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Diana’s initial musings ......

USA | Tuesday, 1 May 2012 | Views [359]

1               Learning the Lingo

 Couldn’t find that phrase book you referred to Chris but here’s what we have found so far:

 ·         You turn in to a Turnout and turnout of it to get back onto the road – it’s normally a layby

·         We have learned to ask for the Restroom and not the Toilet [that’s just too rude]

·         The chap [sorry  we mean guy] at the nearby breakfast table this morning kept talking about defecating, he mentioned it about 6 times and was obviously proud of his prowess in this department.  No ‘shit’!

·         We can either self-park or valet park [valet parking means more money]

·         Motorways are either Freeways or Expressways or Highways and mostly have four or five lanes

·         You don’t park on a Parkway!  You walk on sidewalks

2              What’s culturally different thus far …..

Absolutely everywhere is so clean and tidy, there’s just no litter.  Except the freeways which are littered with tyre peelings [and workers are employed to collect them] but no paper, plastic bag, cans or other litter anywhere.

·         No-one ever crosses the road before a green light appears [they are so good and patient to boot – or should it be trunk]

·         Everyone speaks to you and is so polite and helpful.  Serving staff always smile and enjoy serving you – no one seems to have a bad grumpy day.

·         We need to tip everyone who provides any sort of service for us [that includes courtesy bus drivers]

·         The concierge in each hotel is an amazing person and they keep treating us to free drinks, free desserts etc; can’t understand why [maybe Sarah or Loy can help on this one]

·         At breakfast we are always presented with ‘builders’ mugs.  The earl grey tea just doesn’t taste right in those.

·         Sat Nav says ‘take road I-10 for 265 miles [to Phoenix].  Imagine no turn offs for so far.  The roads are so straight and there is great excitement when a slight kink appears with loads of chevrons to warn us for what appears to be a slight shimmy.  We decided that the song should be ‘by the time I get to Phoenix [I’ll probably have fallen asleep on the 265 mile straight road] before she’s rising’.

·         All meals are huge and a breakfast lasts us all day.  American’s just don’t understand the word ‘small’ where food is concerned.  A one egg omelette obviously had at least three eggs in it.

-                       You need to order one meal to share - everyone does it - and even then you will end up being asked if you would like a box to take the remainder home.  At one restaurant we ordered a half portion to share and no-one blinked an eyelid and for the starter we shared a quarter portion between us!

·         The street names are far more interesting than ours, for example today we drove on the Sunny Bono Memorial Highway, past Bob Hope Drive, towards Golden Nugget Boulevard.  We past East Cactus Road, Thunderbird Drive, Cochise Drive,  Jackrabbit Road, Indian Bend Drive, East 64th Street, Horsethief Basin Road, Bumble Bee Lane, Gold Dust Drive, and the best yet Bloody Basin Road or Dirty Devil River [couldn't decide].  There was the odd Curry Road and even a Telephone Road but otherwise …..  You can actually adopt a street or highway here!

·         Getting petrol proved an adventure.  We needed a Zip Code [postcode] to get petrol but we didn’t have one so we had to show our payment card [which they kept] and provide ID before we were allowed to get petrol.  But, they want to know how much you want before they let you do this so when you say you want to fill the car up you need to know how much petrol it will take to do this!  A very different experience.

·         There is no ground floor in hotels.  What we call the ground floor is actually the first floor.

-                       Light switches turn on by pressing up and turn off by pressing down.

-                      When parking in front of shops there is always ample space to reverse out without reversing onto a road.

-                       They have Senior Citizen car parking at some supermarkets, fantastic.

-                      Get used to seeing pictures of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean; they are everywhere and especially in the diners.

-                      Dennys are good value for money and again portions tend to be huge so go for one to share.  They sometimes charge an additional amount for the extra plate but not everywhere.



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