An American Experience

One of my favourite things about living in a foreign country is that people are always suggesting American cultural experiences that I can’t miss but I have to admit I’ve been pretty lax at doing them so far. Sometimes people tell me that I should watch something or eat something and I think to myself never in a million years whilst nodding politely but at least 50% of the time I add it to my mental list. The problem is that the list is ever growing and I’m really bad at motivating myself to actually do the things and finding the time so I’m reaching out to you awesome readers for suggestions.

Which ones should I do first? Do you have any additional ideas (preferably ones that won’t cause offence or get me deported)?

  1. Watch the Red Sox (expensive).
  2. Watch an ice hockey game (expensive but there are fights and things actually happen).
  3. Go tailgating. I assume this would involve making friends with someone who owns a truck so it could take some time.
  4. Go to a political rally (presumably with earplugs).
  5. Watch Parks and Rec (not keen but I would understand 50% of my coworkers pop culture references in one go.
  6. Go to a drive through movie.
  7. Go to Taco Bell (I value the integrity of my stomach but people tell me I should go at least once).
  8. Watch Friends. Only suggest this if you want to hurt me.
  9. F**k off back to England (a stranger suggested this to me on a Facebook page when I suggested Trump might not be the sanest choice for President).
  10. Go to the DMV. I’ve been in the US for over 2 years and still not driven here, mainly because Boston drivers have a scary combination of appalling driving and a high level of confidence in their driving abilities.
  11. Watch the Macy’s Day Parade (granted I only have a one day window per year to do this).
  12. Camp in the woods. I camped a lot in England but we don’t have bears and rattlesnakes etc so it’s less dangerous.
  13. Go to Walmart- quite proud I haven’t been yet but have been told I have to experience it.
  14. Go to a state fair, I don’t think it matters which one.

Thanks for your help!


23 thoughts on “An American Experience

    1. I second the vote for the drive-in movie. The rest of those suggestions (with the exception of the Red Sox) are not things even I want to experience (in some cases experience again) and I’ve lived in the US all my life!

      And if tailgating appeals to you, it doesn’t require a truck. My one and only experience tailgating was out of the side of a van. (Good thing too because it was pouring rain that day!)

      1. Some of these things don’t appeal to me but I’m definitely curious. There is a drive in not too far from our house so it is doable, I think it’d be an interesting experience. 🙂

  1. A.PROMPTreply

    Poor Tom! I take back what I just wrote you on my own site. These are TERRIBLE suggestions! I’m with Christine….I wouldn’t want to experience/re-experience any of these either! Here’s my suggestion…..see how many states you can visit…certainly you can find one event in each state that interests you. Make a plan and hit as many as you can.

    1. I’m doing pretty well on the state list, I think I’m at 25 (mainly because I did a big road trip from LA-Boston before I moved here) but I need to get back into it and explore the North West!

  2. Friends is my all-time favorite show, so I definitely think you should give it a shot. Parks & Rec is awesome too, but if you’re willing to try one tv show, go for Friends.

    I’ve never gotten sick from Taco Bell, and am bewildered at all the Internet people who claim to have – that said, you’re not missing much. Try some real Mexican food instead, if you haven’t yet! We have some delicious things in Texas 🙂

    State fairs, tailgating, and drive-in movies are all fun, and I don’t think you’d regret them! On the other hand, camping is the worst. You will be eaten alive by bugs, and raccoons will steal your food. Then it’ll probably rain, and you’ll have to sleep in a puddle. It’s the worst.

    1. I actually really want to camp, mainly because all of the terrible things that you have mentioned will give me a chance to have a good moan! Also I have only ever seen raccoons once and they are cute!

      Boston isn’t known for great Mexican food, but I do enjoy it. I’m due a trip down south though. Literally everyone I know says that Taco Bell makes you sick but it can’t be that bad if they are still in business! 😛

      1. That’s true, camping does give you interesting experiences. They’re terrible while they’re happening, but then they make for great stories! I love to regale people with the one where my family and I canoed 15 miles in the summer heat, and then ran out of water. Good times haha.

        Also, you are right that raccoons are super cute. I shouldn’t have used them as a reason not to camp. Forgive me, adorable rodents.

        Although Taco Bell’s never made me sick, I admit that I always feel sort of gross after eating it. But maybe that’s all in my head because I’m judging myself for eating it in the first place 🙂

  3. Umm, how have you never seen Friends? It used to be on Channel 4 all the bloody time! Probably some of the best comedy scripting I’ve seen.
    And seeing as WalMart own them, doesn’t it count if you’ve already been to a big Asda?

      1. I know what you mean. I was initially very wary of The Simpsons and Family Guy, as well as Friends. I guess having low expectations helped win me over once I realised how good the writing was (on all 3). My fave Friends line:
        Monica (to Joey when he is too appalled to look at an act of breastfeeding): “Come on, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world”
        Joey: “I know, but there’s a baby attached to it”

  4. Drive-ins, state fairs, and tailgating are all really fun! I also enjoy camping, but I’m from Kansas, so I grew up with a lot of that redneck outdoorsy stuff. Walmart is great for people watching, especially late at night. Taco Bell is one of those things that’s only satisfying if you eat it when it’s 3 A.M. and you’re drunk.

    1. I’m definitely interested in going to a state fair, I’ve heard rumours of all sorts of strange foods! I will make sure that when I go to either Walmart or Taco Bell it is late at night haha. 🙂

  5. This is great! Drive-in movies are fun but pretty much a thing of the past, depending on where you live in the US. Boing to the DMV is no picnic. Be sure you have your birth certificate and what else may be required by MA. You can find this info online. Walmart is an experience, indeed. I’m not one to frequent Walmart. It’s a culture shock no matter where you live. Camping and State Fairs are fun, if you like that sort of thing. Have fun.

    1. Thank you for all the tips! I am lucky enough to live pretty close to a drive-in movie place so I’ll have to do that in spring. I’m not looking forward to going to the DMV, or Walmart though! 🙂

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