America - its all a bit odd...

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!!
Its Mr. Eastwood.
 
Very public toilets...

Stops wrong doin in the John

No road signs

The locals know where they are goin

Land of the free (except for all the rules)

'Murica is not a Democracy, its a Representative Republic - just like ancient Rome.

Third World Public Transport

Only very poor people and Komifornians use public tranport in the land of cheap cars and even cheaper gas

Adverts with tv shows

You mean you didn't love Lucy?

Cult like self belief

American Exceptionalism - one of their core founding beliefs.


.
 

jim30

LE
I'm hoping to do West Coast SF > Seattle in the next year, the last trip SF > SD > LV > GC > PHX > ATL was awesome!
I did California last year and am on west coast doing oregon and washington state. I would definitely split it up - too much to do for one trip!
 
I did California last year and am on west coast doing oregon and washington state. I would definitely split it up - too much to do for one trip!
I'll be taking at least four weeks ;-)
 
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.
Only using taxi when Absolutely necessary.
Allow extra time for important stuff
Don’t use public toilets use cafe, restaurant or blag hotel ones
If traveling to NYC some things to consider-

- NEVER take anything someone hands you in NYC on the street. A Big Scam is the DVD/CD handed to you and then the grifters approach and try to get as much money from you as possible. I saw an Asian student get hit for 80 bucks

-If in a NYC Hotel you have to ask for a Coffee/Tea Maker for the room as it's not typically included

-IF flying out of JFK the flat rate for Taxicabs is 56$ from Manhattan and allow 3 hours before flight due to security and traffic. Some people dont realize that trying to go to JFK at 8am on a weekday is a forlorn hope as several million people are on the roads at that time going to work.

-Get the MTA.info app for your phone while in NYC to have the Subway and Bus schedules on your phone.
MTA | Subway, Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North

- Tell your female companions not to dress like Hookers when going out at night, as it only will cause you and them trouble, and the Actual Hookers will think its competition.

-Hotel Bathrooms are typically ONLY for guests. If asked tell them you are a guest or visiting a guest

NYC Transit Bathrooms are much like Iraqi Army Portashitters withouth the chance or random mortar fire
 
I love the US but I would probably live there, but it would have to be the right area.
My first trips were to southern California. Fantastic place and very relaxed. My next set of trips were to Texas. Two distinctly different places withe two hugely different views on life.

The paradox of outrageous gun laws, a massive porn industry yet they baulk at the thought of nudity/swearing and getting pissed.

Going out and having sit in shitty booths being waited on by 'Candy, and I'll be your server tonight'. Or sat at the bar drinking like a loner. It's very unsociable and doesn't make for a good get-together and meeting new people. It's a wonder how Americans ever meet up and start relationships. It must be through work?

Yes, work! The PC culture at work pisses me right off. The tip-toeing around race and poverty, is hugely annoying too. At my last company's distribution centre, all the blacks sat together in the canteen, along with other self-segregated of Hispanics and whites. Even guys in the same office don't bother conversing unless it's 100% work. Don't even get me onto the lack of banter.

The US self-centrist thing too is mind-numbing. A US colleague, admittedly she wasn't the sharpest tool in the box and hailed originally from Georgia, was shocked to find out the UK didn't use US$ as the currency. Their lack of knowledge about the world in general is eye-watering. I'm sure that their appetite for international news, politics and culture, is what CNN & Fox can be bothered to show them.

Why too does everyone eats out and get presented with ******* huge portions, and wonder why they're all fat? Most houses have massive kitchens and huge cookers/ovens, yet feck all gets used. After work every day, it's another invite to go out and eat wings and ribs before trailing back to the hotel. In the end I just used to tell everyone that I had a headache to avoid another mountain plate of food and small talk.
 
If traveling to NYC some things to consider-

- NEVER take anything someone hands you in NYC on the street. A Big Scam is the DVD/CD handed to you and then the grifters approach and try to get as much money from you as possible. I saw an Asian student get hit for 80 bucks
Happens at Venice Beach, CA too. Took me 15 minutes to extricate myself from a heated discussion with some dude trying to get $20 for a CD of his shitty music he handed to me as I strolled past
 
Happens at Venice Beach, CA too. Took me 15 minutes to extricate myself from a heated discussion with some dude trying to get $20 for a CD of his shitty music he handed to me as I strolled past
I had one guy stop me on Hollywood Blvd trying to hand me a CD of his music, which I refused. He proceeded to hassle me about why I didn't want it. When I told him I don't like 'Black' music he was too stunned to actually say or do anything, and I just quietly slipped away into the crowds :)
 
The PC culture at work pisses me right off.
When I was working at Lockheed we were embedded inside a working barracks at an IPT staff heavily weighted with serving soldiers (mostly), airmen and sailors. Such fun when we had a new one from America, you could see them turn grey (even the black ones) and search for earplugs........ :)
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
I think I have visited half the individual States one way of another but it was all a long time ago.

However,

1. The US made me realise how different and specifically European my outlook was. For someone who believes crooks (other derogatory terms available) begin at Calais that was a surprise.

2. Germanic. Yes indeedy, and they gave us that awful word 'hopefully'. The German surnames everywhere are the giveaway and the furniture and TV sets all heavily Teutonic. They don't do irony or even humour much, what they think is comedy is heavily overstressed obvious clichés and not funny at all but maybe that is because half the American audience are going to have to translating laboriously in their heads.. That said, I did once meet a US NO with a sense of humour, we gave him a mess number and he became almost a wardroom fixture.

