The US

Old Jun 23rd 2011, 1:35 am
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Default The US

Finally my trip to the US comes to an end. I've not been here for 18 years or more, so in case you are like me I thought I'd report back:

- It's impossible to get pissed on Miller Lite or Bud Lite. They are quite refreshing though.

- The Americans are generally quite interested in the affairs of the Middle East but know bugger all about it.

- American news is hilarious - live at the scene anchor-reporter correspondence of a tree fallen down taking out two lanes of a three lane road for 30 mins followed by a 30s passing reference to a mass grave found in Syria.

- The food is tasteless but there is a good selection. It's almost impossible to order a coffee in starbucks for all of the questions.

- People look bored, spend lots of time in the office and produce nothing. They wait at empty roads for a sign telling them to cross. When the man says you can cross cars are then allowed to turn left into the crossing (WTF!)

- Free uncensorded wifi is everywhere. If you finally do manage to order a latte in starbucks you can enjoy it while surfing "the hun". Which is nice.

- It is quite nice to be able to pop out to a strip club at 2.15pm that is packed full of girls. You might wish to do this between meetings for instance.

- The girls in the strip bars all look the same. Blonde, blue eyes, fake tits and fat asses.

- They are finally worried about corn-sugar and the fact that it makes them fat. I think the coke tastes different.

- The police / security services are assholes and operate like robots.

- Returns policy on stuff is awesome. Against my better judgement I bought an IPAD and was able to return it after 2 days and swap it for a new one as I believe it to be faulty. Turns out they are just shite.

- The white house is very unimpressive.

- Petrol is quite expensive - 4 USD for a small US gallon. So, about 3.6DH/ litre.

- Happy hours run in bars from 4-7pm. 2 USD for a bottle of beer that doesn't get you drunk. 10 USD in the strip bars including a cover.

- People don't smile when you walk down the street. Normally they have their face pushed in to their mobile GPS.

- St Michaels is beautiful.

- The TV is full of adverts for weird drugs for problems I didn't realise I had. Dry Mouth for instance is cured by a special mouthwash rather than water or tea.

- The women make no effort in their dress. Let me look at a high maintenance lebbo/russian any day.

- It is possible to have a chat with a stripper about her gun collection and see photos on her mobile phone of her in action.

- Blackberries get nicked by co-workers in the office.

- Half the country doesn't seem to speak English.

- The place feels like it's losing its competitive edge.

All in, a funny ol' place. Not awful, and I wouldn't bet against them in the next 5 years (unless it is war in the mountains or jungle), but totally screwed up all the same. No doubt I'll be there again in a few months... I can wait.

Last edited by Millhouse; Jun 23rd 2011 at 1:59 am.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 4:25 am
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Default Re: The US

so you enjoyed yourself then?
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 6:22 am
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Default Re: The US

Were you based in DC? because in my experience once you get out of the central area with the white house and museums then the rest of DC is a ghetto.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 6:32 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by weasel central View Post
Were you based in DC? because in my experience once you get out of the central area with the white house and museums then the rest of DC is a ghetto.
no, there's some ok areas...georgetown is really nice for example (unless you're counting that as central?)...

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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 7:26 am
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Default Re: The US

Ah. You were in DC. I lived in DC for a few years before coming to Dubai. DC is not representative of the US as a whole, even if it is a capital city.

- It's impossible to get pissed on Miller Lite or Bud Lite. They are quite refreshing though.

No. It is possible. You need to drink eight or so bottles. Remember that the US standard bottle size is like half a pint. But why are you drinking shit beer? Most bars will have Sam Adams or Bass on draught, or even Yeungling. These are quite decent beer and comparable to Stella. America also has a thriving microbrewery scene, and of course the usual standbys of Coronoas and Heineken are always around.

- The Americans are generally quite interested in the affairs of the Middle East but know bugger all about it.

It was different because you were in DC, but 95% of Americans couldn't give bugger all about the Mid East. They pretend it just doesn't exist.

- American news is hilarious - live at the scene anchor-reporter correspondence of a tree fallen down taking out two lanes of a three lane road for 30 mins followed by a 30s passing reference to a mass grave found in Syria.


So - the news is actually reporting something the viewers are interested in?

- The food is tasteless but there is a good selection. It's almost impossible to order a coffee in starbucks for all of the questions.

I take it you ate at fast food places and generic "upscale" family chains. Most foreigners complain that US food is either too sweet or too salt, not necessarily tasteless. But America has excellent food and it's easier to get good food in the US than in, say, the UK or Dubai.

- People look bored, spend lots of time in the office and produce nothing. They wait at empty roads for a sign telling them to cross. When the man says you can cross cars are then allowed to turn left into the crossing (WTF!)

American workers have the highest productivity levels in the world. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6976084.stm

Brits are much more likely to queue and wait at stop signs than Americans are - but you were in DC and the penalties can be quite stiff for jaywalking. Go elsewhere, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Orlando etc, people jaywalk all the time. Especially in the ghettos.

- Free uncensorded wifi is everywhere. If you finally do manage to order a latte in starbucks you can enjoy it while surfing "the hun". Which is nice.

No shit, Sherlock.

- It is quite nice to be able to pop out to a strip club at 2.15pm that is packed full of girls. You might wish to do this between meetings for instance.

- The girls in the strip bars all look the same. Blonde, blue eyes, fake tits and fat asses.



Can't comment. Never been to a strip club. Have to wonder where you went to one if you were working in central DC. Strip clubs are regulated and tend to be in shitty suburban areas. The ones near DC will be out by PG County.

- They are finally worried about corn-sugar and the fact that it makes them fat. I think the coke tastes different.

Americans are ironically possibly the most image conscious people in the world - and the fattest in the western world. Can't really comment or disagree. But Americans do love their cokes.

- The police / security services are assholes and operate like robots.

Private security guards are keystone cops on prozac. Tell me, though, how did you get involved with a police? I think in all the years I lived in the US I never spoke to a police officer.

- Returns policy on stuff is awesome. Against my better judgement I bought an IPAD and was able to return it after 2 days and swap it for a new one as I believe it to be faulty. Turns out they are just shite.

Yep. If a store goes on sale a week after you bought a product, you can often take the receipt back and get the difference refunded! American retail is flat down the best and cheapest and most consumer friendly in the world.

- The white house is very unimpressive.

Agreed. It's no more remarkable than a modest stately home. But when it was built it was by far the biggest house in the US. Washington's Mount Vernon was one of the biggest private houses in colonial America but compared in size to only a prosperous farmhouse in Kent or Somerset.

- Petrol is quite expensive - 4 USD for a small US gallon. So, about 3.6DH/ litre.

I remember when petrol was $1 a gallon. Sigh. Those were the days. Still cheaper than the UK!

- Happy hours run in bars from 4-7pm. 2 USD for a bottle of beer that doesn't get you drunk. 10 USD in the strip bars including a cover.

American happy hours are a blast. You can load up and still drive home afterwards!

- People don't smile when you walk down the street. Normally they have their face pushed in to their mobile GPS.

That's a DC and New York phenomena, partly because of the transient nature of the towns and partly because of the large urban poor black population. Go elsewhere, suburbia, or the midwest and southern and western cities, it's very, very different.

- St Michaels is beautiful.

No shit, Sherlock. Did you stay at the Inn at Perry Cabin? I prefer Oxford nearby. Annapolis on the west side of the bay is also very pretty. Altogether I wouldn't call the Eastern Shore beautiful but it is charming. Best boating area in the US because there are no rocks in the Cheasapeake so you can get blotto and not have to worry too much about crashing into rocks.

- The TV is full of adverts for weird drugs for problems I didn't realise I had. Dry Mouth for instance is cured by a special mouthwash rather than water or tea.

Yeah. American thing. Very health conscious but also some of the most unhealthy (fat) people in the developed world.

- The women make no effort in their dress. Let me look at a high maintenance lebbo/russian any day.

You ain't spent enough time around the right people. DC is filled with high maintenance, particulary Southern, girls from the sororities at the universities of Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia etc. These girls are stunning and in a refreshing, I'm definitely not a prostitute way. New England girls are the ugliest in the country, very much like English countrywomen. No makeup. 20 year old horsy clothes.

- It is possible to have a chat with a stripper about her gun collection and see photos on her mobile phone of her in action.

No comment.

- Blackberries get nicked by co-workers in the office.

No comment.

- Half the country doesn't seem to speak English.

DC specific. Very large immigrant population in and around DC. Go outside DC it's quite different.

- The place feels like it's losing its competitive edge.

DC is a politics town. Talk about competitive edge, go to Texas or Georgia or Colorado. Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas etc have very different, very pro-business, very pro-growth vibes.

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Finally my trip to the US comes to an end. I've not been here for 18 years or more, so in case you are like me I thought I'd report back:



















All in, a funny ol' place. Not awful, and I wouldn't bet against them in the next 5 years (unless it is war in the mountains or jungle), but totally screwed up all the same. No doubt I'll be there again in a few months... I can wait.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 7:29 am
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Default Re: The US

Northwest DC is pleasant. The stretch from Georgetown all the way to 16th is fully gentrified and expensive as hell, including Dupot and Logan circles. The wave of gentrification is pushing further and further eastwards.

