Sunday, 24 September 2017

6 Weird Things About Life in the USA

It's now been three months since I packed up my bags and moved to the USA. It's been a fun, crazy, sad, busy, lonely and educational experience. I didn't expect to feel too much of a culture shock but some things have really surprised me so far. I mean... Americans don't know what a fortnight is.... But overall, I've been surprised by my lack of homesickness and how well I've handled everything. Apart from getting sick (that makes me cry for my mummy like a little kid). But I wanted to write a post listing some of the weird things I've encountered since moving here. And I'll hopefully write an update post about my life here if you guys would like that! 


Americans Love Scots

Americans just about lose their shit when you tell them you're from Scotland. They want to hear all about it. My accent back home is nothing special. Here it's an open invitation for strangers to ask me where I'm from. 

Fixed Shower Heads

Oh, my god, these are the worst. You know those fixed showerheads that you find in cheap European hostels/hotels? Those are the norm in the US. Even in people's houses. I just really miss being able to take a really nice shower and being able to adjust the height and angle of the showerhead. It's the little things! 

Grocery Stores

When I lived in Edinburgh I'd do my weekly food shops in small, city supermarkets. Humble Tesco metro, the Nicholson St. Lidl etc. However, in the US supermarkets are huuuuge and the selection is so much wider. I've been here almost 3 months and I still struggle with food shopping. It's really overwhelming and there's so much I struggle to find what I'm looking for. Plus it's generally a bit more expensive than in the UK. But I have learned this: almost anything you want, you can find it in a can. 

Waste

I didn't quite realise how eco-friendly the UK is in comparison until I moved here. I've gotten used to avoiding plastic bags in the UK but here they are still free and when you go for your 'groceries' they use an awful lot of them. The cashiers will normally pack your bags for you and unless you step in and say otherwise, they'll sometimes only pack three or four items per bag. And don't even get me started on recycling! The house I live in? No recycling bin! Can you imagine not having any recycling at home in the UK. I feel so guilty about it! 

Fast Food Is So Cheap

Now this one is not a complaint! Fast food and generally - food that's not good for you is so much cheaper than in the UK. Say hello to $1 slices of pizza and amazing taco trucks. Even chains like McDonald's are much cheaper. You can get a 20 chicken nugget meal (yes a 20 nugget meal) for $8. It's not uncommon for people to eat out much more often and tbh when fast food is so cheap and groceries so expensive - it's not hard to see why. 

Drivers Are Kinda Crazy

Now I don't have a drivers license. But holy shit American drivers are not as careful as Brits. To be fair though, this could be a Connecticut thing. I've had Uber drivers tell me they'd rather drive in New York City than Connecticut. People swerve lanes, drive fast and it's scarily common to see people using their phones when driving. And forget yielding to pedestrians - you're on your own.

Love it or hate it, I'm so glad to have this opportunity.

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