General Discussion

Impressions of America
ozoneocean at 5:31AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Oh dear… I miss the states already :(
2 weeks isn't really enough for a holiday.

San Diego Americans are strange with their immaculately brushed hair and boring conservative, very neat clothing, but they tend to be very nice, polite, and considerate friendly people. Americans in general, from my experience, seem very willy to help people out.

By contrast your average Aussie is rather scruffy and not nearly as open and friendly, more “interestingly” dressed but with shit hair. Really, really shitty hair.

Oh yeah, not many males there had long hair. And NO ONE dressed like me. Made me feel like a cross between a transvestite and an Alien… Rocky Horror show…

It's an interesting place. It took me ages to get used to walking on the righthand side of pathways (sidewalks to yanks). Cars that actually STOP for pedestrians! That part was super freaky to me. Little miniature dogs everywhere. -dogs seem to come in two sizes: horse or rat. The rat size is predominant.
Californian yanks don't have a strong accent… that was a bit disappointing to me, but fortunately there were enough American tourists from out of state to keep me entertained with their nice broad accents!

There are far too many flags.

Traffic is slow as a snail Mainly because they have to wait at traffic lights for way too long and stop for all those pedestrians.

It's very green there, a lot greener than where I'm from (Perth Australia). We have as much vegetation, but it's sort of reddish, browny green. It's wetter and lusher there too, not dry and arid like I'm used to.

Trains are huge two story affairs. Which would be more impressive if they ran at decent regular intervals, didn't travel at walking pace for most of the journey, or charge an arm and a leg for short trips! The old fashioned uniforms on the Amtrack train guards are entertaining.

The money all looks the same, I dislike having to look closely at each note (or Bill) to see what it is. It's also strange to have coins and dollar bills actually valued by people… Aussie money is almost the same value as US currency, but we don't value $5 notes or $1 or $2 coins as much and certainly nothing bellow that.
It's nice to have American dollars in your wallet though. I don't know why, but it is.

Lots of good free wifi hotspots! All over the place! And powerpoints so you can easily charge up your mobile devices! Contrast that with something like an Aussie airport wich has NO powerpoints open at all, and either NO wifi or wifi that costs you $5 and hour! Not good enough -_-

I heard almost no new music while I was there. Which suited me fine :)
Most people seemed to listen to older stuff by default, at least in San Diego. Whereas anywhere here it tends to be a constant turnover of earbleedingly disposable pop. Exclusively.

The food: It tends to be pretty cheap and many places serve you massive helpings. Far too much for me to finish. Denny's hamburgers are disgusting- undercooked thick patties drowned in liquid fat. Their pancakes are very nice though and make lovely breakfast food. The Mexican food is REAL …and not that amazing. It's nice though. Wendy's are better at hamburgers than Denny's. Double mouse chocolate cake with chocolate sauce at Hooters is enough to kill you! The more premium food is great too, but that's pretty much what you'd get in any country. The lower end stuff can tell you more about a place.:)

The two sexy waitress places I went to in San Diego were The Tilted Kilt (with women dressed like Brittany Spears from her Hit Me Baby One More Time vid), and Hooters. The Hooters ladies were disturbingly disproportionate in one particular area. I'm not sure what was going on there… Tilted Kilt ladies tend to be proportioned more evenly. Nothing much more to say about that, just that it was a novel experience- a sort of neutered bawdiness, or a safe, child friendly lewdness (and people did take their kids). I've been to pub restaurants here at Kalgoorlie (major gold mining centre) where the waitresses are just barely clad in lingerie, but that was somehow more honest about what it was about…?



Anyway, I enjoyed my time there and I'd definitely like to go back for longer, but it is good to be back in the familiar comfortableness of home… Even if all the cars DO try and run you over, the people have crap hair and dress scruffily.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
PIT_FACE at 5:47AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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though i aint San Diego “yank” (one of my favorite parts of talking to foreigners is being called a yank! :D ) it's ussually pretty interesting to hear an outsider's experience here! im glad ya had a good time oz! ya'll come back soon now ya hear? ;)

haha, i gotta ask to man, you get hit on alot? american chicks dig aussie accents.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Randal at 7:48AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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I personally have been in every state except for Hawaii, Alaska and Vermont. I can tell you that in my experience, going to California is more like visiting another country. While everything is just a little bit different between the regions of the U.S., they're just a little bit more different in California. Especially if you drive a truck. You have to enter Government checkpoints just to enter the state, Californians don't use the standard U.S. CB channel, and for the most part, their Interstate Highways don't have mile markers… (which can add to the tedium of a trip if you're always left guessing how much longer you have to go.)

