More Observations on America

Further ramblings as they come to mind…

  • Continuing on the restroom/toilet theme touched on in my last post, all home and many public bathrooms/restrooms have a plunger sitting by their toilet–which just goes to show that the Australian design is much more efficient because plungers are almost non-existent over here. If I built a house over there, I’d be trying to import an Aussie toilet! πŸ˜€
  • Public hand sanitiser units are everywhere you turn but sanitary disposal in female restrooms consists of a small rectangle metal container attached to the cubicle wall and lined with a paper or plastic bag…go figure!!! (I thought that was disgusting.)
  • Their big Christian bookstore is like a Christian store with a book section while ours is a Christian bookstore with additional stock on the side. However, “book” isn’t in their title while the slogan for ours makes it clear that books are the focus. I like Mardel to visit (and for their awesome sale racks–I got heaps of books for $1 and $2.50) but I like Koorong for ‘home’. Plus, ours has a built-in cafe–great to use as a meeting point to catch up with friends. πŸ™‚

  • Speaking of cafes, visiting America has made me realise how much of a “cafe culture” Australia has. It’s really hard to put the difference into words but my sister noticed it too. A lot of socialising centres around meeting for coffee (or more broadly, “a cuppa”). While this does happen in America, in comparison, it takes a huge backseat to just eating out.This is true inside the home and outside the home. I wasn’t ever offered a coffee (forget “cuppa” since the word’s not in their vocabulary–or tea, seeing as they don’t drink it hot, particularly in the South) upon arriving at somebody’s house. They just don’t do that. Whereas in Australia, everything occurs over or around a cuppa and it’s one of the first things that’s done in most homes when somebody comes to visit.
  • Further on the cafe/coffee theme, you pretty much have to go to the likes of Starbucks to get anything other than what we would call a long black or flat white. They do have McCafe but it pretty much amounts to an extra menu board or two with half the selection we Australians think is standard–and forget the bakery options!!! Over here, almost anywhere that sells coffee (restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, you name it) will offer you at least half a dozen options, including cappucinos and lattes. Over there, restaurants etc have percolated coffee and that’s it. Some places (eg, Mardel and motels) offer free percolated coffee (even flavoured) which is cool–until you realise there’s no milk!!!!!! They’re big into either creamer (often powdered, gag) or nothing.
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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chel
    Dec 24, 2009 @ 22:50:56

    Mmmmm I’d love to go there one day……………. πŸ˜›

    Reply

  2. Susanna
    Dec 25, 2009 @ 08:21:02

    I have never been- But you aussies are like us brits when it comes to ‘a cuppa’! It is the life blood of the day! remind me to take my tea bags if I ever venture to the States!

    Reply

  3. nicole
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 06:26:25

    Continuing on the restroom/toilet theme touched on in my last post, all home and many public bathrooms/restrooms have a plunger sitting by their toilet–which just goes to show that the Australian design is much more efficient because plungers are almost non-existent over here. If I built a house over there, I’d be trying to import an Aussie toilet! πŸ˜€
    Please… what on earth is the difference? I have no idea!!

    Reply

  4. southeastcountrywife
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 08:19:39

    Bit weird to be talking about toilets, hey? πŸ˜›
    American toilets have a bowl full of water that calmly swirls down a small opening. I hate it. πŸ˜› Australian toilets only have a small amount of water that gushes into a bigger opening. There’s a lot more force behind it. We also have two flush selections on most toilets which saves water–you can use more or less water, as needed.
    I don’t know if that helps?!!

    Reply

  5. nicole
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 21:08:47

    :-)))))))
    We can also have the choice of two flush selections but having been to the states I wasn’t surprised so I suppose we have the same in france??!!!
    Thank you but I think I will have to find a picture to really understand!
    πŸ™‚
    very interesting conversation indeed!!!!!!!

    Reply

  6. nicole
    Jan 02, 2010 @ 07:32:23

    well, I have just discovered american chocolate…Ghirardelli…
    … it is very much full of sugar,but this limited edition of eggnog…
    berk… I do not think I will get used to it!
    By the way I will not wish you a lovely new year, because after the difficult one we had, I don’t want people to wish me one…
    (No, I am not depressed…)

    Reply

  7. lisa writes...
    Jan 02, 2010 @ 08:26:26

    How fun (and interesting) to see my country through your eyes. And if you were to come over, I’d be sure to offer you some coffee or, at the very least, a glass of sweet tea! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  8. thegypsymama
    Jan 10, 2010 @ 12:50:49

    Oh, this collection of astute observations has me chuckling out loud! You nailed it! And the lack of warm tea and cold milk drives me bonkers here! Being South African I am programmed for tea breaks at least twice a day. So, I always bring my own to work. YUM. What’s 4pm if it’s not tea time!

    Reply

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