Before Travel to US

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  • US Currency These are common names denomination for US currency:Dollar   100 centsQuarter   25 centsDime       10 centsNickel    5 centsPenny    1 centInitially there is some confusion since the ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2012, 9:13 AM by Jalandhari Kom
  • What to Pack in your luggage The carry baggage is the biggest problem while coming to U.S. What to carry? How much to carry? Do I carry more woolen clothes 'cause its cold out there ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2012, 9:01 AM by Jalandhari Kom
  • Getting oriented with US Airport procedures The ArrivalEnjoy your flight. Try to learn more about other nations from the co-passengers. There can be international stops on your way to the U.S.International Stops ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:55 AM by Jalandhari Kom
  • Using telephone in USA The first thing you might do when you come to U.S.A. is calling someone. So this is a good time to tell you about telephone usage.Telephone calls ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:53 AM by Jalandhari Kom
  • What time is it in US ? There is no one time in US. It depends on where you are in US and also the clocks are advanced in summer by an hour. There are four time ...
    Posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:51 AM by Jalandhari Kom
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 24. View more »

US Currency

posted Aug 16, 2012, 9:13 AM by Jalandhari Kom


These are common names denomination for US currency:

Dollar   100 cents
Quarter   25 cents
Dime       10 cents
Nickel    5 cents
Penny    1 cent

Initially there is some confusion since the quarter is exactly of the same size and shape as the Indian 50 paise coin.

In addition less common terms are:
The $5 bill has been referred to as a "fin" or a "fiver" or a "five-spot;" 
 $10 bill as a "sawbuck," a "ten-spot," or a "Hamilton"; 
 $20 bill as a "Jackson", also a "dub"; 
 $100 bill is sometimes called a "single," or a "buck," ,"Benjamin," 
 The dollar has also been referred to as a "bone" or "bones" (i.e. twenty bones is equal to $20) or a "bean". 
$1000 notes are occasionally referred to as "large" in banking. "twenty large" being $20,000, etc.
G" or "grand" refers to $1,000
Dollar is also referred to as greenback.

What to Pack in your luggage

posted Aug 16, 2012, 9:01 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 9:01 AM ]


The carry baggage is the biggest problem while coming to U.S. What to carry? How much to carry? Do I carry more woolen clothes 'cause its cold out there?

Well, we all think, it depends!
Don't carry too many heavy utensils, cooker etc. You can buy most of the utensils there. They are not costly and you don't have to carry much.

You can carry some spices with you if you want to, 'cause after going there you may start missing the Indian food taste. But now in pretty much every US city there are a number of international and Indian stores where you can buy pretty much all the spices and other Indian groceries. Remember don't carry any fruits or vegetables, you might be fined by the US customs and/or you will be asked to throw them right at the airport or in some  cases you might endup paying heavy fines.

Don't carry too many warm clothes (unless you are going there in winter), or sports shoes etc. It would be better if you buy them after going there. That way you can buy the latest style. But you should carry leather shoes from India, since leather items are costly in the U.S. But most people find it is cheaper to buy pretty much anything in US once you know where to buy and how to find sales and coupons. 

Other than that you may want to pack your memorabilia or important documents like education credentials if you think you might need them.

Rest it all depends on you and your needs!

Getting oriented with US Airport procedures

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:55 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:55 AM ]


The Arrival
Enjoy your flight. Try to learn more about other nations from the co-passengers. There can be international stops on your way to the U.S.
International Stops
Generally passengers are required to get down at an International stop, which might be for Security checkup or cleaning of the airplane. You will be given a 'transit card` or say 'transit visa`. Normally the halt is for a couple of hours. Listen to the announcement, which is always made before the international halt. You will hear information about departure time, gate number etc. After getting down at an International Airport, you can move around in the airport. But be at the gate within 45 minutes of your flight's departure for the onward journey, 'cause they may require checking of your tickets etc. Once you get in, you are all set to take off for the final destination unless you have another international stop.
Immigration
The first thing you need to go through at the port-of-entry U.S. airport (international airport where you first land in the U.S.), after landing is the immigration and customs clearance. After which you may board a domestic flight to reach your final destination. Before getting down at your port-of-entry final international halt, inside the plane, you will be given a form to fill up called I-94. Specify your employer's contact number, address and other official information as your contact number, address where you will stay, etc.

