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renuyadav     09/10/2016 04:45 AM

6 Welcome Tips for Indians in US
It was my first month in US, and I had already lost my precious pressure cooker to the dishwasher. It used to be shining black, and now it is so dull that even a scrap dealer would frown. Every time, I used to visit the grocery stores, getting puzzled by zillions of options became a routine. Trudging my way through the countless isles, and swarming my cart with awesome products gave me a sense of accomplishment. But soon I realized it was an illusion as most of the items either hijacked my precious closet space or ended up in trash can (It’s called a trash can here, not a dustbin).

Do you want this to be your story too? I’m guessing the answer is No. From cooking to cleaning, it’s a mind boggling job for the first-time Indians in the US.

Following our ambitions, we sail to the land of opportunities leaving behind the luxuries of maids, drivers and mouthwatering Indian cuisines. Fitting in the ‘do it yourself’ culture of US is an intricate job one has to master. Below I’m sharing my hard learned experiences with the intentions of saving you the hard part. I wish I had known them four years back, when I first arrived here.

1. Dishwasher – Usually a life savior, but a death penalty to Indian, hard anodized, pressure cookers
Pressure cooker is one of the most precious cooking tools for us, and most of us carry at least one. Since having a maid is a forgotten dream in US, we see a dishwasher as a life savior and in desperation we try to load it with everything that can fit in, including our cooker. Soon the cooker starts losing its sheen and with repeated washes it transforms into an eyesore. In no time our beloved item becomes our embarrassment. The only plausible approach to escape this dreadful fate is manual cleaning. It seems daunting at first, but the rewards are worth it.

2. Grocery Shopping
The meticulous arrangement of departmental stores makes purchasing look like a child’s play. But in practice the availability of an array of options for every single item soon becomes a nuisance, and leaves us stunned and gasping for help. Also, due to our limited knowledge on US lifestyles we often feel embarrassed to seek assistance, which leads either to a wrong purchase or no purchase at all.

To save the trouble, a little homework goes a long way. Making a detailed purchase list, reading about available options and other customer reviews equips you with the information that would never go waste. Initially the process might be time consuming, but soon you would turn pro. This extra work would make you choose the items which are ‘RIGHT FOR YOU’, save your time and aid you with the right questions to ask for help. With this practice of exploring the unknown options, who knows you might find something extraordinary your acquaintances are still unaware of.

3. Bathroom cleaning
Sparkling white bathroom is something everyone desires. But cleaning a bathroom is both an arduous and a humdrum job. Hence, the task tops in our procrastination list. Fortunately, to make the job a little easier there are highly powerful cleaning products available in the market. Options like Windex, Kaboom, Lysol do wonders, but they need to be used with extra caution as they might be too harsh on eyes and minor spills (especially Kaboom and Lysol) would bleach clothes or rugs in no time. For toilet basin, the bleach tablets from Clorex are not be missed.

For extra vigilant, environment-friendly, and especially for families with kids, products with natural ingredients are true blessings. These products are rationally strong on stains, but easy on senses. Expenditure on these products is something you would never regret.

4. Bathtub cleaning
Mere thinking about a warm cozy bubble bath enlightens our senses. At the same time the idea of cleaning the bathtub gives us goosebumps. To tackle this white elephant, recently certain shower cleaners have entered the market. If they are sprayed daily they significantly delay the need of scrubbing.

5. Sales are for real
Unlike the tricked sales in our country, which are merely a mockery - soar the original prices, advertise fake sales and finally sell the items at original prices; the sales here are a big money saver. Different stores host major sale events during different times of the year, especially on holidays and special occasions. So keep your eyes open and hold on to your temptations till the next sale hits the stores.

Thanksgiving sales are not to be missed.

6. Save your purchase receipts
Bewildered, stunned and tired of reading labels and rummaging through indefinite aisles, we finally make our selections. But probability of making a wrong choice is still not low. Worry Not! the easy return policy aids us with a safety net against our incorrect moves.
There are highly customer friendly stores too which don’t even bother for the receipts, but there are some, especially the Indian stores, which are too strict about them. Hence, develop a habit of saving the receipts, especially for the uncertain purchases and shop tension free.

Hope it will make your transition phase quick and pleasant.

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