An embarrassing moment as a foreigner in another country

Answer by Jayakumar Pangalur:

I moved from India to the U.S. for my Masters in 2008. My most embarrassing moment was when I first visited a grocery store. I wasn’t much of a shopper back in India, as my parents took care of everything.

So, after shopping, I was waiting at the checkout counter. As everything was new to me, I was reluctant to ask anyone any questions, so I just followed what everyone else did. During checkout, there are these separators they use:

​After the guy before me was checked out, the cashier grabbed the separator to start adding up my things, but I thought she was going to add the cost of the separator to my bill, so I told her that it wasn't mine and to not charge me for it.

She didn't understand at first, and she kept looking at me with a questioning face. I was new to the U.S., a student converting dollars to rupees for all of my expenses, and I told her once again that the separator wasn’t mine.

I don't know if she understood me or if she just chose to ignore me, but she set the separator aside and simply started her scanning. I was relived after discovering she’d started the checkout without charging me for the separator, as the only thing on my mind at that time was not getting charged for a separator on my bill.

Only after a period of time did I realize where those separators came from, and I was totally embarrassed thinking about what that cashier might have thought of me.

I've only shared this with some close friends who now use this to poke fun at me when needed.

This is my first Quora answer and my first time sharing this story publicly. I hope you guys like it!

EDIT: Thank you very much Quorans for the response, also thanks to Doug Parker for helping me with the english

What was your most embarrassing moment as a foreigner in another country?

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