America - its all a bit odd...

#1
I am currently on my 25th visit (work and holiday) to the USA. While I have had a lot of great memories, it is still a deeply weird country with a lot of things that I just dont get. I thought I would capture a few to see of any ARRSERS could make sense of it all.

Very public toilets...
There is no such thing as a private satisfying shit in the USA. Every public loo stall seems to have enormous gaps between the floor and stall, and between door and stall that leaves nothing to the imagination.

You walk in and get to make eye contact with all your fellow toilet users, who often feel obliged to say hello. Why cant a man take a shit in privacy?

This is before we get to the appalling state of public toilets, which look and smell like a dirty protest cell. Americans make British toilets look serene and sophisticated.

No road signs
You drive down a road, usually a freeway and are waiting to make a turn off. Unlike the UK where things are signed up and clear, there is one tiny sign on the junction without warning. Driving here involves a lot of u turns, swearing and getting very lost - even with a GPS.

Land of the free (except for all the rules)
Go to any site, official location, shop and there are always rules telling you what you can and cannot do. The whole country is insanely germanic in the way in expressly nags and bollocks people to follow the rules. Everywhere you go there are instructions, and it feels like you cannot breathe without following the rulebook. The worst part is everyone follows the rules without question no matter how mad they are.

Third World Public Transport
I defy anyone to get on a US public transport system and not look around and wonder if they are actually in the third world country of nambia.

Decrepit stations, no information (staff follow rules saying do not ask for help). Trains dirty, slow and full of weird people. Stations designed as an example of what the world will be like when trologdytes rule the earth (hello Penn Station).

Adverts with tv shows
Last night a local TV channel showed a batman film. It started at 8pm and finiahed at midnight - to show a barely 2hr long film. It was adverts at a 1:1 ratio to film.

The adverts are awful - medical ones show images of elderly people with loving families talking about wonder drug X saving their lide. Then there is 2-3 minutes of film footage while the side effects of drug X, usually including 'death' get read out.

Cult like self belief
An isolated country led by a remote despotic figure with nuclear weapons. Kids indoctrinated from birth to belive they live in paradise, visible and very scary levels of patriotism on display and a sense that anyone who questions it is a threat. Sometimes its hard to tell DPRK and USA apart...


Look, I love this country but my god its mad out here.
 
#4
I am currently on my 25th visit (work and holiday) to the USA. While I have had a lot of great memories, it is still a deeply weird country with a lot of things that I just dont get. I thought I would capture a few to see of any ARRSERS could make sense of it all.

Very public toilets...
There is no such thing as a private satisfying shit in the USA. Every public loo stall seems to have enormous gaps between the floor and stall, and between door and stall that leaves nothing to the imagination.

You walk in and get to make eye contact with all your fellow toilet users, who often feel obliged to say hello. Why cant a man take a shit in privacy?

This is before we get to the appalling state of public toilets, which look and smell like a dirty protest cell. Americans make British toilets look serene and sophisticated.

No road signs
You drive down a road, usually a freeway and are waiting to make a turn off. Unlike the UK where things are signed up and clear, there is one tiny sign on the junction without warning. Driving here involves a lot of u turns, swearing and getting very lost - even with a GPS.

Land of the free (except for all the rules)
Go to any site, official location, shop and there are always rules telling you what you can and cannot do. The whole country is insanely germanic in the way in expressly nags and bollocks people to follow the rules. Everywhere you go there are instructions, and it feels like you cannot breathe without following the rulebook. The worst part is everyone follows the rules without question no matter how mad they are.

Third World Public Transport
I defy anyone to get on a US public transport system and not look around and wonder if they are actually in the third world country of nambia.

Decrepit stations, no information (staff follow rules saying do not ask for help). Trains dirty, slow and full of weird people. Stations designed as an example of what the world will be like when trologdytes rule the earth (hello Penn Station).

Adverts with tv shows
Last night a local TV channel showed a batman film. It started at 8pm and finiahed at midnight - to show a barely 2hr long film. It was adverts at a 1:1 ratio to film.

The adverts are awful - medical ones show images of elderly people with loving families talking about wonder drug X saving their lide. Then there is 2-3 minutes of film footage while the side effects of drug X, usually including 'death' get read out.

Cult like self belief
An isolated country led by a remote despotic figure with nuclear weapons. Kids indoctrinated from birth to belive they live in paradise, visible and very scary levels of patriotism on display and a sense that anyone who questions it is a threat. Sometimes its hard to tell DPRK and USA apart...


Look, I love this country but my god its mad out here.

This might explain it..

fullmetaljacketcrapperclean.jpg
 
#5
I love the place, but yes, they're ******* weird.
 
#6
I was in Monterey when Clint was mayor of Carmel. He overturned the rule that you could not sell ice cream cones. Who would have a law stopping you selling ice cream cones on a beach!!
 
