Thursday, December 30, 2004

America the Great

So I've been back for more than a week now and since I was away for so long, I am experiencing a reverse culture shock. Here's a short list of things I find good and bad:

Good: the big-assed SUV Washington Flyer taxi that swallowed up our two suitcases without a blink

Bad: Pre-Christmas shopping madness with full parking lots and long lines at the checkout

Good: Post-Christmas sales at discounts you won't believe

Bad: Having the hardest time finding things in your size, when wasitlines are too big even on some size 0, but pant legs are too long because at 5'5" you are a dwarf

Good: Self-esteem is up when you compare yourself to the overweight American mass and think that maybe you can slack off on gym

Bad: Checkout clerks are so slow it's like watching them in slow-motion (I miss Japanese cashier's efficiencies)
Good: The self checkout at the supermarket that lets you scan and pay without the help of a cashier
Bad: Sales people who greet you and expect to be greeted back. Why am I obligated to answer the question, "How you're doing?" every time I step inside a store. Why can't they just be like the Japanese sales people, and simply bow and say welcome?

Good: Fountain sodas tastes much better than the ones you get in Asian countries

Bad: Portions are so big in restaurants that you share an appetizer and a main with your girlfriend and still have to remind yourself not to gorge

Good: Being able to buy produce at 1/6 the Tokyo price

Bad: Twenty-four isles of floor to ceiling grocery shelves, not one bottle of clam juice

Good: Wide roads, cheap gasoline, and cops ticket idiots who park on the road and block traffic

Bad: Having to drive extra carefully because without congestion, you might actually go over the speed limit and get ticketed

Good: Carrying only $50 in my wallet because everything can be paid in visa

Bad: Make it almost everything, because Neiman Marcus only takes AMEX and their own charge card. Whatever happened to "Visa: All it takes" or "'There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there is MasterCard"???

Great: Getting free wireless connection in the kitchen!

1 comment:

Hsin said...

Yeah, I do the same thing when I'm home in Singapore. Things like cheap food and cheap groceries jump out at me. Also, carrying virtually zero cash. Of course, your regular NTUC cashier is probably more sour than a lemon, so that's when I miss Japan.