I'm surprised you saw so much green that far south in California in July. They don't call it “the golden state” because of the 1849 gold rush. It's because in June, the sun bakes all the vegetation from green to a drab golden color.

As for authentic Mexican food being a bit boring, maybe they were afraid to expose you to the spicier stuff. Though with much of it involving similar ingredients, I can see how you'd think it a bit homogeneous, sort of like Italian food usually involves pasta of some form and tomato or Alfredo sauce of some form.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
ozoneocean at 9:32AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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The Mexican wasn't boring. It was nice, but not the amazing stuff pop culture leads you to believe. Unfortunately it was a little mild. My hosts were too considerate.
-not that I'm a lover of chillie. I've eaten pizza with a home made chillie sauce that had no taste, it just induced the feeling of pure pain. Exactly like needles in the tongue or broken sharp objects cutting into it (both of which I've experienced). Not something I ever was to repeat.

-It was green and lush for me. Especially compared to where I come from! Plus, the weather was unseasonably cool.

Haha Pit! Not as much as I'd have liked, that's for certain. I think most people found me too weird generally. Constantly mistaken for a woman… AND most people thought I was only 18! And people tended to think I was British or from somewhere else in Europe most of the time.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Randal at 9:56AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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There are chilies that don't burn your tongue off and have a pleasing flavor. You can have Jalapeno as either hot or mild. If you remove the seeds and the seed membrane, they have almost no heat. As far as taste, they are sweet and have good flavor, not like a bell chili, which has a bitter aftertaste. You don't have to have a mouth burning Habanero chili to experience Mexican heat, and frankly I won't touch them, because I want a little heat and lots of flavor with my food, not mind numbing pain.

Probably my favorite Mexican food are tacos made with what they call suadero, which is beef brisket slow cooked in oil (at least, this is what they call suadero at the restaurant I go to in Mexican Village in Detroit). This is topped with onion and cilantro and a bit of fresh restaurant made salsa or ‘pico de gallo’ (which is like salsa but uncooked) and placed in a seared soft corn tortilla. Most Mexicans then squeeze lime over this, but I only rarely do that. Oh, and I also love tamales, which I like with salsa verde (salsa made with green chilies and tomato rather than ripe red ones) For the uninitiated, tamales are masa (usually a corn based dough) wrapped around a meat (or cheese or chilies) filling which is all then wrapped up in corn husks and… um… steamed or something.
These are good with fresh authentic salsa of any kind.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
elmatto at 10:22AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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don't go to the central united states. You'll probably hate it there.
Boring as shit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
Randal at 10:48AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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elmatto
don't go to the central united states. You'll probably hate it there.
Boring as shit.

That depends on what you call boring. If you mean Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota (or for the most part, South Dakota), Illinois or Minnesota… you'd be right. If you mean Missouri and Oklahoma, those are very pretty. Also, eastern Colorado looks a lot like Nebraska and Kansas… until you get to Denver. Then it's “POW! Mountains”.

Also, there's not much farm land in Western AU. He might find it to be refreshing to drive through Iowa and see nothing but green rolling crops and wind breaker tree lines… and in Iowa, depending on the time of year, usually May - July, there are so many lightning bugs that the ground shimmers with their light as far as the eye can see just after dusk until about midnight.

I find the drive from Bakersfield CA to San Francisco CA to be way more boring than most of middle America. Also, most of that stuff you see about Texas Tumbleweeds in movies is only the severe southwestern part of the state near New Mexico, most of the rest of Texas is green and full of either fields (west) or trees (east) or scrub (south).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 10:51AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Don't go to America.

