “My friends from my village would come with me, and on the way would ask, ‘Ade, where are we going?'”

CLICK TO THE NEXT PAGE…

Related

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://kthadani.com/2013/11/08/8-8th/ 8 on the 8th - Khushboo's Blog

    […] 16 People on Things They Couldn’t Believe about America Until They Moved There:  I would love to eventually live in the US for 3 to 6 months.  Unsurprisingly, NYC is on the top of my list and until that day it comes, I can enjoy reading about other people’s experiences. […]

  • http://jeremiahtillman.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/16-people-on-things-they-couldnt-believe-about-america-until-they-moved-here/ 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here | Enjoying The Moment
  • http://perryandmina.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/monday-links-for-the-week-a-random-collection/ Monday Links For The Week … A Random Collection … | Our Adventures In The Middle East

    […] 16 PEOPLE ON THINGS THEY COULDN’T BELIEVE ABOUT AMERICA UNTIL THEY MOVED THERE … I warn you this is long … but its really an interesting read … to see how people from different cultures and backgrounds learnt about the reality of living in America … […]

  • http://rickmick.com/what-surprises-foreigners-about-america/ What Surprises Foreigners About America » RickMick | RickMick

    […] came across an article with the title “16 People on Things They Couldn’t Believe about America Until They Moved Here.” It begins with the […]

  • http://www.totalfluff.com/interesting-perspectives-usa/ Interesting Perspectives on the USA | Total Fluff

    […] I found an interesting article a bit ago. It provides a very interesting perspective on the United States. […]

  • http://garythegastronomictraveler.wordpress.com garythegastronomictraveler

    Reblogged this on garythegastronomictraveler and commented:
    very interesting insights.

  • http://www.xris.net.nz/blog/the-infinite-bookmarks-page/ Guerrilla Monkey – The Infinite Bookmarks Page

    […] 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here […]

  • http://www.mikeleake.net/2013/11/today-in-blogworld-11-13-13.html Today in Blogworld 11.13.13 - Borrowed Light

    […] 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved […]

  • http://kluv.cbslocal.com/2013/11/13/things-most-people-dont-believe-about-america/ Things Most People Don’t Believe About America! « 98.7 KLUV

    […] lot of people around the world have ideas of what America is like, possibly thanks to Hollywood, or their local news channels, and maybe from what they’ve heard […]

  • http://chicocontraje.com/2013/11/13/estados-unidos-visto-por-16-inmigrantes/ Estados Unidos visto por 16 inmigrantes | chico con traje

    […] de Slashfilm, he podido leer un apasionante artículo de tantísimos como hay rulando por internet: “16 People On Things They Couldn´t Believe About America Until They Moved Here”, o sea, 16 inmigrantes rajando (o alabando) unas cuantas cosas de los Estados Unidos de América. […]

  • http://www.city-data.com/forum/general-u-s/1991999-what-foreigners-find-most-novel-about.html#post32212128 What foreigners find most novel about America - City-Data Forum

    […] What foreigners find most novel about America (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); var h=document.getElementById('admob1_hack'); var c=document.getElementById('admob1'); h.style.height=(c.clientHeight+5)+'px'; Better than most links I've read, which are either filled with bashing or gushing praise 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here | Thought Catalo… […]

  • http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/chit-chat/469298-16-forigners-thoughts-america.html#post4547076 16 forigner's thought's on America - RCCrawler

    […] 16 forigner's thought's on America This is fascinating. 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here | Thought Catalo… […]

  • http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2013/11/14/worth-a-look-11-14-13/ Worth a Look 11.14.13 – Trevin Wax

    […] 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe about America Until They Moved Here: […]

  • http://kielover.wordpress.com oconnorhockey2

    Reblogged this on spaeteres besseres Wissen and commented:
    A five course meal of food for thought. I’ll try and come up with a few for Germany soon.

  • http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2013/11/forgiving-bataan-doing-good-and-how-others-see-us-5x8-111413/ Forgiving Bataan, doing good, and how others see us (5×8 – 11/14/13) | NewsCut | Minnesota Public Radio News

    […] do foreigners not believe until they come to America? Several of them have been curated by the Thought Catalog online […]

  • http://www.clareified.com/2013/11/14/interesting-read/ Clareified » Blog Archive » Interesting read

    […] Here it is. My favorite is the one about the country where there’s no such thing as dog food. […]

  • http://azmytheconomics.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/assorted-links-162/ Assorted Links | azmytheconomics

    […] 1. Things foreigners are surprised about America. […]

  • http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/1992063-30-non-americans-american-norms-they-12.html#post32233252 30 Non-Americans On The American Norms They Find Weird - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 12 - City-Data Forum

    […] […]

  • http://katwards.wordpress.com kati522

    Reblogged this on katwards and commented:
    This is really interesting! I’m proud/embarrassed all at once and I’m not sure that’s ever happened before.

  • http://peripatette.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/daily-awesomeness-6/ Daily Awesomeness | Peripatette

    […] 16 people on things they couldn’t believe about America until they moved here […]

  • http://scelt.wordpress.com Slovak Chamber of English Teachers

    Reblogged this on Stop Complaining – Enjoy Teaching! and commented:
    Consider this a reading resource for our B2+ learners. Good background and perspectives on what life is life in the USA.

  • http://lasin11.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/some-thoughts-on-carpet/ Some thoughts on carpet | Cultural Curiosities

    […] one super conservative guy’s post about “Obamacare”).  And with a title like 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here, I thought, what an excellent opportunity to find ridiculous fodder for that silly blog I’m […]

  • http://www.aneclecticmind.com/2013/11/14/interesting-links-november-14-2013/ Interesting Links, November 14, 2013 | An Eclectic Mind

    […] 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here – It always fascinates me to learn what folks from outside the U.S. think of our country once they get here. This piece is full of first-person commentary on just that. Excellent read that puts things in perspective. […]

  • http://theolbaliandchain.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/an-expat-abroad/ An Expat Abroad | The Ol' Bali and Chain

    […] More than anything though, the whole time that we have been back in the US, I have been trying to process some of the most obvious differences between living in Indonesia versus the US. None of them are startling by any means, but all of them seem slightly more exaggerated the longer one lives outside of the US. While trying to put my finger on some of the most obvious ones, I randomly ran across this link of lists by visitors and immigrants, as to what some of the most surprising things about life in the US were to them: http://thoughtcatalog.com/michael-koh/2013/11/16-people-on-things-they-couldnt-believe-about-america…. […]

  • http://englada.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/16-people-on-things-they-couldnt-believe-about-america-until-they-moved-here/ 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here | Englada

    […] See on thoughtcatalog.com […]

blog comments powered by Disqus