Originally Posted by weasel central View Post
Were you based in DC? because in my experience once you get out of the central area with the white house and museums then the rest of DC is a ghetto.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 7:40 am
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Default Re: The US

I haven't been to the US since a trip to Phoenix about 11 or 12 years ago on business. Spent everyday in the hotel or office, working on a project. Few things I recall:

- Turned up to the hotel which was full of men with moustaches wearing cowboy boots and shirts with sequins and tassles. The lady on the desk apologized (not sure why) and explained the Gay Rodeo was in town. I embarrassed her when I explained my gear was still in my suitcase. She didn't realise I was joking. They don't seem to do humour.

- You need photo ID to get into a bar even if you're obviously over 21. Photo ID means a US drivers license from any state, the format of which the door staff cannot possibly know but seem to accept regardless. But if you produce a British passport, they'll spend 10 minutes examining it and making some phonecalls to find out if it is ok to let you in. It'll get you into the country, but get into a bar to buy some weak watery beer? Maybe, if you're patient.

- Every street has an adult bookstore and the locals like their porn. My hotel in central Phoenix looked out over a big car park, which had an adult bookstore of its own detached and right in the middle. I thought it was a drive thru restaurant at first, that's what it looked like and it was busy people coming and going from at least 7.30am when I first peered out. They really do like their porn, but a bit of tit-slip during the superbowl and the producers that let it happen will be put on death row to await a lethal injection.

- the TV is unwatchable, there is an advert break every 5 minutes with the same boring adverts, and the program switches in and out of adverts with no warning so at times you're not sure what the hell is going on. No wonder they all just download anything worth watching from bittorrent instead.

- If you go to watch 'sport', then everybody there is really there for the beer and food and doesn't really give a toss about what is happening in the game. I went to see a hockey (that's ice hockey) game as my client had a private box, and when the game started I hardly noticed - no big cheer like you get at a football match. And no atmosphere. The most exciting part was during the break when they had two radio controlled airships flying about dropping t-shirts and other stuff on the crowd.

I haven't been back since they started wanting all kinds of private information and form filling to let you in to the country. Parts of every city are controlled by armed gangs that routinely have shoot-outs with rival gangs, and occasionally just blast innocent people, but the government and population are obsessed about shaking down every foreigner in case they're a 'terrist'.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 7:55 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by captainflack View Post
- You need photo ID to get into a bar even if you're obviously over 21. Photo ID means a US drivers license from any state, the format of which the door staff cannot possibly know but seem to accept regardless. But if you produce a British passport, they'll spend 10 minutes examining it and making some phonecalls to find out if it is ok to let you in.
Georgia 15 years ago.... Trying to get in a bar with old paper DL, guy looks and refuses entry but says passport would be ok but thats 30 miles away in hotel. So I say "ok, can you inform my friend who you just let in that he and the 30 others already in there of my situation and that we need to find another bar ASAP", Guy wispers to the other doorman.... "ok sir, sorry for the problem, you may enter"
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:00 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by captainflack View Post
If you go to watch 'sport', then everybody there is really there for the beer and food and doesn't really give a toss about what is happening in the game. I went to see a hockey (that's ice hockey) game as my client had a private box, and when the game started I hardly noticed
Same here, free tickets to game, spent half of it in the bar as did quite a few others... I was really interested in getting to watch the game but someone said "The teams suck, lets wait a bit more till they start the fighting", 10 mins later fights start to happen.... we go down to seats (2 rows from front) and catch a few crippling body checks and a some other illeagal stick actions... they were right the teams were not great but it was agreed by all a great game!
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:05 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by captainflack View Post
armed gangs that routinely have shoot-outs with rival gangs, and occasionally just blast innocent people, but the government and population are obsessed about shaking down every foreigner in case they're a 'terrist'.
A 0-1 score line to the other team is still a loss but if its an own goal at least its not a real victory for them
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:28 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
- The women make no effort in their dress. Let me look at a high maintenance lebbo/russian any day.
That's applicable throughout the western world, not just the states. Visit the average UK town centre and you'll be hard pressed to see any women who look a bit like women

N.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:30 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by Norm_uk View Post
That's applicable throughout the western world, not just the states. Visit the average UK town centre and you'll be hard pressed to see any women who look a bit like women

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You have obviously been to Newport then
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:41 am
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Default Re: The US

I have never been to the USA and have no inclination to go either
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:49 am
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Default Re: The US

Originally Posted by Ethos83 View Post
- It's impossible to get pissed on Miller Lite or Bud Lite. They are quite refreshing though.

No. It is possible. You need to drink eight or so bottles. Remember that the US standard bottle size is like half a pint.
Pissed on 4 pints of Lite beer? So 2 pints of London Pride or Directors and I guess you'd be under the table.
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Old Jun 23rd 2011, 8:51 am
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Default Re: The US

Pissed on 4 pints of Lite beer? So 2 pints of London Pride or Directors and I guess you'd be under the table.
Come on Bahtatboy- you know posh boys cant hold their drink!
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