Best tips of living in the US

The American way of life!

Everyday decorum

Americans are polite and smiling by nature. So don’t be surprised if strangers approach you to greet you, to ask you how you are or to compliment you on the outfit you are wearing. These are just polite formulas. So beware of misunderstandings, they don’t necessarily want to engage in more conversation with you!

Another important rule: the kiss! We appreciate it very much in France but it is not usual in the United States, it is the hug” which is of rigor! The hug consists in a frank hug between you and your interlocutor. If you really feel comfortable, you can even allow yourself to pat him on the back! Be careful not to stick your bust against that of the speaker, under penalty of disconcerting him ! Respect his living space, keep a good distance of about twenty centimeters and everything will be fine.

Another common practice in the United States, helping others! You see an old lady carrying groceries that are twice her weight, a child stumbles right in front of you. Don’t wait and fly to their rescue! In the USA, we spontaneously help the most vulnerable people. Show some bravery.

Make a good impression at work

Your first day at work has finally arrived, and you want to be adopted as quickly as possible by your colleagues and superiors? Be open, smile and polite!

In the workplace, it is customary to shake hands with employees. Another good point for you, in English we do not make the distinction between “you” and the formal mode, “you” is always used, therefore no risk of committing an odd at this level there.

Adopt the right attitude at a dinner party

You’ve been in the United States for a few days now, you’re doing your best to adapt as best you can; it’s time for the first invitations!

In America, unlike France, the quarter of an hour of politeness does not apply. This French custom aiming to give the mistress of the house time to finish her beauty or the succulent dishes which are intended for you, could be heard in the USA as rudeness. Just arrive on time or slightly early.

If dinner is at the restaurant, wait for a waiter to assign you a seat. Once the meal is finished, you can ask to take the leftovers with you, what is called in the USA the famous doggy bag” Nobody will look at you outraged and that is good news!

Concerning the bill, be sure to leave a tip” (tip) of an amount equivalent to approximately 15% of the note. Keep in mind that in the United States, it is common for servers to get paid in full with tips. So do not ignore this practice which is systematically applied by Americans.

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