Weird things in America
America is a huge and multinational country and you can really find here EVERYTHING ;) Before I had come to the US, I didn’t read or even wonder about different things that I can expect here. Now I find everything surprising! There are so many weird customs, rules, practices that I’m sometimes shocked ;) Sometimes it’s funny that things that were so obvious for us in Europe are here totally different. This is a very refreshing feeling. However, if there is too many things to arrange quickly and you have none to ask, it may be also frustrating. I’ll describe here some things that wondered me most when I came here.
1. Shopping at the grocery
My husb has nearly nothing in the fridge when I came (however he made me a delicious dinner, that’s true! :D) The next day we went to a grocery and here… a big shock. There were a lot of strange vegetables and fruits. A lot of cans with prepared meals, a lot of frozen prepared meals and meals just to add water to! A huge wall only with ice creams and second one with cereal! Plenty of various sweets and bars but only 4 (!) normal chocolates! Everything was in a huge packs. In Europe you buy one cube of butter. Here you have to buy one huuuge butter or a box with 5 cubes of butter inside. Milk and juice are here in half-gallon (nearly 2L) bottles and water in even bigger! Apart from abnormal size I had a feeling that all of these products are processed and ready to eat. I had huge problems with finding simple things like normal cuscus or tomato concentrate. Instead I found cuscus of 10 different flavours and 25 tomato sauces. Next day my M prepared for my chicken wings… and I was broken! :P There was only hot breadcrumbs, bones and a LOT of fat. I told him that this is the last time he’s eating this sh**!!! He was eating them for a month when I was not here but when I told him that they are so disgusting and unhealthy that they should be forbidden, he noticed that yes, there was something wrong with this ‘chicken’ :P Now I’m more familiar with all products, I tested some of them and it is possible to find good things but you really have to be careful. One of my greatest enemies is high fructose corn syrup - I haven’t met with that ingredient in Poland. It’s a sweetener that cause obesity – what an irony! :P
2. Driving license
As I wrote before, to drive legally in USA you have to have a driving license and this is normal. Here, you can get your license at the age of 16! This is so early, in my opinion too early but the distances and poor public transport in most of the cities made so. What is funny for me is that you don’t have to do a driving course that will learn you how to drive. So how to learn that?? Well, you can drive totally illegally or… you can wait until you are 16, pass a theory driving test, obtain a permit and… drive with other person having a minimum 5 years old license. Interesting. Driving on the street with other people who have no idea you don’t know how to drive ;) Second thing – you can go for a driving test with your own car, fail the test and come back with your own car as well (hmm… I did so but I have a license from another country :P) Finally, there are no independent examination units – you can have your test with the same instructor that thought you. If you pay $40 more, he’ll even give you a worm up ride at the same places where you’ll go during the exam. For European people that sounds just unbelievable :D Like my husband said – they are doing everything for you to pass, as it’s impossible to live here without a car. And that is the truth.
3. Feeling of freedom
It’s very easy to notice here that a lot of people have huge cars or trucks. We were wondering for a long time why do they need them. They probably don’t live on a farm, don’t carry cows or sheep… and there cars are not practical, it’s difficult to find a parking spot for them – that was what we thought (and in fact still think! ;)) Soon we noticed that American people want to be as much independent as possible. Even if they would need to use such a huge car once a year, they still think it’s worth to have it and don’t ask other people for help.
Generally you can feel really free here – because of the space, huge and wide freeways, still quite wild nature… People don’t care here about their outfit, they just wear truck-suit to feel comfortable. They don’t show off, as they don’t care what other people think about them. I never thought I would be enjoying that to such extent :P No more ironing! :D
I’ll soon write about more weird things that I noticed in America :D