You are on page 1of 14

Observations of Madhavan on life in US during his stay in Seattle from 25-6-12 to 24-7-12 (Meant for first time visitors

to U.S.) About America

1. The U.S. movies, novels, thrillers, serials etc. have not projected the correct profile of a standard American. The real American is quite different as explained below. 2. We in India, have a special difficulty in understanding the common American viz., the apprehensions ingrained in us on account of the British Colonial era. We confuse any white man with the exploitation meted to us by British. Even though we have not experienced the British rule personally, we have absorbed it thru text books, monuments , life histories of great Freedom Fighters, Patriotic Songs and even movies that are shown on T.V., on every Independence Day- like Lagaan, Gandhi, Indian, Madarasa Pattinam etc. Thus the bias and fear are there- unconsciously, whether we know it or not ( except for a few Indians who have had frequent exposure to many Americans and other Nationalities). But the average American has nothing to do with these. He is an independent entity and should be understood on his own merits without reference to British or any other Westerner. 3. The U.S. has 3 times the land mass of India and immeasurable natural resources like petrol, coal, water, power, agricultural produce, minerals & ores and even petrol. 4. But it has only 1/3 of Indias population; therefore it has far less pressure on land compared to India ; they have enough space for good expressways/freeways, shopping complexes, big individual houses & housing complexes , Schools & Colleges, parks, Gyms, libraries, community places like auditoriums, office & industrial Complexes, forests, lakes, public buildings, airports , railway stations, agricultural lands, vineyards & such other fruit culture lands ( Seattle is the berry capital of the World); they have good approach roads, sufficient parking lots & far less crowd in all these places!. In fact we may travel by road or train in America without seeing another human being on the surroundings for many miles. An American would have never seen crowds like our temple fairs, festivals or Chatrapathi Sivaji Railway Station in Mumbai. 5. The US has only one language all over, from Pacific to Atlantic coast. In India we have 22 major languages (it could be more not less) , another about 400 languages actively in use and a 1000 other dialects. We have more languages/ cultures than are prevalent in the entire Europe, an equal population and many States as Countries in Europe. 6. We are the largest Democracy of the World and the U.S. is the longest!! 7. The U.S. has 3 time zones. In India we have one. 8. They follow miles, pounds, gallons, feet not Kms , kgs , litres, meter, etc 9. The dollar bill ( note) has one dimension for all denominations. In India the sizes of rupee note are different for each value or denomination

10. Most places in U.S. are cold for most parts of the year, by Indian standards. But that kind of climate does not give raise to cold-related disease like running nose, chest congestion, other bronchial troubles, headache, throat problems etc. However some parts of U.S. like Texas, Nevada, Utah are hotter than India, for the most part . About Seattle 11. I was staying in Seattle which is very near Canada and as far north as many parts of Russia. The flight to Seattle from Dubai is going above the North Pole!! 12. Seattle is in Washington State. Washington D.C , which is the capital of U.S. is different and that is in the state of Virginia. But it is a special Union Territory. 13. Seattle is famous for a very big container terminal, HQ of Boeing, HQ of Microsoft & ADOBE and Bruce Lee (yes, he lived and died here) 14. The time difference with India is 11 hrs 30 mins. Thats if it is 6 am on 1-1-12, in India, it is 5.30 pm on 31-12-11 in Seattle. 15. Sun rises by 5.30 am sets by 9.30p.m in summer. In winter it is 8.30 am and 4.30 pm 16. Though Seattle is on the coast, there is no rust. In India rust is a major problem in coastal areas. 17. Fortunately now, it is warm (July 2012)- about 20 degrees in day and 6 degrees in night ! -- like the coldest day in Bangalore, or September in Ooty. All houses have central heating, 24 hours hot water, excellent frig ( to keep food for long duration), vacuum cleaner. No house has air conditioners for cooling very few table fans. Cool drinks need not be kept in the frig., most times; the outside temperature is good enough. 18. No water should fall on the ground, including bath rooms - immediately to be vacuum cleaned because the floors are wooden to withstand extreme cold temperatures for 9 months in a year. 19. Nobody wears watches, at least in this part of U.S. 20. Generally in Pacific North West, casual dress & sports shoes - even to office or college. Genes and Bermudas allowed, but no chappals outside the house. People wear bermudas even on flight or to office 21. No dirt, dust or garbage in the streets. Generally the place is free from dust. The roads look as if they have been washed just now. Houses have large glass windows which call for cleaning once A MONTH ONLY. U.S. Titbits 22. Light switches work in reverse. Up means on and down is off. Similarly door locks also work in reverse. 23. The quality of water, food, vegetables, milk is amazing. 24. Power supply is unbelievable. 25. There is no voltage stabiliser or inverter anywhere. 26. The bottom most floor of a building is I floor, not ground floor