On alighting from the plane you may ask people or signs will guide you to the immigration. Keep your passport, H1-paper (Blue form) and the form you filled inside the plane, handy. At the counter you might be asked some questions. Talk absolutely to the point. Don't try to lie. Make sure that whatever you say is written on the paper. You will be given the counter foil of I-94 form. Keep that very carefully. And say to yourself "WELCOME TO USA".

Baggage Claim
Try to acquire some 25 cent coins (called "quarters"), which you may need for getting a trolley cart for your baggage and also for making telephone calls etc. Thereafter move towards the baggage claim carousel assigned to your flight, simply follow the signs directing you to the place. Collect your luggage and look for signs directing you to customs clearance. At the customs clearance they may ask you to open your bags for a security check/verification.

Domestic Flight
Since the Port-of-entry may not be your final destination in the U.S. and you have to proceed onwards, locate the counter for the domestic airline you will be taking to your final destination. Above all don't hesitate or feel shy to ask for help from airport support staff (at information desks) or police officers, if you need anything.
Follow signs directing you to your domestic flight because you will need a boarding pass. If it is far away, take the Airport shuttle (bus) service, which is free. If you don't know where to get down, tell the driver in advance and he will drop you off at the proper place. At the counter (podium) check-in your baggage and get your boarding pass issued and ready.

On arrival at the final destination, collect your baggage once again and look around for that someone who may be there to receive you. If you don't find anyone or you already have specific instructions, follow those, otherwise call up (telephone) your employer's area coordinator whose tel. number you should be carrying. Therefore remember to keep phone numbers handy. Get information from the area-coordinator on the stay arrangements made for you. Finally, if no one comes to pick you up, try to locate the information counter from where you will get all the information regarding how to call for taxi and so on. Also the Public Transport section of this guide will help you in understanding the travel facilities available in the U.S.

Using telephone in USA

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:53 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:53 AM ]

The first thing you might do when you come to U.S.A. is calling someone. So this is a good time to tell you about telephone usage.
Telephone calls within U.S. are considered "local" (within the area of the caller) or "long distance" (outside the area of the caller). Local calls within a short region are free unless made from a public pay phone, which is a coin operated machine. Long distance calls are charged at varying rates, depending on how you make the call (which long distance carrier/company you use), for how long you speak and the time of the day. Note that the telephone companies in the U.S. are private.
Each local region is assigned an "area code". So the phone numbers are denoted as (area code)-123-4567, where 123-4567 is your actual phone number. If you are calling a number within your "area" then you should dial only the phone number. If the call is outside your area, you need to dial 1-(area code)-123-4567, which is a long distance call. Again, sometimes when the area code is the same as yours, you may still have to dial a "1" before the number without the area-code e.g. 1-<7-digit phone number>
To make an international call i.e. to India you need to dial 011-91-- e.g. 011-91-22-1234567. Here 011, indicates an international call. 91 is the country code for India. 22 is the "area code" for Bombay and 1234567 may be the actual phone number you want to dial.
Other important facilities provided are 
1. Yellow pages (Tel. directory) advertisements and telephone numbers of businesses. 
2. Emergency Telephone Number: There is one emergency number, which you can dial for any type of emergency, which is 911 (Fire / Ambulance / Police).
3. Directory assistance
Local telephone numbers - 411
Long distance - 1-(Area Code)-555-1212
Toll Free number enquiry - 1-800-555-1212
4. Toll free: Most of the 1-800 numbers are toll free. You will not be charged for the calls you make to such numbers.
Some telephone numbers have alphabets in them such as 1-800-COLLECT. To dial this number, just press the digit on the telephone pad, which has the corresponding alphabet you want to dial on it, simple!
Most people use answering machines, which are connected to their telephones or some kind of voice mail system. It has a standard pre-recorded greeting, which is played when you call up and then after some beeps, it records your message. Initially you will feel like you were talking to a dead person, but soon you realize the importance of owning an answering machine. We bet you'll buy one too!
Using the PUBLIC "pay" phones:
The important difference is, you need to insert the money first then dial the number. To operate a pay phone you need 25 cents. This pays for one local call. If your call is not connected your money is returned in the "coin return" slot.
Collect call
If you want the called party (person whom you are calling) to pay for the call then you make a collect call. To make a collect call, pick up the receiver and press 0. Let the operator know that you want to make a COLLECT call, the operator will connect you to the phone number you need. But before that the operator will check with the other party, if they want to collect (pay for) the call. An easier way is to dial 1-800-COLLECT from any phone and just follow the recorded instructions.

