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Different Places, Different Accents

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Different Places, Different Accents

Getting things started is always difficult. People who grow up in a foreign country may have some experiences of facing a different set of cultural and norms. And most of them are hard to overcome or get used to it. A year ago, when I first arrived in the U.S, Houston was my first destination in the U.S. Before landing in Houston, there was a little conflict of intercultural communication, the crew was an American, I wanted to ask him to throw the rubbish, but he didn’t realize and said “I am sorry?”I felt awkward so I left my trash on my seat. It is common to say a trash as a rubbish in Hong Kong, since it was a British territory before 1997 so we used to use British English but not American English. However, that difference was just a drop in the bucket compared to what I assumed would be true about the U.S, I have experienced a lot of changes to the diversity of races and languages, the Eco-friendly awareness and the education system in the U.S.

The most astonishing thing for me in the U.S was that I saw over ten languages and at least four different races when I was wandering around the waiting area in the airport. Some of them were never seen before in Hong Kong, even Hong Kong was an international city, but most of them are Asian and we usually use Cantonese as our daily language. Only a few of them are from the foreign country and over 95 percentages of them were Chinese. Conceivably, when you travel to Hong Kong, you will see Chinese speaking in Cantonese everywhere and you will be a minority group of your race. On the contrary, the diversity of races and languages in the U.S is much higher than in Hong Kong. In Houston, you would see different kinds of people along the street, like African, Indian, Chinese, etc. When you went shopping with your family or friends, you could hear the people around are talking in different languages, like Indian, Spanish, English or some of them I have never heard about it. During the last semester, I met some friends in different countries and languages, we all felt astonished when we translated and exchanged our language to each other. On the other hand, interacting with people who from different places can provide me an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life with different languages and broaden my horizons.

In the U.S, people have placed less premium on Eco-friendly and shown less awareness of protecting the environment. I was so disappointed with this issue just because the U.S is a developed country, yet it is not eco-friendly and lack of environmental education. Whenever I go to the grocery stores with my mother in the U.S, we were surprised that a lady took three to four plastic bags with each item. My mother said” Oh my god, I have never seen the people use up four bags in one item, this is too crazy and non-eco-friendly.” I will see almost every customer uses tons of plastic bag each time or even take extra bags away for other purposes; instead of bringing their own Eco-bag to purchase items. Meanwhile, it was always happening in the U.S restaurants that I could not order a cold drink since it was as freezing as in a refrigerator over there.

In comparison to Hong Kong, people always bring their own bag, because the government has constrained the limitation of plastic big and legitimated that consumers needed to pay ten cents for each plastic bag. The Hong Kong government not only restricted the consumption of plastic bags but also constructed the new trash bins with smaller openings. A throwback to the last Christmas vacation, I went to grocery stores in Hong Kong, I saw none of the consumers were using plastic bags, but me, I felt ashamed and it was not easy to get used to the shift cultures between America and Hong Kong. Apparently, I never brought my own eco-bag in the U.S since it won’t cost you a cent! Moreover, it is more convenient to get a plastic bag of each purchase than to bring your own bag every time, so I did change my habit after came to America.




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