Adjusting to a New Environment and Culture
It's been one and a half month since I arrived here in America. Five long years of processing my documents and it finally paid off, then what.
Now that I am here my first reaction was feelings of joy and success, this is another major change in my life. Being together with my husband in his domicile is the right thing to do particularly in our situation. For one he earns more in his present job than I did while I was still working in the Philippines and if he be the one to come to the Philippines to live with me he will have nothing to do and my income cannot support us both whereas in the reverse, it is just practical that I be the one to come over because he earns enough for both of us to live by even if I don't work.
America is such a beautiful place, the view, the houses, the spaciousness, the climate (was still summer in Indiana when I arrived), even in summer the coolness or (heat?) is soothing compared to the summer in the Philippines where one could develop prickly heat if you stay too long in a non-airconditioned house...even in summer here I was planting flowers in the front yard.
I am here basically just to be with my husband as married couple should be but then I developed the need to be a productive human being once again hence I had to do what is necessary to get to that state here in America.
The first definite change that I have to adjust is the food; whereas in the Philippines rice is the staple food and you can find it in all restaurants, here restaurants that serve rice is very rare. I bought rice and cook it at home but I cannot find those ingredients to cook meat and vegetables the way we did in the Philippines. The foods here are very rich but for most Filipinos they are just snacks like the hamburgers and potato chips...but eventually I found some solutions to these, I cook food for hubby so he can eat freshly cooked food when he gets home from work and he has learned to eat the food I cook for him.
Another change here is, whereas I was used to having a maid to do everything for me and in the house chores, here I have to do everything from cooking, laundry and vacuum cleaning even washing dishes and throwing the garbage...sounds funny but I do them all, I even do gardening, cutting shrubs and planting flowers.
Another more change is the transportation system. Whereas in the Philippines I can go anywhere anytime without the necessity of owning a car because we have passenger jeepneys, taxi cabs, tricyle and wheeler to drive us anywhere or if I have a car I don't need to drive it myself especially when I don't know how because getting a driver is cheap; here in the U.S. I am trapped in the house if hubby is at work, I cannot even go to the grocery to buy what I need when I cook unless I am willing to walk at least one mile to the grocery. There is no taxi here in Indiana, hubby said they have a bus but I had never seen one. We have an extra car, a van and hubby said it's just waiting for me to drive it; but first things first.
As a foreigner in the U.S. I am required to have proofs of being a legal immigrant, first I received my SSS number, then the green card and upcoming is the BMV ID which would allow me to learn driving and to open a bank account in Afena, a government union cooperative bank.
Whereas in the Philippines I have friends, family and a best friend to associate with, here I am completely dependent to my husband and his Mom who is not often here because she lives in another part of the city.
I want to get a job so that my stay here won't be wasted, here even the salary of a waitress is higher than the salary of a Professor in the Philippines but first things first, driving is basic because there is no way I can go to work without me driving my own car.
For now I have to adjust myself to the situation so that I will have to know what else to do to reach my goal; my goal to settle down in my new home, new environment, and new life as a whole, new culture.
In general I am happy to be here in this great country, I just have to be patient, to be open to learn and take one step at a time.