27. If a dog is taken out for a walk, the owner must clean up dog shit, collect in a special bag and deposit it in trash bin 28. For the one month I stayed here, I didnt see anybody smoking in public; I guess the habit is generally lean, throughout U.S. 29. Down-town means Central part of town where important offices & businesses are located. 30. All schooling is provided free by Govt. They are very good also. There are Private Schools also- but quite costly. Very few go to college; mostly, they go for polytechnic like training. 31. Land lines are free within America. Mobiles are charged incoming & outgoing even missed calls are charged. 32. No detergent bars or powder for clothes washing- only liquid concentrate. Tide is the market leader. 33. No plastic buckets, no plastic chairs; very rarely plastic mugs... only washing machines 34. Washing machines bring out clothes in fully dried condition. No body hangs clothes for drying- it is not done. Of course all these come as part of the package in rented houses also. 35. The net connection is great (we can watch a full movie without loading time or hanging). The charges for all these are ignorable. 36. The U.S people are damn worried about cockroaches, bed bugs, mosquitos and white ants. If these are found in any house, the State takes over the house, fumigation is done, observed for some time and then only we can re-enter the house. If we don't report it, we may have to compensate the State and neighbours for violation of environment norms. 37. Credit card is used as identity for most occasions like hotel check-in etc . You must allot one credit card for this purpose. 38. Generally no one walks outdoors with chappals. Shoes must for gents- sports shoes mostly; ladies wear shoes or some other good looking sandals. In big cities like New York or Chicago, it is leather shoes 39. No loud talking or shouting in any place. Always in sweet tone. We can hear loud voices only in villages. 40. We tend to look forward to UK as a great destination; look up to them for standards, compare ourselves against their achievements etc. But in US , UK is just not in the reckoning for anything ( It is a small Nation which is not worth talking about). 41. Generally houses are cheap except in big cities. In Seattle, it is cheaper than Chennai. 42. Generally a large no. of houses are built by a property developer on one design and sold to individuals. So, houses or apartments in one area, look similar. Generally no flat terrace tops; mostly conical roof tops , perhaps to prevent accumulation of snow in winter months 43. No tailoring of garments; 99% it is ready made garments only 44. Doctors and lawyers are very costly. Shaking hands- Americans do it with formal situations or strangers; they do not shake hands with known acquaintances, neighbours, people whom they meet every day etc.

