well, yeah, this post is gonna be REALLY GOD DAMN LONG, because here, i will post all the differences and annoyances I´ve found until now.... first, i´d like to add a disclaimer here, because it IS necessary:
there´s probably gonna be some quite politically incorrect things in the following paragraphs, and i´m not responsible for you being pissed off or by anything that´s written in the following text. this text does not address any particular citizen or not citizen (except the guy in the plane), but it comments on the people, their environment, their habits, their behavior, in general, and should not be taken personally. if you are offended by anything, just remember, god will punish me for my heresy, and you´re older than me and have a bigger car, so you´re superior.(so, now i should be safe from suing)
first day, the travel:
standing up at 2:30 am is not nice when you only had two hours of sleep. not that it´s very nice when you have had more, but... you know...
first up was two hours of flight to the amsterdam airport shipohl (or something similar) in the netherlands, which were no problem at all. then, we had the incredible luck of having to wait four hours at the airport before check in began. that was booooring. and then, oh my god. security check! we were x-rayed, searched, questioned, lazered, and god knows what. the only funny thing about this was the obvious ridiculousness of all of this and the stupid questions:
were the bags in your possession for the whole time? NO! I just came from a flight from luxembourg to amsterdam. it´s not even possible to keep an eye on all of your bags for the whole time!! of course, you gotta say yes, so as not to get in trouble with the guy in the all-mighty uniform, who thought himself very intelligent because he speaks three languages (that guy bragged about it) (im 16 and i speak 4 languages already *brag*)
did you pack the bags yourself?
no, I let that friendly russian taliban spy nazi over there pack it for me. yes, that one, selling that asian babies internal organs to strangers. of course. that question is just superfluous.
sometimes, I think those airport security things are just there to annoy people and to piss them off. if you´re a terrorist (oops, that´s a dangerous word to utter in an airport in a language they don´t understand), you´re not actually gonna say "yes, I am a terrorist, and i have the intention of crashing this plane into the white house"
then, you can´t have a line of more than ONE person (which isn´t actually a line at all) in front of the toilet in the airplane.
isn´t that actually violating one of the fundamental rights written down in the US constitution? the right to peacefully meet? you´re not even talking to the other people, and even so, if anyone were to kidnap a plane they would PROBABLY sit right next to each other and/or already have things sorted out about how to do things. otherwise, they´d be terrible terrorists.
ah, well... the 8 hour flight from amsterdam to New York: annoying, they only showed an infinite loop of bee movie and mister magorium´s thingy store... neither of which I wanted to see, so i was left to reading and trying to sleep (which i couldn´t, for reasons unknown, I couldn´t even sleep after having taken two sleeping pills. one of those knocked out the rest of my family, so I didn´t even have anyone to speawas k to, except...) that big american guy sitting next to me on the plane:
he is probably the most annoying person I´ve ever met, and definitely the most annoying american I´ve ever seen. he was fat, he stank of sweat, he was extrovert, he just came from turkey, and he thought that everyone with a turban or a burka was a terrorist. i´m glad i pretended i didn´t speak english, otherwise he wuld have told me his whole holiday (he did, anyways...).
he thought I, too, was a dutch terrorist, because I spoke that "crazy space language" the dutch speak.
if you ever happen to read this, fat guy:
1. I´m not dutch, and I don´t speak dutch.
2. I´m NOT DUTCH.
3. not everyone who speaks a language you don´t speak is a terrorist.
4. not everyone who has a turban or burka is a terrorist.
5. don´t bother to ask your wife every five minutes, you DO stink of sweat, no matter what she says.
6. don´t complain about the airplane food. we know it´s disgusting, but considering that it´s being eaten in variable air pressure, 10000 meters above the atlantic ocean, in a cabin with dry air, and that it´s spent hours in a fridge, onboard of that very airplane, only to be heated along with 100s of other food units in a microwave oven, it´s pretty good.
7. yes, that´s keira nightley. you don´t have to point it out to the whole plane and ask everybody afterwards whether it really IS keira nightley, it is, okay?
8. no, they shouldn´t just leave US citizens through security directly. it´s your government who is doing the fuck, so you should endure it, too. anyways, US citizens are, logically thought, the best candidates for being terrorists.
9. no one cares that you can recite the 12 stations of the christ, so stop asking about it.
god, it felt good to let out that steam.
then, finally in New York... and mor security checks. biometrical data is being scanned, I´m being inserted inot the central stupidity agency database of possible terrorists, we´re being asked yet more questions and given yet more questions leaflets:
basically: are you, or have you ever been, a godless child raping terrorist nazi communist sabotage spy "with the intention of committing criminal activities" YES or NO? if you checked no, you´ve got a problem.