We're boring.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM
Niccea at 11:39AM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Next time, come a little deeper into the states. You can be impressed by our drawls…which I lack…hmm…
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:14PM
Lonnehart at 1:58PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Did you go straight to the states? If you didn't you probably stopped here on Guam or went to Hawaii first. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Chernobog at 3:42PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Ozone
Denny's hamburgers are disgusting- undercooked thick patties drowned in liquid fat.

Denny's is disgusting. I can't think of a diner franchise I hold more disdain for. They're everywhere, like a Walmart of half assed food.

Hooter's, not that I've been personally, is kind of a curious experience. A little skin, but not too much from what I can determine. Some people love their wings*. (*insert innuendo joke here) America is weird in that sense. We love our violence, and we love our sex, but we're also hyper prudish about the latter too.

Those Kalgoorlie pubs sound awesome.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Skullbie at 4:20PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Dennys is nasty! But you do appreciate it when you're on a roadtrip with weird eating schedules. But i swear it's some national protocol at dennys that you wipe down the tables and maintain the bathroom, mops are forbidden -_-

I think wendys jr. cheeseburgers are the best since they're only a dollar and fairly small. How big was your wendys burger compared to the ones in Australia? I get people freaking out over portions at BK(i can only finish half if i'm lucky) but wendys is fairly normal.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
ozoneocean at 5:38PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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@ Randal
That Chillie on the pizza wasn't “hot”. No burning sensation. Just pain, like a slice across the tongue. Different feeling.
The Mexian stuff I had was nice. I added more of the peppery Slasa to increase the spice.
I want it again now!

I had pancakes for breakfast this morning out of nostalgia from America :(

@ Niccea
I want drawl! I demand it! >:[

@ Lonne
Nope. Just a hop to the Eastern states of Australia and then straight to LAX!

@ Chern
Their pancakes were lovely!

@ Skull
Well the burger I had there was about 50% bigger than a MacDonald's hamburger that I might get in Australia. It tasted WAY better though! As far as fast food goes it was decent :)

My fave food in the US was at Sabrina's sandwich bar on Broadway (or was it First?) in San Diego. It's really strange to get offered a choice of breads, toppings, cheeses etc… At least for me. Never had that here! But those turkey on rye sandwiches with Swiss cheese and mayonnaise were magical! MmmmmmMmmm!
And they always had some sort of big yellow pickled pepper or two and a pickled cucumber or gherkin thing on the side. Perfect compliment to the rest. Yummy!

————
-edit-

No, I remember now! Sabrina's was on Columbia street! Run by these Arab people I think… Magnificent sanwiches! I miss them even now :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
seventy2 at 6:01PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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we love our food here. in big heaping proportions. however, i'm sad they got rid of the small size, because the new small is the old medium. and that fills me up way too much.

even tho most people say the midwest is boring, every state has at least 1 thing to offer, and i suggest a massive state roadtrip. quit your job and dooo it!
facara
Running Anew an exercise blog.
I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:30PM
Randal at 6:06PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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If you had been keeping your eyes open for a Hungry Jacks, you wouldn't have found one. Everyone else in the world calls it Burger King. XD

seventy2
even tho most people say the midwest is boring, every state has at least 1 thing to offer, and i suggest a massive state roadtrip. quit your job and dooo it!

Do what I did, get paid to see the country…
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 6:26PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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people
Denny's
God, I wish people didn't count that as an American establishment.

It's an embarrasment to my generation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 7:46PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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ozoneocean
The Hooters ladies were disturbingly disproportionate in one particular area. I'm not sure what was going on there…

Freedom. Freedom was going on.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
ozoneocean at 9:57PM, Aug. 5, 2010
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Randal
Hungry Jacks/Burger King
Yeck! I assumed it would be flame grilled flavoured cardboard like it is here in Oz. XP
seventy2
even tho most people say the midwest is boring
I saw and heard a few of those people. Great accents! :)
Wisconson bus driver souded amazing ^^
I Am The 1337 Master
Denny's-
God, I wish people didn't count that as an American establishment.

