Matt Richardson

Strange America

March 01, 2006 | 2 Minute Read

Here's (a slightly cleaned up version of) some notes I made about strange things I noticed along the way:

  • Cars have no rear indicator - the taillight flashes (red)
  • You can legally turn right on a red light
  • The cars are huge! (I thought Toorak Tractorswere bad...)
  • Fuel costs about $2.30 or so per gallon
    • US is 34p a litre
    • Aus is 52p a litre
    • UK is 90p a litre
    • (sorry - I work in pounds now <IMG alt=":)" class="emoticon" src="/images/emotions/emotion-1.gif" border=0>)
  • There's lots of homeless people and beggars - they're everywhere. Quite disturbing for this "bastion of democracy"...
  • The toilets use lots of water - 6 litres per flush. They have a different design where you can definitely see the swirl (which kinda explains why they care so much about whether southern hemisphere toilets swirl the other way), and most have no half flush.
  • Its almost impossible to get news of the outside world - there's one page in the USA Today newspaper (the major national newspaper) - all focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan etc (they missed the 1100 people that died in the ferry disaster in Egypt). No international news on telly, but there's three channels of college basketball though.
  • A lot of hotels have free wifi - yay!
  • Very little milk, but lots of coffee creamer - erk!
  • Macdonald's sizing was very scary - medium is the same as large everywhere else in the world (which begs the question of how big did super-size used to be?)
  • Sir and Ma'am is very common - strange.
  • Freedom Ave, Freedom Plaza, Constitution Ave, Liberty Ave, etc,etc,etc  - very patriotic country (one could almost read it as propaganda...)
  • The rye bread has wheat in it! Here I am trying to avoid wheat, so i can enjoy my holiday without migraines, but the best bread i could come up with was corn tortillas.
  • Its an extremely paranoid country - I lost yet another pocket knife while going out to the statue of liberty... What am i going to do with a blunt pocket knife, for crying out loud...
  • The Empire State Building was excessively commercialised - took a lot of the excitement out of it.

Anyway, hopefully it wont be too long before I get around to writing the last post(s) about the trip (then, I've got to get around to uploading photos... item 73 on my list... *sigh*)

Tagged: On Travels