I really enjoy travelling to the United States – I’ve had a great time on every trip there. That’s because I find it extremely diverse and multi-faceted when you go from city to city and the place is nothing like the movies or television shows. So many stereotypes are busted every time I go there and I’m continually surprised.
People are friendly to me, and I really enjoy the good service I encounter when shopping or going out. The shopping is great and you can buy pretty much anything that you want. The variety and quality of food is astounding. Depending on how the Australian dollar is going at the time, the United States is good value for money and I’m sure the government doesn’t mind me pumping some of my cash into the national economy.
The National Park system in the United States is superb, and the beauty and variety of landscapes leaves me wanting to discover more.
Americans probably think I sound funny when I open my mouth, but they like the Australian accent and I’ve made many American friends who I enjoy hanging out with and sharing a joke and a beer.
I don’t understand why Americans have stuck with imperial measurements (I’m always trying to translate from miles to kilometres, Fahrenheit to Celsius, and pounds to kilograms), but hey, my brain needs a bit of exercise now and then!
And unusually, I even have United States Permanent Residency. I decided to take a punt and I managed to score a Green Card in the Green Card Lottery a few years back and have activated it, but haven’t used to live there long term yet – but you just never know!
Anyway, this silly article is part of a series that has included a couple of light hearted takes on Living in The United Kingdom and Living in Australia too long, so don’t take this too seriously! This entire website is not meant to be taken seriously at all!
This post is about taking on the culture of the place that you’re staying in, from an outsider’s perspective!
Just remember, the silly stereotypes I’ve listed don’t apply to everybody, but there is usually an element of truth in them. And that’s all you need!
Here it is!
You Know That You’ve Been Living In The United States Too Long When..
You’ve lost your Australian accent to the point where the locals think you were American born and bred. In fact you don’t have to slow your speech down any more
LAX doesn’t seem such a bad way to enter the country
The small serves at every take out joint now actually seem small, instead of extra large
Getting married at the Drive Through Chapel in Las Vegas seems like a sensible option when you feel like getting hitched
You’re annoyed that other metros around the world don’t operate for 24 hours a day like the New York Subway system does
The name ‘BJ’s‘ doesn’t make you giggle any more
You understand every accent in every state, from north to south, east to west
You can actually recite all of the state names in the United States of America. In alphabetical order. And maybe in reverse alphabetical order
Shopping around for plastic surgery procedures in Los Angeles seems normal
Calling everyone ‘Sir’ and ‘Mam’ is automatic – even when you return to visit your home country
You only have ‘one glass‘ in the Californian wine country
You don’t cringe at having to tip waiters any more – in fact, your transport the tipping culture outside of the United States back to your home country.
You discover that the United States make some fantastic beer and they only export the worst stuff to other countries and keep the best for themselves (I love American Craft Beer – can’t get enough of the Brown Ales!)
Looking for people at airports who look like they’ve come straight from Wal Mart becomes your favourite past time
Spanish becomes your first language
Wearing Funny T-shirts are mandatory on days out
Driving a gas guzzling SUV that you can barely see out of becomes loads of fun
The over the top Transport Security Administration procedures at the airport feel like they take no time at all
Visiting New York doesn’t feel like you’ve arrived on a movie set any more
You know all of the words to the Star Spangled Banner – and have completely forgotten the national anthem of your home country
Health Insurance premiums seem reasonable
Spotting your favourite travel show which has been transformed into a slot machine becomes boring
A trip to Canada seems ‘too far’
Mexico is now classified as ‘overseas’
The humongous theme parks all over the country now seem small and pretty boring
You don’t mind lining up at the theme park attractions for an hour before riding them
You can recite The American Constitution word for word without referring to your notes
You feel like taking a leak in the most extravagant urinal that you can find
After previously not caring about United States politics at all, you now call yourself a Democrat or a Republican
You finally understand the rules of gridiron – and can even explain them without confusing your non-American friends
You finally work out that you need to describe the English game of cricket as ‘like baseball, but slower’
Layers of meat and cheese are now a healthy diet
American life is never what it is as depicted in Beverly Hills or Hollywood
You take having the ability to buy anything you want 24 hours a day for granted
You call your ‘mobile phone’ a ‘cell phone’
You call that English game called ‘football’ ‘soccer’
You now say that ‘thongs’ are ‘flip flops’
Walking around in the desert wearing anything you want at the Burning Man Festival becomes a way of life
You don’t mind the airport-like pat downs when you enter national monuments
Quirky museums like the International Spy Museum are not unusual any more
You keep wondering what the “American Dream” looks like
You know how to say ‘I am not American’ in every language if you travel abroad
You pronounce “New Orleans” as “New Orlins”
You want to come up with an idea for a funny business card because other businesses are doing it well
You’re surprised if you receive any type of food on a domestic flight. That includes water
You’ve taken up United States Citizenship – but still use your other passport when you travel!
Okay, this was pretty silly. How about others out there? How do you know you’ve spent a long time in the United States? Leave a comment!