The term Nacirema is 'American' spelled backward. It was first introduced by Horace Miner in "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema." Today, it is mainly used by anthropologists to distance themselves, and avoid personal bias, when writing about American culture, its rituals and its customs.
Moving to Nacireman country was indeed a culture shock, as these exotic people tend to do things quite differently from the rest of the world. While my transition was not quite a smooth one, I would like to make it a little easier for other foreigners coming to visit this alien land. Here are some odd customs of the Nacirema and my advice on how visiting foreigners should deal with them.
Yards, miles, feet, inches: I can confidently say that during my time in Nacirema country I have never truly known how far anything is. While the metric system offers simple conversions between millimeters, centimeters, and meters through multiplication by 10 (10 millimeters = 1 centimeter, 100 centimeters = 1 meter, 1000 meters = 1 kilometer), the imperial system is much more complicated (12 inches = 1 foot; 3 feet = 1 yard; 1760 yards = 1 mile?).
Whenever a Nacireman tells me the distance to a place, I am never sure whether I should call an Uber or walk. If 5,280 feet = 1 mile, does that mean I need running shoes, or can I make do with high heels?
Advice to foreigners: Call the Uber. Trust me.