GUD BAY, AMERICA

How it was promised in the previous number, we shall tell about what Gulnara Karakulova has seen in America and what she was impressed. Firstly, she did not feel uncomfortable and in the contrast she felt herself as at home, it means that it was easy, free condition for her. She did not stand out from motley crowd in the street. She can be as American woman but she did not know the language. But it is possible to find the common language if you want to know the country and Americans sincerely.

IN AMERICA ASAT HOME

 

Gulnara tells:

- In October, 1999 I have got the invitation from Department of Education of the USA to participate in the presentation trip to the several cities in the USA on subject "Womens nongovernmental organizations and leadership".

Gaukhar Bogomolova, the assistant on culture of the Information service of the USA has made all documents for the trip. I have been invited to the meeting in USIS in Almaty, where there was Nensi Linn Korbett, the attaché on culture, Sandey A. Bridzhit, the representative of USAID, Terisa L. Kennedy, the representative of SIILI.

I was recommended to the USA by Terisa L. Kennedi, who arrived to Shymkent before it and we spoke about a possibility of the collaboration, since exactly co-operating, we can obtain positive changes, which will provide the realization of the rights of women completely.

I was impressed by many things in America. I will always remember my excursions to Capitol and Congress of the USA, meetings with Devidom Kemerrom, Enni Greys and Regina Romeytn, with families of the simple Americans. They have the same hospitality as Kazakhs. But they have more patriotism and pride for their country, its flag than we have. There are even lessons for schoolboys in Capitol. And this majestic building is known for them from their childhood as the most known symbol in the world of democratic management. And request to visitors To save the artistic treasures of Capitol for future generations. You may look at them and adore them, but, please, do not touch the pictures and sculptures by your hands". And these words are more effective than such our words as Do not touch by your hands! Not orders, but a request, we feel a valid attitude to personality of the person during the trips to states of Washington (the District of Columbia), Arizona (Tuson city), Seattle (Washington), Minnesota (Minneapolis city), New York.

It is written much about America. But Id like to say not about excursions and meetings but about everyday life sides of the trip. It is written little about them, but they characterize the life of Americans better.

Medical insurance

We were provided by insurance against diseases and accident during the participation in the given program. The State Department of the USA has given us insurance policy free. This policy covers about $50000 on medical expenses, connected with condition of health during the whole stay in the USA, but does not pertain to condition of health in past. We were asked to know that we need to pay the amount $ 25.00 from us when we went to the doctor. Having paid him, it is necessary to ask the receipt about payment with the surname and the address of the doctor, as well as date and reasons for the help. Insurance company will send the money to the doctor directly.

But as it is spoken, thank God, that I did not use this service.

Hotels

For the first week of the work on the program in Washington it was reserved one seat rooms for each participant. It was reserved one seat room or two seat rooms with the special "governmental discount" for members of the delegation in other cities visited by us.

We were said to not leave a passport, camera, cash, travel cards jewelry or the other treasures in our rooms in the hotel, making all possible things to save them.

 

 

The request to leave the specified subjects in safe of the hotel or in baggage rooms provided by the hotel free. If you loose the key using the safe you can change the key paying $150 - $200.

Television set

It is shown different TV programs in hotels and it is possible to connect channels of the cable TV for additional payment.

Postal service

If you have many books and other printed materials and you do not want to take them with yourself during the trip over the country you can send them by mail using offices envelope or box for sending. Such parcel can be sent directly home on specified address on special tariff for sending the books to abroad. In such event mail follows on the land i.e. it can take from 1 till 4 months, previously than parcel will be delivered to the destination.

Tariffs:

-         the price of the letter is 32 cents for the first ounce and 23 cents for each additional ounce; the postcard is 20 cents

-         international airmail - 50 cents for half of ounce

-         international aerogram - 45 cents in any country of the world

-         international postcard - 40 cents by airmail in any country of the world.

Telephone service

There is not public telephone office where it is possible to call abroad or to another city. It is simpler to call from hotel number but it is usually it will be contribute the extra change in 30% for interurban talks to your count for the residence. Tariffs for local rings can be from 30 cents to 1 dollar 50 cents.

