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-   -   American strange ... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/american-strange-242835/)

Franklin Jul 18th 2004 2:12 am

American strange ...
 
Have you done anything here that was to an American strange (“American strange�), but it’s what you did in the UK.

Example, on my second appointment visit to a US dentist I did something “American strange� … on my first dental appointment the dentist told me he needed to do some work which required an injection. On my second visit I saw the receptionist, sat in the waiting room and then got called into a room and sat in the chair (yes, “that chair�). The dentist asked me to open wide, in went the needle and I got that injection. As the dentist put the needle out of my mouth I immediately got up like an automaton and headed back to the waiting room.

The dentist was startled, “where are you going?� I replied, “back to the waiting room�.

For me it was an unthinking reflex action, back home I always went to the waiting room for the injection to take effect, then the dentist would call me back. Anyway, with the new dental etiquette I stayed in the chair, it was the dentist who left the room while the injection took effect.

I will always remember the dentist’s look of shock at the speed at which I left that chair! :D

It’s funny how we get conditioned to one way of doing things to the extent we don’t even think about it. :)

Yorkieabroad Jul 18th 2004 2:29 am

Serving chipolatas with the Christmas Turkey ...lots of semi suppressed giggles and 'never had breakfast links with turkey before' sort of comments....

Patrick Jul 18th 2004 1:18 pm

being so anally retentive about men wearing hats at the dinner table!

having a hot cup of tea when it is 100 degrees

Eating french fries with mayonaise

saying "oh well never mind" and "lets have a nice cup of tea" when things have gone wrong

excpomea Jul 18th 2004 1:33 pm


Originally posted by Patrick


Eating french fries with mayonaise


LOl I was doing this very thing the otherday in 'Chickfillet' Parents were pointing me out to their kids !!

I would love to have been able to hear what they were saying.

dbj1000 Jul 18th 2004 3:54 pm

The list of "American strange" things I do here seems to be endless. My colleagues find the whole mayonaise-with-fries thing very strange indeed.

However, the most life-threatening "American strange" thing I do is to use my indicators ("turn signals" for the Yanks reading) when driving. In Texas use of these strange little blinking lights means "Hey, you in the other lane! I really need to get into your lane so please accelerate as fast as you can to block me, then slow down to keep me blocked while staring straight ahead and pretending you didn't see me". People tell me they don't use turn signals beacuse it's always easier to catch the guy in the other lane by surprise, and they're serious.

The biggest impact on my life of guns being so prevalent in Texas? I don't even dare give the bastards the finger when they piss me off like that :)

snorkmaiden Jul 18th 2004 10:28 pm


Originally posted by dbj1000
The list of "American strange" things I do here seems to be endless. My colleagues find the whole mayonaise-with-fries thing very strange indeed.

However, the most life-threatening "American strange" thing I do is to use my indicators ("turn signals" for the Yanks reading) when driving. In Texas use of these strange little blinking lights means "Hey, you in the other lane! I really need to get into your lane so please accelerate as fast as you can to block me, then slow down to keep me blocked while staring straight ahead and pretending you didn't see me". People tell me they don't use turn signals beacuse it's always easier to catch the guy in the other lane by surprise, and they're serious.

The biggest impact on my life of guns being so prevalent in Texas? I don't even dare give the bastards the finger when they piss me off like that :)
Man, that is so true. That is totally our experience when driving around here.

Patrick Jul 19th 2004 12:21 am


Originally posted by snorkmaiden
Man, that is so true. That is totally our experience when driving around here.

and whats worse, you start to drive that way after a year or so! And you know how bad it is too

syllk Jul 19th 2004 2:24 am


Originally posted by dbj1000
However, the most life-threatening "American strange" thing I do is to use my indicators
I would say that another very "American strange" thing to do is to turn said indicators back off again after performing the intended maneouvre. For some odd reason, some drivers are so deeply impressed with their cunning change-of-lane tactic that they need to keep everyone informed for at least the next 4 miles...

Oh, and those oddly placed vanity mirrors on the sides of the car...I tend to use those as well.

:)

NC Penguin Jul 19th 2004 12:46 pm

Having been raised eating British style sandwiches and fillings, when I go to the deli in the grocery store to get sandwich meats cut, I ask for "medium".

This results in one or both of the following:

I get asked to repeat my request (they need to double check that they really are hearing someone ask for a thickness other than wafer thin).

The assistant gets the medium thickness right on the third attempt.

