What this Brit has learnt (and not) in America over the past 25 years. As we are in the final countdown before we relocate to Europe, I leave you with these thoughts.
Man hugs…what can I say? When in Rome! Still feels a little weird though!
Eating cheese n crackers as a starter. Brilliant idea!
I still have not got my head around counter clockwise, it is still anti clockwise for me.
Cheesy advertising, directly dissing your competitor, speaking so fast on ads I still have no idea what is being said, and as for the side effects they list on drugs they try to promote. Scary!
Mexican food everywhere. Love it!
High medical bills, great facilities and doctors but just because you pay a lot for health insurance does not mean you are covered for everything.
It is Impossible to stay thin!
Great standard of living, nice weather, huge space. Walk in closets and basements!
Large V8 gas-guzzlers that are fun to drive in the USA but would not fit in the lane on the road in England let alone park in a multi-story car park!
Plenty of drive through so you don’t actually have to get out of the car when collecting your prescription, dry cleaning, buying coffee, lunch or banking.
Crappy bread but great chili and soup, talking of soup, grilled cheese n soup is great America tradition, great burgers and steaks, BBQ in general, smoked meats like brisket, homemade corned beef, and cheesy grits. I must say contrary to most other Brits, I do like American bacon but the sausages not so much!.
Great coffee but lukewarm tea with no milk or super sweet over ice!
Talking of tea, Ice with all drinks and water automatically given to you in restaurants. This is very good if you are a Brit, as if you try and ask for water yourself they won’t understand you as they have a totally different pronunciation for water..
Great cocktails, everywhere, do not feel bad for asking for a mojito and a margarita in your local bar!
Tipping is not a place in china and I now tip 15-20% and can work it out in my head and write it on the bill, adding up the total while having a conversation ….well nearly and sometimes I use fingers and or imaginary dots to help my terrible math, or maths if you are British. Reverse logic on Lego btw, they add an s on that one to make legos!
Sports….I have been to a few football games, baseball and hockey which have been fun and an experience but very different to what I was used to.
The gun culture is scary here, I followed someone into the supermarket the other day, he was wearing a t-shirt and shorts and had a gun holstered to his side. I can never get used to a member of the public armed with a gun next to me while I buy bananas!
In addition, scary and awesome, depending where you live is the wildlife in the USA. There is so much of it and so varied. I am not fond of the snakes or the large spiders but who doesn’t like the deer roaming freely, we also have wild turkeys, Heron, humming birds and sometimes mink in our back yard / garden. Raccoons are funny to watch and I must admit I can watch alligators and dolphins for ages……
Only thing on me bucket list that I did not get a chance to do….go to a drive in movie. May be next time I am back.
Politics, where do I start? Nope, I am going to avoid this one, as I would be guaranteeing to upset at least 50% of the population, suffice to say it is never a dull moment! It will be interesting to see more closely, how Europeans perceive America soon.
Land of the free, not so sure about that, I have certainly come across more than my fair share of red tape and bureaucracy.
Air Conditioning: Have to love it everywhere, until it packs up on the hottest day of the year! I think they are programmed to do this!
Open casket viewings are common which I had not experienced before, and you pass here not die!
Religion is still very alive (pardon the pun lol) and a lot more go to church here than back in the old country.
25 years later I still go into brain freeze mode when writing the date and which way around to put the day and month. Also 8.45 is still and always will be quarter to nine in my world!
People on bikes cycling on the wrong side of the road eg into on coming traffic…..crazy!
Last but not least, you have to admire America’s patriotism. They all believe they are lucky to be in the best country in the world and for many reasons they are, however they do not sell bacon sarnies or Cornish pasties so there are some limitations!
I have really enjoyed my time here. The USA has given me amazing opportunities, a great life style, many friends, family and a great shipping company in new capable hands.
Onward and Upwards to the flatland’s we come!
Thanks everyone for your help and support.