We asked Ayanda, an au pair from South Africa, about her impression of life in America. She shares her thoughts, below:
Wow, where do I start! Ok, my life in America has seriously been like a yo-yo! Amazing times and rough times but above all a lot of growth! America was a huge change of scenery compared to South Africa.
The American food was/is delicious! But oh is it also oh so weighty! So all I wanted to do was test, test, test all foods and I happened to love everything. What I did forget to do was to exercise and limit myself, so that’s how my jeans sadly started saying “no ma’am!”
Then another thing that absolutely caught me off guard were the prices – man were things cheap in America! I mean a sneaker for $89 that’s nothing right? Umm, Ayanda honey, wake-up call!! Convert that to South African rand and you’ll realize you just spent +-R900.00 oops!! *shrugs* so I started converting prices before I spent just so I wouldn’t be fooled again!
I knew that Americans drive on the right and that the steering wheel was on the left, total opposite to South Africa! So, I opted to be a passenger for at least a month or two until I got the hang of it! Oh now I’m a pro, I’m nervous for home now haha!
The most irritating thing was shopping for clothes and shoes:
Me: “excuse me do you know the size conversion of USA and South Africa?”
Worker: “no ma’am”
To this day, I have no idea what my true size is in America!
OK and America and its numbered highways. Hmm-ok, I won’t complain because now I know, but at first OMG I had no clue what you meant by 495 or I-95. I was like “huh, what?” – but I’m good now!
The friends I made were an absolute thumbs up! I met different races and ethnicities and was just able to learn so much! Living here was like in the movies, everything I watched I saw and sometimes lived the movie life!! So, yes America sure did deliver!
I don’t think though it would have been so amazing had it not been for the wonderful host family I matched with! A true blessing from God, I’m so thankful for them and my year wouldn’t have been such a success had they not contributed so well to it!
Thank you America, its been a pleasure!!