Preservation of Nature 45. They are very careful to maintain forests and mountains. But they just dont have wild life variety. Mostly it is deer, rat type - small animals. Very few bears and Pumas; no other tiger, lion, monkey varieties, elephants, bison , leopard etc. Very sad indeed!! 46. Forest rangers are like police in forest areas. They have all powers including arrest and shooting 47. Flowers- This State has a bounty of flowers and they show it off ! They display it on all possible places, shops houses all public places, gardens, just outside the house, car park , lounge balcony etc. These flowers remain fresh for a long time, but strangely no fragrance. 48. Plenty of birds including our sparrow, which is near extinct here 49. Even if we search all the mountains in US, it is difficult to pick up a handful of garbage 50. Even within City, they have excellent parks & lakes 51. We are not allowed to feed crows or any other birds. They have to find their natural food. If they get human food then they may get unknown diseases and the whole Country may be in trouble. 52. Around all trees, road borders & all open spaces in residential areas, cork powder is laid profusely; with sand alone (which occurs naturally), the surface could become slippery in rain or in snow. 53. The Grand Canyon ( really grand ) is about 80 miles long and about 30 miles broad and 4000 feet deep, with beautiful view points all along the rim and thousands of people visiting every day but no garbage. We cannot see the whole thing unless we spend a few weeks at least; it is enough we see the main tourist area- thats good enough-or we can take a copter ride Reg: Driving/ Traffic/ Vehicles 54. Left handed driving and most right turns are free turns 55. You are not expected to rely on public transport for daily going to office. Everyone must have his own car. Two wheelers cannot match those speeds and generally not used for daily use. Special sports motor cycles for long distance travel is the in thing. Cycles are also quite popular for short distances. 56. There are no taxi stands (much less auto rickshaw stands) except near Air Ports. At other places, we have to call them by phone only. 57. There is a speed restriction for each road- for ex. 35 miles for 48th Court- then we have to go at 35 only- not more or less. High way speeds go up to 100 miles per hour 58. You can hire a car when we go out of town drive it yourself, excellent cars- leave it in another town! 59. The roads are trenched (dug) to a depth of 11/2 feet throughout, all along highways. No one can pull the vehicle for stopping on the side of the road; the wheel will fall into the trench

60. No one can stop the car in any part of the highway. It is illegal, We can park only at authorized spots 61. Generally no horns during driving. 62. A drive of 125 miles per day is the lowest daily average, taking into account week end driving also 63. Most of the vehicles in Washington State are SUV type 64. Petrol ( gas) is filled at the petrol pump by the owner/ driver and paid by credit card. No bunk attenders, except in a few States. 65. Car wash- is done by the owner himself at Petrol bunks. They have elaborate arrangements for it. It can done to high quality, very very comfortably in about 20 minutes. 66. The same Highway can be used for up-traffic on one day and down- traffic the other day depending on traffic patterns, Police will notify that. 67. Free way means faster than highway with very few entry / exit distractions 68. Special fast lanes are provided for cars with 2 or more people 69. Radio announcements on cars keep coming. The alerts are given on GPS or even on road signals. There are big LCD strip- panels available for this purpose on the road 70. All cars are on auto clutch, auto gear mode. They are also fitted with manual up to 3rd gear for coming down the mountains. 71. Petrol prices change on a day to day basis, but never going above Rs 42 per litre as of July 2012 72. The price can change from bunk to bunk also- because of the shop rent factor. In India Govt. allots land for bunks and may be the real estate differences do not arise 73. Diesel is costlier than petrol 74. Generally traffic is smooth and each person helps the other to go. Signals are very few. The high ways go thru City areas also. Here we can drive thru with a few signals, by waiting for a count of 3 or less. In big cities like Detroit, Chicago or New York, there are more signals but not so much like India. Even here the signal waiting time is very less, say a count of 20 to 30 only 75. If there is an accident, immediate medical attention is given to both the parties. But beyond that, the person who is at fault does not get insurance or any other support. In fact police will put a case on him 76. For traffic offenders, there is a strange punishment the insurance is jacked up at next renewal 77. Pedestrian cross - on all road junctions, there is a button, we press it then the pedestrian cross lights come on. Then we cross; it is not on automatic timing like India. 78. No urination or spitting on any place except house or public toilets. 79. There are sensors embedded on the road, on all road junctions- they automatically trigger red or green signals based on vehicles standing on the roads. 80. Toll charges are automatically captured whenever our car is crossing the toll gate. It comes as a deduction on our credit card .

