Oftentimes when Jamaicans visit the USA and return home, they have a long list of things they found odd while on their trip. The list is even longer, when they move there permanently and have to adjust to the American way of life.
Here are 15 things Jamaicans found odd when they move to the USA:
- Saying ‘hush’ in America is an insult and means to ‘shut up’ while in Jamaica it’s a way of showing empathy.
- Americans drive on the right while in Jamaica we drive on the left.
- During the summer, both ends of the neighbourhood streets are blocked off, the hydrants are opened to a sprinkle and kids are allowed to play in the streets! If you live on a block that is closed, then you will have to park on another block until the block reopens!
- People are comfortable telling you about their life story, within a few seconds of meeting you and without even knowing you.
- You could live in your neighbourhood for months, even years and hardly see or know the person living next to you.
- People saying how “nice” the weather was outside when it was actually very cold for someone recently coming from Jamaica.
- Noticing that for most applications or forms needed to be completed, you were asked your ethnicity.
- People driving with dogs as passengers, or walking dogs and having to pick up faeces after them.
- How black Americans would discriminate against black West Indians, even though we were all seen as “black”.
- A lot of people did not know that JAMAICA IS NOT IN AFRICA!
- Not all schools required students to wear uniforms; majority dressed casually.
- The supermarkets always had fruits all year long. In Jamaican for example, we would have an apple season or a plum season while in America, they seem to be always available in the supermarkets.
- In Jamaica businesses and stores are usually closed on weekends, especially on Sundays. In America quite a few businesses and stores are still open just with reduced hours..
- The informal setting in the workplace. Managers and heads of departments are acknowledged by their first name instead of sir, Mr, Miss, Mrs and is the norm in Jamaica.
- Before leaving home, most Jamaicans have the impression that there are not a lot of people living and begging on the streets in the USA. When they get to America, the scenario is different and it usually is a shocker seeing the number of people sleeping on the streets and begging in the subway.
Photos – Deposit Photos