What no one tells you

Those small details that are important when traveling abroad that no one tells you. They do not tell you that coming to a foreign country is difficult. I am extremely grateful to have family here to help adjust and to steer me in the right direction, here on my first couple days. Before coming I wanted to do things my way and on my own, but after being here for a few days it is better to have a friendly face around.

Here are some of the things I am having trouble adjusting to:

  1. Time Difference. There is a 6 to 7 hour time difference between Joburg, SA and Georgia, USA. The difficult part Is not being able to sleep when everyone else is sleeping. Jet lag is a real thing and is very difficult the first few days. I haven’t adjusted yet. Trying to contact family and friends becomes difficult because when I’m waking up (8:30 am ) they ae going to sleep (1:30 am) and when I am going to sleep they are coming home from work.
  2. Adjusting to cultural changes. When I say this I mean being able to go run, like I did back home. It is absolutely beautiful in the mornings and I just want to go run. But because I am still new to the country I want to adjust to my surroundings before I truly start exploring, at least for the first few days.
  3. Not knowing if when people cook if you will like it. I love to try new things, but there is one problem, I do not like curry. Do you know which country is the curry capital of the world? (not literally) South Africa. I bite into everything with extreme caution. Luckily my family has cooked some delicious alternates and I have not run into that problem yet. I am keeping a list of dishes I like.
  4. Getting use to house help. One night everyone was sitting at the dinner table and I heard a noise in the kitchen. Now if I was back home, and noise in the kitchen happened while everyone is in the same room that is a reason to go get a gun. Instead here no one was freaking out, I simply had forgotten the house help was cleaning the kitchen. It is very common for house help to stay with the family and become part of the family.
  5. Lastly, not understanding what anyone is saying and lots of staring. The accents are thick and because I look like a coloured girl (a mixed girl in South Africa) everyone speaks fast, not til I open my mouth do they realize I’m American. Many school age girls stared while I talked and wanted me to say more things. It is quite entertaining. Everyone speaks extremely fast when thy are in a large group and they use different English words which makes it difficult to understand.
    1. For example- Indicator = turning signal
      1. Boot(when referring to a car)= trunk
      2. Robot (WHILE DRIVING)= traffic lights
  • Matriculate (referring to school)= senior
  1. Napkin=diaper

And many other small words that aren’t used in America

Until Next Time,

Jill Bundy

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