Trust in California

Pred  -  Domov  -  Fotky  -  Dalej
Hi there!

My name is Monika, and I'm from Bratislava. Right now I'm in Los Angeles, and I've been in California for over a year. Since I really enjoyed reading "Friendship" when I was in high school, I decided to write you something about my stay here.

People Even though I've traveled all around California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, and have had a lot of great experiences from these trips, I'm not going to write about that stuff.

What I'm going to write about is the thing that I like most about California, which sometimes even leaves me speechless. I'm going to write about TRUST.

Where should I begin? These are only little things, but when you put them all together you will get an idea of how the people live here. One of the first things we noticed that is different from Slovakia was our mail box. It has a different shape than ours (it's much bigger!) and most people do not lock them! They just leave them open ... and, on the top of that, you can also use another postal service. You don't have to go to the post office, just attach your stamped letter to your mail box and the mailman will pick it up. Nobody here understood me when I was asking about that and wondering whether someone else would get it. They replied, "Why would somebody steal it!?" Well, why...?

The next surprise we discovered was while shopping at a supermarket. In some big stores you can choose between using a regular cashier or being your own cashier. The second choice means that you scan your items all by yourself and pay by credit card or cash. And they just TRUST that you will scan all your items instead of putting them into your bag without scanning them. Wow!!!

You can find similar self-services in other situations. If you want to buy a newspaper, you just insert coins into one of these special boxes (they are all over), then open the lid and get ONE newspaper (or how many you paid for). And they TRUST you not to get more than you paid for. Our newlywed friends went on their honeymoon to Hawaii and said that over there you can even buy a bouquet of flowers this way. That's really trust! Why not get two of them - for your sweetheart and your mother-in-law? )))

Do you lock your car at night? Surely yes. But many people here do not. They even leave their window open so the wind may come through the car in this hot weather. And bear in mind that their cars are not as empty as ours - they really keep a lot of useful or useless stuff in them. It is very common to have a small truck, usually an open one, and people might keep pretty valuable tools out in the open. And it's not unusual to see a parked truck in front of a store with a lot of paper and plastic bags in it. The owner evidently had more shopping to do and is not worried about them. It just doesn't make sense to him that somebody would get his 12 bottles of juice or 20 pound package of flour ... Why would he do that? Well, why...?

Campground While travelling around national parks we found another example of incomprehensible trust in people. The majority of first come-first served basis campgrounds (those in which you don't need to make a reservation) use self-registration. That means that there is a board at the entrance to the campground with all the information about the campground and fees, and you just fill out the registration yourself. Then you put it with the money or check into a small box under the board. Even though nobody is watching you And they trust you to do that. Very rarely did we ever see a park ranger checking it. We've seen similar self payment in the shower at the campgrounds, entering some state parks, or even at some parking places.

There is very bad public transportation in Los Angeles, so I haven't been using it at all. But after 11 months I had to, and since then I use it from time to time. Here it was,another surprise for me! How can you buy a ticket? Well, in these kind of buses you actually don't buy a ticket. You just insert money into a big box next to the driver but he canít see whether you put 10 cents or 25 cents or 50 cents.... He just TRUSTS you to put in the right amount of money ...

There is alot more of this "trusty stuff." And that's what I want to bring home with me - the feeling that people are good and you can trust them. Even though some people will think that I'm naive and it might not to pay off.

Pred  -  Domov  -  Fotky  -  Dalej