81. Firefighting vans also work as Emergency first aid vans. There is equipment on the van and the staff are also trained 82. On the highways Call Box can be accessed within 15 minutes of drive any time, anywhere. It is a free phone service to notify emergencies, like breakdown of a vehicle, accidents or medical problem, etc. Proper help will be rushed immeditely Kitchen/ Eatables 83. All over U.S., all taps including toilet taps give drinking water quality. 84. America is going towards organic farming in a big way. 85. Coffee is great. Many varieties of instant or filter coffee available as drink in cofee shops Coffee with milk is also available called latte. Many great flavours of coffee powder both instant and filter, available for take home. 86. The Starbucks coffee is just moderately good for our pallets. 87. There is excellent hot water connection in all the kitchen and bath rooms/ toilets 88. Most edible items do not get spoilt; we can leave chips/ fryums outside overnight; stays fresh. But we should be careful about milk, curd and coriander leaves 89. Micro wave and electric stoves compulsory- LPG gas very rare 90. Milk & curd in cartons- buy from shops and store; difficult to make our own curd and the stores item is quite nice. 91. Milk need not be boilt. We take a small quantity of milk for our immediate needs, heat it to our requirement and use it 92. Use of jaggery, called cane sugar is very common , in place of white sugar 93. It is their habit to cook for a few days and put in the frig. No daily cooking. Because of the nature of the atmosphere, food does not get spoilt easily. 94. Eating is done in great style, with fork & spoons, profuse use of tissue paper, without slurping, burping, roaring, struggling and generally not giving in to excited or hurried gesticulations 95. Generally, one should be lucky to eat these vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes come in bunches like grapes. Other items are also very very healthy & hygienic 96. American veg. food is excellent. On a base of French fries or hash brown (tasty strips of potato) or bread or some bakery item, lots of fruits and vegetables are laid. No chillies or masala; added with some good natural juice. 97. Generally food items/ meals are cheap. Even in a above average restaurant, a full veg. plate costs around Rs. 300/ only 98. Berger is their fast food like our bajji / bonda. It is two big buns with a cutlet in between , could be veg or beef, pork etc. One berger is good enough as a meal 99. Beef ( cow) & pork are their 2 great favourites 100. The American quantity is large. For ex 200 ml. is the standard coffee cup 101. The FDA (Food & Drugs Dept) is all present & all powerful. Every medicine, food, raw material, grocery item, hotel food, otherwise uncooked or cooked food, fruits, vegetables, alcohol, milk , cool drinks or any other beverage- sold in public or distributed free or

purchased for the house should conform to their standard. Otherwise the shop or pharmacy is closed down. Even temple prasadams and marriage feasts should get their clearance. However they have got correct standards for every item and do not harass. As already stated, they dont employ their authority for harassment 102. Generally no spices/ chili in food; but they love paatai (as in pattai & sombu, also called cinnamon). They put it in everything including cakes and ice creams!! 103. The coke / pepsi sold here is not of our type. Not good for us. In India, they have modified it for Indian taste. 104. Generally the interiors of restaurants are very simple, no decoration- even star hotels; but food is very healthy 105. People going to USA as tourists find they are suddenly more healthy & energeticit is because of quality of food and the climate. 106. The glass & plastic bottles come in beautiful shapes & sizes. Even the plastic has to be certified food grade to contain food articles. Glass is preferred over plastic Business & Shopping 107. On line shopping is very popular. Cash payment only for small payments 108. Medical items are not available without prescription 109. Carry bags are given by shops- but very thin, not reusable; water bottles are also like that. They are progressively doing away with plastic carry bags. 110. Mall means a complex of shops like Spencer Plaza. Stores means a single shop 111. They encourage return of articles once bought but not found suitable to us - provided we return them in good shape along with bill. They just dont hesitate to give back cash. They will report the event back to manufacturers. The manufacturers will take pains to know why the item is coming back; if it is due to error of judgment by customer, they are happy. (If there is a product error, they will really be concerned and try to rectify it. Bad publicity is one thing any business is afraid of. But customers are also very genuine in their returns.) 112. They dont make good watches here- very rarely we see someone with a watch. They also do not make good pens 113. I found 2 Indian items widely present- towels/ hosiery items; Indian instant Coffee is also a tough competitor. 114. Chinese goods are available everywhere. Many mementos we buy as U.S. memorabilia are in fact manufactured in China; the logos tell the story 115. Every big business house has a political lobby to protect their interests in the Senate. For Eg. Monsanto, the seeds Corporation is controlling American Agriculture; so also Steel Lobby, Beef lobby, Legal Profession Lobby , Petrol Lobby, Arms lobby etc. 116. The beef , petroleum , financial services and medical profession are not well regulated 117. Most of the Infrastructure and civil works are done by the State or under the direct Supervision of the State. Contracts are awarded on merit only. People who execute contracts have a genuine desire to help their Country by doing a good job

