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15 significant disadvantages of living in the United States, according to a Russian-speaking immigrant

Author of the channel "Doodles in the margins" on "Yandex.Zen" shared his perspective on the disadvantages of living in the United States. Further - from the first person.

Photo: Shutterstock

1. The first minus is that American society, social environment, mentality and lifestyle are very different from European ones. Psychologically, it is easier for a Russian to adapt to the European social environment and feel more comfortable than in American society. The measure of success in life in the United States is primarily money.

2. The second minus for me personally is architecture. When I drove from Los Angeles airport to downtown and looked around, I was shocked. The thought “Where am I?” Was spinning, because I expected to see many beautiful buildings and streets. But, having traveled around the cities, I felt how the United States is a young artificial state with only 200 years of history. Everything is a continuous new building. Rare surviving houses and buildings of the late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries. And, as for a city dweller, for me the USA is a “village”. Many live on the outskirts of cities in one-story houses or two-three-story buildings and rent apartments.

A typical city in the USA is a downtown with office skyscrapers, and around tens of miles there are low-rise apartments and one-two-story houses, mostly made of plywood, sticks and drywall, and of plastic. And even in Beverly Hills, where houses and land can cost tens of millions, buildings are also made from these simple materials. Very unusual. The only exceptions are New York and Chicago, I guess. And we have many cities with a history of hundreds of years, or even more than a thousand, and you just feel the special spirit of the city. In Europe, cities are even more ancient and simply breathe history; it is pleasant to walk around many cities on foot.

3. Apart from New York, life in any other place in the United States is simply unthinkable without a car. Public transport in most other cities is poorly developed or even absent. Without a car, you cannot get to work, shop at the store, etc. If you are moving to the United States or want to move, then you will have to learn how to drive a car.

4.A related point is that often, where you live, there may not be shops within walking distance. For some small things, you may have to drive to the store tens of miles by car. And a chain grocery store without a car, you also cannot visit and buy groceries. Americans are used to this, but in the first years after the move, you will experience inconvenience.

5. Since the main transport for US residents is personal cars, urban transport is poorly developed, with rare exceptions. Both buses and metro do not always follow the established timetables. The same goes for buses and intercity passenger trains. No matter how much I traveled, the delays were very large for both buses and trains. And this is often not tens of minutes, but hours. But air communication within the country is very developed. The number of airlines and local domestic flights is impressive.

6. There is really a lot of crime in the USA. I very actively moved around cities by all means of transport and walked. Every day I saw this or that crime. Everyday! The next day upon arrival, my roommate and I went around the city to find a fast food restaurant. But they did not get there, as they ran into the police cordon of the quarter: two Latin Americans did not share something with each other and one another filled up the other from the trunk. I saw a lot of arrests, they tried to rob me on the Avenue of Stars. Twice they stole a hotel card from the pocket, thinking it was a credit card. They did it very skillfully. In San Francisco at night I ran into a young flock, from which, luckily, I left, etc. And twice I witnessed how people are trying to commit suicide. In general, somehow I was very “lucky” for the criminal impressions. I met a lot of wandering madmen and people under the influence of substances on the streets. Therefore, I began to understand why an American, even if his store is located several houses away, will not go there on foot, but will go by car. Personally, at night in Los Angeles, I heard single machine gun fire in the direction of the Latin quarters. There are many gangs in the cities.

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7. The streets of most US cities are deserted, no one walks on them. If Los Angeles is a tourist city and in some places you can see people walking there, then in the capital of California (Sacramento) I was in shock. It turned out to be like in the post-apocalypse. There are modern buildings and trees. There are some homeless people in the parks. Few cars drive during the day. But in general there are no people on the streets, that is, absolutely. After our and European cities, this is shocking. Unusual and very uncomfortable.

8. American society is presented to us as very tolerant. It consists of numerous ethnic groups, peoples and cultures. But the melting pot of nations did not work out in the United States. Lots of hidden conflicts. I myself have felt the reverse racism twice. Twice when I bought something from dark-skinned people, I just felt hatred and precisely because I am a person with white skin. It cannot be hidden. Although there are many normal people of all races. But once in the evening in the "Black Quarter", you will surely get there in full. Latinos and African Americans generally dislike each other strongly. In Sacramento, I saw that in fast food restaurants, African Americans are not allowed to work in shifts with Hispanics, although blacks work fine with whites. Strong cultural differences and mentality lead to clashes. Therefore, they themselves try not to specifically intersect. Yes, after moving to the USA you will have to forget the word "n ** r". This is a gross insult. There can be serious consequences.

