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Anyone lived in the US?

Anyone lived in the US?

Old Sep 13th 2017, 9:49 am
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Default Anyone lived in the US?

Just wondering. Not saying I'm eager to move there after spending a week in the US. When you're going to a posh wedding weekend in pretty environs that's always distorting the reality. I've spent enough time in the US that if you cobble it together it adds up to about a year but living there on a day to day basis is surely a different thing, no?

If you lived in the US what was it like compared to the UK (or since I should keep this thread relevant to the forum, the Middle East?)

So far I've observed the following:

1. US food is tasty but portions are disgustingly huge. Even at nice places and I ate at nice places just about all the time.

2. Scale of everything is bigger. Houses, buildings, cars, people. Even normal suburban houses could be enormous.

3. A lot of surprisingly ugly stuff. Most of NYC is, when you get down to it, ugly. Their suburbs sprawl everywhere endlessly. Much of their countryside is unremarkable although they do have spectacular scenery in places.

4. Plenty of Americans don't fit the stereotype of loud and crass. Many are better mannered and educated than most Brits or Europeans.

5. Americans are very insular. Even when watching US national broadcasts you get the impression the world outside US borders is a fuzzy grey area that should properly be labelled here be dragons.

6. 99.5% of Americans have no idea who the PM is. Even Harvard educated people and I met a few at the wedding (the groom went to Harvard).

7. Despite the media racial relationships seem pretty easygoing.

8. Much more socially divided than you might think. I think in its way America is worse than the UK. Americans pretend they aren't but outsiders can clearly see the social divides in American society.

9. Everything is cheaper. Except health care.

10. Clothes shopping is cheaper but variety is much less. All their better clothing are just variations of Polo and dull.

11. Infrastructure (roads, airports, trains) are mediocre. Ok, not third world but surprisingly well below what you'd expect.

Anything else?
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

It's very diverse. From the North East to the Mid West to the Deep South to the Pacific coast. A lot of things change and what might be fine and acceptable in one region may be decidedly not in another. Every State seems to have it's own textures.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

HOw can a portion size be disgusting?

Infrastructure doesn't surprise me, roads, trains, airports etc in the UK are appalling.

I'd like to live in the US I think, totally agree with your summation of actually how pleasant they are.

Wouldn't need to leave to search for dragons if your country had literally everything you could ever want....
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

My brother lives in the US, married about 2 years ago. He lives in North Carolina. Like much of the US, there are two types of people:

1. gun toting, bible thumping, Rush Limbaugh loving, flag waving zealots who think muslims are satanic, atheists are worse, and that America is a special country chosen by god to do god's work

2. Sane people who own a passport, have relatively liberal views, and are embarrassed and scared by the proportion of number 1s they're surrounded by.

The proportions vary from place to place. If you lean towards 2s (i.e. are not mentally deranged), then probably choose the west coast, or the north east / new york, new england areas. Much of the rest, you'll be surrounded by more 1s than you'd feel comfortable with.

The US has big houses, big cars, Europeans with decent education can easily earn good money. And if you have money and are reasonably healthy, it's a nice place to live and you won't see much gun violence unless one of the kids at the local school flips out and murders your kids.

But you need to be able to smile politely and not get into discourse about jeebus with people who're trying to engage you in conversation about jeebus, in the same way that you have to avoid telling muslims what you think of their ridiculous fairy stories if someone tries to raise it at iftar or some other semi religious occasion. Think a christian version of the UAE, and that's pretty much where much of the US is culturally and socially. Gold plated medieval society with the latest iphones.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Lived in Texas for a year, it was ok, I was happy enough living there but wasn't sad when I had to leave.

The food portions are obscene depending where you go, seeing people waddling out of restaurants with their polystyrene boxes with leftovers to have for lunch the next day was far too common. Some great places to eat, particularly if you like Mexican (Tex-Mex if you're one of those bores who's spent a week in Cancun and absolutely must let everyone know that burritos are not real Mexican food) or Vietnamese food.

Breakfasts there are all atrocious though. Pancakes and waffles are shit. They don't know how to cook eggs. No matter what you order, half the plate consists of potatoes. They don't do proper sausages, you either get a sausage patty or a piece of smoked sausage. Orange, plastic cheese on everything. Shit coffee.

Healthcare is a nonsense. Our daughter's doctor decided to become a "boutique doctor" which meant she was aiming to slash her patient list by 80% and have the remaining 20% pay $12,000 a year retainer fee to have increased access to her. Even if your employer heavily subsidises your insurance, you still get a huge whack deducted from your salary. Getting paid every fortnight is a bit weird too come to think of it.

The biggest difference I found was the amount of crime. They didn't seem to just have dodgy neighbourhoods, they'd have ghetto apartment blocks just round the corner from huge suburbs, you were never far away from a street with a large crime index. Fortunately I wasn't impacted personally by anything, but despite living in a quiet and fairly affluent area, there were plenty of shootings, car jackings and the odd murder in the area. Hard to get used to having to scan the car park every time you leave the grocery store for potential muggers.

When choosing a house, the only thing that matters is the school district you're zoned too. I didn't know this when we arrived, we went for the house in the quiet, leafy street with the private pool as you would. We were zoned to the school a couple of streets down next to a dicey looking apartment complex. According to the municipality report, the school wasn't that great and only 9% of the pupils were white. Luckily my daughter was too young for school while we were there.

The things I miss most are the huge appliances (washing machine, dryer, ovens, fridge, etc), they make life so much more convenient. And the garbage disposal units in the sink are ace, surprised they haven't really caught on anywhere else. We even had a built-in trash compactor too. Other than Amazon delivery boxes, we hardly filled our bin.

Agree on the lack of choices with shopping, everyone dresses the same. Our local mall had 3 huge department stores (Macys, Dillards and I forget the other one) that all stocked exactly the same stuff - Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Levis, Calvin Klein and Dockers.

You need to take a driving test if you move there and have a UK licence. It's a piece of piss, literally a 5 minute drive around the neighbourhood. I got scolded for putting the car into neutral while sitting at traffic lights instead of leaving it in "drive" with my foot on the brake. Driving standards are terrible compared to UK, but if you're used to the Middle East, it's not too bad. They love Stop signs and expect you to come to a complete stop even if you can see there's no traffic in any direction for miles. I got no speeding fines, but several for going through stop signs (safely in my opinion).
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Yes I have, about 16yrs ago. Not for a significant period but I did do 6 months. That was in a ski resort in Colorado just after Uni. I was a lift attendant (Keystone Resort | Keystone, Colorado | KeystoneResort.com) and it was amazing. The scenery is just phenomenal, huge views and massive skies. The Yankies I worked with were very aware that the rest of the world generally disliked them and they were actively trying to reverse that. I got on well with them generally and had a few over to stay with me in Glasgow. They were amazed by everything older than 10 yrs! Took em to a few castles and then around the University of Glasgow (550yrs old). The word gobsmacked didn't cut it.

Food - OK, but nothing special if I'm honest and yeah the portions are huge and for someone who doesn't eat a lot there was a lot of wastage. I would get hugely fat there now though. Too many good sauces. Fast fod is surprisingly average though.

Scale - yes. Huge...... and OTT a lot of the time.

Ugly - not that I saw in Co. Its a truly a special place. Since then I've been to Miami but thats about it so can't really comment.

Loudness - see higher up. I do find though that Americans who travel are a lot better than the ones that haven't left the US. I get the fact that they pretty much have most environs in-house but by not leaving it allows them to be dicks.

Insular - yes to the point of WTF.

Racial - never saw anything bad..... but I wasn't in the deep south.

Divided - possibly, although I was in a holiday resort / town and a very upmarket one at that so it would be unfair to make a judgement.