(oh, just a note: if anyone really wanted to kidnap an airplane, they could just take a nylon guitar string with them. you can choke people with that thing, it won´t get picked up, and they can´t say you´re a terrorist if they find one of those still in your wallet, along with some guitar picks. still, you´re not even allowed to take a nail clipper on board!! I mean, what are you gonna do with a nailclipper??? cut off someone´s nails so short that they´ll grow in?? oh my god, how could you??)
then, I noticed the terrible hypocrisy: if something if bad, everywhere will be written the exact opposite: the US department of homeland security. if it´s secure, why do you need one? if it´s not working, then why call it homeland security?
if the central intelligence agency has that much so-called intelligence, then why is there still a need for the homeland security? why is the whole country scared shitless about terrorists and criminals who will break in and rape their women? if the central intelligence agency is as useless as it appears, then why does it exist? why is it called CIA??
okay, so, back to the actual holiday:
New york city is a really fast-paced city, creeping with life. it really is the city that never sleeps, and even at night, there´s always sirens, blue lights, and alarms going off in the streets. surprisingly, this is the city where i slept best. the steaming gutters kinda worry me, and the heat was horrible. also, seeing the very same guy standing in line for three days non stop at the apple store on 5th avenue was kinda funny, too. (the guy who sold his bottled evian water there must have made a million). the central park is great, and the taxis are cheap and needed to survive. (taxis are cheap compared to luxembourg, where you can´t afford it. every single taxi in luxembourg is a mercedes, that´s how rich the government is. no shit).
I really liked new york, and I´m glad i picked up a pair of converse all stars there, which are only half the price than in luxembourg. less than half, because I now have those double shoes (hard to explain, you´ll know when you see ´em), which are more expensive... last day, we went to get our rented car. of course, my mum couldn´t hold back and asked for a car with "plenty of trunk", so the drugged jamaican car rental guy slowly walked off, and half an hour later, he came back with a car that did have "plenty of trunk": the TANK, as I call it, or, the Dodge Magnum.
american cars really are huge. I really don´t know what your deal is, but you all cruise around your big ass streets in huge humongous monster trucks that throw the unburned gasoline out of the exhaust, and you still complain about "exploding gas prices". what is the gasoline about here, 4$ the gallon? well, in germany, it´s about 1,50 the liter, if you´re lucky. that´s a lot more expensive. believe me. and we don´t even complain. I mean, we´re not driving in huge war ships. well, anyways, our car doesn´t really have "plenty of trunk", it just looks huge form the outside. inside, we barely have enough trunk to fit in our luggage. where´s all that space??!!? god damn, american cars are ugly as hell.
oh, and what really annoys the shit out of me is the phrase: "hi, how are you?" you hear it in every store you enter, yet they don´t ask you, it´s just a formula to appear polite. no one cares how you feel. they don´t eve expect an answer, yet they always ask you "how are you", just to create that awkward silence when all you say is "hi"... seriously, can it!!
well, more politically incorrect misc. ranting!!:
you guys are freaking ultra nationalists!! I mean, it´s okay to be proud about your country, but ive never seen that many flags in my whole life, of all nations put together, than in those 1 1/2 weeks I´ve been here. you´re all proud about uncle Sam, about your presidents, about GOD (you are also all obsessed with religion it seems. europe has long ago grown out of that frenzy, now only grandmas go to church and people laugh at you when you say you believe in god, but you guys are really sick): god bless you, god bless america, and a new church around every corner. worse yet, you have different church buildings for every single branch of the same religion that claims itself a religion: baptist, methodist, protestant, lutheran (both are just different names for the same thing, but whatever)... like you would burn in hell (or become communist terrorists, which is basically the same) if there´s not a church (sorry, my bad: 5 churches) in every small town.
then, traffic laws are basically non existant here. the one who came first, gets to go first. or the one with the biggest car and the highest alcohol level in his veins. and you can always turn right or left, except if there´s a sign that tells you you can´t. that´s the "this bag is not a toy" attitude. guess what, I may bring you to stupid thoughts there, but I´ll take that risk: there´s no sign telling you you´re not supposed to run people over with your huge ... thing. there´s gotta be a reason it´s that big...
oh, and what about those "I support our troops" bumper stickers? do you really mean it? did you really want the iraq war? did you really want another vietnam war (you somehow got in there, they get killed by carbombs, and you can´t get out of it without completely losing your face)?? did you really want to send hundreds of proud young men (and women) into their death for a president you didn´t vote who sits in his "no one is allowed to come closer than 150 miles" WHITE house and wipes his ass with fucking charmin´????? (I can understad him, though, that other toilet paper sucks, you have to fold it three times to get something you can´t see through, it´s very uneuropean) welcome to the US of A.