9. The United States is a labor concentration camp, but with increased nutrition. You will definitely not die of hunger there. But you have to work hard, and even more than one job. The standard of living is high, but impressive incomes are combined with remarkable expenses. And the majority of the population, even with good incomes, in an emergency may not find quickly and 400 bucks for urgent needs, if anything. And in the USA everyone lives on credit. Personal credit rating and good credit history are just gods of the new era. Living in the United States is very, very difficult without them. For example, if these indicators are bad, then it becomes problematic to rent a house, and if you rent it, then on not very favorable terms and with a large deposit. Americans do not have compulsory paid leave. If there is one from the company, then it is very short - from a week to two, depending on the company and the period of work in it. For this reason, many do not take leave at all and their emotional burnout increases.

10. A very serious disadvantage of the United States is medicine. A whole medical mafia. Medicine is very expensive. It is imperative to be insured. But even with good, expensive insurance, you pay some sums if you need doctors. Medicines are very expensive, so I was surprised when I saw a small tube of Zovirax at a cost of 100 bucks (here it costs about 200 rubles - 2,5 dollars). Many medicines can only be purchased with a doctor's prescription. And every appointment with a doctor is money, and without medical insurance it is a lot of money. If you have chronic diseases and you are not a dollar multimillionaire, then the USA is not the country for you.

11. The USA has one of the worst maternity protection policies. Working women have the right to only 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a baby, I emphasize - unpaid leave. Babysitters and kindergartens are insanely expensive. And kindergartens with ours are no match for any comparison. The parents bring the child and pass the food with him, and if the child has not eaten it for a short time, the educators throw the food away. A kindergarten can be in the form of one room or plus a playground the size of a room of 20 sq. m. In San Francisco, I saw such.

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12. School education is of a very low level in comparison even with our present. Higher education is insanely expensive. Universities of the top twenty are actually quoted.

13. There are a lot of homeless people on the city streets. There are many alcoholics and drug addicts among them. Where there are many of them, even the police try not to enter unnecessarily. Los Angeles has streets with hundreds of tents and thousands of people. In the eyes of their despair. This is shocking. There are many mentally ill people among the homeless. During the Reagan era, state mental hospitals were closed.

13. Very serious disadvantages are communication and the Internet. Firstly, they are expensive, and secondly, of poor quality. In San Francisco, at the Google office, I could not get the mobile Internet to call an Uber taxi using the application. At home, in houses, even in the provinces, optical fiber is installed and everything is distributed to apartments via twisted pair. Americans don't bother, they save. And in the private sector, the Internet often enters homes through coaxial cable. The speed is low, the coax is often moving away. There are also very few credit and debit cards with a chip, and I have not seen contact cards at all. This is due to the fact that they save money and do not introduce new terminals. Therefore, in the old fashioned way, they are basically "rolled" with a magnetic stripe, rarely inserted with a chip.

14. USA - a state with a high level of violence. The police are essentially licensed to kill. They can be killed or disabled, and mostly get away with it. The policeman is almost always right. Very long prison sentences. You can sit down for complete nonsense. There is the death penalty. The United States ranks first in terms of the number of prisoners. Former prisoners are essentially repressed. It is very difficult for them to find a job, they are constantly under the police cap. No matter what they say, the judicial system there also suffers from corruption. There are many unscrupulous lawyers.

15. Service is often "C grade". For example, American McDonald's restaurants lag far behind in many respects in comparison with the same restaurants in Russia. Including cleanliness and staff. There are a lot of things there, just three points. An exception is the service in those places where the level of 5 stars, that is, for the elite.

In general, the United States is far from being a paradise that was built in the minds of our people by the first waves of sausage immigration at the end of the hungry 1980s and 1990s. Tough country.

Original column published on the blog. "Doodles in the margins" on "Yandex.Zen"

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