118. Newspaper Industry is dying. Nobody reads. They are also very costly. The New York Times costs $6/. They cannot think of bringing a free paper like Adyar Times. The Net has replaced News papers 119. All general interest magazines like Kumudam or The Week are also struggling badly. Special target-group magazines have better business. Since the population is small, even they have difficulties. International magazines like Times will survive based on International circulation

American People & Society 120. In every Society there are very good people on one extreme and very bad people on the other extreme. The majority people in between represent the true nature of the Society. We are talking about the majority, average Americans here. 121. An average American living inside America is proud of his Country, its resources, its natural beauty, proud that he can treat others well, does not rob others credit, does not do stealing, cheating, glib talk, false promises etc. 122. They always think what do we leave for the next generation? It is even an election issue. They are very careful to utilize anything in such a way that even the next batch or the next generation will find it equally good or better 123. Generally no gossiping, remarking on others or loose talk. 124. An average American living inside America is a cheerful, energetic person, with tremendous amount of large heartedness. He helps others, greet others cheerfully (it is not acting), have a natural liking & regards for everyone. ( Please exclude business man who do business with India or Foreign office people like visa officers or big politicians or soldiers on abroad duty they are different. They are not fortunate enough to behave like the average American - because their roles , functions and life scripts are different. 125. Their basic driving motive that governs all their action is Be Happy. They want to enjoy (not simply do) their work, personal life, festivals, shopping . They will do anything to avoid an unpleasant talk, boring conversation, depressing comments, angry remarks etc. If at all there is a tendency like that, they will fire up an extra dose of enthusiastic greeting, shouting etc and get over the situation. 126. Generally, they are very expressive, not subdued like us. They will say thanks, sorry, please, you are good, how do you like it, I like you, I love you, excuse me etc. very often and very clearly. Our kind of silent affection or mild gestures to greet someone etc. are not understood here. 127. If they have to say thanks 10 times in a matter of 10 minutes, all the 10 times they will say it with full liveliness. 128. Instead of saying I dont like it they will say Is that so! How strange! or some other exclamation. But they will express their disagreement by some method and will not let go. 129. They often display wonder in their transactions in a childlike manner 130. They have a great sense of self-respect and esteem.