What time is it in US ?

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:51 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:51 AM ]

There is no one time in US. It depends on where you are in US and also the clocks are advanced in summer by an hour. 

There are four time zones in the U.S.
1) Eastern TZ
Example: Massachusetts, New York, Florida etc.
2) Central TZ (lags Eastern TZ by one hour)
Example: Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana etc.
3) Mountain TZ (lags Eastern TZ by two hours)
Example: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming etc.
4) Pacific TZ (lags Eastern TZ by three hours)
Example: California, Oregon, Washington etc.

Day light saving:
As the name suggests, the time is set in such a way that maximum daylight could be used. For example, during summer, the sun rises at around 4-5 o'clock. So the clock is set forward by one hour. This forces all activities to start one hour earlier so that maximum daylight is used till late in the evening.
Therefore:
The Clock is set back by one hour on the first Sunday of November 1 (Fall Season) at 2:00 am. Clock is once again set forward by one hour on the first Sunday of April at 2:00 am (Spring Season). The easiest way to remember this is FALL BACK, SPRING AHEAD.

By the way, Arizona is the only state, which is not affected by day-light-saving. People there do not ever change the time in their clocks

Basics of US Transportation

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:17 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:17 AM ]

Public Transport
All major cities have some sort of public transportation not necessarily very good or frequent or well connected. Therefore most people prefer to travel by their own cars. It is better that you own a car in the U.S. so that you are independent. But till you get to buy a car you can use the public transportation system or depend on your friends/colleagues for a ride.
Trains and Buses
In most cities, you may purchase Daily Tickets from the conductor or the driver on the train and buses each day. For more information on routes, schedules and fares, see the publications and maps published by the city's local authority. You can locate them in your telephone book.
Taxi Companies
In some areas you must telephone for a taxi and make an appointment. You will not find them waiting in the street corners but you do find them waiting in a queue at the airport. Taxis are listed in the yellow pages under the name "Taxi" or "Taxicabs".
When you call, tell the "dispatch" operator where you are and where you want to go. The dispatch operator will tell you how long it will take for the taxi to arrive at your starting point. He or she will ask for the telephone number, so they can call you if the taxi driver cannot locate you. You should ask for the estimated cost of the ride.
When you enter the taxi, the meter will read flat rate. This is the minimum charge. You will be charged the flat rate for each mile you travel.

Getting US Lingo right

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:12 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:12 AM ]

For successful conversation, in the US, it is advisable that you speak slowly and pronounce properly. Well, the first part you really need to practice otherwise what you will hear from the person opposite is "pardon me", "come again", "I am sorry", "I didn't get you". e.g. The changes in pronunciation are like 'schedule' pronounced as 'skedule', 'route' pronounced 'raut' etc.
Also some words are totally substituted like 'petrol' by 'gas'. Here is a table from Gary Nobel of HP San Diego, which he created when he traveled in India. Thanks to him. The dictionary is very remarkable.
The following is a simple dictionary for translating between American English and Indian English. This dictionary should be useful for the new comer to either the U.S. or India. The words are in no particular order.

Food related

Indian English

American English

Coriander

Cilantro

Cold drink

Soda pop

Curd

Yogurt

Cafe ("Kayf")

Cafe ("kaf-ay")

Nes-coffee

Instant coffee

Filter coffee

Brewed coffee

Milk powder

Cream

French Beans

Snow Peas

Hotel

Restaurant

Jelly

Gelatin

Garam Masalla

Curry Powder

Lady fingers

Okra

Toffee

Hard Candy

Brinjal

Eggplant

Biscuit

Cookies/Wafers

(Potato) wafers

(Potato) chips

Finger Chips

French Fries

Groundnuts

Peanuts









 

 

 







Clothes

Indian English

American English

Windcheater

Windbreaker

Vest

Undershirt

Half-pant

Shorts

Purse

Wallet



 

 


Transportation Related:

Indian English

American English

Traffic signal

Traffic light

Boot, Dikky

Trunk of a car

Bonnet

Hood of a car

Petrol pump

Gas Station

Petrol

Gas

Pavement/Footpath

Sidewalk

Zebra Crossing

Crosswalk

Take a lift

Get a ride

Motorcycle

Motorbike

Cycle

Bike











Other:

Indian English

American English

Football

Soccer

American (rugby)

Football

Solid

Substantial

Ltd.

