Saturday, March 20, 2010

Strange Cultural Differences: Part 1

I have a tendency to notice things that are off, out of place, strange or unusual. John does too and between the two of us this move has produced some great commentary.

Here are some of the things we have noticed.

- They print things on different size paper. Prints, photocopies, all of it. Seems to be about 8-1/4" by 12" instead of 8-1/2" by 11". This has rendered the few folders I brought with us obsolete.

- I have heard that cops in the US have to "hide in plain sight". Like they will radar you and catch you for speeding but they have to be where you can see them even if just around a bend in the road otherwise its entrapment. Here they will straight up hide behind a building and sneak up on you. The under-covers don't drive cars that look like cop cars either. We saw a few busting someone on the street who were driving a beater.

- The bums sound like pirates. YARRRR got some change mate YAAAAARRRR

- All of the dogs look just a little bit different. I can't totally describe it. I could say "yeah that's a pit" or "that's a cocker spaniel" but the cocker spaniels have longer legs and the pits have more of a dingo-ish face. All of them are just a little bit elongated.

- You don't tip here, which is one part cool and one part guilt-inducing. It makes for this really awkward but cool thing where you go up to the counter (even in nice places) at the end of your meal and somehow they magically know everything you ordered even if the person ringing you up has never been to your table. I think we discovered tonight that in the really nicer places you should still tip a little, but I don't really know ... insert guilt ridden confusion.

- The value for your money here is way low. Its pretty much the only bad thing I can say about it. We have been looking for apartments and it is just insane how much people will pay for zero space in a so-so building here. And we are coming from west LA, we are used to paying a ton for no space.

- On that note hunting for apartments is different here too. You don't set up appointments with the landlords or managers here. They send a third party realtor out to open the unit and about 40 people flood the place to take a peek. I felt like I was at a cattle call for survivor this morning. The hardest part is that they only do these "inspections" on Saturdays usually and the units are only open for about 15 min. Then you have to haul ass to the next one before it closes.

- They seem to really be into fashion here. Not in the glitzy LA look-at-me-and-my-money kinda way but in actually appreciating the design. Fashion TV is everywhere. Even in bars as if it were ESPN. I've seen tons of cute little shops and the shoes! OMG the shoes!

- They really like cars that are one part one thing and one part another. I think I described this in my previous post. I am still trying to catch a pic of the weird sedan/minivan combo.

- The vegetables that come from Australia are HUGE. I mean HUUUUUGE. The green onions are the size of celery. But then you will look at the apples that aren't from Australia and they are half the size of what they are in the US.

- They love lawn bowling. I have seen it on prime time television and we have seen many courts (or whatever you call them) around town. They also have lots of grass tennis courts. Not something you see in the states much.

- They don't have a penny. Everything we have bought has been in whole increments. I am sure these things are connected.

Ok more to come I am sure. But for now that's what I could think of :)

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Melrose, I love your keen eye for the "subtleties" of your new "home". I wish you the best in searching for a place to live that doesn't break the bank or put you somewhere that you wouldn't want to step out-of-doors from! Love your witt and commentary....keep it comin'

Love, DadV