I’ve been living in the US for nearly a year now and there is so much that I still don’t understand here. A lot of things that puzzle me are the obvious ones like healthcare and politics but if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I like to look at things from a different angle so here are the things that really puzzle me about the US.
- Why does a country with so many great fast food chains export all the bad ones? There are so many great fast food chains in America (perhaps too many as my expanding waistline will attest) so why have only the crap ones made it to other countries? Keeping In-N-Out Burger and Chipotle in the US while spreading McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC around the world like a plague is like having Roosevelt and JFK running the country together but sending Sarah Palin as your ambassador to the UN. It’s just not fair guys.
- Toilets with gaps in the doors. It sounds like a weird thing to bring up but other Brits in the US have also told me they find this strange. In the UK and many other countries (not France), toilet cubicles are constructed with privacy in mind, in the US they seem to be designed by voyeurs. Many public toilets have a big gap between the door and the side so that you can see people walk past as you sit there. Awkward! In addition to this, there are often large gaps at the top and the bottom too, it’s enough to give you constipation if you aren’t used to it!
- Fahrenheit. In the entire world the only countries other than the US that use Fahrenheit are Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands and Palau. Now I’m not knocking these countries, I’d like to visit all of them on holiday (I might have to find Palau on a map first) but they aren’t exactly global powers are they? It’s time to embrace a temperature scale that has freezing as 0 and not 32. How about Celsius? Don’t even get me started on ounces…
- Why are greetings cards so slushy? It’s nice that so much thought goes into the sentiment but finding a Father’s Day card that didn’t have three verses of average poetry and lots of dubious similes wasn’t easy. What’s wrong with “Happy Father’s Day, mate” and a picture of a pint of beer? Finding Christmas cards that just said Merry Christmas was time consuming too; my theory is that the designers get paid by the word!
- Hershey’s. Not only does it taste vile but they have tried to prevent companies from importing British Cadbury’s because the Cadbury’s they make under licence is inedible as you can read about in my post here. Other than making Reese’s (which I do admit I have a soft spot for) is there really any point in Hershey’s?
- Drive-thrus. Now I understand that there are places in the US that have very hot summers and very cold winters and having places that let you stay in your car might be handy but it’s gone too far. I get drive-thru fast food restaurants, pharmacies and even banks but there are drive-thru wedding chapels and even funeral parlours, I kid you not. Nothing like saying goodbye to a loved one through glass and a haze of exhaust smoke right?
What do you make of my list, did I leave anything important out? Can you explain any of these for me?