This list you are about to read are things I’ve always noticed about living in the States but which are especially obvious after being away for six months.
– People come in extremely large sizes. It’s amazing how much weight the human body can handle. Also…
– There is no fat stigma or shame, perhaps because we are taught to accept ourselves just the way we are. So you see gigantic beverage and food portions consumed by gigantic people in public. Unlike in some Asian countries, it is not acceptable to tell people you barely know they are overweight.
– People wear corporate logos like North Face, Under Armor or Armani Exchange with pride. They seem to identify with these logos.
– There is a mind-boggling variety of food sold in warehouse-like buildings (supermarkets), but healthy, non-processed, and somewhat natural food such as organic fruits and vegetables are far more expensive than typical food most likely derived from corn or soy.
– On the Metro, everyone has a book with them, with titles such as Making Globalization Work (no lie). You have to be doing something while waiting for something else.
– Americans are pretty funny. If they say their favorite show includes Seinfeld, The Simpsons, or Friends, they are guaranteed to make a good joke at some point in the conversation.
– Most of the middle-class population seems to have a computer phone. At bars half the crowd is typing away on their cute little keyboards.
– It’s okay to put toilet paper in the toilet bowl. But where all that flushed toilet paper go???
In Chile I met a young Dutch guy who was telling me about his girlfriend. She went to India for a month and was so taken in by the culture that when she came back she had “serious culture shock,” moreso than when she arrived in India. He told me that in India there is less display of affection between men and women, so when he picked her up from the airport she only give him a distant hug while in new ethnic garb. At the time I thought, “That girl is full of shit,” and I can confirm it now; I’ve been gone for six months and there is no culture shock. It doesn’t even feel like I’ve been gone. :paranoid: