Monday, January 15, 2007

Free Water (And other differences between the U.S. and CH)

Differences between U.S. and CH noticed on first trip home after 6 months abroad.

1. Disorganized airport/customs in U.S. vs. ├╝ber organization in CH—even candles at the check-in counters. That would never happen in the U.S!
2. Casual dressing in U.S., looser fitting clothes, less black, no boots
3. Larger people, whew!! In U.S. (see #5, 9)
4. Waiters and waitresses bother you much more in the U.S. interrupting conversations all the time.
5. No path/forest always right around the corner to walk on—less walking
6. Huge grocery stores/huge everything/all stores. I missed Kohls!
7. No need for a cart to pull your stuff around in!! (See #8)
8. FREE grocery bags!!
9. Big cold, ice-filled drinks with FREE refills that are brought to you before you even finish the one you’re on (see #3, 150 calories, every 12 oz).
10. Free WATER! (versus $5 for one glass, really cuts down on meal costs!)
11. Cheap food! (see 8, 10) Cheap gas!
12. Food is much greasier
13. More informal
14. Space/Distance. Everything is sprawling, big, and spread out. (The grocery store, post office, library, train station, shoe store, department store, etc aren’t just a 5 min walk away). People act accordingly and don’t stand as close together. It’s interesting how geography affects how people behave as well.
15. Enjoying the simple fact that I can talk to anyone and aren’t worried all the time that someone might say something to me I won’t understand!
16. Doggie Bags, bigger portions
17. No tying paper recycling in little packets with strings!
18. People actually stand in line!
19. I can use my credit card anywhere! So I charged $3 just because I could!
20. Debt is a part of life in the U.S. (see #19)

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