Inc.

Transistor

Radio

Two-in-one

Boom box

Goggles

Sunglasses

Toilet

Restroom

Guest house

Motel

Current

Electricity

$20 Note

$20 Bill

Cell

Battery

Torch

Flashlight

Rubber

Eraser

Snap / Photograph

Picture

Dustbin

Trash Can

Mess

Dorm cafeteria

Picture

Movie

Restaurant Bill

Restaurant Check

Talkies

Movie Theater

Lift

Elevator

To fix

To install

To repair

To fix

College/University

School

School

High School

High Marks

Good Grades


























Idioms

Indian English

American English

To post (a letter)

To mail (a letter)

To submit

To turn in

To be out of station

To be out of town

A place to park

Driveway

A place to drive

Parkway

Anti clock wise

Counter clock wise

Bunk school

Skip class

Passed out

Graduated

Fainted

Passed out

Ring up (someone)

Call up (someone)

The line is engaged

It's busy / I got a busy tone

Push the accelerator

Step on the gas

Give the car some race

Speed up the car

Get down (from a bus)

Get off (of a bus)

Let's push off

Let's go

Let's make a move

Let's go

Convince someone

Talk someone into

Standing from a constitutency

Running for an election

Issue a book (from the library)

Checkout a book (from the library)

How are you?

How are you doing?

How is everything?

How is it going?

Intimate

Inform

Very Close Relations

Intimate Relations

Too good

Cool

























All imitating the American way of life are called ABCD's
Towards a more American Conversation
U don't open conversation (on telephone) with a "Hello" but with a "Hi"
The telephone is never "engaged", it's always "busy".
U don't "disconnect" a phone, U simply "hang-up".
U never "mess-up" things, U only "screw them up".
U never have a "residence" tel. no., U have a "home" no.
U don't stop at the "signals", but halt at the "lights".
U don't "accelerate", U "step on the gas".
Your tire never "punctures", U may have a "flat".
The trains have "coaches" or "bogie's" no more but "carriages" or "boxes".
There R no "petrol pumps", but "gas stations".
"I don't know nothing", 2 negatives don't make a positive here.
U no longer meet a "wonderful" person, U meet a "cool" guy
U don't pull the switch down to light a bulb, rather flick it up.
U don't "turn on the heat", U "turn on the juice".
There's no "Business Area" only "business districts", and no "districts" but "counties".
No one stays "a stone's throw away", might "a few blocks away".
There's no "Town Side", it's "Down Town".
In hotel U no longer ask for "bill" and pay by "cheque", rather ask for "check" and pay with (Dollar) "bill's".
There R no "soft drinks", only "sodas".
Life's no longer "miserable" it "stinks".
U don't have a "great" time, U have a "ball".
U don't "sweat it out", U "work U'r butt off".
Never "post" a letter, always "mail" it and "glue" the stamps, don't "stick" them.
U no longer live in "flats" or "blocks", find an "apartment".
U no longer "like" something, U "appreciate" it.
"#" is not "hash", it's "pound".
U R not "deaf", U have "impaired hearing".
U R not "lunatic", U are just "mentally challenged".
U R not "disgusting" U R "sick".
U can't get "surprised" U get "zapped".
U don't "schedule" a meeting, U "skedule" it.
U never "joke", U just "kid".
U never "increase" the pressure, U always "crank" it up.
There are no "zero" but "o", no "Z" but "zee".
If U see "World" champions (or Series), read "USA" champions (or Series).
In short U don't speak English, U speak American.

