So it’s been two months since I arrived in the US and the novelty of many things – snow, supermarkets, shopping 24 hours a day – is wearing off. Other things have come to my attention however, perhaps less significant than the outcome of the Primaries but equally fascinating, and in some cases, scary. (Click here for part one of God Bless America.)
1.Something I can’t get used to is the TV advertising of pharmaceuticals. These are heavy duty, informative ads but during prime time it’s not what I would call entertaining. Much worse were the TV ads for dealing with toe fungus, diarrhea relief and opiod constipation that played during half time at the Super Bowl. I still can’t get the image of that pink, talking intestine out of my mind.
2.Talking of the Super bowl, I watched my first one with a bunch of football fanatics and loved it especially as they took the time to explain what was going on. Observations: it’s ok to get up and wander in and out and talk through the game (it’s a necessity really as the game is so long), not as much beer was consumed as I’d imagined, and the Super Bowl ads were underwhelming. The worst of all in my opinion, and it was tough to choose, was for a drink called Kickstart that combines Mountain Dew, fruit juice and caffeine. It is so horrible that I can’t bring myself to put a link to it here but if you look on YouTube you’ll find it. It should come with a warning for awfulness. I’m still having nightmares.
3.Listening to videos in public places is completely normal; in fact, as I type this, a guy behind me is listening to opera music sung very shrilly and loudly on his laptop. Earlier, a different guy was engaged in a FaceTime meeting. I really hope that the next 2 weeks is as good for them as they anticipate and that they knock off their targets. They deserve it after all the positive affirmation that was flying between them.
4.Nothing is sacred in the fast-food world. Hot dogs are coming to Burger King. What next I ask myself. 60 BILLION hot dogs are eaten every year in the US (11 billion at sports events) so BK must want a bit of that action, especially as research shows that it’s not a question of a burger or a dog for many people. They’ll have both thank you very much.
5. Uber drivers are very friendly. There is no Uber in sleepy old Bristol but in Florida an Uber will go where a Disney shuttle won’t. I’m a big fan. It’s safe and convenient and reassuring to know how much it’s going to be upfront.
6. What is the American obsession with cold sweet tea? A friend told me that since she was a girl there was always a jug in the fridge and they always drank it at mealtimes so I guess taste buds get used to it and after that water just doesn’t cut it. And about water, why is it so hard to find the water dispenser on those huge soda dispensers? It’s almost like the soda manufacturers don’t want you to.
7.It shouldn’t be possible for Americans to have such good teeth, generally speaking, with all that sugar floating around.
8. Disposable tableware seems popular. The bulk packs in the supermarket suggest that this is a viable alternative to proper dishes, perhaps for households that don’t have a dishwasher or that like to picnic at home?
9. People in seats at concerts like to stand up a lot. They make a lot of noise too but not enough to bring Elton John back to perform Wonderful, Crazy Night as a final encore on his Wonderful Crazy Night gig in Johnson City.
10.The pilot on my flight from Orlando to Charlotte was wearing a leather bomber jacket and it was very cool. Air New Zealand take note.
Categories: An American Adventure