Well, hello, there! 2 posts in one week? It seems I'm back in the groove, hehe :p. I am cooking a few related posts which I'll publish under the title "A Tour in Everyday America". I really missed talking about the differences between Argentina (my home country) and America, the cultural gap, the pros and cons of living in one or the other, you get my point.
A day rarely goes by when I don't take a cell phone picture while in a store, restaurant or at work; I have tons of pics! I finally decided to sort them into different categories and as I was doing so, lo and behold, this new series of posts was born! This first issue is devoted to random things that have caught my eye, things I had never seen before moving to this country. This will be a general post, but it'll get more specific; expect to read about grocery stores, restaurants, seasonal products, libraries and the list goes on.
I really don't know where to begin, so many things have struck me and I keep learning something new pretty much on a daily basis, especially words and expressions. I guess I can start by mentioning that a lot of people ask me if they're pronouncing my name right. When I came here to visit, I couldn't believe such a simple name, "Miki", could be mispronounced, I realized that I didn't even know how to pronounce my name in English?! But guess what? Now it kind of bugs me when people pronounce it "Mickey", haha! There's one person at work who always says it that way and my other co-workers have pointed out that it bothers them, too. Funny :p.
Something that I picked up pretty quickly is the fact that America is exactly the way REM depict it in Imitation of Life, remember the line that goes "... You've got it all, you've got it sized ..." Yep. You can find anything, even the unimaginable and in any size. Also everything's ready to use/eat and usually nicely packaged. Here are just a few examples.
Going shopping is a very entertaining adventure, there's always something that catches my eye. Remember when I used the word unimaginable in the previous paragraph? I think I'd use that adjective to describe the following fruit: grapples: grape flavored apples! :/
I thought I was going to miss certain typical Argentinean products such as dulce de leche, but the truth is that I can find pretty much everything ...
... Even things I can not even find in my home country such as "mate" flavored soda, haha. Yes, it does taste weird.
Speaking of beverages, have you ever seen gun-shaped bottles of booze?
Americans get very creative when it comes to selling, I guess; and accessorizing, too. How cute are these little kisses to prevent take-out coffee from getting cold? :p
Vehicles can be accessorize in all sorts of ways, too, but I think I'll leave that for a separate post.
There are also drop-off boxes like the one below where you can donate clothes and shoes to be recycled or sold for charity.
Even thrift stores and swap meets offer special deals on certain days and specific items.
Something I really miss is Argentinean TV commercials, our humor is so peculiar and fun! American TV ads can be funny, too, but in a different way. Also, other brands can be mentioned so some ads get pretty aggressive towards the competition (especially in cell phone ones). The music chosen in some American commercials catch my attention, wanna listen to some examples? Check this and this (that's what David calls "indie voice", hehe).
I guess this has only to do with California not the rest of the country, I can't stand how dull architecture is in this neck of the woods (except for cities such as Pasadena or LA), businesses are gathered in brown boring clusters. I like to be surrounded by mountains, though, it's so relaxing and the air feels fresher and the clouds, awe, the clouds are breath-taking some days. I took the following pic in the parking lot in a mall that's 10 minutes away from home.
If you're an expat, too, in America or anywhere else in the world, I'd love to hear about differences that have caught your eye! ;)
May you all have a wonderful weekend! ;D