Ten Months in USA

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is just my experience(good and bad) of ten months spent in USA.

Submitted: July 01, 2008

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Submitted: July 01, 2008

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Ten Months in USA

 

I stared at the girl sitting in front of me. I simply couldn’t believe my ears. How easily had she asked if we had cars in our country? A few days ago another boy had asked if I knew what a washing machine was and how come I could speak English. Nearly six months in USA and still people believed I came from another planet. Nearly six months and yet everyone asked where on earth Pakistan was.

We landed on DallasAirport on the night of 13th August. Obviously I was excited as this was my first time abroad. The travel agent had told us to expect the best everywhere we went and so as we stepped off the plane we saw happy ten months ahead of us. The first month, we stayed in the hotel and got to know all the other allied officers that would be doing the Anti Terrorism Course at the NDU in Washington. One had to admit that we were treated in the best possible way perhaps even better and so passed the first month. It was not until the September that we began to feel uneasy.

Joining school was the first time I actually talked to an American who wasn’t just standing there to serve me food. To be open and frank, my first reaction when I saw the inside of the school was, wow I could get used to this no uniforms, no heavy bags, lockers, easy studies and hardly any homework compared to what we got back at home. And when I saw the kids my reaction was your knowledge of other cultures in the world is limited and are we aloud to talk of our parents like that? Frankly speaking there were actually two girls in my class who called themselves I HATE MY DADDY CLUB. Not to mention that the clothes they wore were a bit too ‘free’. What they called fashion I would’ve called eccentric and not suitable for school. I know I came from a strict environment but even some of the students felt that the skirts were too short and the jeans too long. How ever strange the kids around me dressed they were nevertheless friendly or at least they tried to be. From the first day till the last my brother was called Bin Ladin and along with me terrorists. Whether they meant this as a joke or were serious I couldn’t tell however one thing of which I was sure was that it was not funny. We were Muslims following the third most adhered to and pure religion in the world and all the American kids were aware of was a group of extreme Muslims in the remote areas of Afghanistan and Iraq. A still more surprising thing for me was that while religion was the basis of our society it was hardly referred to in America. Most of the kids whom I assumed to be Christians openly admitted that they followed no god at all. But this was their problem, what bothered me most was that the ten months we spent in America not a day passed when we were not reminded of 911 or a family crying for their lovely sons, fathers and brothers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would tell us death tolls and even occasionally remind us of Hitler killing six million Jews and the Muslims following his example. For once if I ever get the chance I would like to remind them of the millions of innocent Afghanis and Iraqis who have also suffered and are still suffering from the pointless ‘war’ that so many countries are involved in. Not once was this point referred to.

We traveled all across USA and the one thing I really appreciated and salute the Americans for it was the way they preserved their history. Every ounce of it was a source of immense pride for them and they set an example worth following. Apart from this they do have a very high regard for human life but unfortunately (and at times very annoying) this regard is only for American life.

Since as long as I can remember American planes land on our bases and even the least inquisitive person knows its ties with our government. Besides this we’ve always been taught about other nations and cultures. The kids around us in America knew of few of five six nominated countries and USA happened to be one of them. Other than these everyone just assumed that the rest of the world was primitive. Despite all this go and visit this country, you’ll enjoy it for I know I did. Out of all the cities I visited LA was just too hard to leave and Chicago once again worth missing. For those of you who haven’t already done it must see NY skyline before you die and although not many agree see West Virginia before leaving USA. The quiet and peaceful environment with history and natural beauty following you everywhere refreshes the weariest of travelers.

Returning home I for one found it hard not to see McDonald’s after every 15min. I also found it hard to get off my pizza burger french-fries diet and it was sometime before one could say I had returned to my original size. For those of you who are planning to visit USA one advice, ‘Take a brochure explaining every thing about your country before you’re asked what a train is. Also make sure you can resist junk food and have a charged camera.


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