(aka “First Impressions in the US”)
Missie (see I did it again), this ones for you!
This topic would be taken from my observations while back in the States. They are very trite, mundane, and rather arbitrary observations that typically one would not give much thought. However after being away for 2 years, they are things I became keenly aware of just because they are so different than in my current country of residence.
#10 Ice…Americans like their ice. Every beverage glass is loaded often to the top with ice. Even when I would say, ‘easy on the ice’ it just meant my drink came with a ½ cup of ice opposed to the normal full. Drastically different than here and probably most places around the world. Here we have to ask to even get ice in our drink and even then it usually takes 3 requests to get more than 3 cubes. Oh and by the way, the cubes are a miniature version of those in the States, as are most things.
#9 Size…The typical global size small is LARGE and large is gargantuan in the good ole USA. I quickly realized that a small beverage was quite enough for me and the kids. Now the Big Gulp, enough to quench the thirst of our entire family and those dining around us.
#8 Refills…. Free (being the key word here) Refills..... never would happen here! I also realized a glaring difference when ordering coffee in a restaurant. In SA coffee typically is served with hot milk. Why because with the hot milk your beverage remains hot the entire drinking duration. In America, we don’t need hot milk because the waitress keeps the coffee hot the entire drinking duration….the cup is refilled sip after sip after sip. Actually it kind of drove me nuts as just when I would get my coffee how I liked it the waitress would refill the cup.
#7 Starbucks….what more needs to be said?!
(Did you realize my first 3 all dealt with beverages...I told you I drank a lot)
#6 Portions…..HUGE! At first this was a very welcomed sight but by the end of the trip I was ready for SA portions…or as American’s would term it a dieter’s portion. I guess I not only drank a lot I ate a lot.
#5 Temperature….Even in 90 degree weather I utilized my sweatshirts because no matter how warm it is outside it is still FREEZING inside. Really how hard is it to find a comfortable temperature…I don’t understand?!
#4 House Rules….You take your shoes off when entering someone’s house in America. Here it isn’t an issue as most South African’s don’t wear shoes (really!). My poor kids were so confused as to when they had to take their shoes off, when they had to wear shoes and the why as to both.
#3 Cereal…..It takes 10 minutes to choose a cereal in America because there is an entire isle, both sides, devoted to cereal. Here choices are corn flakes, muesli, corn flakes, rice krispies, corn flakes, granola, corn flakes and that is about it. Oh, did I mention corn flakes? Needless to say, we enjoyed the American cereal isle!
#2 TV….No one watches TV shows during their actual showing time in the land of the free…everything is PVR’d. I am so unfamiliar with that concept and term that frankly I don’t even know if I spelled…or is it abbreviated it correctly.
#1 BUY ONE GET ONE FREE…..(There is that word again) Those 5 words completely invigorated and excited me. I was mesmerized as I looked through the Sunday newspaper ads and saw this phrase slathered throughout. Heck, I even wanted to go out and buy a chia pet for no other reason than I would get one free (well and maybe for the next blog contest prize). I know I am a marketer’s dream. The word free is not in the SA dictionary so perhaps you can understand my enthusiasm. Let me say it again….free….free (in a loud voice)….free (in a small voice)….free (in a Donald Duck voice)……free (with a South African accent)…..Oh it sounds so good!