Friday evening is the best time of the week. By then, all the activities of the day are wrapped up and put away until the following Monday.
Saturday seems much less of a working day in the US than it does in India. I consider this to be a rather good thing, because it gives me a lot of free time to relax, and get ready for the next week. One day, in my opinion, is too little to recharge.
Also, two days in a row is often long enough to take a short trip somewhere, either as a holiday or a visit to a friend’s place. But you need a car for that.
Everyone in the US is expected to have a phone. If you sign up for a newsletter, they will ask you to give them a phone-number. When you tell them you don’t have one, they will be stunned, shocked and upset. They will look at you in utter disbelief, and wring their hands in despair, faced with the terrible act of leaving that field blank.
You feel guilty that you have been the cause of this awful situation. You try to calm them down. You stammer an excuse. You will be getting a phone in a day or so.
They heave a sigh of relief. Gradually, everything returns to normal; they ask you to update them with this information as soon as possible.
You are normal after all.
In India, traffic moves along the left lane, but in the US it is the other way around. For newcomers, this is a constant source of confusion, because they have a difficult time figuring out which way to look before crossing the street. Obviously the best way to deal with this problem is to err on the side of caution and look both ways.
Cars in the US are built differently. The gears are simplified — see automatic transmission — which means that there is no need to change gears as the car speeds up or slows down. This also affects the way people drive their cars. For instance, when a red light turns green, a car in India would start moving gradually, the gear would be changed and then the vehicle would speed up. In contrast, a person driving a car in the US would simply press down on the accelerator and it would be off as quickly as possible. It is as if there were a perfectly functioning system of speeding vehicles that the driver wanted to join in the smallest possible time so as to become a part of the mainstream.
One of the strange things for an Indian going to New York is the way vehicles stop and give way to pedestrians. Where there are zebra-crossings, cars slow down to let people pass. At the same time, it is almost assumed that pedestrians will not attempt to cross the street at any other place. I think this phenomenon is tied up to the technology involved — cars can afford to stop frequently because they speed up very easily afterward.