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Slightly OT: More getting used to the USA....

Slightly OT: More getting used to the USA....

Old Nov 14th 2001, 2:37 pm
  #1  
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I need a break form getting my AOS papers ready, so decided to note down some observations about getting used to the USA... I have only been living in Fort Worth for two weeks, so it's still VERY early in the process for me, so if you ask "Is my tounge in my cheek"? the answer is "Just a bit"

Whatever, here is my "top-10" list:

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1. The amount of sugar eaten...

From getting donuts in the morning, through to biscuits (aka: English scones but with about half a pound of sugar in each one), the average Texan seems to be adicted to sugar in everything! Is this a problem for me? No, but dentistry or diet consulting must be careers with bright futures here!!!

2. The hugging...

The first time I met new female relatives, all of them seemed to hug me when they said hello or goodbye. I came from England where it seems like we keep three feet of clear space between each other at all times, so this trend to have more contact in greetings (very southern European) is very much a change. Not that I mind being hugged by all these women you understand...

3. Driving.

How slow and curtious (sp?) everyone is. Now I know it's not NYC or Boston down here, but at places like 4-way stop signs 95% of people actually DO observe the rules! In the UK, you guys would be eating my dust as I scoot off first away from the intersection each and every time!!!

4. Texan language...

We were at Sams Club last week getting some beer for the wedding reception... only about 20 cases of the stuff, but it filled one of those flatbed carts they have. As we left, there was this redneck who spoke EXACTLY like that guy in "King of the Hill" like he is mumbling all the time (can't remember the characters name). It sounded like he was saying "Mour burny murve mom mar bith aw mat mud mmmm". Sharon translated for me: "Your going to have some party with all that Bud there". All I could do was smile at him and nod in agreement and hope I was doing the right thing. I am going to HAVE to get myself a Texan to English dictionary!!!

5. Road signs...

Some places are well signposted and others are well, just not signposted at all! The average seems to be to place the sign at the exit on a freeway and if you don't know the area, hope that you can see them in time and be in the right lane and doing the right speed to take the exit. My lack of local knowledge is giving my new wife and step-son some VERY amusing times as I struggle to make it at some interstate exits!

6. Rest rooms...

The waste products on show at flush time was already talked about here a few weeks ago. I have spent enough time in the USA over the last few years not to be phased by it, but I tell you, some people I know in the UK would need plenty of advance warning about this not to run screaming out of the rest rooms. Oh yes.... Why call them "Rest Rooms"? Do you actually rest in them? If so, then where are the sofas?

7. Car dealers...

Why do all the car dealers have zillion feet long American flags flying? Huge things!!!! Nobody else has them quite THAT large, so whats the deal here?

8. US postal deliveries...

I think the way the trucks pull up to the mail boxes and the drivers don't even have to get up form their seats to open and fill the boxes with 5lbs of junk mail each day is very cute indeed. The rest of the world could learn from that.

9. Gravy...

It's a southern thing I know, but gravy here is a white, creamy, gloopy liquid, served with fried chicken and biscuits. It's quite unlike the dark, almost spicy stuff poured over meat in the UK.

10. Phones...

EVERYONE seems to use the phone ALL the time. Even when they are just outside the house, they still use the cell phone to call and ask the most basic of questions. Why can't you walk five paces, open the door and ask face to face? Right now, even though it's only 9:30am, I have already had two calls from my wife today!!!


- - - -

Well, that's it.

Brian.
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Old Nov 14th 2001, 3:53 pm
  #2  
Andy Platt
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This is a family thing. My UK family hug each other all the time but my US family
seldom do.

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Try driving in Northern VA, you will dream of driving back in the UK (unless you
lived in London perhaps!).

--
I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination.
 
Old Nov 14th 2001, 3:57 pm
  #3  
Alvena Ferreira
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I read your post to Arnaldo and he and Paul laughed their butts off at it (and so did
I, tears are streaming down my face right now!) alvena

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Old Nov 14th 2001, 4:17 pm
  #4  
Bob
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I thought it rather interesting the first time my girlfriend's dad hugged
me. But now I've gotten so used to it that I usually hug my Swiss friends. It's so
much fun to see the guys tense up instantly when they realize what's coming.

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I know, they even let you merge! When changing lanes I'm still in the habit of
looking for a chance then set the blinker and go for it as if the devil was in my
rear view mirror. I've been asked by passengers many time why I don't just set the
blinker and wait for somebody to let me change the lane.

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Try talking to my black girlfriend's brother from the south...

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True, very often you just have to know your way around, signs can be of very little
help. http://maps.yahoo.com was a lifesaver in the beginning.

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And the crappy toilet paper...

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They do that since 9/11. You see, if you are a patriot you support the US economy by
buying lots of things, so they're trying to tell you that buying a new car would be
appropriate in this time of crisis.

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What startled me in the beginning is that when a business answers the phone and they
ask you to hold because they're busy with other calls that they actually expect a
reply. I Switzerland they say "would you please hang on for a moment" and put you on
hold without giving you a chance to object.
 
