It’s been about a year and a half since I’ve been back to the US, and this trip was a good reminder of the things that I used to think were normal that are just plain strange.  Like dirty paper money that’s all the same size.  Pennies!  Waiting at stop signs and traffic lights instead of continuous movement through roundabouts.  Having to take your shoes off to get through security at the airport.  Having to enter a 5 digit zip code to pay at the gas pump.  Do you know how annoying it is to walk into the gas station to pay ahead and guess how much fuel your rental car will take, then walk back in after filling up to get your refund?
Mushy tomatoes – maybe it’s the season, but why are all the tomatoes so pale and mealy?  The dogs everywhere, in every store.  Does your dog really need to go shoe shopping with you?  And then there are the bathrooms.  The stalls all have giant gaps that you can see in and out of.  Then you stand up and the toilet immediately flushes – it would scare the crap out of me if…  …
Then you go to the sink and the soap automatically squirts, the water automatically flows, the towels automatically roll out.  Everything is automatic!
The portion sizes are so massive – do you really need a drink that big?  And can’t we just sit and enjoy each others’ company after eating? 
But then there are the great things – the cheap meals, cheap shopping, cheap everything!  Turning right on red, speed limits that you are expected to exceed.  Cheesecake, mmm.  So much better in the US!  Internet speed, mayo instead of butter on bread, and those automatic bathrooms probably go here too.  The people are nice, friendly, and polite.  Except when they’re driving.  Then they’re psychopathic maniacs.  Service is great, and so are teeth.  Just don’t mention politics!  But if you do run out of amo cans, just head to your local Costco to stock up.

So many different ways of doing everything, none of it is wrong or right.  But it makes me giggle to think about the differences and the things I used to think nothing of.


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