Cheaper - yes it was at the time. Like waaaaay cheaper.

Clothes - not sure.

Infrastructure - yes indeed and worse than the UK. The US infrastructure system is actually in a bit of a crisis. They are waaaaay behind in terms of replacing items from bridges to dams (hence the issue with the one in Cali..... last year??). Also, they prefer concrete to asphalt for roads - retards.

Extras

Sheltered - the guys who came over and visited me were pretty sheltered. I'm not talking about travelling, but just life in general. A 21yr old bit is years ahead of a 21yr old yank life experience wise.

Diverse - The US is massive and the diversity towards different states is unbelievable in environment, belief, culture, way of life, education, disposable income etc etc. Just been watching 'Making a Murderer' again and I would not like to spend anytime whatsoever with those knuckle draggers, and from what I have heard, there's a lot of places just like that...... but on the flip side there's loads of awesome places too.

All in all though I found the majority of folk I met to be friendly and welcoming.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Oh and also when I was there they were way behind the UK in terms of tech.... their mobiles had no sim cards (were we were up to the legendary 3210) and their music shop was 70% cassettes and 30 CD's.... when I hadn't seen a cassette in years.

Think this may have changed by now though.

That said, the stuff they do have is generally big and easy to fix.... it's never rocket science.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

I have had multiple opportunities to live there and have always refused. Really can't understand the place, and DC (where I go) is probably one of the brighter spots.

It's just too inward looking for me, and the food is crap always too sweet.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

...

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
I have had multiple opportunities to live there and have always refused because I refuse to pay taxes again. Really can't understand the place actually, no, I just refuse to pay taxes, and DC (where I go) is probably one of the brighter spots but I'd still have to pay taxes.

It's just too inward looking for me, and the food is crap always too sweet.And you have to pay taxes.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Well, yes, you took a bunch of Americans to Glasgow Glasgow! That's like abandoning a bunch of Surrey boys in the middle of Detroit.

But yes, Colorado's mountains are stunning. Surprised you were in Colorado and Miami and never made it to NYC.

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post

Sheltered - the guys who came over and visited me were pretty sheltered. I'm not talking about travelling, but just life in general. A 21yr old bit is years ahead of a 21yr old yank life experience wise.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

not lived there...but have visited it several times....would NEVER want to live there.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Why? Just curious.

Originally Posted by mission View Post
not lived there...but have visited it several times....would NEVER want to live there.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Why? Just curious.
in a nutshell, i can't stand Americans.....majority are thick as sh*t, ignorant as f*k and think America (and being american) is way superior to any other country.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

Lived and worked there:


Boston and Cape Cod were awesome, though winters are harsh.
Houston I didn't like though mainly because the city was a sprawl, compared to the more human(non car) scale of Boston.

I enjoyed it a lot and I'd recommend it. Was offered a job in SF 2 years ago and almost returned except my potential boss was a born again christian and I knew long term I'd end up driven crazy by him. Praise Jesus y'all
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: Anyone lived in the US?

I lived there for almost a decade in four different states, greed card holder, visited over 30 of the states, returned very frequently for work (every other month for 5 years after moving), have lots of friends and relatives (duh, Irish) there, keep in strong contact with what's going on.

I left the US finally because of the political climate: you can't have a civilised discussion as it's so tribalised (also see race points below). Plus so many people are religiously indoctrinated: honestly it was a bigger deal to come out as atheist rather than gay! And even technically brilliant people believe crazy stuff (like evolution denial).

I agree with all of your points except number 7 - I wrote a long and detailed riposte to this which the system swallowed (no doubt, to universal relief). So this is a much shorter summary. On the surface people know what protocols to follow but even just a little below the surface it's bitterly divided. If you don't have close black friends there you might not see that. But even after a while, most (yes, unfortunately most) white people will say something on the subject that will cause your gut to churn....
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