Old Nov 14th 2001, 6:39 pm
  #5  
Bob
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in article [email protected], Sue at
[email protected] wrote on 11/14/01 10:33 AM:

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Maybe it's always been like that in Texas but here (California) the car dealerships
definitely jumped onto the patriots-buy-stuff-to-save-the-US-bandwagon since 9/11.

Let's not forget that the US is a big and diverse country, what's true on the West
Coast may not be true on the East Coast and what's big in Texas is probably smaller
anywhere else.
 
Old Nov 14th 2001, 7:14 pm
  #6  
Emma.
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I'm with ya on the gravy Brian! Recently I was visiting Florida and a friend insisted
on making me the aforementioned gloopy white substance. Now, it may be an aquired
taste....but i can safely say that it was one of the most vile things i have ever
eaten!!!!
 
Old Nov 14th 2001, 7:57 pm
  #7  
Alvena Ferreira
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"Emma." wrote:
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Depends on whatcha been raised on...me and mine, we done been raised on white milk
gravy, homemade biscuits, & fried squirrel for breakfast...just what the doctor
ordered on a cold mornin'. Saved my life several times, I reckon'. alvena
 
Old Nov 14th 2001, 11:42 pm
  #8  
Denyse
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brianr <[email protected]>
9. Gravy...
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Ok, I just had to chuckle at this one. I remember the first time my fiance and I had
breakfast at a local restaurant (he lives in Southern Nevada) and he ordered gravy
with biscuits. Being the patriotic Lass I am, I thought "oh, how disgusting - Hob
Nobs with Oxo." He proved me wrong when his plate arrived filled with something that
vaguely resembled a scone (except this mutant was indeed the circumference of the
plate) topped - or should I say drowned - in this white, lumpy goo that had the
consistency of wallpaper glue (and the same taste, I might add...). After whitnessing
my fiance tuck in and devour every last morsel, I realised then how much I loved him.
Anything less would have sent me running for the loo.... Somehow, Hob Nobs with Oxo
doesn't seem quite so bad after all....

Denyse
 
Old Nov 15th 2001, 2:15 am
  #9  
Sarah And Shawn
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I also live in Texas and all your top ten raised a smile as I have thought the same
many times over. A few things to add to your list

Ice-- Seems to be used in abundance. The one or two cubes given grudgingly in the UK
being replaced with a berg of titanic proportion

Tea-- I am yet to find a decent cuppa ( apart from the obvious iced variety) . Last
attampt was a pot of luke warm water which was obtained by running through the coffee
machine. Served after being left to cool for a while with the teabag arriving about 5
minutes later. Water was ready sweetened with what semed like a sugar plantation and
the resulting gnats piss brew was served with buttermilk

Kettles-- The US seems completely devoid of the leccy kettle probably explaining the
lack of a decent brew!!

Sarah----
 
Old Nov 15th 2001, 8:36 am
  #10  
Catherine Boss
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You can buy electric kettles in Target!!!!

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Old Nov 15th 2001, 9:14 am
  #11  
Alvena Ferreira
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MHALEY12345 wrote:
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Coon ain't too bad, but possum's kinda greasy for my taste. Love rabbit too. Wish I
had some smoked deer sausage right now...<sigh> alvena
 
Old Nov 15th 2001, 11:30 am
  #12  
Andy Platt
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Got mine at Service Merchandise if they have those in your area. Deana was very very
dubious about it but needless to say the stove-top model never got used afterwards!

Andy.

--
I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination.
 
Old Nov 15th 2001, 12:37 pm
  #13  
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Originally posted by Catherine Boss
You can buy electric kettles in Target!!!!

But these are awful. Yuk! Complete waste of $9.

I got a Krups one in Sur La Table. I've seen them in other upscale cook's shop - eg Sonoma Williams.
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Old Nov 15th 2001, 2:48 pm
  #14  
Simon Jessey
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<Kettles-- The US seems completely devoid of the leccy kettle probably explaining the
lack of a decent brew!!>

Thanks for confirming that for me. I thought I was going nuts or just looking in the
wrong place or something.

Simon, UK http://members.aol.com/scjessey/

09/10/01 I-129F filed
09/11/01 1st NOA
09/12/01 Request For Evidence
09/13/01 2nd NOA
 
Old Nov 15th 2001, 3:57 pm
  #15  
Forcefulljack10
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Alvena Ferreira <[email protected]>
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[usenetquote2]> > I'm with ya on the gravy Brian! Recently I was visiting Florida and a friend[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> > insisted on making me the aforementioned gloopy white substance. Now, it may be[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> > an aquired taste....but i can safely say that it was one of the most vile things[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> > i have ever eaten!!!! [/usenetquote2]
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Fried squirrel?????????? Alvena - I have always held you in the highest regard,Please
tell me you were kiddin about the squirrel thing huh FJ10.
 

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