could it be thath you´re kinda really into military? today, we tanted to fill up the tank of the TANK (after 50 miles, haha), and we stopped at a NEX... which turned out to be an acronym for Navy EXchange. that means, only people who are in the army and their family can tank and shop there. isn´t that... kind of... fascist? discriminating people? "only for white people", does that ring a bell? you really are obsess with military, right? with, like, 50000 nukes in stock, how couldn´t you!? so why are you afraid of iraq supposedly having a nuclear bomb? spoiler: they didn´t and they wouldn´t have done anything with it anyways. you could blow up half of the universe, that´s how much firepower you have. and how small dicks, according to my "small dick compensation with huge cars and phallus symbols, such as flagpoles or nuclear rockets" theory.
oh, and why do you guys keep a gallon of water always stacked up in the toilet? no wonder there´s that clichee with the dog drinking out of it. seriously, I don´t enjoy my lower parts getting wet in toilet water, neither do I appreciate the "splash" when I take a dump, and the so-called splash radius of urinating is dangerous for every piece of furniture a mile around the toilet. I don´t want to see my shit swim around there. make it go away.
okay, next: taxes. in the US, you don´t have to print the price on a tag to things that are in the display of a shop. in fact, you don´t have to print it anywhere!! that´s STUPID!! and then, there´s the taxes. oh, you´re shopping, there´s something for 9.99$, and you just happen to have a 10$ bill in your wallet. perfect, right? wrong, you get about 20% of taxes, and they don´t even bother to come up with a good excuse! handling fee? I´m in a show store, and there´s only my size, the only thing you have to handle is MY money!! do I have to pay for that, too? in europe, there´s a pricetag on everything that´s for sale. and that´s the price. no taxes, no surcharge. you get what you see, you see what you get. it´s so beautifully simple. please, M.schwarzenegger, you know it is better this way, please make a law that forces people to actually tell you how much you´ll have to pay for something.
Comparative advertising: every single ad and commercial says it´s better than any other given product, especially that one product whose commercial comes directly behind, and which has the exact same claims to make. it´s just confusing and it blocks a lot of room and potential for FUNNY ads.
did I rant about the food yet? I don´t think so...
of course, I can only judge about the food I´ve tasted so far, which is only restaurant food, but judging by that, I´m actually impressed and surprised that there´s actually people walking around who are completely healthy and have a normal weight!!
everything that was only remotely american, that I´ve eaten so far, was dripping and soaking with FAT. it´s just disgusting. even Aunt Annie´s Pretzels are not real pastry. if very very VERY americanized: if it were authentic, it´d be Tante Anna´s Bretzeln. they´re not called Pretzel, but Bretzel, with a B. on the other hand, you really can´t call these things Bretzeln, because that has nothing to do with those. most of the time, Bretzeln are quite hard and dry, which is fine, because you would only eat one with a good old Humpen of Augustiner Bier (beer). but here, they´re sold and fatty, and incredibly salty. oh, and another thing: you don´t have any idea about "italian pizzas". original, italian pizzas have a VERY VERY thin bottom, only thick enough to barely support the topping. it doesn´t consist of 75% cheese, and 75% dough (yes, that´s more than 100%, I know), it´s thin, and light, and it doesn´t leave a yellow trace of fat on your plate after you ate it. and your menu cards are just hilarious, because of the dubious pseudo french: entrée is not, contrary to popular (general) belief, the french word for main course, but in fact, it means: appetizer. the pre-course. the entering course. you do understand Entradas in mexican menus, though... but still, every menu I´ve come across if only offering appetizers, and... appetizers? the french (american-french, which means, not as light and nuancéed as real french cuisine) restaurants smartly get around this by saying "hors d´oevres" for appetizers, which really does mean appetizer (actually, it means "out of work", it could be translated as "things that are not a real part of the meal"), but it´s really really rarely used and more used for snacks such as "petty fours" (tiny bakery, filled with sauces and with toppings), and then they say "plats principals", which is the real word for main course, it´s even a direct translation. Anyways, you don´t have a nice eating culture: there´s no cafés where you can just sit outside or inside and relax, enjoy the weather, watch the world go by, or quietly talk. here, there´s only pubs where there´s always a TV turned on with family guy, baseball, or football running, of course being turned all the way up to the volume limit. even if there´s, for once, no TV running in the background, people yell so loud you could hear them from europe, if you would just listen carefully. probably because you´re all used to yelling to make yourself heard over the loud TV. or there´s elevator music turned as loud as if it were a TV. anything, as long as you make sure no one can talk at a normal level of volume. when something´s called a cafe, it´s probably just a coffee&snack takeout. not a real café. that´s horrible!! I couldn´t survive, I couldnt LIVE without the comfort of sitting down to eat.
