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jess100

What is the hardest things to adjust to in the US?

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My wife which is from mexico says...

1 learning to speak english somewhat fluently has been her biggest hurdle. Some of my friends dont speak english.

 

2 The fact that nobody walks anywhere around here to do anything just blows her mind. Lol

 

3 At first relying on me "husband" for almost everything. In regards to transportation, money, work was hard. Soon she assumed more responsibility and felt like she was doing her part to help and felt more independent.

 

4 Central A/C & Heat. Believe it or not she prefers the nice and comfy concrete houses of home state of Guanajuato. They have beautiful climate as well.

 

5 Being home a lot... that was really tough the first 6ish months. But now she has a lot to do during the days and also walks to the supermarket almost daily that is 3 blocks away.

 

6 Houses are constructed of wood. She couldn't understand how houses around here, like ours, are made of wood and have siding Haha... She now understands that. She thought they would just blow over. 😅

 

7 Learning to drive... she is still learning to drive. But has gotten much better.

 

Things she loves

 

1 Not having to work or stress about money and food.

 

2 Being able to completely take care and be in charge of the house and everything that goes with it. Making dinner for us, she loves that... taking care of our garden and flowers!!! She likes to help me with mowing and taking care of the yard. She has put a beautiful womans touch to our home. I love it.

 

3 Having 2 reliable cars, that takes us anywhere.

 

4 Being able to travel a lot.

 

5 Meeting new people, making friends and my family and friends.

 

6 Wi-Fi she talks to her family and friends on the daily.

 

7 She is now responsible for paying some of the bills for the house and making financial decisions with me about purchaces for the home. She likes that she can be responsible and independent about those things. I love not having to come home and have to worry about those things anymore.

 

Of course everyone is going to have a different experience and opinions about life here. But those are just a few off the top of my head that i can think of for my wife. Her 1 year mark will be October 17th!

 

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Mrs.-T-B.-to-be/Mrs. T-B. noted/had trouble with these issues:

 

-- When she arrived, I had a "Cat Fancy" magazine lying around.  She said, "You have magazines about CATS?!"

 

-- Jealousy of the cat.  In Ecu, cats weren't members of the family; they were merely animals.

 

-- Dentistry.  In Ecu, you'd walk into a dentist's office, tell them what you wanted done, they'd do it as soon as they could fit you in, you'd pay, and you'd leave.*  Here, one needs an initial consultation, x-rays, insurance confirmations, etc., and a second appointment or two to get done what you need done.

          *This, in fact, of course along with lower prices, is why I travel to a Mexican border town twice yearly.

 

-- The need to drive to most or all places to shop, etc.

 

-- Laundromats.  She asked, "What's a 'WashateREEa'?"

 

-- Unlike other immigrants, she didn't have trouble with sales tax on purchases, because Ecu has it, too.

 

-- "Gringo 'stuff.'"  She noted that gringos' houses & garages are packed with stuff that she didn't see much need for.  On the other hand, she was amazed and then thrilled by garage/estate sales and resale stores.  In fact, we centered several day & weekend trips around visiting resale stores.*  Very soon, her closet was very full with exceptionally nice items, many of which were designer brands.

          *I recommend such excursions as a way for the newcomer to see your area and areas surrounding, with the benefit of stocking his/her closet at great prices.

 

-- Prices, high & low.  In Ecu, food, hair care, and many basics are cheap, whereas electronics and paper goods and clothing and appliances are extremely expensive.  When I first showed her a budget breakdown of totals spent in various "life" categories over (I think it was) a 6-month period, she murmured, "I've never seen numbers like this."

 

-- Coupons.  The concept of cents-off/dollars-off coupons is alien in Ecu.  Even today, she doesn't think to use them, and I still have a hard time convincing her to look for things on sale in weekly supermarket flyers.

 

-- HOAs.  In Ecu, one can have roosters in the back (or front) yard.  Here, you get a compliance letter if the fourth brick on your outside wall (3 feet up and 2 feet in) has a speck of fungus on it.

 

-- Medical results.  In Ecu, you could get bloodwork results within a couple of hours, or at least on the same day of your tests.  Here, one must wait at least for days and then expend considerable effort getting the results -- even having to set a follow-up medical appointment to get them.  (For this reason, I go to a Mexican border town for my laboratory tests.)

