God Bless America part 1

It’s been a month since I arrived in America and this is what I’ve learned.

1. American’s are articulate. Sure they can be direct but their ability to explain and discuss without resorting to um-ing and ah-ing is impressive. Even kids seem to be able to do this. I listened to an 11-year-old boy interviewed on TV about how he copes with being very sick. He wasn’t just articulate, he was funny and ironic and entertaining.

2.  They take a ‘ less is more’ approach to English which I both admire and find annoying. They get rid of silent letters in words (all three in doughnut), leave out prepositions and are confused by commas. From the daily paper:

The dangerous conditions kept a lot of people inside this weekend, but those days off, made for a hefty workload Monday.

And they make up words.  What the heck does transformationalising mean?

3. Relying on a GPS to get around in America is essential because road signs are overwhelming.

4. They don’t like small things. Small, medium, large is really large, larger, largest whether it’s a coffee, a burger or a car.

5. Because of #4, Americans need to have a lot of willpower. Even the recipes posted daily on the local news site serve 12 for heaven’s sake.

6. They do like to have choices. My visit to the supermarket will show you what I mean.

7. Going to the movies costs $4. Are you paying attention, New Zealand?

8. There are excellent shows on TV but between the local, national and catchup channels and online streaming, you need a degree to keep rack of them. More choices (see #6). It’s clear that traditional cable TV is dying and providers are getting desperate. One is offering a Oh-God-We’ll-Do-Anything Package to keep their subscribers happy.  Speaking of degrees, America has embraced the internet to make it easy to find the cheapest flights, hotels, car rentals etc. Trouble is, there are so many choices.

9.  Small town America is alive and well and its residents are polite and helpful and interested in the world. I’ve even had one or two correctly guess where my accent is from.

10. Double denim is a perfectly normal fashion statement. It is acceptable for adult men to wear denim dungarees in public, sometimes accompanied by a business shirt. This is probably not true in larger towns.

If you missed God Bless America parts twothree and four they are just a click away!





Categories: An American Adventure


16 replies

  1. Hee hee Donna. Enjoyed reading that one…you’re v articulate and witty yourself you know J

    Kath x


  2. Double denim = Canadian Tuxedo….the accent thing is tough…Americans tend to only consider Australia over here….NZ unfortunately is really off their radar, but then when you mention where you’re from, NZ is a bucket-list destination…after Australia 🙂


    • Canadian tuxedo… never heard of that but just googled it and wish I hadn’t! NZ is definitely a bucket-list destination and in my experience being a Kiwi is a free pass to being accepted as OK . Can’t comment on whether it’s the same for Australians 🙂


  3. This was fun for me, an American, to read. I love meeting people experiencing this country for the first time; it’s fascinating to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes. I’m pretty sure most of us are totally overwhelmed by the amount of choice we have, too. Just the other day, I spent almost 15 minutes trying to decide what type of canned tomatoes to buy. 🙂

    Also, what part of the country are you in where movies are $4??


    • Hi Katlin, Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m in south-west Virginia. There’a a cinema nearby that charges $4 a session. I thought it was just on special days but it doesn’t seem to be as that’s what I’ve paid everytime. How much is it where you are?


      • Ah, not too far! Virginia is beautiful! I live just south of you in North Carolina, in the capital of Raleigh. Except for second-run theaters, most movies run between $10-15. Depends a bit on the theater, and the time of day, but $4 per show would mean I’d watch a lot more movies! 🙂


  4. Wow… this is so accurate! Hahhaa! I love how well you seem to know us Americans. Thanks for a good laugh 🙂


  5. Hi Donna. I’m a friend of Nick Caluori and write in Champagne Appetit since its beginning. I enjoy reading your writings. I have been to both NZ and Australia and have become good friends with many beautiful people from both countries.Are u or will u be in Seattle. Would love to meet you. Dr Joe



  1. God Bless America part 2 – The Local Tourist
  2. God Bless America part 3 – The Local Tourist
  3. God Bless America part 4 – The Local Tourist

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