Note to Self


Here are a collection of notes I have made to myself over the past month about about how to live in America.

  • Yes, you must wear shoes in public buildings here. Remember to put them on when you leave the house.
  • Just because you can more or less walk on gravel barefoot now doesn’t mean you can walk barefoot on Texas asphalt. It can get hot enough to burn in the afternoon.
  • You drive places instead of walk everywhere now. You really must remember to take your driver’s license with you when you drive.
  • The car you bought is not distinctive. You really must remember where you parked in the sea of cars.
  • Drive on the right side of the road. Ride your bike on the ride side of the road. The right side of the road is the right side of the road, on your right.
  • Those little animals you see are called “rabbits” and “squirrels”.
  • Be careful on the paths. They are not what you are used to. They can have poison ivy and poisonous snakes.
  • Remember those cold, cold mornings in the mountains? Most Americans set their AC to some of those temperatures by choice. Remember your survival skills and always wear a minimum of three layers inside buildings. You can strip off the outer two layers later.
  • While inside buildings, try not to say anything about the cold. This leads to blank stares. Be patient. You will be able to step outside sometime and thaw out.
  • You aren’t taking public transportation into town. You really must remember to take your driver’s license with you when you drive.
  • That carpeting on the floor? It’s meant to look nice, not to make the floor a luxurious place to sit on, even if it does do that.
  • People get uncomfortable if you sit on the floor, even if they are the ones sitting in chairs.
  • Women wear jeans here, and even good women wear shorts showing leg above the knee. Get used to it.
  • Use English when speaking to people with darker skin than you.
  • People do not automatically assume your occupation based on your skin color. White skin is NOT unusual. You blend in. Really. You do.
  • You really must remember to take your driver’s license with you when you drive. You’re going to get caught without it one of these days.

(Photo by Pexels)


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5 Responses

  1. It must be SO very weird to be in the States. By the way, I second the too-cold air-conditioning sentiments.

    PS: Got your drivers license with you??

  2. Nico in PNG says:

    Very recognizable! You could be in the Netherlands. The only differences I see are that it is okay to use public transport – but better still a bicycle – and that we don’t have to watch out for poisonous snakes (unless one escaped from probably illegal captivity). Oh yes, except about 5 days a year the whole country is usually airconditioned…:-)

  3. Wally Schram says:

    Steve: Thank you for adjusting to the USA again! I hope your stay in Michigan is going well. If you are back in Michigan 1/13/2017 please come to Cornerstone in the morning for Men’s Ministry Breakfast. And if available 3/2/18 thru 3/4/18, we have a Men’s Retreat you are invited to as our guest. Miss you guys, Wally Schram

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