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What do you like/unlike the most about the place where you live? What should every foreigner know about

this place and why?

Nov 28, 2015 10:40 AM
Comments · 6

I feel like people are avoiding your question so I'll answer it with brevity. Mind you this is based on my own experiences, and I can't speak for other people. I live in the US. Let's start off with the bad and end on a good note. 

Bad

1. Americans, not all, but definitely some get attitudes with foreignors whose English is difficult to understand whether from accent or something else. Which isn't super helpful when you are learning and practicing, and someone says "We are in America, speak better English". If you're in a state or city with lots of diversity or a large foreignor community this probably won't happen, but just in case, be prepared.

2. Our politics is nasty, like super nasty. And by that I mean it's super divisive. Our country is super polarized. So when you're first making friends I highly suggest avoiding politically tinged topics unless someone else brings them up. 

3. We love capitalism too much. For example we have  millennials who are like 30k plus dollars in debt from going to college. It takes decades for people to pay this off. Our President and First Lady only recently paid off their student loans from Law School and they are in their 50's. Yikes.

4. Racism, exonophobia, Islamaphobia, etc. I'll let that speak for itself.

Good

1. We have freedom of speech.There are some exceptions to this but for the most part Americans can freely and openly express their opinions in any format.

2. Our Diversity. So many different cultures, cuisines, and nationalities available to interact with.

3. Good Samaritans. In a world with lots of problems I can always see or watch people in the US go out of their way to help others. 

4. We continually improve ourselves as a country and people. The US, for the most part, can admit it's mistakes and work to do or be better. 

November 28, 2015

I am a native New Yorker and apart from 2 years in the UK, have not lived anywhere else.   I do not like it here anymore and am looking to move.

 

NY is too loud, dirty, polarized based on color, relgion, nationality and income, chaotic with too many cars whizzing past, also motorcycles, SUVs, school buses.   It is a 24/7 town, sometimes they collect the garbage here at 3 am.

 

The good, is cheap to reasonable food shopping and as an international eater, I love that I can go to an Egyptian shop or an African one and look for ingredients or beauty products from around the globe.

November 29, 2015

Pretty much everything Delisha has said about the US, good and bad, also applies to some extent to the UK, plus some of what Mark says about the Netherlands, his first, second, and fourth points in particular.

Racism, etc. :  much improved in recent years, certainly here in London, though I can't be sure about other parts of the UK.  Larger cities are generally more diverse and more tolerant, but some communities have become polarised.

Something else we have in common with the US, but certainly not with the Netherlands :  very few residents speak any language other than English, and their mother tongue, if it is not English.  Languages are not taught effectively in school, and there is little interest in them for the majority of people.

Generally, like the US, people will help those in difficulty. If you find yourself in trouble, strangers will offer to help - the Good Samaritans to whom Delisha refers.  Charities of all kinds are widely supported, there has been a generally positive response to refugees, although tempered with caution about the possible scale.

November 28, 2015

I'm really not very sure, but I'll have a try for The Netherlands...

- Not very fast to make friends with, even on a fairly casual level, especially for foreigners.

- Our food is not great. So we copy dishes from other countries, but not always properly (I'm thinking of Chinese restaurants).

- "Racism, exonophobia, Islamaphobia, etc" as Delisha says; not sure how we compare to the USA but we also have a way to go. I'm disappointed in the refugee crisis response.

- It rains a lot during the winter-half of the year.

? Individualistic, independent

? Politics, there are many problems, but on the other hand there are few countries I'd want to trade political systems with, so maybe politics is just never perfect?

+ Still fairly tolerant/open-minded, although not as much as historically.

+ Drugs and prostition, if you're into that. Personally I'm not, but I'm happy it's allowed.

+ Quite organized, if somewhat bureaucratic.

+ Dutch people are quite modest (or at least, arrogance is not appreciated at all).

+ On average, we speak English understandably. We also learn German and French and possibly more in school.

November 28, 2015

Ow another thing about the Netherlands. If you don't want to speak Dutch (and I mean, why would you, there are cities with more inhabitants than there are Dutch speakers in the world) it's great!

 

But if you want to learn Dutch, it's annoying here because if we so much as suspect that you're a foreigner we switch to English. You might have to insist a little to get Dutch practise!

November 29, 2015
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