This is Sushi, one of the three cats that made the move with us!
by Imran Mahmood, MBA student
When I knew I would have to move to Rochester with three cats and a 2 week old newborn son, I figured it would be crazy, but I had no idea how crazy.
It all began on a sunny day in June. My wife and I were gearing up to depart Binghamton to move to Rochester so I could start my MBA program. Our son was only two weeks old, my wife had just had surgery, and the cats were not looking forward to the car ride. Then, came the movers. Right off the bat, they had forgotten the hand truck. I immediately wondered to myself, “how could you forget a hand truck when you are a moving company?” But instead of getting upset I wrote it off as a simple human error. I have about forgotten things plenty of times, I was in no position to judge. However, that was just the beginning of what was going to be a long day. The movers started hurling our furniture and boxes onto blankets and dragged them across the lawn. They complained about the heat. And then they started smoking on the job! It was unbelievable. All we wanted to do was get out of there! Finally, after hours and hours, they had the truck fully packed and ready to go. We left in advance of them, but they promised they would follow shortly after. As we arrived at our new apartment in Rochester, we waited for the truck with all of our belongings to arrive. Hours passed, and we didn’t understand how they were so far behind us. They didn’t end up meeting us until almost four hours later, even though the drive should have taken two and a half.
By the time they started to unload the furniture, tensions were already high. As they brought boxes up the stairs one by one, we inspected them nervously for damages. And then, we saw what could only be described as a nightmare: our microwave was shattered. Broken. Completely in non-working condition. Have you ever moved before? Do you know how crucial that microwave is on your first night, when you just moved in and you can’t take out your pots and pans to make dinner, and you just want to heat up some popcorn and pizza in peace? On a less important note, they broke the bookcase too, but that would come into play later. At that moment, all we could think about was hunger. We started frantically googling places in the area. Not many places were open to accepting our frantic and hunger-induced phone call at 9:30pm, but we finally settled on one that was open.
Thankfully, this story did have a happy ending and it was all thanks to some delicious Lebanese food.
by Anthony Gutierrez, Mechanical Engineering ME student
Are you ready to be amazed and laugh at the same time? Some of these cultural differences I’ve found myself after moving to the United States and others I just Googled. 🙂
- Did you know that in most of the countries in Latin America, people throw the toilet paper in a trash can and not in the toilet? This is because most of the governments say that the toilet paper could clog the pipes (Funny story, my first roommate was American and he freaked out when he saw me doing it hahaha.)
- Did you know that in the United States apart from saying hi, it’s very common for people to ask you “how are you? Or, “how is your day?”, even though they don’t know you? I know what you are thinking “isn’t that polite?” and the answer is: yes it is! So don’t feel uncomfortable and don’t be afraid of asking “how is their day?” too, you might end up making a new friend.
- Did you know that Americans usually consider that the week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday, while in Europe and Latin America it always starts on Monday and finishes on Sunday?
- Did you know that when you have to give a date in the United States, people always put the month first and then the day? Just so you have an idea, virtually every other country in the world puts “day-month-year” instead of “month-day-year”
- Did you know that in the United States you would be expected to show up to a meeting, work, date, event, party, or to class at the agreed-upon time? In contrast, in cultures that have more relaxed expectations about promptness, such as most of Latin America, people and public transportation are more likely to be running late and it doesn’t look bad.
- In the United States and other European countries, using direct eye contact is accepted and considered to be a sign of attentiveness, honesty, confidence, and respect for what the other is saying. In some Latin-American, Asian, and African cultures, the opposite is true. Direct eye contact might be considered aggressive. In these cultures, avoiding direct eye contact is a sign of respect, especially to elders or authority figures (You got me! I Googled this one hahaha.)
For those who haven’t experienced winter before (like me!):
- Did you know that during winter, the highway department will spread salt (usually black) on the road to melt the ice? So don’t be afraid if you see a big truck throwing some weird black “sand” in the front of your house (I’m speaking from experience.)
- Did you know that during winter, the air gets so dry that it’s really hard for electrons to move and your body starts to build more static and creates a shock when you touch anything? So don’t get scared and think that there is something wrong with your body (again, I’m speaking from experience hahaha.)