Driving you crazy : Why is everything reverse than in India

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:09 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:09 AM ]

When you come to the U.S. you will notice the opposite everywhere. You will get the feeling "These guys are crazy" .....almost everything you try to do will fail even if it is a small thing like switching ON the lamp !!!!"
This is just to make you get a hang of it. The cars are driven on the right hand side instead of left-hand side of the road. So you should look left first while crossing roads :-).
You may have to insert the key upside down and rotate it in the opposite direction to unlock. You will also notice that switches work in opposite direction i.e. UP is ON and DOWN is OFF :-).
The date is written with the month first, then day followed by the year.
As one of our American colleague pointed out jokingly, "its logical, if you see that India is exactly opposite in location on the globe, to U.S.!!!"

Time for Pet-Pooja .

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:06 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:06 AM ]

Of course you must be hungry, when you arrive. God knows what you ate on the plane. You don't remember the item's neither name nor its contents. It may be one of the weirdest things you ever had for dinner or lunch. So you must be apprehensive about what you will get for lunch or dinner. The best thing you can try is PIZZA, which is pronounced as "PiTza".
You get both Veg. and NonVeg Pizzas. But to be on the safer side order a Veg. Pizza that way you won't be left hungry at least. Order a small pizza if you are alone or a medium size is enough for two or three (well it depends on your appetite actually). You can order pizza by phone and it will be delivered at your doorstep in a few minutes. Refer to the yellow pages or consult the motel receptionist you are staying in, for information.
For breakfast, have 'Continental breakfast' which is cheap and the best. To be sure about Veg. items, always ask for items with "NO MEAT" rather than "WITHOUT MEAT". Be sure to say "NO ICE" if you prefer to have your drink without ice. And remember that a CHEESEBURGER is a misnomer. It contains meat besides cheese, so be careful!
Here is a guide for Vegetarian Dishes:
Mexican
Bean Buritto, Enchiladas, Bean Taco, Cheese Taco, Bean Tostadas, Mexican Pizza
Italian or Greek
Eggplant (brinjal) sandwich, Sphagetti with tomato sauce, Lasagna (pronounced Laza-nya), Italian Pitza, Italian Pasta with tomato sauce, Falafal, Veg. Gyro (pronounced Yero).
Denny's
Vegetable omlete (with eggs), Vegetable lunch/dinner (salad, potato smash, garlic sauce), Broccoli soup
American Restaurants (Sizzler, Olive Garden)
Best bet is salad bar & French fries
McDonald's
Mac cheese sandwich, Milk shakes, ice-cream sundaes
Pizza Hut
Veggie Lover's delight, Veggie pizza with a choice of toppings such as Jalapenos (pronounced Hala-pin-yose and are green chilies), pineapple, tomato, onions etc.
Burger King
Veggie cheese whopper, Garden burger

Understanding US Office work culture

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:05 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:05 AM ]

Before you start your first day, get a hang of how the work environment is at the client's place from your employer or contact person there or read on for some typical environments you may find.
Project Leaders are very understanding and friendly. And do not unduly pressurize you to perform. They will definitely give you some time to come up to speed on their work environment.
There is a lot of individualistic approach. Every person's inputs are given a lot of importance. Independent views are respected. Before discarding any of your ideas, they will give you a good enough reason for doing so.
For the smallest of decisions they will sometimes hold a meeting and get the entire team's inputs/comments/suggestions before proceeding. One feels important when this is done. But sometimes it can get boring.
Nobody double-checks what you are saying, they take you for your word. There are no suspicious feelings and managers don't fear subordinates.
Managers will openly discuss about their meetings with "their" bosses, with the team. There is no hide and seek as far as information/feedback is concerned.
People admit if they don't know or, have information about certain things. They don't pretend to be all knowing.
People are dedicated to their area of work and develop expertise in it. But they do not talk 
about work related topics, which are not in their area of expertise, they immediately refer you to the right person.
People enjoy their work and leisure. They plan their weekends well in advance. Very few people stay back late in the office or come and work during weekends. Such things are not related to performance. As long as you do your work well, and within time, nobody cares what else you do and when.
Most companies allow you to compensate by working during the weekend if you take an 'off' from work on a regular weekday.
The work hours in most companies are flexible. Come anytime and go anytime but you do need to put in a minimum of 8 hrs/day or 40 hrs/week as contractors.
Regular time sheets "may" have to be filled, in some companies.

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