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Home>UPDATE: 5 weird things I found out about America in my first 24 hours

UPDATE: 5 weird things I found out about America in my first 24 hours

UPDATE: 5 weird things I found out about America in my first 24 hours


By Sushma U N, MarketWatch

'I landed wide-eyed in New York City and was immediately nickel-and-dimed.'

Having grown up watching the TV show "Friends" in India in my teens, and movies like "Kal Ho Naa Ho" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347304/), a very popular 2003 Bollywood movie set in New York, the city wasn't unknown entity to me. It was only after I got here that I realized that movies, TV and even friends and relatives living in the U.S. can't prepare you for the corporate culture shock. More than a year later, I still find myself going "Whaaat?!" at many things, but here are some of the most surprising things my wallet and I learned during my first 24 hours in the U.S.

My first purchase was renting an airport trolley

I left Chennai in south India with three huge suitcases, a small carry-on piece and a backpack. Despite several pieces of luggage, I could effortlessly deposit them at the check-in counter in India, thanks to the many trolleys (and helping hands) at my disposal all over the airport. I found upon landing at 10 a.m. at JFK that I had to pay $6 for a trolley. In India, you get to use as many trolleys as you wish for free.

And I wasn't the only one to find that odd. My former classmate at Columbia University, Aditi from New Delhi, was relieved to find that I was also shocked about having to pay for such things. "We're not misers," she said. "Trolleys are a customer's necessity just like seats in the boarding gate area or the bathrooms." It still bothers me that my first purchase in America was an airport trolley. I landed wide-eyed in New York and, before I even left the airport, I was immediately nickel-and-dimed.

Lesson No. 1: Nothing is for free except, perhaps, Wi-Fi in Starbucks.

The cost of staples varies dramatically depending on the store

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