Monday, June 14, 2004

America the Beautiful

Darn... I had about half a post going and I lost it because Explorer crashed.

Anyway, I was just saying that today's our last day in Seattle and actually in the US. Tomorrow, we cross the Canadian border back to Vancouver again and although I'll be in North America next February, kicking and screaming, I don't think we'll be back in the US for a long time yet.

Reason being, we're going to be really broke for a long time to come after this. Me and my bag buying, Dan and his DVD buying. All going to keep us regional and eating in for the next long lean six months.

But I must say, I quite like most of what I've seen. I liked the cheap designer bags on sale, the huge malls and the shops I recognised from television shows like Pottery Barn, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue... Joy joy joy. I've been in shopping heaven. On top of that, food.... we were at the Old Cheesecake Factory today with yummy burgers, everywhere we go, we've had yummy burgers. Dan even managed to have steak and eggs for breakfast! Good on the experience, bad on the arteries.

Generally, I thought the cities were cool and I liked the sense of humour that people had about things. Radio and television ads were more palatable than back home and we had the opportunity to see the love the Americans had for their leaders. Ronald Reagan died last Saturday and almost every American flag we'd seen was flown at half mast and newspapers covered his funeral and death with much zest. It's amazing how short the memories of Americans are. Reagan was responsible for the largest deficit known to the Americans, also for giving money to Saddam Hussein and the creation of Reaganomics-economics that don't work too good. But these guys are forgiving and went all out to mourn the death of the two bit actor turned President with Alzheimers. If Bush died today, I'm sure they'd do the same for him too. They're a forgiving people, in some ways.

Of course, there was America that I didn't like. I have ascertained my extreme hatred for motel America. I read somewhere that all motels in America were the same. And I agree with that 100 percent! The rooms look the same, have the same feel to it; let me elaborate, they have an ick feel to it, like you'd never be clean. And the same worn out arm chair and the same thick, opaque shower curtains that make me think, when you drew them back, there'd be a dead body floating in the tub! So, definitely, motel America, not my thing. Neither are red necks but then again, I guess, they're not many people's thing. Also the phrase, "Across the River" to demarcate the good and bad part of town? We definitely had a taste of that. When in Portland, we crossed some bridge by mistake and found ourselves in industrial town, that was creepily quiet and looked like we could get mugged even though it was still bright. I like safe. Safe is good. :)

And oh! Another thing I haven't really gotten used to, leaving a tip of 10 to 15 percent. It's so hard to do mental math when you're not in primary school anymore, especially when there's no prize at the end of it and at the end of every meal? Yurgh! Plus, I like the policy of what you see is what you get, in the sense of the price you see, or the bill? That's all. It's +++ and then some here and well, yuck.

So, the United States of America, where everything is 1.7 times more expensive than back home with 35 times as many television channels, receives a "must come back when have more money" verdict.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:43

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