It's an embarrasment to my generation.
Oh, pish tosh! That place was awesome. lol!
It was like walking into an American movie from the 1970's. -one of those gritty reality ones. Awesome! ^____^
Atom Apple
ozoneocean
The Hooters ladies were disturbingly disproportionate in one particular area. I'm not sure what was going on there…
Freedom. Freedom was going on.
Normally I'd say “Long Live Freedom!”
…but that's taking it leeetle too far…

I wouldn't mid working there though.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Randal at 4:03PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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ozoneocean
Atom Apple
ozoneocean
The Hooters ladies were disturbingly disproportionate in one particular area. I'm not sure what was going on there…
Freedom. Freedom was going on.
Normally I'd say “Long Live Freedom!”
…but that's taking it leeetle too far…

*ahem*
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
Lonnehart at 6:33PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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I hope you've had the chance to try “American” BBQ. I still have yet to experience being at one of those BBQ contests. No matter what the judges might say, I'd think the BBQ there was the best… as long as it's not so greasy I could use the grease to lubricate my car's axles. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
alwinbot at 10:17PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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Never go to suburbs in the States. It's like living in the rural area without any of the interaction and living in the cities without any of the excitement.
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
ozoneocean at 10:24PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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Randal
*ahem*
Ooooooooooooo! Low blow >.<

But even that is proportional… I mean more like these:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4821081612/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4834801900/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4833718868/

Lonnehart
I hope you've had the chance to try “American” BBQ.
Nope. :(
I had home made blueberry pie though, made by Katch's grandmother. Good stuff!
…why aren't blueberries blue???

alwinbot
Never go to suburbs in the States. It's like living in the rural area without any of the interaction and living in the cities without any of the excitement.
Awww! I actually liked the suburbs I saw! :)
I want top see MORE!

…Man, I'm thinking next time:
Americana ROAD TRIP!
Get a few of us DD people together and go nuts.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
alwinbot at 10:41PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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ozoneocean
Randal
*ahem*
Ooooooooooooo! Low blow >.<

But even that is proportional… I mean more like these:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4821081612/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4834801900/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozoneocean/4833718868/

Strange.
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Lonnehart at 11:49PM, Aug. 6, 2010
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It's great that you had a good impression of the mainland U.S.. I spent two years in Oaklahoma/Texas myself (Army). If I had stayed any longer I would've aquired a permanent Southern accent, though. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 5:29PM, Aug. 7, 2010
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Being someone who almost married into an American family, I got to experience allot of US culture. It was fairly interesting to say the least. I've experienced two family thanksgiving gatherings were they just keep on piling food on that damn table. Then afterwards, all the men have to watch collage “football”.

Food portions are indeed massive in restaurants and their quest to make the customer as happy as humanly possible is borderline uncomfortable. I remember being at a place (I think it was called Applebee's (less apples then you'd suspect)) where I got a disturbingly large portion of pasta and only 3 small strips of chicken on top. I found it to be so oddly disproportionate that when someone asked how I found the food to be, I casually commented on it. The waitress reacted as if I had discovered a rat in my pasta and before I knew it, I was talking to the restaurant manager trying to make certain that I was fine with my food. The food was delicious. I just found the pasta/chicken ratio to be silly. I'll promise that I won't burn down the building.

The tabloids sold in some of the stores were frigging hilarious. It's not that the titles were border line “I married Bigfoot and had babies with him”. They actually were “I married Bigfoot and had babies with him”.

I find the decoration style of their government buildings to be the definition of depressing. No wonder post officers had the reputation of going ‘postal’ back in the days. I also find them to be overly cautious at times and there seems to be this never ending quest to make things as idiot proof as humanly possible.

All in all though, it's been an enjoyable experience dealing with you “yanks” ;)
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
Vakanai at 6:58PM, Aug. 7, 2010
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Glad you enjoyed it here in America.
I don't get the fascination with accents myself, but then I'm Southern, I probably sound like a hick without meaning to (I do say ain't and ya'll).
And yeah, we do like bigger portions than the rest of the world. I don't know if it's true or not, but I think the origins of that had something to do with people going overboard on food once they could actually afford it again after The Great Depression and lots of food just got ingrained into the culture that way. Not sure though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
Nicotine at 8:09AM, Aug. 8, 2010
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Haha! It's nice to hear what you thought. I've lived in New Jersey and Texas (Texas for most of my life) and not too long ago, I went to San Diego. I agree with the comment that California is sort of like a different country; definately different from Texas (things seemed so much neater there and more organized. For example, because Texas is so huge and there's a lot of landfill space, we never recycle or anything so people don't conserve as much here).

