Monday, December 31, 2007

Vacation Observations

Being back in the US for a few weeks is interesting. I see things differently.

First of all, Wal-mart is totally and completely forgiven for being an evil empire. I know I know, they put people out of business and they are terrible to their employees and their customer service skills leave something to be desired, but have you seen how clean and organized it is in there? There is so much space in there and there are soooo many products to choose from and I can actually return something if I don't like it. No haggling, no emotional blackmail just a shelf full of stuff and price stickers. Beeeea-utiful.

Disney is also forgiven for being an evil empire despite the fact that a large chunk of our vacation money now sits in the Disney wallet. We spent 3 days at Disneyland and not one person asked to take pictures with our kids. You may be mentally pointing out to me that we were Americans in America, so who would want our picture, right? Well nobody was asking any nationality for their pictures. There is something to be said for being in a place where people are largely self absorbed. I also noticed that the lines were orderly and every one stood in them politely (lines generally don't exist in India).

Next on the list, traffic. I just love how people drive in one lane at a time. They use their blinkers a lot more than they use their horns and by and large there are no cattle on the big roads. And guess what people do at the red lights? They stop! It is so cool! I am aware that there are those who break all of the rules, but honestly, it is so much better.

Have I mentioned how lovely America smells? Even LA seemed like clean fresh air to us. Scary, huh?

Of course not all the observations are favorable. America could stand to lose some weight. There are the really fat (I am one of those) and then there are the people that I used to consider thin. Even they could stand to lose 20 pounds. Don't get me wrong, I don't want everyone to be as skinny as your average Indian, but I am surprised at how "well padded" most Americans are. I now believe all the statistics I used to roll my eyes at about how many Americans are overweight.

I remember now why we were always flat broke. Everything is so expensive here! Honestly, I am afraid for when we return in 2010. I forgot just how much it costs to feed 9 people in the US. Two income families have very little to do with equality and a lot more to do with necessity.

I am most surprised by how little I am enjoying the food that I have been looking forward to. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my first Quarter-Pounder with Cheese an awful lot, but I grew tired of it all very quickly. The one exception has been the root beer. I love root beer. I have been drinking so much root beer I am going to have brown eyes soon. I probably smell like root beer. That stain on my shirt? Root beer. Why, oh why, doesn't India have root beer. They have satellite TV, surely they could work out root beer!

Being here has made me ask myself two interesting questions: 1. How on Earth am I going to make it two more years? 2. Is it time to go home to Noida yet? Vacation is wearing me out!


suburbancorrespondent said...

"No cattle on the big roads" - funny, that's never occurred to me; but you're right! I'll be sure to mention that to my husband next time we are stuck in traffic: "But, honey, at least there are no cattle."

Food does cost a lot here, but at least no one tries to serve you Pepto-Bismol pudding, right?

B.E.C.K. said...

It's true -- we do have a lot to be thankful for in the U.S. :-) Im definitely thankful for Wal-Mart for the reasons you stated!

Incidentally, I suspect that the reason no one asked to take your family's picture at Disneyland had less to do with any supposed self-absorption and more to do with the fact that most Americans are accustomed to seeing Caucasian people (as well as people of various races) on a day-to-day basis. ;^)

Aunt Carol said...

You should come up to the mountains and see what we have on the road. My friend was on his daily walk around the lake and a Mountain Lion crossed the road in front of him. Guess he wasn't hungrey. Saw a bear near our house cross the road this year, then there are those darn grey squirrels crossing the road(sometimes they don't make it.)

Hey have you seen any TIGERS in India yet? The zoo doesn't count.
The more I travel, the more I love California.

Just Seeking said...

International travel is an awesome way to appreciate your life!
Maybe if they had root beer in India everyone over there would be as "well-padded" as we are!
I found you over at Fight the Fluffy. I'll be back---I'm interested in your adventure!

Badness Jones said...

Hi - I just came over from 'fight the fluffy'...what an amazing blog, and an amazing experience for you and your children. I can't wait to find time to read some of your archives!

Aunt Carol said...

Okay, you should be home now or did they keep you on the plane? Hope you are feeling better by now. It took us two weeks to get over the cold and I am still coughing. Sorry I didn't get over to see you but glad we spent the day together at Disneyland. We are still talking about how much fun we had with Mary and the Twins. Happy home coming.

sicsidefx said...

HI AMY!!! I'm just now getting the link to your blog so I have a lot to read & believe me, I'll leave many comments! You are so funny! I personally do not like going to Walmart, it's so dirty, and everything is out of order & the people who work there are so rude or just simply do not speak english! LOL, then agian, if I were in India, I'd prob speak highly of Walmart also, LOL... Miss you guys!! Give Scott & the kids my love! Bye!!