Friday Fun: The 5 times I had to adjust to working in the US

On Fridays we like to take things a little easier in the office. The end of the week is a great time to share posts about the people of Provost; the faces that make up the team.

Our first Friday post comes from junior designer Nic McRoberts, a recent transplant all the way from Australia. Today he marks off six months exactly since moving to America, sharing a few contrasts between life here and 'down under.

1. The Imperial system...

Lets start with the big one: the imperial system. What is its deal? The United States is one of only three countries in the world that still uses the imperial system along with Liberia and Myanmar.

How Does it work?

No one seems to really know. Thankfully there's this super easy to follow, not at all confusing flow chart.

So now you know that there are six sticks to a foot, and eight fingers to a yard.

See what I mean? As a designer this has without a doubt been the hardest thing to adjust to.


2. Understanding the Currency

Paper money! the number of times I've washed a pair pants and lost some loose cash to a watery, soapy grave. Australia was the first country in the world to have plastic polymer currency, so all our bills last for years, are super hard to counterfeit, and easily survive a spin in the washing machine.

On top of this pennies are crazy to wrap my head around. For reasons best explained here, they don't make a whole lot of cents.... (see what I did there). Yet there are over 4 billion pennies minted fresh every year.


3. Everything is so Cheap!

Exchange rates and wage differences aside; the dollar price of everyday goods and services is SO CHEAP compared to back home in Australia. This makes it hard not to go on an all out spending spree every time I visit a grocery store or go out for lunch. In fact the only three things more expensive here are (in order) healthcare, education, and sushi.

4. Working out Greetings

No matter the relationship back home we 'down under will typically opt to shake hands when we greet a friend, a workmate, a boss, anyone really! Trying to work out the menagerie of different shakes, bumps, high and low fives that get thrown into a greeting here has often left me baffled.

5. The Magic that is Country Music

From the outside looking in it can be pretty hard to wrap your head around the American passion for country music. The funny lyrics, the massive amounts of patriotism, the banjos! (oh the banjos). But the more and more you listen to it the more it sinks in, making its way into your head, and before long I found myself absentmindedly humming along to Scotty McCreery in line for a Starbucks... That's it: my Americanization is complete!