Thursday, 26 February 2009

3 months in America

June 'til September. How will I cope? Firstly I have to survive in the harsh environment of American accents and mis-spellings (did you get the irony there??? No?? Well, I deliberately misspelled misspellings for all you stooped people), their ridiculous tipping-etiquette (explained later), along with their ABSOLUTELY REVOLTING AND REPULSIVE ATTEMPT AT COFFEE. Secondly I will have to go without the following:

  • Earl Grey tea. This is a serious issue, but I'm planning on taking around 200 tea bags with me like I did in New Zealand (although I found out later to my amazement that you can get it there too :-) )
  • My Blackberry. I do actually love it, it may not be the prettiest of phones but it is a damn good one. I'm stuck with a Nokia 3310 equivalent on AT&T, so no web browsing capabilities or facebook apps for me :-(
  • My car. He is my favourite thing in the world, how ever much people say it is for homosexuals.
  • My computer. My life runs on my computer at uni, I work on it, Play on it, talk on it, sing with it, get bored with it, have arguments with it. And I will miss it greatly.
  • Proper tomato ketchup. Last time I went to Florida they didn't have any anywhere, and chips (or 'FRRRRRRIESSSSS') don't taste right without it.
  • Chavs. Yes it is true, but we all think it... Walking past a chav makes us all feel a little better about ourselves, gives us a morale boost so to speak.

Thirdly, as I'm working at a camp in New York I've got to be the pretend-parent of a group of 11-14 year olds. That means sorting out their whining, fighting, bullying, and general screaming and shouting, as well as having to get over the fact that they are all millionaires and have far more money and much more stuff than I will ever have. (Their parents are all rich businessmen/women)

So these are the things on my mind at the moment. Luckily though, there are good things about it (obviously). Like Becky (that's my girlfriend btw) and I's travel plans. So far we are planning to visit:

  • Niagara falls
  • NY
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania (where the US version of 'The office' is based J
  • Las Vegas
  • Grand Canyon
  • Phoenix
  • Somewhere in Arizona that looks like its out a 'wild-west' film set, we don't actually know where yet, but I'm sure we'll find one driving around.
  • Somewhere in Mexico but we're not sure yet.
  • LA
  • San Fran (hopefully Alcatraz (s.p. that I can't be bothered to google) as well)

We have made a pact as well together that however little money we have, even if it means we can't eat, we are going to rent out a convertible to do the trip through Nevada, Arizona, Mexico and Cali. YAY!!!! This is the map of our proposed trip, red 1st day, blue 2nd, etc., and the lines go through the desert, there are actual roads there, you just can't see them. we're not planning some kind of safari (yet). And we are going to mexico, even if its just Tijana!

Every other time I've been to America I usually think I have landed in a third-world country. Because in third-world countries everybody goes to shops and businesses etc. And they bribe people and tip people and entice people with more money, and this is exactly what I've experienced there before. You can't get served in bars without bribing the bar-people with money to come over and serve you, If you go into hotels people inconvenience you by insisting that you are incapable of carrying your own bags, and then follow you with said bags up to your room, which you could have done very easily yourself, and then standing their as if you are expected to give them money for this obstaclisation (I love making up words!). WTF!!! Seriously right... you have a job, they PAY you for having this job, and now you are asking ME to give YOU money to do YOUR OWN JOB????!!

I literally do not get it, not even the slightest bit. HOWEVER, I can completely understand the following... Waitresses (and this bit is crucial) 'going out of their way' to make your meal a pleasant one. That is NOT, and I repeat NOT just for any old stinking bitch that slops some rank over-manufactured slop on you plate and gives you a so-obvious-there-is-no-point-whatsoever fake smile while breathing her cigarette breath all down you throat, or even for people just doing their jobs in a normal fashion, it should ONLY be reserved for people who are prominently and significantly lovely and kind and make your day better.

Now, I know what you'll say... 'but some of them don't earn enough'. Tough shit. If you don't earn enough then GET A BETTER JOB, its quite simple. With the number of jobs available in the US (bearing in mind it is the equivalent size of more than double, I repeat MORE THAN DOUBLE the size of all the EU countries put together (4,300,000 sq km compared to 9,800,000 sq km) and if you can't get a job that will pay for you to live comfortably with your family then you REALLY do not deserve any tips whatsoever. People in England that I know of, have 2 or 3 GCSEs (exams you take when you're 16, most people get 9ish, then go on to take higher-level exams after that) and they earn £8 – 10/hr at the airport, and they do not get any tips. If they can get a decent job, the in somewhere that is over forty times the size of the UK, you should be able to get a decent job as well. Do NOT rely on tips you lazy lazy LAZY people.

Jamie has just told me about this video that sums up my whole point entirely, watch until 1:30...

Also another annoying thing along the same lines... sales tax???? WTF?? Why would you not include this on the price tag in the first place, just like every other country in the world does??? Florida – you are ridiculous. I walk up the counter in Disneyworld to buy a hat/mouse-shaped-thing/tourist crap, and the price tag says $6, so I get out my $5 note, and my $1 note, and proceed to stand in the line of other sweaty tourists doing the same... ... ... "That's $6.36 please"

Seriously? Would it not be that difficult to write the ACTUAL price on the products instead of 'surprising' people with an extra 6%? I understand that if you're there for a while you'll get used to it, but isn't it a completely ridiculous thing in the first place. If your government told you that you all had to walk around on you hands all the time, you'd get used to it, but its a stupid idea isn't it? I really see no point in not writing down the proper amount, what does anyone gain by doing that??? Yeah. Its stupid. Really really stupid.

Until next time :-)



    re: tips - i agree! see the above the link upto 1min 29secs

  2. I've included it in the blog, cheers Jamie!