Burger and Chips

In only nine days, I have already noticed a lot of differences, not only between the US and Britain, but also between the reality and the stereotype.
People in America, or at least in the Washington part of it recycle, eat fresh vegetables and meals in quite ordinary sized portions, some people cycle to work instead of driving, people are not unusually friendly, nor are shop assistants unusually unfriendly. So far I have not seen a single person, animal or item that strikes me as freakishly big, small, dolled-up or gun-toting. You might say, in all honesty, it's a little disappointing.
However, easy as it is to forget in a place where everyone speaks my language, this IS a foreign country. I still wait for the bus on the wrong side of the road (then bemusedly buy an ice-cream in a pertol station and wait an hour for the next one!), fumble with the unfamiliar coins when paying for my lunch, and find seemingly ordinary things unbelievable (if you buy a drink in the staff canteen, you get free refills ALL day, even tea and coffee!).
And even the language presents some challenges. Yesterday I thought I'd treat myself and have a bacon&cheese burger for lunch, rather than the usual salad (to be honest, with the amount of ground up tacos and dressing, it's debatable which is the healthier option). "What side would you like? Salad, chips or soup?" I was asked. Skimming over the fact that soup is not a "side" as far as I'm concerned, especially with a burger, I decided to go for chips (I refer you to my earlier comment re. healthy eating) So I was undestandly surprised when my order was called and I was handed a plate on which sat a burger and a packet of crisps.
Sigh. At least my stupidity was masked that time, unlike today's attempt to refill my Sprite without taking the lid off. I'm starting to feel my research group should have chosen someone less clumsy to represent them in the US.


  1. Doh! But seriously, soup with a burger? America is weird!

    Hope you're having fun over there :)

    Phil x

  2. Free refills on tea should be instigated in the UK. Or perhaps state tea (like the Russians used to do with vodka).


  3. I'm glad the impetus to blog is still strong after 9 days... Missing you, but these make me laugh out loud (as the kids say).

    I'm all for the free tea. Goes without saying. x x


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