131. They always take responsibility for their actions. 132. They believe in shaping their events with their own efforts and do not believe in external factors like luck/ chance/fate etc. 133. They also have a healthy dose of guilt, which (along with the 3 previous points) prevents from being wrong or indecent. 134. They have a tremendous sense of aesthetics (which includes a sense of beauty, style & orderliness). They want to appear beautiful in the eyes of others - they are naturally good looking with well-built bodies, good hair, eyes, height etc. They keep things in the office & home in tidy, orderly manner. 135. They have uniformly greater physical strength than Indians. A simple look at their body structure will reveal that they have solid bone framework with taut muscles like twisted rope. Their genetics, food, exercise, habits and the climate all have contributed to this, over centuries. 136. They do not like crybabies or an apologetic person or a diffident person or a person who does not have minimum talent. The whole society will drop such a person and move on. So if we start a conversation with Americans I am not good at this , I dont know what went wrong, I failed miserably, take pity on me & help etc- you are likely to be avoided. 137. The average middle class American is fairly careful about spending his money. They will not buy anything just because they have the money. They will also look for the best concession, best season, best shop, best price etc. They will also not buy something with unnecessary features and pay extra for that. 138. He is confused if anyone violates systems & procedures violations like traffic violations feels very bad if he has to say something unpleasant to any one; he is downright shocked when someone misbehaves with him. But there are very strong counter pressure mechanisms ; it is impossible for any one to misbehave and get away with it. For ex. If I jump a queue, the whole crowd will show contempt on me and mostly I will have to start from the end of the queue again. 139. 2 things that they dont tolerate - Procedure violation (Violation of an established system ) and doing stupid/ silly mistakes. Everyone must be of certain standard. Unless you have certain minimum talents, you cant live there. 140. Generally America is divided behaviourally as East & Western America. Generally what we see in movies or what we generally presume about America, pertains to Eastern America of Atlantic Coast. For ex. people of North West generally go about in shorts, whereas Atlantic coast people wear formal dress/suits. Pacific is sweet mannered whereas Atlantic is a little showy type. 141. Many people are naturally good at public speech, presentation skills, marketing and showmanship. Give them a mike and they are ready to do something. They have to be active and participative. They would like to prove themselves often. Partly it is their nature, partly it is connected to their wage system (called compensation) 142. They are more purpose-oriented than feelings-oriented, in all their relationships and transactions.

143. They encourage independence over dependence in all their relationships and transactions. 144. It is said that an American can be friendly without being intimate and we tend to become intimate very fast, friendly or not .. 145. They dont like anybody interfering in their activities, nor do they poke their nose in others activities, but offer help in genuine situations. 146. Indians show a smiling face when they are going to give a permission or going agree with you; they will show distorted body language & face if they are going to dis agree. Here the Americans keep the same sweet face, words and affection for yes and for no 147. They are confident, bold and to the point. They dont like people who are unduly obedient or servile type. But their courtesy and regards for others is un paralleled. 148. An average American can do 3 things very naturally -- talk about his strong points without sounding arrogant, can ask for help without abegging and can say sorry without falling to the ground. 149. They listen very carefully; when a person is speaking-without interfering, butting in , quipping or crashing in to any other 2 peoples conversations. 150. In a conversation, when we want to say something, we request him to give us the chance and then speak (May I say something now, Excuse me, If I may say something etc.) 151. They are crazy about outdoor activity; they are fitness enthusiasts if they get a little time, they would go out to hiking, boating, gym or at least jogging. They do gardening very regularly, wherever possible. 152. An average American is technically inclined, can repair by himself , most of the things in his house or car or plumbing, minor carpentry, cleaning of swimming pool- nobody can live here without a minimum set of tools , smart mobile, GPS locator , laptop and net banking. 153. But, there is no manpower- no cobbler, no iron- wala, no body to fix a tyre ( tire in America) puncture, no pizza delivery man, no electrician , no driver, no scooter mechanic, no road side tailor. . for Ex., If you order a dining table, you have to hire a mini lorry , drive it yourself to bring the table home and return the lorry with the help of a friend, who will bring a car for taking you to the lorry rental service station up & down. If at all you want to hire such services, the cost is enormous 154. There is no place for small business here- like a road side tea shop or sim card selling petty shop or a Xerox shop. Everything is Institutionalised and corporatised. Even the morning newspaper is delivered by big networks. In this respect, Indian model is better- a small man can work and live by himself without being attached to a big corporate house. 155. Police are very polite and courteous. They generally take the role of a friend. But arguing or interfering with a police man is considered very seriously by the Courts. ( In India Police system started as a stooge of British Raj to harass civilians and culturally we are unable to come out of it) 156. Every market, mall or chain stores, public place, petrol bunk etc has excellent toilet facilities

