Fifteen Things I Noticed About You, America.
I’m on the bus from DC to New York City, the final fling before I have to leave these fair lands for the snowy United Kingdom; home for me, a place that seems to be going through some rough times when viewed from afar. So, before I leave American, I thought I would note down the things that never fail to register on the strange-ometer, even after a year living here
1.The Lost Words: At some point, some words were lost or misunderstood in the American language. Take these phrases for example: The President will address the nation (on) Tuesday, It’s cold out(side), I have a couple (of) things to give you, and my personal favourite: “I could(n’t) care less”
2. The Friendly Conversations: I hope that when I go back home I’ll be able to retain the ability to enjoy a harmless chat with a stranger…Something that we English find somewhat disturbing by our very nature.
3. The Bathrooms: Well, I’ve said enough about those before, but they are particularly noteworthy.
4. End of Term Scramble: For the last two weeks of the semester, and round about the midterms, I cannot bring myself to go in the library. It must make professor’s warm inside to see the industry of the students, but it just makes me nervous.
5. Don’t Take The Bus!: Americans like to drive and fly, they do not like to get buses. Every time I get a train or a bus to go somewhere, I’m surrounded by fellow foreigners, or those who have no choice but to take the cheapest form of transport.
6. Flying The Flag: We just don’t do it, and you do, a lot.
7. Support Our Troops: Something that is starting to grow in the UK, but has been sorely absent for a long time. The military here are given due respect and adulation, not just on veterans day and memorial day. However, both our governments could do a lot more to support veterans.
8. Girls Who Drink Beer: At home, the girls drink wine, mixed drinks, or Smirnoff-ice type drinks. Here, the girls are true connoisseurs of the finest wheat beers and porters.
9. Drunk Driving: Sorry, but America has a problem with drunk driving, and one day hopefully it will wake up and realise that.
10. Tip Your Bartenders: I think I’m used to this by now, but it will be nice to not have to do mental gymnastics every time I want to buy a meal or a round of drinks.
11. College Sports: OK AU isn’t exactly University of Texas when it comes to its athletics program, but the college varsity sports system in the United States is nothing short of astonishing. Witnessing the passion of a big college football game is a must for any sports fan.
12. Just Cruisin’: Americans are never in a rush to get anywhere in their cars. At home, once behind the wheel, you’re in a race. Overtaking on single-lane highways is almost unheard of in the United States, but a national pastime in Britain.
13. Dogs, But No Cats: I love dogs, but I also love cats. Hell, I own a giant stuffed white tiger. It seems that the cat revolution has missed the United States. You never see resplendent felines roaming the streets of DC. Perhaps there wouldn’t be as many squirrels if they did!
14. Greek Life: The vagaries of the fraternity/sorority system will continue to baffle me for as long as I live. All at once, its traditions seem quaint, disgusting, innocent, and degrading.
15. Nostalgia: At some point in the 1980s, it seems that American musicians stopped writing classic nostalgia songs. At least that’s the story that the jukeboxes tell. That moment in the dive bar, when they play those songs…I don’t think Willow Smith or Cee-Lo will ever replace the classics.
Posted in Brit Bit