RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Write  >  We were there: the USA through the eyes of a Ukrainian

We were there: the USA through the eyes of a Ukrainian

Context manager Bohdan Yanchev undertook a long-term journey to the United States. He spend six months there and not just visited large cities like Miami, New York and Washington but also worked in different positions, made numerous acquaintances with locals and visited places that ordinary tourists know nothing about. Upon his return he told us about his brightest impressions.

True, America stroke me in many respects

After a long-term tour around the United States I got to like travelling. It is a completely different life, different vision, to put it short – everything is different. I had been to traditional resort places like Egypt or Bulgaria before. But by simply lying on a beach you cannot delve into culture of a country, comprehend mindset of its people. In America I got to know way of local life, with true Americans in what I could call household reality. It opened my eyes on many things.

Author's photo

American reality changed my theoretical idea about the USA greatly. There are upsides as much as there are downsides. Many people say that it is a country of consumption. Even when I came there one guy warned me: be careful, this consumption culture can suck you in to make you one of their kind. In popular phrases, that is someone who only cares about eating hamburgers.

Country of spending and consumption

Now, how does it manifest itself? Everywhere and anywhere there is motivation to spend and spend and spend – to consume and consume and consume. Omnipresent advertising, credit cards and it seems to me that by-the-hour methods of payment as such encourages greater expenditures. I, for instance, met numerous people who work as waiters or bartenders and have pretty high salaries even by American standards. Say, it is 400-500 dollars per shift. And you know what? When you go to a shop to purchase some devices or even food after your shift, you think: it’s trifles for me because I earn 400 dollars a shift. But you do not think that you don’t work tomorrow and after tomorrow. This in itself is some sort of marketing trick. But, sure enough, by-the-hour method of payment is fairer than monthly one. Because you aren’t afraid to overwork and each minute is paid for. And overtime is paid for extra. Just as living standards in America vary from state to state, so does wage for the same job. And it can be a difference by half or even twofold rise. But still, it changes your thinking about money spending. I felt it on myself and on people that surrounded me. I made a great deal of acquaintances with locals and truly felt this country from inside.

Photo world-card.ru

I’m not saying that consumption is bad. I’m saying that in the United States everything urges you to do so. Sure, for the economy it is better when money is in circulation.

I think that America changed me in a good way because it inspires to strive for more. Because working there you earn a quarter of your monthly salary in one day. Even regardless of the fact that there you surely spend more – living standards are completely different there. But truth be told, I only visited large cities and didn’t end up in poor districts.

Mindset: Americans are a friendly nation, or are they?

Should we talk about mindset and some sort of drastic difference between us and them it is pretty hard for me to verbalize my thought. By the way, I saw an interview with Naishuller (famous actor, playwright, director, musician and composer who had lived in America for a long time – Ed.) and he so accurately said what I was trying to put together in my head. When you read about America you notice that opinions on friendliness of the nation are opposite. Some say that they are very friendly. Others – that they are very much not friendly. And this happens because there is a big difference between us and them in perception of friendship.

Photo timedotcom.files.wordpress.com

To put it crudely, if we divide levels of communication into acquaintance and friendship, it is much harder to make acquaintances by us. But once you know each other, you will most likely maintain communication. If you met a person in the street or at a bar and exchanged phone numbers, you have every prerequisite to become friends. But in our country it is very hard to make this first step, to get a person to talk – our people are more closed. There everything is just the opposite: at the first sight everyone is so sociable. It is easy to make this first step but it is hard to develop it into more serious relations. I’m not saying it is impossible to find friends there either – it is possible, but it is harder. However, maybe it is even for the better. It’s just Americans have different idea of relations.

See also: Normandy trought eyes Korney Gritciuk.

Never line up in the United States

In a certain sense American mindset is similar to Soviet one. If they see a long queue, they are sure to join it. Therefore queues are huge everywhere. I saw block-long lines for simple ice-cream. At that, people don’t go to some really good places just because there is no queue there. It seems to me that they create lines in some establishments on purpose. For instance, in clubs security guards wait for a crowd to gather and only after that they start letting people in. And then they stop admission to gather a new line. I mean that appearance of popularity and demand works miracles there.

