Notes from a large island…
Whilst not quite what I thought when I came to America, certain parts of it have definitely left their mark on me; I certainly weigh more than I did before.
Anyway, some random thoughts:
1) From a purely aesthetic view point, I can understand why David Ogilvy hated billboards. These things are EVERYWHERE. From advertising to any form of religious or nationalistic message they can stick up. So I can understand why the consumer (at least on t’other side of the Atlantic) has a dim view of advertising.
2) The exchange rate meant I could buy lots of cds/beer/clothes/women/John Deere hats (one of those is a lie). This was a very good thing.
3) Alabama, and indeed, the whole south of America is far, far, far, far, far more cultured than I gave it credit for. It’s very easy to rely on some form of stereotype, and I suppose that’s true, especially when they like to propagate the dixie ideals to such a great degree (yes, I saw the odd Confederate flag). However, talk to the average American and they are incredibly articulate, thoughtful and considerate. It’s sad when the liminal elements of society have such a hand in making it (and the same is true for the UK).
4) Nashville is a great city. Brilliant bars, great music (indie, not country – though more on that in a bit).
5) IHOP is the way forward in eateries. And open 24 hours to boot. I would weigh 5 times my weight if this ever came to the UK.
6) The overly English accent does well out there. Natch.
7) Beer, whilst it doesn’t come in pints, does come in fluid ounces. You can order a 36 fl oz beer there. Admittedly, it’s Coors Light, but damn.. that’s a lot of beer.
8) American radio stations are brilliant. Especially classic rock ones, and those with loads of local adverts.
9) You can win a lot more drinking games if you are English/shameless. I’m saying no more.
10) I secretly like Country music…yes, even the ultra religious stuff….but especially the uptempo, almost bluegrass kind. Like folk music, but quicker.
11) Playing a game where you can compare how many fast food places there are to churches is fun. Though you are never quite sure which wins.
12) I rescind my previous allegation about American sweets; Paydays & Butterfingers are damn tasty. Hershey’s still tastes like grit and sick mixed together.
13) I still find it strange that American teens can tote around a massive truck at 16, yet can’t drink until 21, nor gamble at all. The aforementioned truck is far, far more dangerous than our little cars – it has a crap stopping distance.
14) America has no squash. Just (bleurgh) Gatorade, which tastes oddly like a combination of medicine and weak flavoured water.
15) I need to see more states, and with more local people.. the only times I’ve been out to the US has been with American people I know; it’s by far and away the best way to do things.
Anyway, just a few notes on this post – check out my flickr for some pictures of the trip. Not enough there, I’m sorry to say.
sounds awesome. good spot on the squash too – the closest I’ve ever come to it over there is some powered stuff that you seem to have to make en masse (ie by the gallon)>>it’s no robinsons 😉
You use such big words Will. Luckily I kind of understood and enjoyed the overview, well done. I love the radio stations there too, and the Nashville music scene, no need to be shy about it.
Kirsty – big words? >>Perhaps that’s what comes of being an English grad… the only good thing; if you mis-spell, you get criticised a great deal.>>Nashville is great fun; a nice mixture of Euro/American music.>>Anyway, I think I’ll keep my prurient behaviour to your blog.
Oh, and Doug – Robinson’s lemon squash was what I was craving.. moreso than tea, and I drink 6/7 cups of that a day.>>Damn Gatorade (or worse, Root Beer.. urgh).>>Nice blog, btw.
thanks, likewise (doffs cap)
I was out in the States for almost 6 years and I was amazed by the number of Brits who either lived in New York as well or Brits who were visiting who never left the East Coast. No, I’m wrong they might have gone to California, you’ve probably had a more American American experience than any of them had! Sounds great.