Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Copy Post .......... sort of.

I was just over at Stella's blog, and saw that she had made a list of the 5 things she loves/hates about living in Switzerland, and I thought, I'm lacking in the 'interesting posts' of late so I thought I'd borrow her idea and do my own, adding the American Twist to things.

So here goes;

Five Things I Love About America
  1. The weather. Living in the US means that 4 times during the year, I actually get a different season. Spring, Summer, Fall AND Winter no less! Granted, living in Northeast Ohio means that sometimes I can get all 4 seasons in one day but still, it's lovely. Coming from England where you may get sunshine for a couple of weeks, here, we are guaranteed at least 3 months of HOT HOT sunny weather. Then, in the Fall we get warm, sit on your deck in the evening, drinking and chilling with friends weather. Then, when Mother Nature feels like she has had enough of being nice, she lets loose with Winter and we get snow out the arse! It still makes me laugh when Winter comes and in the UK there are reports of 20,000 homes being without power after a whopping 2cm of 'light frosty' snow has fallen. Americans wouldn't even sneeze at that! We get 2 FEET of snow and maybe we'll get the road sweepers out! Maybe. Then, after 3 months of that, the old bitch teases us with Spring. Then Winter. Then Spring. I wouldn't change it for anything.
  2. Size. Does matter! People around the world make fun of Americans by saying "everything is bigger". Well, let me tell you it is! And I love it! My TV is about 61" wide and I love it. My washer can fit 12 pairs of jeans and a couple of bath towel comfortably and I love it. Cars are bigger. Granted people are bigger but hey... give and take you know! The country as a whole is bigger than the UK where I originated. It takes approx 10+ hours to drive from the top to the bottom of the UK. I think it would take 10 hours alone to drive through Ohio (from top left to bottom right :)
  3. People. I have made many MANY friends over here, from all over the US. Good, genuine, I couldn't live without, close friends. When I first moved here, I was shocked and somewhat bothered by how friendly people were. Everyone you met asked "How are you?" and took time to enquire about your day, your family, your well-being. To tell the truth, it sounded totally fake. Slowly but surely, I made friends and realised that they actually WERE interested in how you were! I notice this attitude more when I take trips back to the UK and people you meet seem grumpy, could give a toss how you were and what you were doing. This doesn't apply to all English people (so no hate mail please) just some. But friends, and friendly people sure make living here easy!
  4. TV. Well of course I was going to say this! I love the variety of shows we have here. Being able to watch shows as and when they happen and not have to wait for the next season to watch the show (as in the UK and Friends etc.,) is awesome. I get the cream of the crop of English TV shows from BBC America or YouTube or the Internet so I don't miss out. But I LOVE LOVE the TV.
  5. My American Husband. 'Nuff said.
Five Things I Hate About America
  1. Lack of optional transport. I have lived in the US for 8 years and have seen probably 5 taxi cabs. I don't mean airport taxis, I mean taxis in and around the city. There just isn't a taxi company in the city or surrounding city. Bus services? There is a meagre offering of buses but nothing like the UK where you can stand on a corner and if you miss one bus, another will be by in 10 minutes, plus there are a variety of routes. I should also point out there is a high rate of Drunk Drivers here too. Hhhhhhmmmm. Wonder why!?
  2. Accent Aggravations. If I have heard it once, I've heard it a million times from people when engaged in a conversation with me. "Speak English!" Yep. That's what they tell ME! I don't speak a completely different language but you'd think I did from the puzzled looks I get from people. In fact, I have gone over and above what I think I should as far as the way I speak and how I have 'simplified' my 'language'. I pronounce all my T's, and H's, I use American words such as 'Gas' and 'Garbage' etc., yet people STILL either make fun of how I talk or just look at me disgusted.
  3. Commercials. Can you believe I'm complaining about TV? I KNOW! But thankfully, DVR was invented and now, watching 'live' TV is now only painful when watching sports. Once you watch a taped show, and you can fast forward through the commercials you realise just how many there are. A 30 minute show can be sometimes be watched in 12-15 minutes! Amazing. I have a few favorite commercials but really? I could live without them and would quite happily let George pay for the privilege of us never having to watch them again if such an offer was made!
  4. Lack of Knowledge about The UK and it's geography. Whenever people talk about visiting the UK, they only mention one place. London. I agree London has it's offerings but really, what about the coastal towns? the seasides? the moors? the castles? the parks? the countryside? What about them? As I mentioned above England is a fairly small country and if you had a week, you could easily tour the place and see many other things than just your fellow countrymen seeing the same thing. Yeah, Buckingham Palace is nice but so is Castle Howard. Variety IS the spice of life they say.
  5. Immigration processes. I am still waiting for the Immigration Dept to contact me with a date for my test and interview. I would also like to add my thoughts about how I have to take a test on American History and the Government etc., when more than half the Americans I test with the questions I will be asked have no clue as to the answers! I have had my fingerprints taken a total of 4 times - as you know they change on a frequent basis...... and you can't contact them about your case on an individual basis. THEY will contact YOU as and when THEY feel necessary! I would like to add that the only thing I've ever done wrong was get a couple of speeding tickets. I have paid beacoup de taxes, been an upright citizen, and even work for the Government now but do you think any of this will have any bearing on when, or if I become a citizen? Nope.

One Thing I Would Miss If I Ever Left?
  1. My friends. I know we would keep in touch but not seeing them as often as I do? Heartbreaking.

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