We thoroughly enjoyed our time in China, but it is certainly nice to be back at home in the good ol' USA too, believe me! Every country has its cultural peculiarities. My students this summer decided that Chinese people and American people are more alike than we're different, yet we truly are very different. Today's iv points out some cultural pecularities of Americans and life in the USA.
Only in America
You can get a pizza to your house faster than an ambulance.
There are handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
People order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a diet coke.
Hot dogs are sold in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight. Go figure!
We use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.
A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
We yell for the government to balance the budget, then take the last dime we have to make the down payment on a car that will take 5 years to pay off.
We demand speed laws that will stop fast driving, then won't buy a car if it can't go over 100 miles an hour.
We get upset that we're spending over a billion dollars for education, but spend billions of dollars a year for cigarettes.
We whip any enemy in battle, then give them the shirt off our backs.
We know the line-up of every baseball team in the American and National Leagues but mumble through half the words in the "Star Spangled Banner".
In the office we talk about baseball, shopping or fishing, but when we're out at the game, the mall or on the lake, we talk about business.
We applaud our free press even when they convict innocent people in print.
We're supposed to be the most civilized nation on earth, but we still deliver payrolls in armored cars.
We have more experts on marriage than any other country in the world ....and still have more divorces.
We tie up our dog while letting our sixteen year old run wild.
We will work hard on a farm so we can move into town where we can make more money so that we can move back out into the country.
We're the country that has more food to eat than any other country in the world, and with more diets to keep us from eating it.
We leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless things and junk in boxes locked in the garage.
We'll spend half a day looking for vitamin pills to make us live longer, then drive 80 miles an hour on slick pavement to make up for lost time.
It feels kind of odd - after getting "re-oriented" four weeks ago, we're now suddenly "disoriented" again! This morning I'm *truly* disoriented as my internal clock is still trying to be hungry and sleepy at all the wrong times. I'm glad I got the bulk of this ready back in our apartment in Haikou! My thinking is rather unclear this morning. Hope the rest of this personal update makes sense.
As seems to be typical of international air travel, we experienced delays and missed connections. Our pilot of our flight out of Beijing told the passengers he was actually going to leave about 10 minutes early to beat an approaching storm but was delayed by the tower because of those same weather conditions. The resulting half-hour delay plus the airline's extremely slow handling of the baggage everyone had to reclaim in order to clear customs caused us to miss our connection to GSP. Since United did not have another flight to GSP until this morning, they tried and were able to get us on an American Airlines flight that would still get us home last night. Phew! It was already a very long day and we did not want to have to find and pay for a hotel in Chicago in our state of brain-deadness! We know that many interceded for us yesterday as we traveled. We have much to do to get settled back in here, but I will try to get a blog entry up in the next few days so that people can see what we enjoyed in the Beijing area. Our couple of days there was a nice mix of relaxation and new adventures.
"In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people." - Groucho Marx
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Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars' worth of groceries. Today, a five-year-old can do it.
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