7 Cultural Differences That Never Crossed My Mind
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7 Cultural Differences That Never Crossed My Mind

I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was for this adventure.

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7 Cultural Differences That Never Crossed My Mind
Mauricio Artieda

I recently returned from a two week trip to Jordan and Israel- and yes it was completely amazing- but there were several things that the friends in my group and I had noticed were quite different in America. Things that we thought would always be available weren't, cultural differences changed the schedule of some of our days, and there were some things available readily at home that were expensive or difficult to find there.

1. Water

Both countries are in a time that is considered to be a drought and have been for a while. That being said, there were times where the tour guides advised us to not drink the tap water, to always have the bottled water, even if it meant buying it from the bus driver.

2. Hotels

While there, we spent the night in several hotels, which were obviously on the expensive side, but some did not even have enough outlets to charge more than one phone overnight or enough room for two people to sleep in beds that weren't touching.

3. Wi-fi

Not so much as a complaint as a lack of understanding. The purpose of a password for wi-fi is to make sure that no one can get on it right? While there were some free networks, and the bus had internet access for the group riding it, hotels had not only confusing but also extremely (read unsafely) simple passwords- such as a string of numbers in order.

4. Bathrooms

I don't think I'll ever complain again about the quality of the toilet paper in a public restroom. After we went to several bathrooms that didn't have a roll of paper in sight, there were several people who took to the habit of taking rolls from the hotel room in the morning and carrying them around.

5. Fast Food

It wasn't as fast as any of the group I was with expected it to be, and I felt kind of bad for the workers- since about ten of us stormed a store all at once. The amount of workers almost always seemed to be lower than I would have thought necessary, including one awesome lady helping about twelve of us in a Pizza Hut on her own for about 15 minutes.

6. Kosher Laws

It was definitely a bit of culture shock to realize that there were things that the group would not be able to do/get because of the Kosher laws that many stores and hotels followed. This affected everything from getting pepperoni pizza to being able to go straight to your floor in an elevator on the Sabbath. In some ways- driving on usually packed highways for instance- this was an awesome discovery, but in others, the early closing of shops and sites hindered souvenir buying and sightseeing.

7. Food Options

While the food at hotels was awesome (especially the desserts), there were some times where the food options were definitely limited. From not having any obviously gluten free options at several places to the high prices for smaller portions, the food outside of a hotel seemed exclusive. As someone with friends with food allergies and sensitivities to certain types of food/oil/grains, the trip would have been less enjoyable if you were not willing to try new things and had food allergies.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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