157. They do not bother about any religious values or interests. The Church is visited for marriages, naming ceremony and deaths. Otherwise, they dont think about it 158. After marriage, they have an elaborate system of going to a park and taking photos 159. Their contempt. Wherever we show anger, they show contempt. Even in a public place, the whole crowd will show contempt on a person who is not giving right of way to others while entering a lift or food queue. This is their pressure mechanism, in case some body mistakes their good behavior and try to take wrong kind of liberties. 160. They dont like anyone to interfere in their privacy; You cant open a conversation with a person who is sitting and watching a scenery or casually ask him how many children he is having or why he is not having more than one child etc. 161. Similarly they give lot of respect to your living style, language , choice of food , house etc. They respect your choice of your life style as long as it is not against public good. No one is going to make fun of your hair style or dress or your speaking difficulties etc 162. They like very much to be appreciated in public or to show their talents in public. Their public consciousness is a great driving force. 163. Microsoft has about 40,000 full time employees and another about 40,000 floating population every day; and they have parking lots for all of them. 164. They have become very careful about internal security after 9/11. For ex. In Seattle, if more than 4 people have to stay in an apartment for a long period, we must inform local police and take permission. 165. In Air ports or public places any loose talk or comments that constitutes a security threat will be dealt with very swiftly and severely - all America is afraid of me , I can fool their security systems, they dont know my power, I dont approve of gutanamo prison--- such person will have lot of explaining to do in police station and prison 166. Any member of Society can complain to authorities about any violation by a neighbor (he has thrown hazardous cargo in the common garbage bin, his car has dashed another car in the parking lot at midnight and he has not reported it or his house-party is making high noise etc); the society looks upon it with thanks; it is not treated as if he has let down a neighbor; ( many may dispute this, because it is not to be revealed openly, much less to be admitted). Of course, scope for complaints rarely arises and people do not carry wrong complaints.

Work Culture 167. Their work culture is absolutely great (like boss- subordinate relationship, reward & punishment system etc.) They are very particular to reward and reprimand people very accurately. 99%, it is like this. Generally the bosssubordinate relationship is an enabling relationship, not a controlling one, much less a discriminatory one based on personal likes and dislikes. The cardinal rule is reward and recognize a person based on how much a person can benefit the Organisation and the Department and they implement it without

deviations; nothing else matters. So, naturally it is a great destination for talented people from any part of the World. 168. Generally, throughout America, the salary is about 30% fixed component and 70% is variable, linked to performance - like salesmans incentives in India. 169. Salary is based on how much you have earned for the Organisation , not based on seniority or qualification 170. They are punctual and keep up timings unless the occasion is very informal 171. Of course, they are not just work- machines. They are very particular that the work atmosphere should be enjoyable. 172. Mostly they do not like any one to stay beyond the duty hours in the office and they avoid talking about work on holidays. Generally no bribe or corruption at working levels. 173. Americans do not abuse the authority or power given to them for work and use it very diligently for work only 174. In fact, a separate book could be written about their work culture.

Cultural shocks ( Both good & Bad) 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. The use of no water in toilets-only toilet paper The liberal dress styles of ladies No guns in everybodys hip (thats only in movies) , no full suits, no full sentences Very difficult to understand their pronunciation, in the first visit The rigours of visa, security check. Suddenly we are out of India ( although in Indian Air Port); unable to use Indian currency 181. Suddenly our mobile and our currency are useless 182. No domestic servants or drivers here 183. Clean , dust free atmosphere, every road is also clean 184. No power cuts or water shortage 185. Food cooked or raw, does not get spoilt even if you leave it in the open for a night. 186. The excellent flow of traffic/ road conditions, no traffic jams 187. Uniformly very decent people. I have heard that the same thing goes for Canadians also. (of course there is a very small percentage of rude people here, like any where) 188. Generally no hatred or jealousy in their interpersonal interactions - in fact no emotional approach- only purpose and business. 189. It is difficult to understand their pronunciation in the first visit 190. Old age is 75 years and above. 191. Their family values are so..so..so.. different. A full book is required to be written on their man-woman relationships, marriage, children, old people and other family aspects. There is a sea of difference in their ideas of bringing up children compared to India. But suffice to say that a person like Mr. Bill Clinton, the former American President has spoken loftily about Indian family virtues, our ability to live in multi- language-religion-culture Society.

