Since landing back here in my home country for a few weeks this summer, there are a few glaring things about the USA that really stand out to me now. Things I hadn’t really paid much attention to before our move to Asia.
So this is my Top 10 list of things in the USA that I cannot help but notice.
1. Texting drivers. Everywhere I look, I see texting drivers. It.Makes.Me.Crazy. Do we not realize how dangerous this is?? Do we not care about being the cause of accidents? Are we so arrogant that we think we can text and drive safely?? What on earth is so important that we have to risk everyones lives to text about?? In Singapore the penalty for texting/talking on the phone while driving is so high, that no one does it. How high?
2. Vehicles in the USA are HUGE! SUVs, trucks, vans. We like big vehicles here!
3. Americans like to use trailers to tow things. Everywhere I look, I see those oversized vehicles towing something … a Uhaul, lawn mowing gear, campers, bikes, boats, cars, ATVs, jet skis. Look around, you’ll notice it too!!
4. There are very few motorcycles here, compared to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, etc. And of course, the motorcycles that are here, are HUGE!! And some even have trailers! No kidding!
5. Road kill. Oh my word, there is so much road kill here. Skunks, raccoons, deer, squirrel, it’s just disgusting and gross.
6. Public bathroom stalls that offer no privacy: the frames are put together with large cracks in them, and the walls stop just below the knee. Some have locks that don’t lock, and some don’t have locks at all. When I mentioned this to my kids, they said some public restrooms that they’ve been in didn’t even have doors on all the stalls! Yikes! In Asia, the doors come all the way to the floor, and the stalls are put together properly with zero peek-through areas. I prefer those.
7. Restaurants are loud with music, and loud with customers. I notice that when dining out, we Americans talk loud to each other. We tease, laugh, tell stories, generally have a good time, and are loud doing it.
8. Americans strike up conversations with each other, at least where I live, here in the upper-midwest, the people are extremely friendly. I have noticed that we talk to complete strangers, have conversations, make friends, with just about anyone and everyone. We are not shy, and it feels like we want to connect with each other, we care about each other even though we don’t know each other and may never see each other again. Random people having random conversations with each other. I love it. I love to engage with complete strangers. I can ride in a taxi and know all about the drivers family by the time I get out. I really enjoy talking to people, and I have noticed that many Americans are chatty! See, it’s NOT just me!!
9. Fruits and vegetables don’t last here, when bought from the grocery store. I buy strawberries and I we don’t eat them in the next 24 hours, they are moldy & rotten. The same with the lettuce, berries, plums, peaches, etc. They just don’t stay nice here. In Singapore I buy everything at the wet market, which is very similar to a Farmers Market. The produce I get stays fresh three times longer!!
10. Choices! I am completely overwhelmed by all the choices that Americans have. Do we really need five different brands of ketchup, each in five different bottle sizes?? Is it necessary to have many brands in many sizes for all the products? We can choose from: original, Lite, Fat Free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Low Fructose, Peanut free, non-dairy, low carb, Vegan, organic … choices galore! It’s overwhelming, unnecessary, and a bit embarrassing at the same time. I would never have thought this had I never left the USA. I expected all the choices, felt that I needed them.
I am sure that I can add to this list, in fact, I just thought of another … wide open spaces! I love all the fields here by my home. Corn fields, soy fields, fields with cattle, friends with large pastures for their horses, even my own home and big yard surrounding it. I love all the wide open spaces!!
God Bless the USA!!