#7
#8
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This is the type of thing that puts me off visiting.
Same planet, different universe!
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Very public toilets...
There is no such thing as a private satisfying shit in the USA. Every public loo stall seems to have enormous gaps between the floor and stall, and between door and stall that leaves nothing to the imagination.

You walk in and get to make eye contact with all your fellow toilet users, who often feel obliged to say hello. Why cant a man take a shit in privacy?
Spend less on flights and more on hotels!

I don't agree with the road signs. 1800 miles in a week including inner L.A., I was quite pleased with signage.

The biggest oddity remains how the aborted snot like slime they call grits was ever considered edible.
 
#10
I lived in the USA between 2003 & 2016. The thing that struck me was the America centric world view.

The best part was I you were somewhere where British people were fairly rare, it wasn't difficult to pick women up if you wanted. The wife used to get really pissed off with the women who used to flirt except when used to get a discount.

Sent from my Lenovo TB2-X30F using Tapatalk
 
#12
I am often there, on the East Coast.

Truly public loos and the different word meanings get me. "Shall we hook up tonight and grab a drink". With a look like id licked peoples faces.

Bizaare PCness. I shared a cab '[septic passenger] can you understand the driver?' "No. I think he's Mexican" 'OMG how can you say that! You can't say that!!"

The one that really grips me is you can't delegate and expect them to make a decision (in a retail situation). 'Do you want mayo at no extra cost?' "I don't mind. You chose" 'Sir I cannot do that'. That's happened 5x
 
#13
I lived in the USA between 2003 & 2016. The thing that struck me was the America centric world view.

The best part was I you were somewhere where British people were fairly rare, it wasn't difficult to pick women up if you wanted. The wife used to get really pissed off with the women who used to flirt except when used to get a discount.

Sent from my Lenovo TB2-X30F using Tapatalk
Eh?
 
#14
I am often there, on the East Coast.

Truly public loos and the different word meanings get me. "Shall we hook up tonight and grab a drink". With a look like id licked peoples faces.

Bizaare PCness. I shared a cab '[septic passenger] can you understand the driver?' "No. I think he's Mexican" 'OMG how can you say that! You can't say that!!"

The one that really grips me is you can't delegate and expect them to make a decision (in a retail situation). 'Do you want mayo at no extra cost?' "I don't mind. You chose" 'Sir I cannot do that'. That's happened 5x

Uber?
 
#15
I’ve been stateside a handful of times, overall I can’t really complain much.

Lessons learnt:

Don’t visit NYC peak summer due to horrendous humidity.
Travel as light as possible, plan accordingly & avoid travelling during peak periods unless forced to and eat in decent restaurants.(ie: Gabriels, Columbus circle)
Watch the locals & attempt at all costs not to appear like a mong tourist
Only using taxi when Absolutely necessary.
Mega bus for the frugal travellers, we used it to visit DC.
DC, I enjoyed and hotel, staff and customer service flawless.
DC metro easy to use
American tv is Shiote
Miami driviers are cnuts, shopping good.
Downtown Miami similiar to Camden or Brixton & south beach is posers paradise with wallets to match.
Seattle, lovely place will revisit.
Allow extra time for important stuff
US border staff are right grumpy miserable barstewards.
Don’t use public toilets use cafe, restaurant or blag hotel ones

Highly recommend using Miami airports private ‘service & veterans lounge’ used it twice, once you’ve signed in relaxed with refreshments & left appropriate tip/donation.
 
#16
Spend less on flights and more on hotels!

I don't agree with the road signs. 1800 miles in a week including inner L.A., I was quite pleased with signage.

The biggest oddity remains how the aborted snot like slime they call grits was ever considered edible.
Dont worry about hotels - am going to apend next 3 weeks spamming your FB feed accordingly :)

LA is good - boondocks is emotional for signs!

Grits are evil.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
Dont worry about hotels - am going to apend next 3 weeks spamming your FB feed accordingly :)
Go for it, I love a challenge and I've acquired a number of new memory cards ;-)

I'm due a new posting, I need one with travel :)

Just remember, banjo's are a sure sign of a decent party to head to and all the locals love being called "homey" or "my n&&&a" - honest! Please have your nearest and dearest FB Live some interaction with you and the locals !
 
#18
I'm hoping to do West Coast SF > Seattle in the next year, the last trip SF > SD > LV > GC > PHX > ATL was awesome!
 
#19
US border staff are right grumpy miserable barstewards.
The young lady who let me in at Newark International last February was charming and chatty, you just can't trust stereotypes can you.

I spent 5 weeks in rural Pennsylvania. Yes it was 'foreign' despite the fact they speak our language but I've been made to feel less welcome in both Wales and Scotland. I enjoyed driving on relatively traffic free roads where drivers generally were courteous and despite [or perhaps because of] being in Trump country I had a couple of interesting political discussions. Finally to my great delight I was staying next to a microbrewery which served cask draft beer at a civilised temperature.
 
#20
Jim has encapsulated why I like Canada so much.

It seems to combine the plus points of the US but with less madness and idiots with guns.


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