Photo world-card.ru

Budget for an American journey

Entire America is very expensive. But California – the most. In California, it seems to me, even minimum salary is by half or even twice larger than in the United States in general.

An ordinary tourist should count on 30-35 dollars to pay for a night at a hostel. Doesn’t sound that cheap if you convert it into hryvnyas. But hostels are really comfortable there. Even in the center of large cities it is possible to find such reasonably-priced accommodations. I, for instance, liked a hostel in Washington a lot – it was a good two-storey house equipped for “guests”.

One meal is at least 10 dollars. And in my opinion, McDonald’s is disgusting there.

Main photo 2d.by

It will be interesting:
On the Move. Street food from around the world
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 1
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Accompaying persons, please leave the train: the most interesting trains on planet
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
Borders cannot make harm: the most famous enclaves of the world
Today Outlook travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
We were there: Prague
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several winter days there and told us about Prague charms.
Saint-Louis: first settlement of europeans in Africa
This amazing African country strikes tourists by odd mixture of cultures. There isn’t a thing you cannot see in Senegal! Retro cars of French origin; cows idly walking along the road; horse-drawn carts... Yet, there are more than enough surprises it its historical and cultural capital city of Saint-Louis. Go for a walk in search of attractions, and local herbalists offering specific medical herbs as a cure-all remedy, will immediately surround you.
World ghettos. Bedford: English outback with Italian flavour
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
Indian village Kodhini: the unraveled mystery of twins
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Karakol. What is worth to know
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
Canberra is the capital of...
Australia flies instinctively into our ears with a loud intro from shell of the Sydney Opera, and only after that we recall that the capital of this country is Canberra. Though the city is often seen as a stopover between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra is not only considering, but has been already implementing into reality a plan how to win hearts of all tourists.
Normandy through the eyes of Korney Gritciuk. Part 1
For many tourists France is mainly Paris with long queues to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, as well as neighbouring sights with royal chic, or Mediterranean resorts. But OUTLOOK author while travelling through the country decided to go to the north, to Normandy! Our readers are welcome to read series of travel essays about a journey to the Atlantic Ocean by Kornei Gritsyuk, and the story begins with his impressions from the town of Deauville!
Chan Chan. Peru city from clay
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
In the rhythm of heart. Japanese drums taiko
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
Lombard street: Street swallowed by a Boa constrictor
Remember how the little prince taught to see not a hat, but a boa constrictor digesting an elephant? So, in San Francisco you have the opportunity to see the street part of which is swallowed by a boa. A serpent Lombard Street crawled into almost all the Frisco city guides.
Water gates
Airports, railway and bus stations are almost always erected at a human whim, while ports and harbours are joint creation of homo sapiens and nature. In this article OUTLOOK presents you the most beautiful port destinations with their own unique character worth exploring.
The travel to whale’s chaps
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
Instead of Rome and Athens: The newest cities of the planet
Ancient cities with their monuments, architecture, traditions and atmosphere are a desired destination for tourists, since visiting them one can learn and understand a country and its inhabitants. However, there are travellers who are fans of urbanism and modern urban planning. To delight them we prepared this article devoted to the newest cities that have sprung up recently around the world. Yet, we believe that it is still interesting for fans of centuries-old hot spots.
To the cinema for a city cour
Travelling around the globe lure increasingly every other year and it is so upsetting when all kinds of obstacles arise on the way of undertaking trips. Outlook offers you not to get desperate if you can’t set on a journey. Today we suggest you get inspired with movies in which one city or another “plays” equal part to actors’ ones. We’ll tell you about five films that, alongside having artistic merits, educate as good as habitual tour guides do.
Salamanca: Crazy about the frog
Spain is lavish in architecturally rich cities. But there are special among them: the ones where monuments of the past and daily life of contemporaries are intertwined so tightly and unexpectedly at times that the city seems to be living in two worlds. Today OUTLOOK suggests you enjoy one of them – Salamanca: the city where frog brings all kinds of luck.
Welcome to Gabon
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony. Only in the middle of the past century, when Pygmies were very few, Gabon gained independence from foreigners…
Close
Outlook facebook page