 

-- She saw a sign advertising a pedodontist and gigglingly asked me, "What's that?"  (In Spanish, "pedo" means "fart.")

 

If I remember other things, I'll add them.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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3 hours ago, jess100 said:

if your native language isn't English

In general, gringos tend to speak ungrammatically with sloppy elocution in many different dialects.

 

When Mrs. T-B. got her Advance Parole, I took her on a several-day trip to several Texas/Mexico border towns.  She noted with amazement that she didn't have to speak a word of English on either side of the border if she didn't want to.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Mrs. T-B. still doesn't grasp that, in Texas, 60 miles per hour is the speed at which we go through a car wash.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Rule #1 for immigrant drivers to learn and adhere to:  If you don't intend to exceed the posted speed by at least 15 miles per hour, stay OUT of the left lane.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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14 hours ago, TBoneTX said:

Rule #1 for immigrant drivers to learn and adhere to:  If you don't intend to exceed the posted speed by at least 15 miles per hour, stay OUT of the left lane.

On most highways in California, this is true. For some reason, the two state highways that cut across northern San Diego county are the only places in the state I'm aware of where people drive the speed limit when traffic is not backed up. Granted, they're a bit twisty for highways, but still...


K-1                             AOS
NOA1 Notice Date: 2018-05-31    NOA1 Notice Date: 2019-04-11
NOA2 Date: 2018-11-16           Biometrics Date: 2019-05-10
Arrived at NVC:  2018-12-03     EAD/AP In Hand: 2019-09-16
Arrived in Moscow: 2018-12-28   GC Interview Date: 2019-09-25
Interview date: 2019-02-14      GC In Hand: TBD
Visa issued: 2019-02-28
POE: 2019-03-11
Wedding: 2019-03-14

 

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I'm a Quebecer that moved on a K-1 Visa back in April!

Even though it's not as big of a culture shock in comparison to other countries, there are a few things that I can  think of in terms of my personal experience!

 

- Being stuck at home a lot. We don't have a car, Seattle is expensive, and I can't work yet, so I spend a lot of time at home. Fortunately we recently moved to a new apartment building that has a gym directly on my floor, so it keeps me busy a bit (I used to despise doing any type of sport/Workout, but I have come to like it over time!)

 

- Approved doctors. When I want an appointment at a clinic, I call the clinic to make an appointment with my "family doctor" (a doctor that is specifically assigned to you) or come early at the clinic on a basic of first come, first serve. No insurance, no need to pay, I come in, have my appointment, and leave. The healthcare system has been very confusing and my husband and I are holding back on seeking medical consultations because we can't afford it 😕

 

- Cars and pedestrians. Even though Montreal is known for being very bad in terms of driving, people are usually very courteous to give the right of way to pedestrians. I got close to being run over a few times in my first few weeks even though I was being careful. Drivers aren't that much better in Seattle, but having gone to multiple parts of the US, people are generally better drivers, haha!

 

- The breakfast and the microbrewery scene are so disappointing. I know this is me being picky, but one of my favorite activities with friends was going to breakfast restaurants or trying out different types of beers at microbreweries, which Montreal has a lot of and excels at. I can barely anything here that remotely looks like it. My concept of these two things, which I thought were gonna be so similar, happened to be much more different that I thought.

 

- Clothing sizes are weird. I used to fit in Medium sizes in Quebec, now I fit in Small, even X Small in some cases.

 

- Americans like to think that adding French to their brand names/menus/advertisements is gonna make them look fancy, but none of them get it right. I always correct everything in my head if I'm alone, or I point it out to my husband (who proceeds to repeat it in the worst french accent possible in an attempt to make me laugh because he doesn't speak a word of French)

 

These are the first things that come to mind! Some of them are very unimportant, but overall, I'd say the hardest is overcoming the feelings of homesickness. I'm very much in the thick of it right now considering that I'm waiting on my EAD, so days can be pretty long and lonely at times.

Edited by TrickorTea

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That's so interesting.  I never would have thought of these differences in countries so similar, except of course the horrendous medical system we have here.  It's so bad that it's usually the thing that gets between you and your health!

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