The most curious thing is I only ever go to two same grocery stores for sandwich meat and so I've been served by the same assistants over and over yet I have to go through one or both steps each visit :rolleyes:

yorkshirelass Jul 19th 2004 12:52 pm


Originally posted by NC Penguin
Having been raised eating British style sandwiches and fillings, when I go to the deli in the grocery store to get sandwich meats cut, I ask for "medium".

This results in one or both of the following:

I get asked to repeat my request (they need to double check that they really are hearing someone ask for a thickness other than wafer thin).

The assistant gets the medium thickness right on the third attempt.

The most curious thing is I only ever go to two same grocery stores for sandwich meat and so I've been served by the same assistants over and over yet I have to go through one or both steps each visit :rolleyes:
Exactly! Except I ask for it medium to thick which completey confuses the deli staff! I also get strange looks when I start to pack my own groceries! :p

NC Penguin Jul 19th 2004 1:43 pm


Originally posted by yorkshirelass
Exactly! Except I ask for it medium to thick which completey confuses the deli staff! I also get strange looks when I start to pack my own groceries! :p
I more often than not pack my own groceries because:

1) I'm faster
2) the whole process of paying and leaving the store is faster.

It never ceases to amaze me that shoppers will just stand there (right in front of the cashier) as he/she scans the contents of the shopping cart/basket, whilst the shopping is piling up at the end of the conveyor belt if there's no-one there to pack.

Scorchio Jul 19th 2004 7:50 pm


Originally posted by yorkshirelass
I also get strange looks when I start to pack my own groceries! :p
I used to help pack my groceries when I first arrived, but the packer at the checkout always seemed keen to do it, to the point where I was getting in the way. Now I let them do it, but still feel like a lazy b'stard, trying to cover my embarassment by taking my time with the card swipe machine, deciding on cashback, shuffling cards in my wallet and all that. :o

joto Jul 19th 2004 10:45 pm

I had the exact opposite problem a couple of years ago on a visit to UK. Was in a Tesco and the checkout girl was putting things through the scanner and groceries were piling up with me waiting for the bag packer. I forgot Tesco's don't have bag packers.

Patrick Jul 19th 2004 10:51 pm


Originally posted by Scorchio
I used to help pack my groceries when I first arrived, but the packer at the checkout always seemed keen to do it, to the point where I was getting in the way. Now I let them do it, but still feel like a lazy b'stard, trying to cover my embarassment by taking my time with the card swipe machine, deciding on cashback, shuffling cards in my wallet and all that. :o

I go through the self checkout so I pack my own bags, I love the fact that you do not to speak to anyone when I shop, the sooner Wallyworld introduces it the better

DaveC Jul 20th 2004 1:41 am


Originally posted by NC Penguin
It never ceases to amaze me that shoppers will just stand there (right in front of the cashier) as he/she scans the contents of the shopping cart/basket,.
I think it's one of the amendments to the constitution, the right to have one's groceries bagged for you. Since Albertsons supermarket introduced the shop and scan in our local stores, there have been many complaint letters in the papers. The majority of those shoppers want Albertsons to pay them for scanning and bagging.

Self check out is optional, people!

Our WalMarts have just introduced a triangular gizmo at the checkout, each face has two bag dispensers on it. As the grocery sales professional fills up the bags on one side they spin round to the next, leaving the shopper to lift the full bags into the cart. Or not, I still don't know the etiquette and I got snarled at once as the grocery sales professional had't finished bagging.

DaveC Jul 20th 2004 1:45 am


Originally posted by dbj1000
In Texas use of these strange little blinking lights means "Hey, you in the other lane! I really need to get into your lane so please accelerate as fast as you can to block me, then slow down to keep me blocked while staring straight ahead and pretending you didn't see me". People tell me they don't use turn signals beacuse it's always easier to catch the guy in the other lane by surprise, and they're serious.

The biggest impact on my life of guns being so prevalent in Texas? I don't even dare give the bastards the finger when they piss me off like that :)
You also have to get used to the guy in the left lane of a 5 lane freeway waiting 'til he's level with the exit he needs before cutting across the lanes to his right to make the exit.

I'm with you on the gun thing, I have learned to be so much more laid back than I used to be driving in the UK.

Ash UK/US Jul 20th 2004 1:48 am


Originally posted by DaveC
The majority of those shoppers want Albertsons to pay them for scanning and bagging.