And you thought there were a lot of flags?? Haha, come to Texas and you'll see the American flag *and* Texas flag everywhere. This is the only state I know of that tons of people know the state flag and state pledge. I guess like California, we are like another country as well ^^;

I wonder how you felt about the weather there; that's one thing I love about California. Awesome weather!

I Am The 1337 Master
people
Denny's
God, I wish people didn't count that as an American establishment.

It's an embarrasment to my generation.

I'm inclined to agree with this. Honestly, the first time I ate at Denny's was when I went to San Diego, haha. And I hated it >_>

Product Placement
I also find them to be overly cautious at times and there seems to be this never ending quest to make things as idiot proof as humanly possible.

Haha! Because you can get sued for *everything* here. There was a guy who sued because he witnessed an accident and he claimed that it traumatized him xD. I have a lipgloss that says “Do not apply on eyes”
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
Lonnehart at 1:32PM, Aug. 8, 2010
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Nicotine
I guess like California, we are like another country as well ^^;


That's the thing I love about the mainland U.S.. Every state is different. Each with their own customs, culture and personality. It really is like a huge melting pot. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Faliat at 8:37PM, Aug. 8, 2010
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I'd probably go the states if I could afford it. But depends on which one. I'm from a political family.

I've known a few ‘Merics, though. One of my college tutors, one of the first year student in my second year of that college (He then went back to Vermont) and then a girlfriend of one of my then friends travelled to Scotland all the way from Virginia and then he, she and I spent about two hours on the 204 First Bus to Lomond Shores.

Poor girl didn’t know what a cheese toastie was…


One thing I'm very fascinated by is the (visibly) not as strong focus on class in the US compared to the UK. Sure. There's poor people and rich people but I think there's some kind of subconscious mutual knowledge that almost every person from there is less than five generations away from an immigrant. Race seems more of an issue than class. And it's no wonder. The remaining people are less than 5 generations away from slaves or slave owners.

Politics look about the same. The politicians have whiter and straighter teeth. But at least ours usually have their own (Shwing!).

All you have to do is talk “middle class” in the UK and you get a bunch of people in hoods burning shit outside your house.


Usually your own car.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
ozoneocean at 10:37PM, Aug. 8, 2010
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Nicotine
I wonder how you felt about the weather there; that's one thing I love about California. Awesome weather!
Cold, chilly and humid :(

When I flew in there was an un-ending sea of flat cloud coating the place. On the first day the sun came through a few times and it suddenly got sweaty and humid, but for all the other days it was just cool… The only other time I saw sun and blue sky in the US was one day in Anaheim. That day was nice and warm :)
Nicotine
Product Placement
I also find them to be overly cautious at times and there seems to be this never ending quest to make things as idiot proof as humanly possible.
Haha! Because you can get sued for *everything* here. There was a guy who sued because he witnessed an accident and he claimed that it traumatized him xD. I have a lipgloss that says “Do not apply on eyes”
But I want to lipgloss my eyes!

Yes, idiotproofing was something to see. It wasn't on everything though, just some things.
I love all the ads for prescription only pills where they ask you to beg your doctor to prescribe you them for things, then go on to tell you that they can actually make all your problems worse or even kill you! o_O
Apparently all anti-depression medication makes people want to kill themselves…

Most ads on TV are weird lifestyle things… Like living with debit in various ways, credit, credit, credit! Loans… Saving money on car insurance! Anti-chaffing cream for fat people! Vaginal cleaning solutions!

I'm not making any of that up.

Another strange thing is how movies and TV shows are promoted EVERYWHERE. Even on train tickets… Stuff completely unrelated to movies in any way with be covered in promotions for some film that's not even out yet… Receipts you get from somewhere, a broacher for local sites… anything.


——————
As to class-
Didn't see any evidence of class at all. But then it might not be something readily apparent or even regional. I know it'd be hard to see evidence of the class thing in Australia, but it's there in some subtle ways.
Didn't see any racial problems in the US where I was. All were equal ^_^
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM

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