3. All hotel etc employees meticulously do what they are paid to do, but no more, even won't tell you where to buy a postage stamp. Service is rigorously formulaic (German again).

4. Those awful T shirts under their shirts.

5. GHASTLY lunches but vg breakfasts.

Some likes to be fair - Tom Lehrer, Richard Rodgers, John Steinbeck.

Gee, izzat so?
 
If traveling to NYC some things to consider-

- NEVER take anything someone hands you in NYC on the street. A Big Scam is the DVD/CD handed to you and then the grifters approach and try to get as much money from you as possible. I saw an Asian student get hit for 80 bucks

-If in a NYC Hotel you have to ask for a Coffee/Tea Maker for the room as it's not typically included

-IF flying out of JFK the flat rate for Taxicabs is 56$ from Manhattan and allow 3 hours before flight due to security and traffic. Some people dont realize that trying to go to JFK at 8am on a weekday is a forlorn hope as several million people are on the roads at that time going to work.

-Get the MTA.info app for your phone while in NYC to have the Subway and Bus schedules on your phone.
MTA | Subway, Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North

- Tell your female companions not to dress like Hookers when going out at night, as it only will cause you and them trouble, and the Actual Hookers will think its competition.

-Hotel Bathrooms are typically ONLY for guests. If asked tell them you are a guest or visiting a guest

NYC Transit Bathrooms are much like Iraqi Army Portashitters withouth the chance or random mortar fire
Your first point, I’m no mug & someone tried that with us in Paris on the Champs-Elysee, it was a gold ring & when I was approached I replied in my finest French/Scottish combination twang....Foxtrot Oxscar or I call the Police...he walked away frothing like a remainer.

I only book decent hotels and know what I want.

I only fly into Newark, evening attire never had a problem.

Hotel restrooms (by experience) are used as a last resort and door staff dependant.

I will return to NYC some day, spend less time in Manhattan and more in the outer boroughs. I’m a seasoned traveller however preparation and planning is key and all that..




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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.
Admittedly I’ve never had a female staff member, the Cuban border guard was more cheerful than any US one I’ve dealt with.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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.
Anti-homosexual measures. Yes, really. You can see if there's more than one person in the trap.

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?
If you've made eye contact with somebody, it's rude not to say hello. Are you normally rude?

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.
Nobody uses public toilets you moron. Go into the nearest Walgreens/Walmart/Waffle House/McDonalds/whatever and take a shit there. They are ubiquitous. Certainly more common than public bogs. Jesus, you've been here 25 times (NIG :) ) and haven't worked this out yet?

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.
You're in California. They can't afford them. Here in the lush green south, we have plenty of road signs. Mostly "Peachtree St, Peachtree Rd, Peachtree Court, Peachtree Rd S, Peachtree St N" etc. Oh, I forgot, "N Peachtree St NW".

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.
Because if the rules aren't stated, the owner will be sued because there wasn't a sign prohibiting X that Y was pulled up for.

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).
What is this "Public Transport" of which you speak? I think some of the larger cities have it for their poor folk. If you flew over business class, you are now doing a poor person out of a seat. You rotter.

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.
25 times over here and you've only just worked this out? Jesus wept man, I know you were in the Navy, but, Christ on a bike that's slow on the uptake, even for a Matelot. One does not come to the USA to watch TV. How much clearer can that be?

Cult like self belief

Look, I love this country but my god its mad out here.
Hell yeah, brother :)
 

endure

GCM
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!!"
How things have changed. I remember sitting in the back of a cab in Charleston and hearing the cabbie say 'the best place for all them n*****s is back in the cotton fields. He made black cab drivers look the model of PC correctness.
 
How things have changed. I remember sitting in the back of a cab in Charleston and hearing the cabbie say 'the best place for all them n*****s is back in the cotton fields. He made black cab drivers look the model of PC correctness.
I take it this cab driver was not a black cab driver? It would be quite likely that you would get a black cab driver in Charleston, but there are no black cabs for the black cab drivers to drive. Those would be in London :)
 

endure

GCM
I take it this cab driver was not a black cab driver? I would be quite likely that you would get a black cab driver in Charleston, but there are no black cabs for the black cab drivers to drive. Those would be in London :)

When I said "black cab driver" I meant the men in London who drive black cabs rather than black men who drive cabs in Charleston :D
 
What makes it so disturbing is that we speak almost the same language, and have seen it in the movies, so we think we know it, and expect it to be like us. Then when you get there it isn't like us and it isn't like the movies, so we experience a discord.
We expect Somalia or even France to be different to the UK, and aren't bothered by differences, but we expect the US to be like us and it isn't.

The movies don't tend to show the third world levels of poverty the exist within a few hundred metres of world famous attractions. There are lots of other differences too: if you get into small town America society can be more like Britain in the 1950's or even 1930's, because people live in such small isolated communities where everyone knows everybody else and their business, and not conforming is social suicide.

Dear, dear Jim, stop lurking in men's washrooms and use Grindr like everyone else.

Oh, and in a land where running a car is so cheap, are you surprised that anyone using public transport is regarded and treated as subhuman.
 
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