There are so many things I love about the United States, and since I’ll only be here for another few weeks, I thought I’d make a list of the 10 things I’ll miss most after living in America for the last two years.
T.V in America has sucked me right in. I find myself recording and looking forward to shows I never would have watched at home (Dance Moms anyone?), and I love that I can be watching and recording one show, as well as recording another. This is still relatively new in New Zealand, and when I went home to our cable-less TV at Christmas, I felt very cheated at the paltry channels being offered.
Shopping in America is great, and my favorites include Victoria’s Secret, H&M and Forever 21. Au Pairs don’t make a lot of money, and it’s so much cheaper to buy clothes here, with much more variety being offered as well. Electronics are also much cheaper here, and I’ve bought a Kindle, Laptop computer and DSLR camera over here for far less than I would have paid at home.
I love both squirrels and chipmunks. They’re so cute! I always look like such a tourist when I’m taking photos of them, but I wish we could introduce them to New Zealand. Here’s my favorite photo from La Jolla:
I’m also fascinated by hummingbirds, which I had never seen before living in California, as well as the cute little lizard/geckos that run around in the backyard. I miss sitting on the front porch in the evenings in Chicago, where all the fireflies would fly around, blinking on and off and making me act like a kid.
Hanging out in Starbucks
In America there really is a Starbucks on every corner. I never used to drink coffee until I got over here but now I’m completely addicted to Frappucinos and iced white mocha’s. Mmmmmm
Yes I’ve put on weight in the states, but who expected otherwise? (I’m not exactly known for my willpower). The portion sizes are huge, but most of the time I can ignore my “finish what’s on your plate” upbringing, and ask for a box. Getting two meals for the price of one is a good deal, even if I sometimes wish I could pay half the price for half the size. I love that you can find such a variety of food here, from all over the world, and my favorite restaurant will always be The Cheesecake Factory.
The ice cream is great too. Ben and Jerry are my two favorite men, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Cold Stone, and Baskin Robins is pretty decent as well.
The friendly Americans
A lot of people have a bad perception of Americans. They’re some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, especially in California. One thing I’ve learned is that while some stereotypes are true, there are assholes all over the world, and we can’t judge entire countries on the actions of a few bad people.
OK I admit it- since I’ve moved here I’ve been loving country music. I’m a big fan of the new stuff-Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean (“Fly over states” makes me want to go on a road trip through some of the southern states), Darius Rucker, and even Taylor Swift are some of my favorites.
Turning right on a red light
This is the best rule ever. I also recently found out that if you’re turning left into a one-way street you can also turn on a red light. I wish we were allowed to turn left on a red light in NZ!
I love that there’s so much diversity in America. Because there are so many different races and religions here, I think there’s also a lot more tolerance. I’m looking forward to checking out Chinatown when I’m in San Diego, and I love eating pizza in Little Italy here in San Diego. Being different is celebrated a lot more over here.
Chivalry is not dead
Anyone remember Chivalry? Well over here it’s alive and kicking. I found it weird when guys would hold doors open for me the first few months when I was here (I mean my arms were still attached to my body the last time I looked), but now I think it’s charming. Struggling with a heavy bag? Most of the time a polite guy will help you. It took me a while to get used to this since chivalry gasped it’s last breath a long time ago in New Zealand, but it’s just one more thing I’ll miss about America.