Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Month 1

We're already more then one month into life in the USA - how?!?! It might be an English speaking country but it's still foreign to me - my random thoughts thus far...

The good
- Firstly - people here are SO friendly!!! Maybe it's the area, I don't know but I'm not complaining. I've randomly met some really lovely ladies over the past few weeks - it seems there are a lot of fellow stay at home Mums here. Oliver is loving having some playdates!

- BEN AND JERRY'S!!! So, so bad but so, so good at the same time. We have a massive freezer too - I could fit wayyyyyy too much B&J in there...

- Baking... You know when an American recipe calls for a 'stick' of butter... Well, when you buy a pack of butter, it really does come with 4 individually wrapped sticks! It's even marked out into tablespoon & cup measurements so you don't have to muck around with digging a spoon into hard butter or trying to guess how much 1/3 cup is. Love the lazy factor :-)

- SUNSHINE!!! Blue skies nearly every day & warmth (30+ last weekend!) makes for a very happy Lu.

The bad
- Panadol doesn't exist in the USA. Not just the brand name panadol, but paracetamol in general. I spent a good 15 mins trawling the drug aisle of the supermarket (it's massive - there are like 5 different types of over the counter medication for just about every ailment you can think of) only to have to go speak to the pharmacist (yes, there is also a pharmacy section in the supermarket - weird, huh) who couldn't understand what I was asking for. I asked for paracetamol in a variety of accents incase I was saying it wrong AND the brand Panadol and she had no clue. Finally another pharmacist appeared and told me that paracetamol isn't sold in the USA. They have Tylenol (acetiminophen) which I think is the exact same thing anyway.

- We both have to take our driving tests again :-( Not just the practical, but the theory too. We can drive here on our foreign licenses as long as we wish but without a CA licence, our insurance costs skyrocket.  

- Speaking of driving... There are NO roundabouts in our area!!! I am thinking it's a Californian thing. Instead of roundabouts, they have these 4 way stop signs at intersections. Whoever gets there first has right of way - not sure what happens though if 4 people all pull up at the exact same time...

- Everywhere seems to smell like food - there are cafes, restaurants and fast food everywhere you look. This makes me hungry all the time :-(

The hmmmmm moments
- I thought I was experiencing our first minor quake when living in the temporary accommodation. I didn't jump under the table thankfully because it turns out it was just the incredibly noisy insinkerator upstairs rumbling the apartment...

- People do detect my accent but I keep getting mistaken for being European of all things!!! The car salesman thought I was Icelandic (HUH?!?!) and the fridge guy - before we had even said anything about where we came from etc - was like, oh, europeans! We haven't had anyone from Europe in here for awhile. You speak very good English!

- When I was a kid, Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, smashed into a million pieces and couldn't be put back together again. End of story. Nowadays, Humpty falls off the wall, gets a 'minor boo boo' which is then 'fixed by Mommy' with a band aid. Yes - a band aid was stuck on Humpty's boo boo during the nursery rhyme/storytime session we've been attending. I almost laughed out loud (but realised I shouldn't when everyone else was clapping happily) - since when have nursery rhymes become politically correct???


  1. Glad to see you're enjoying life in the USA! Next time you want paracetemol, try asking for ibuprofen. It's generic (not a brand name, like Tylenol).

    Roundabouts aren't very popular anywhere in the US. My hometown (St. Louis - population 2.1 million) has 3 or 4 of them.

    Oh, and from your previous entry, "restroom" is just the posh/polite way to say bathroom. You'd use it when talking with the elderly, or at a very nice restaurant. Most anywhere else, "bathroom" will work just fine. Just don't say "loo" or "WC", since nobody will know what you're talking about :)

  2. Nice post Lu :) From wikipedia, you're right, Panadol/Tylenol are exactly the same thing. Panadol is a name for paracetamol which is an abbreviation of para-acetylaminophenol. Tylenol is a name for acetaminophen which is an alternative abbreviation of - you guessed it - para-acetylaminophenol. Good to know! I wonder if the pharmacist would have understood if you asked for some "para-acetylaminophenol"...maybe not with your thick European accent! lol :P

  3. Lol yep I've already discovered that loo is met with blank looks. That's interesting that roundabouts aren't common in other parts of the country - I am slowly getting used to these 4 way stop systems instead (but think roundabouts are so much more simple!).

    Roy you know next time I am totally going to ask for para-acetylaminophenol just to see if anyone understands me. I might have to figure out how to say it properly first though :P

  4. finally catching up on your stories from the other side of the Pacific... looks like you are enjoying life a lot there! It's interesting how the whole mums and bubs things seems very developped like in Australia, but very unlike Europe.
    I hope we'll be able to visit some day!

  5. Great post lu! stoked to hear you guys are having a great time! - Dan

  6. Laurianne that would be awesome if you guys came to visit one day!!! It does remind me a lot of Australia here - so similar, but also so different. Makes me a bit homesick actually!
    Thanks Dan! Hope you guys are going well. Mum told me the good news - yay! Catch you guys on skype soon :)


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