It is also possible to call from the public telephone. There are two kinds of telephone: it is possible to call using coins, credit cards or system complex (when the person who received the call pays for the conversation) and only with credit cards from another one.

The price of calls from the public telephone is from 15 to 30 cents depending on the city. Tariffs for interurban talks within one state or to another state are differed depending on time of the day. The cheapest rings are at night, in the night and in week-end.

International rings. The price of the five minutes rings connected by ATS operator is from 7 to 17 dollars (without hotel extra change) depending on time of the day and the country.

American custom

Tips

It is usually that tips are not included in the restaurant or in the night club if it is not reached a special agreement on this count for the big group before. It is usual thing if you pay tips from 15 to 20% from count (which is written before addition of the tax). Amount of average tips for the other servicing personnel:

Taxi driver - 15% from cost of the trip;

$ 1 for each place of the baggage in airport and hotel;

50 cents desk clerk in hotel for call of taxi;

15% from amount of the count of male/feminine hairdresser;

It is several dollars for several day of stay in hotel for chambermaid of the hotel

$1-3 depending on volume of an order is for delivery of the food to the number.

Tips are not given to the steward/stewardess, the staff in the theatre, the operator of the lift, the man on duty in hotel.

Punctuality

Americans, as a rule, feel time well and love, when is kept timetable. Majority of Americans considers that they are busy men so they do not like to wait. If business meeting is appointed at 9.00 a.m. in the morning, but in invitation on supper is specified time 7 p.m. that is expected that all will arrive exactly in this time.

 

Smoking

For the last ten years the amount of places, where is permitted to smoke, vastly was decreased, but the amount of the places no smoking section vastly was increased. Americans are against smoking, accept laws, which forbid smoking in determined public places reacting on increasing level of the diseases cancerous and the other disease, connected with smoking. For instance, on American airway on the board of the plane, executing internal flight on the territory of the USA, smoking is not permitted. It is allowed to smoke only in special places in many institutions, in restaurants. This trend has got into everyday life in the USA. Today nonsmoker American does not scruple to ask any smoking to redeem the cigarette in the public place.

If you smoke during stay in the USA, in order to avoid problems it is necessary to follow the asked rule: it is necessary to ask, if it is permitted to smoke here, but if yes where it is exactly.

Banks

There are banks all over in the USA. The working time of banks is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some banks in large city are opened longer. Majority of the banks on Saturdays are closed. All banks are not worked on Sundays and public holidays. Previously than to give you money on cheque, bank requires that cheque should be signed by one of the client, having count in this bank.

Electricity

It is used alternating current by voltage 110 volts and frequency 60 hertzs in USA in electric network. Hotels do not give transformers to its clients.

Meal

It is possible to find inexpensive meal in cafés where it is unnecessary to give tips. There are some cafeterias with good service in buildings, where are located state institutions. Perhaps, you will be invited to eat "on-Dutch" or "without master". This meaning is used in America when each man pays expenses for meal and tips himself. Those men, who will invite you on such meetings, will think that you will pay for meal yourself.

Money

The following metallic money units are used in the USA: 1 cent (the pence), 5 cents (the nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half of dollar) and silver dollar. There are following paper money: one, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred and above up to ten thousands dollars.

Taxi and buses

To take the taxi yourself, it is enough to give the sign by hand passing taxi or cry aloud "Taxi!" Many taxi drivers will not be able to give you delivery more, than from the five dollar bill. So it is better to have money in one dollar and changes. It is accepted in many cities to take one taxi with people going in the same direction.

It is necessary to have changes for using the public transport in many cities.

I liked very much that organizers of the trip have provided all every day life questions, up to trivialities. And our stay in the country was more convenient because of it, too. And we felt else to us a great interest and hot desire to help, to show and to tell more. I felt very much in America that bridges of the friendship are built not only by politicians, but also by people of the countries and that meaning of public diplomacy is. I felt myself as a representative of our republic.

 

Newspaper "Kyz Zhibek", 12 (54) 1999