People who grew up outside of the realm of the privilege we are used to are often in for a culture shock once they cross the boundary into a different kind of society.
We call that "culture shock." It's not better or worse-just different.
Here were some of the answers.
Grocery stores like Walmart, Publix, and Kroger. Huge and vast, have air conditioning, massive variety and tons of stuff I have never heard of. Huge culture shock to me and my father in 2001 since we had no major grocery stores in Bosnia at the time.
A New Kind Of Culture
When I was in the Marines I had a friend that was from extreme rural Africa.
So we took him to 3d shows and such. He had been in the US for around 6 months but even things like tv was an amazing luxury to him. Someone in the group picked up one at a pawn shop off post and gave it to him and he was just amazed that someone would just give him a TV.
Something nifty. He had it set up so direct deposits would go to an account his village had access to. His salary as an E2 in the Navy made his family semi royalty in the village.
I visited my cousins in the U.S once. I was surprised that your houses don't have walls around them. There were only those fences at the side and back that pretty much anyone can jump over. Where I live the only houses who dont have walls surrounding them are those in compounds or subdivisions that have roaming security guards. Paid security guards not volunteers like the neighborhood watch kind of thing
Keeping A Public Strong
The quality of the public infrastructure, and how respectful city planning is with pedestrians. Sydney is full of beautiful little gifts in the shape of shortcuts, stairs, parks, pathways. Everywhere.
It truly is a joy to just walk through the city.
Also, dogs are more polite than people where I come from.
Western Methods Of Conflict
How little theft there is. I was always told to always mind my bag and make it clear I'm holding it tight. Now I can freely leave it beside me, sometimes not even look! I've had friends leave a purse on a table in a restaurant and I made jokes about how easy it would be to steal it. Just a lot more relaxing in public due to less theft.
Another one is how less physical fighting in schools there is. From a young age I was always told "if someone hits you, hit them back harder" but when we moved to UK my dad told me before my first day of school "if someone hits you, tell the teacher".
Imperfect, But A System Nonetheless
The postal system. The logistics of delivering millions of letters to millions of homes on a daily basis is astonishing. Especially at that price. The idea that I can send a letter across the country and have it reliably delivered the next or possibly even same day is truly impressive.
I grew up in South Africa and have been living in England for 20 years.
1. Cars stop when you walk up to a pedestrian crossing.
2. Double glazed windows are really good at keeping the warm in and the noise out.
3. I can walk around at night without thinking I'm going to get shot or robbed.
4. There are only a few people on building sites and the buildings get built in a quick and organized manner.
5. When things break - someone will come and fix it.
I could go on all day....
Even Paying People Falls Apart
Coming from the worst country to a better one, it surprises me how easy it is to do a transaction online.
Apply visa? do it online. They will notify you once they need documents, once you are ready, etc. Every step of the process.
Pay bills? Fine, do online banking.
Order food, groceries? Do it online, call for delivery.
Schedule for appointment? Call, Do it online.
Meanwhile in my country, you need to do all this PHYSICALLY. Fall in line for hours. Registration done?
On to the next step - payment. Uh oh, you need to go the bank, collect the receipt and come back here.
You want to do it online? Good luck with the websites and slow internet. I could go on and on.
Not Sure Where This One Is
The one thing which baffled me is how there is an absence of petty crimes and how the shops in the city center were not worried about displaying their wares outside their shops. There was no risk of someone stealing those tiny stuffs.
Also at night , the shops were just closed with their glass doors. no extra iron shutters with multiple locks and stuffs.
Pedestrian Right Of Way
I visited Germany once with my family. We were about to cross the road when a Porsche came racing through. Living in India, we experience daily traffic mishaps and there is negligible concern regarding pedestrian safety and courtesy. So we were actually shocked when the driver literally halted to a stop and insisted on us crossing the road. There was no traffic light, no zebra crossings nothing and we actually were used to letting cars pass by before walking, so this was the biggest shock to us.