Self check out is optional, people!
Whatever next :confused:

I love the self scan thingy... I always use it whenever I am only buying a few things... do I think I should be paid for having more convience... hmmm NO!

Ash :)

Yorkieabroad Jul 20th 2004 2:39 am


Originally posted by yorkshirelass
Exactly! Except I ask for it medium to thick which completey confuses the deli staff! :p
Ha - same here, but was at the store today, and noticed that they now have a 'grade card' on the counter showing thicknesses 1-10. Good move i thought, until I asked for thickness 7, and it became instantly clear that the servers didn't actually know the card had been put there......

Yorkieabroad Jul 20th 2004 2:53 am


Originally posted by dbj1000

However, the most life-threatening "American strange" thing I do is to use my indicators ("turn signals" for the Yanks reading) when driving. In Texas use of these strange little blinking lights means "Hey, you in the other lane! I really need to get into your lane so please accelerate as fast as you can to block me, then slow down to keep me blocked while staring straight ahead and pretending you didn't see me". People tell me they don't use turn signals beacuse it's always easier to catch the guy in the other lane by surprise, and they're serious.


You reckon? I was amazed when I came here how polite everyone is on the roads. Pretty bad drivers, most of them, definitely, but very polite with it. I put it down to "the gun thing" (with you 100% on that!), but maybe it depends what you're used to - we were in Singapore for 8 years before coming here and they elevated obstructive agressive driving to an artform if not a national sport! I personally attributed it to all the guys being a bit paranoid about having small pr*cks and needing to make up for it!! There was even an article in the Straits Times about about this particular "local sensitivity" :D

Patrick Jul 20th 2004 3:10 am


Originally posted by Yorkieabroad
You reckon? I was amazed when I came here how polite everyone is on the roads. Pretty bad drivers, most of them, definitely, but very polite with it. I put it down to "the gun thing" (with you 100% on that!), but maybe it depends what you're used to - we were in Singapore for 8 years before coming here and they elevated obstructive agressive driving to an artform if not a national sport! I personally attributed it to all the guys being a bit paranoid about having small pr*cks and needing to make up for it!! There was even an article in the Straits Times about about this particular "local sensitivity" :D
I have a big penis and still drive like an arsehole - explain that one

ScousePete Jul 20th 2004 3:17 am


Originally posted by Patrick
I have a big penis and still drive like an arsehole - explain that one
Mr Magoo glasses - explains both ;)

Yorkieabroad Jul 20th 2004 3:56 am


Originally posted by Patrick
I have a big penis and still drive like an arsehole - explain that one
You're clearly deceiving yourself on one of those statements:D

dbj1000 Jul 20th 2004 4:55 am


Originally posted by Patrick
I have a big penis and still drive like an arsehole - explain that one
Hmm. "Having" and "Being" are two verbs that you seem to be getting confused here.

:D

dbark Jul 20th 2004 9:28 am


Originally posted by Patrick
I go through the self checkout so I pack my own bags, I love the fact that you do not to speak to anyone when I shop, the sooner Wallyworld introduces it the better
Our Wally has just introduced it this week. Haven't used it yet though, there are checkout workers hovering over the self checkouts, makes me nervous! How does it work for fruit and veg?

Debbie :)

cuckoofrommars Jul 20th 2004 11:52 am

I find me driving down the left side of the road confuses alot of people.

By habit when I go to the bank I say "can I pay this in please" and the person behind the desk refuses to have a guess at what I want. I've even had people say "oh I can't help you" and ask for the next customer.

A big one is asking people you work with if they fancy a drink after work. The utter horror on their faces is astounding. Which is very confusing when you go to their house at night and realise they drink locally made cack beer by the case load every night.

Walking. Anywhere. If I park at one end of a strip-mall with friends and go in the first store, then proceed to a different one they get confused. Quite often they'll stand mouth-open wondering what to do. And they have the cheek to act as if I'm simple because I haven't figured out you can drive there. Unfortunately it can become a habit and I've hated myself for driving 10 feet from Wegmans to Target.

And worst of all saying hello to people on the street. According to friends saying hello to people is actually confrontational. "Don't talk to the poor people, they want to kill you!"

tinaflorida Jul 20th 2004 2:40 pm

Traffic lights! They stay amber for so much longer in the US. When I first started driving here I would brake as soon as I saw a light change to amber, usually skidding to a halt right on the traffic intersection line. I always had a bunch of very irate drivers behind me and lots of middle finger salutes thrown my way!


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