Adjusting to a new culture can be difficult and sometimes near impossible. Everyone has certain ways that they act without even noticing so it can be hard to change those habits. Since being in Lithuania, I have noticed some key ways in which Americans act completely different than Lithuanians when they are out and about in town.
1) Talking More
Americans seem to have much more to say than Lithuanians when they are running errands or going out with friends. And even if they don’t have more to say, they are still talking way more than any Lithuanians they are near!
2) Personal Space
This is something that I noticed almost immediately. When I am standing in a line or am on the bus, there is always someone directly behind me or next to me. And even when there is no room next to me on say the bus, the Lithuanians will MAKE room!
3) Phone Calls
This one kind of follows up with talking more, I rarely see Lithuanians on their phones when they are at the mall or walking on the path or anywhere in general. And if they do receive a call, they will talk for as short as possible.
Definitely the biggest culture shock. I LOVE smiling! It seems most Americans do but it is a big no-no here in Lithuania. If you smile at someone, they stare back at you as if you are crazy.
5) Group Outings
It’s common to want to get together a group of friends whenever you go somewhere, but here in Lithuania it seems that everyone goes alone or in groups of no more than 3 people.
Thinking about wearing yoga pants or sweats to class or the grocery store? Think again. Lithuanians and all Europeans are very well dressed, all the time!
7) Carrying Backpacks
It is very easy to pick out who is an American when walking to class, they will be the ones carrying a backpack. Lithuanians are very simplistic and do not like to bring much to class unlike Americans who bring everything and anything!
8) Water Bottles
It is easiest to buy plastic water bottles but Lithuanians like to carry reusable ones and you will almost never see them with a plastic water bottle. And if they do have a plastic water bottle, it is most likely reused multiple times!
9) Volume Control
I mentioned earlier that Americans seem to have lots to say whenever they are out, well they also like to say what they have to the LOUDEST! Lithuania is a quiet country in general so you can really hear an American coming from a mile away!
Lastly, I have really noticed how Americans have little patience. We want the bus to come now, we want our food right away and we don’t really stop to smell the roses that much. Lithuanians have a much more patience demeanor about them when they are out in public.