Liberty Insurance Man
This man was dressed as the Statue of Liberty today in the cold. He was promoting Liberty Insurance on the side of the road. Just made me laugh. I don’t think we’d get this kind of thing in the UK. Maybe in Slough, perhaps, but then they’d be taken away by the Police Community Support Officers.
Good for him – I hope he didn’t get too cold. By Jove, he was sure waving and smiling despite the freezing temperatures 😉 .
Two years ago….
Nearly two years ago I visited this land of America. It was just before St Patrick’s Day and I was here checking out the area we would live in. It was so hot, I had to go to the Mall and buy shorts and I sat in Centennial Park, Howard County, and sunbathed for a bit.
I thought I’d take a look back at some of my first impressions of the USA and Howard County….has my view changed, have I changed, has the place changed…? Here are some of the best bits!
Check list for USA going-to-live-there reccy trip……
– Received pronunciation / British accent practice for maximum impact / possible upgrades – check.
– Racy/inappropriate outfit for wives club afternoon tea to ensure eyebrows are raised – check.
– Bikini/Daisy Dukes/flip-flops (it says it could hit 24 degrees – celcius that is) – check.
– Child – not required.
– Main observations so far: freeway driving (kind of serene), awesomeness (it just is), gumbo prawns (holy crap, they’re good!), extreme politeness (big love), restrooms (simply amuses me) and gospel Sunday morning TV (yikes, freaky).
– Today: we encountered several “I love your accent” and “the way you talk is awesome” comments; I bought cookies from girl scouts; went to the mall and bought stuff; and drank at a juice bar. Happy days!
The story so far……
YIELD – a little used word in the English language, but a much-used word on American road signs. An oddity that I have perused for much of my sleepless night.
NETBALL – speaking with a lovely young lady who showed us round the family sports center (note irregular use of the -er) I commented upon my netball addiction and desire to play in the States. Her reply? “Netball, what’s thaaaaaat?”. I see one of my many roles to fulfill out here will be an entire country’s education about my beloved sport.
BAGELS – cinnamon, choc chip, jalepeno, stuffed with egg, cheese, Hershey sauce etc. This is an industry in itself and one that I must explore more.
DRIVING – I feel I am rather good at it, since I learnt to drive on the right in Gibraltar and it’s all coming back to me. I encountered a rare roundabout yesterday and it was a strange sensation going round the ‘wrong way’.
POLICE – I have not yet seen any ‘po-po’ (I am adopting this slang from my widespread viewing of American TV series, especially The Wire, which is useful since I am not far from Baltimore). This I find surprising.
Side note – hello office gals! I am currently not missing the office 🙂
LITTER – there is none, whatsoever.
MAN IN TIGER SUIT – advertising tyres and waving.
RESTROOMS – yes, you can see through the gap. Slightly voyeuristic.
WEATHER – hot!
Today I…LIVED THREE HOURS OF BEING A DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE – it truly is just like it!
TOOK A WRONG TURNING – got caught on the freeway and went all round the rather lovely houses.
GOT ANNOYED BY ALL THE FRIGGING ADVERTS ON TV – how do they keep up with the (generally crap) programme? The adverts generally consist of health information or sales of anti-depressants or weight loss or other ailments I’ve never even heard of. Then they stop and all of a sudden another crap programme comes on, and I’m sure the other one hadn’t finished. All very confusing.
AM GLAD I DID NOT VISIT MARYLAND UNIVERSITY CAMPUS TODAY – there’s some nutter student threatening to shoot people there. Best avoid that, then.
– God, this is really hard sitting out in 74 degrees, drinking “cwoffee”, chatting to fabulous American women about fabulous things.
– Shaneece at the Estee Lauder counter in Macy’s said I looked Californian. I love Shaneece. And Estee Lauder. And Macy’s. And California, even though I haven’t been there yet. Still, Shaneece thinks I would fit right in. Bless Shaneece.
– There is a lake near Columbia “town center”. Columbia does not actually have what we would call a town centre. It has a shopping mall. This happens to be near it.
See ya, America-land. You and I generally seem compatible. See you in August…!
Interesting observations from nearly two years ago.
– Yes, I still love driving here (most of the time!);
– Yes, people still ask if I am from California;
– Yes, I’m sure I do still love the weather WHEN IT IS HOT;
– Yes, the gun culture still disturbs me;
– Yes, I still think there is work to do to give Columbia a ‘town center’;
– Yes, the toilet doors still have large gaps in; and
– Yes, the way we talk is still awesome!
Cheers America, I think we’re still compatible 😉 .