26 August 2019

8 things you should know about America

"I've seen an ice hockey game and it's really an experience I can recommend to anyone in America!"

Hi there! My name is Anne-Mare van der Werf. Currently I’m doing my internship at The Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC. I would like to share with you 8 things you should know about the United States of America.

Anne Mare 2.JPG
Anne Mare van der Werf

1. Think BIG

In the Netherlands we are used to things on a relatively small scale. After all, The Netherlands is not a large country. In comparison to America, we are a speck on the map. Not only in terms of total land area is America much bigger, they also have large cars. Huge trucks and SUV's are no exception on the American roads. Americans love their space! Also, the portions of meals are often very large. I  always ask for share plates in a restaurant of the size of the portions. In American it is not uncommon to ask for a doggy bag, so you can take the leftovers home with you.

2. Always on the move

As everyone knows, America is known for its coffee culture (especially Starbucks). On almost every corner there is a coffee place. Many Americans are always on the run. It is quite common to see people walking on the street with a take away coffee. Often there is not enough time to sit down and enjoy the lunch or coffee break. As an American once said to me: 24 hours a day is not enough! There are plenty of drive thru’ s are and many people get coffee or breakfast before they go to work! Drinks and meals are often ordered to go. About 20% of Americans eat their meals in the car.

3. Dinner - not only for special occasions

While we're still on the subject of food and drink, many Americans like to go out to dinner. Or order take-out. Not only because it (according to them) saves time, but also because it's fun! America is a melting pot of cultures and brings with it many different food cultures. Thai, Mexican and Chinese is very popular over here. I myself have come to love Indian food! There is plenty to choose from! Of course, it varies per household how often they go out for dinner or take-out, but it's something I've noticed in the 4 months that I've been living here.

4. American culture and sport

Sport is an important factor in the States. In the Netherlands, football and field hockey are the national sports, but America is one of the few countries that loves football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball. Sport can play a major role in bringing together or distributing fans. During the sports seasons, many Americans fall under the spell of their favourite team. I've seen an ice hockey game and it's really an experience I can recommend to anyone in America! It is very entertaining. 

Anne Mare bij sportwedstrijd
Anne Mare van der Werf

5. Don't be afraid of a little competition!

Sport is an important factor in the States. In the Netherlands, football and field hockey are the national sports, but America is one of the few countries that loves football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball. Sport can play a major role in bringing together or distributing fans. During the sports seasons, many Americans fall under the spell of their favourite team. I've seen an ice hockey game and it's really an experience I can recommend to anyone in America! It is very entertaining. 

6. Stand up for yourself

Generally speaking, Americans are known to stand up for themselves really well. They go for it in order to reach their goal.  Americans like to ask and answer questions and are very focused. They are real go-getters, I have noticed. If a guest at the hotel wants something changed, he doesn't leave the desk until he's sure it's arranged.

7. A melting pot of cultures

America is a fairly large country and is inhabited by mostly immigrants from the nineteenth century. This makes America a very diverse country. People with different backgrounds, cultures, values and norms can live in one a street. Before I entered the States, I always had the 'typical' American in mind. Now that I've been living here for a while, I don't really see many 'typical' Americans. You see a melting pot of cultures!

8. "Hi, how are you?"

There is no country in the world that is so much loved and hated at the same time. It’s a country of extremes and a country with its own traditional habits. One habit is an almost standard phrase: “Hi, how are you?”. They don’t expect you to tell them all about your day with specific details. They are just greeting you. A good simple answer would be “Good, how are you?” or “I’m doing well, what about you?”. I caught myself already copying the "Hi, how are you?" instead of the normal hello!!

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