We must take it that he has spoken the truth because we know it is so and he has no need to please anyone In India. 192. In India, all religions are practiced with full vigour. For the American Society , Religion is just absent. Thus these 2 Countries are secular. 193. All Country people help their countrymen here. Such cooperation is least in Indians and strongest in Chinese. Of course in this part of US, Indians are highly respected as brainy people. 194. Only Indians speak ill of their Country / Culture, that too with other Nationals.

Final Note: 195. Every society will have good and weak points. It is not good to give up our strong points and get not so good things from there. Does this not apply to all countrymen? 196. If we could combine their work culture with our social & family culture, it would be great. 197. The guiding principle of their social life is subordinate your individual interest for common good. This runs very deep in all their activities. Their driving, making & maintaining infrastructure, no littering are good examples of this. 198. Generally whatever we do, we make it look simple. Whatever they do, they have a way of making it look very grand or very stylish or at least very impressive. For example, take a super Hollywood action thriller movie, if it is shown on Indian Television with dubbing and/or sub titles in any Indian language, it looks flat. We make most things look simple 199. Even if God takes away all their wealth in one go, as long as they have good officials/ leaders who will make good policies and implement them without deviating for ANY ONE and as long as they have citizens who will willingly conform to those regulations without the need for supervision and as long as they have their value systems, America will become rich powerful again and again.

Man- Woman matters

200. In a very general way, whatever qualities that make for their business or material success ( like drive, initiative, self-focus ), do not seem to be enough for success at home ( qualities like sacrifice and subordination of self interest to family interest are required here) 201. Generally the North West people want to live with one husband one wife only. This tendency is much less in other parts of USA. It is one of the aims of the U.S.Founding Fathers Declaration Save the marriage at any cost make all the sacrifices 202. But the option of divorce is available very easily; that queers everything. Divorce has no social stigma here and has much less emotional pangs than in India.

203. On man woman relationships , they are more governed by Legal focus & practical focus than by moral focus. If a man and woman agree, anything is alright; if at all there is a problem in such a relationship, it is the worry of the particular husband or wife or parents. The Society does not think it is wrong. 204. But if there is no consent or it involves a minor etc., then it is a serious police matter; the society also does not approve of it. 205. Where the parents go for divorce (which is quite high), the position of children is pathetic. There is no denying that. 206. The Indian children born and brought up here are confused about many social aspects. They dont know on which aspects our Indian model is good and on which aspect the American model is good. They are called ABCD- American Born Confused Desi. 207. We are certainly an affectionate lot but dont know how to show it. At least we can speak to people as sweetly and courteously as possible. You will know it when you see how they dont miss a chance to show affection , gratitude etc. For those who say that affection is there in my heart; the other person knows it etc, I would like to say that we don miss a chance to show our anger, displeasure, criticism etc; then why miss affection only. 1. So you can imagine what a damage can happen if the big business houses are allowed in India, which is a nation of small business success stories. 2. Many business houses which have a dubious record or moderate quality in U.S., find India an easy market ( Enron, Union Carbide) 3. Similarly Mac Donalds not a high end chain it is certainly good as a fast food chain but nothing more. 4. Similarly Timex watches 5. Similarly Wal-Mart 6. Similarly KFC