Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things I have learnt from being in the USA

Okay, things large and small, just my meandering mind, so don't get uptight if I get it wrong, just as I perceive things...

  • Ordering out is confusing.  Entree is appetiser.  And dinner is entree.  And there doesn't appear to be dinner on menus, but I've been told that is perhaps supper in the grand scheme of things.  And portion sizes are large.  We were quite happy eating appetisers for dinner most nights, easily coming out of it $10 or so.  Brilliant.
  • Service at restaurants and cafes and eateries in the USA is by large way better than in Australia.  A huge generalisation I know, but in the three weeks that was without a doubt my experience.  So being that tips are the norm, you don't mind giving tips for good service.
  • Having said that, there are too many choices!!!  Say if I had a salad I had to choose what type of cheese, or did I want this or that, what type of dressing, or did I want my soup in a cup or a bowl, or what type of milk I wanted to go in my coffee when I just wanted plain flat white with low fat milk, or what side I wanted with my meal, and on and on it went.  At one stage I said to the waiter, when he recited the long list of dressings I could pick for my salad ... "surprise me" and he looked aghast that he would actually have to make a choice for me, and wouldn't take no for an answer, I had to pick.  It was exhausting.  
  • I still can't get my head across the whole leaving the money on the table and leaving the eatery without handing the payment to the restaurant staff.  What if someone from the next table swiped it before the staff had a chance to?  What if someone left without leaving the right money and fleeced them?  It's a strange concept.  I got a few puzzled looks from staff when I actually took the money up to the register to pay.  
  • Clothes are cheap.  Why do we have to pay through the nose for clothing is beyond me.  Okay there's the cost of getting goods to Australia, but it's just about all made in China anyway, and isn't China closer to us than to the USA???   Why were my runners that I bought $130 cheaper than in Australia????  That's ridiculous.  
  • I really needed to get the whole "LOOK LEFT" into my head when crossing the road.  I nearly came a cropper a few times, because it's instinctual for us to look right when crossing a road.  And besides, that's what Hector the Safety Cat always taught us!!
  • Where on earth do you post a letter in the USA??  I mean honestly, I swear I did not see one post box throughout my whole journey.  I ended up giving postcards to the accommodation people to post with their mail.  Finding a post office when I initially wanted to buy stamps was just as hard.
  • Back to food ... having breakfast included with our accommodation was terrific.  It provided a bit of lunch when I snaffoo'ed some things in my bag for later also!
  • Granola, deserved of having a paragraph all to its self.  I need to work out how it's made.  It is DELICIOUS!!!!!!  My newest favourite thing.
  • And when will Lime Chobani make its way to our shores.  Yum!   It really is all about the food isn't it??
  • And why did I feel so old being called ma'am so often?  It was a southern thing I guess.  But I kept wondering who on earth people were talking to if they said "yes ma'am" to me.
  • Okay, and this is not an American thing but a flying thing.  Why do they have to dim the lights in the plane when taking off or landing?  Hmmmm.  I don't get that one.

So those are a few of my ramblings about my time in America.  I totally loved being away there.  I totally loved being with my scrapping sister friends.  It has added a whole new dimension to our friendships, it's just wonderful.


mollie said...

The snaffoed thingie at breakfast made a great lunch at the airport in Charleston for me!! And, we sure did end up liking Patrick the clumsy & serious water, didn't we? And of course there was the darling young man at Paula Deen.

Lynne said...

I'm told it's because their wages are much lower than ours so the cost of living is much lower. Also, their population is much bigger so they get a "bulk discount" on their imports!

Lisa Beth said...

Granola can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-granola-recipe/index.html

Esther Andrews said...

I have just caught up on this! Slowly making my way through the backlog on my reader. Yes, you summarised it very well!
On our LAST day overseas, on our LAST walk Allan waltzed across the road looking right and was almost run over!! I shouted "LOOK LEFT!". One to me ;)
And now I take joy in boldly striding on the left of the footpath and in busy hallways.