(side note: Delicatessen: you think it´s german, but it´s not. DeliKatessen, with a K, is actually a word for a special food that is greatly appreciated by gourmets, like, for example, "snails are a french Delikatesse". it doesn´t mean grocery store, it´s not written with a C, and "New Deli" doesn´t even mean anything, except that it looks like a typo of New Dehli, which is a city)
okay, I think that´s about it with my rants that will completely piss everyone on this site off, so:
then, coming back to my adventurous holidays in strange and new lands:
off to Philadelphia, PA. we got there quite nicely, we stayed in a Best Western (which was a bit run down, but the staff was very friendly), which was completely out of town. we only got there in the late afternoon, and after settling in, we took the bus (to avoid costly parking) to take us downtown, to a restaurant on a landed ship that was recommended to us by the concierge. 4 times 2.50$. ka-ching. of course, we got off the bus too early and ended up taking a taxi to the pier. 9.75$ plus tip. ka-ching. we found out that the restaurant closed rather early, so we waited there for a cab to show up. after what seemed like too long of a wait for a town this big, we told the cab driver to take us somewhere we can "grab" (my mother´s urban vocabulary was getting us into trouble again) something to eat. so the cab driver drove us completely out of town, into the middle of nowhere, into the ghetto, and stopped in front of "john´s steakhouse", which was a fastfood thing that didn´t even have tables and chairs in front of it, it was just a booth that sold Gyros and döner kebab. which it called steak... we told the cab driver that we´d prefer something a bit more social and quiet, and we hoped we would be driven back into civilization, but NO! we ended up in front of a pub in a neighborhood that can only be complemented by A.snoop doggy dogg muzizzle. vashizzle. or by that harmonica song, you know which one... play me the song of death? (or something similar, it´s "spiel mir das Lied vom Tod" in german). it was bat country, we couldn´t stop there. (okay, I´ll stop the references now) well, we went into Larry´s pub (I think it was larry, but I can´t recall), the birthplace of some loony who had an einstein hairdo and was playing violin and making faces on what appears to be the best photograph ever taken of him. the food was kind of okay, apart from being fatty, but my body was slowly getting accustomed to having to sweat fat, so I guess it was cool...
we finally took a cab and swore, never to tell a cab driver with a gold tooth to take us "to a place where we can grab something to eat"
next day, we spent the day with the usual tourist thing: denying to wait in line to see a stupid cracked bell, being molested by a guy in a funny looking uniform, pitying the people who drive around those "Philadelphia ducks" (you know, those boat shaped vehicles that are filled with tourist and play loud mainstream mixed with an annoying-as-hell quacking and the voice of the driver announcing "guess what?! this is where the United States of America constitution was written and signed by Benjamin Franklin, god bless him... "dawg" "(yes, he did say dawg after every sentence), trying to find something to eat, not succeeding in this, and driving off in our TANK, hungry and sweaty, but happy to finally be in a nuclear powered verhicle with nuclear powered AC.
then we went to Washington DC, there, we did the usual tourist things, washington monument ("it´s just a goddamn pole of stone, what´s the deal... I could build one myself"), the back of the white house, three quarters of the ellipse (the last quarter is blocked by fat sweaty guys in uniforms, to make sure no one throws a hand grenade 800 meters far right into bush´s face...), the capitol, etc... then we went shopping into Georgetown, which surpsisingly really resembles Luxembourg. it´s expensive, it´s pretty, the houses are not very tall, there´s a lot of shops... try to imagine it without all those god damn flags, with a bit less of Victorian style houses, and with people speaking any possible language there is, except the official language (portuguese, italian, german, FRENCH, dutch, english, but hearing someone actually speak luxembourgish is pretty rare... probably because luxembourgians don´t yell when they speak "normally", as opposed to pretty much the rest of the world. the cashiers and waiters, etc. all only speak french, unfortunately). oh, and there´s more banks in luxembourg. iduno why. and less honking. in europe, (except for italy) you only honk in emergencies. if there´s a traffic jam, people realize honking won´t make it go away, so they don´t honk. well, anyways, if you would imagine all those things, you´d have luxembourg city. this is as close as it gets, I guess...
well, after two days of washington (btw, I love benihana, it´s so hard to find something that´s even in the least a bit authentic, and my heart jumped of joy when I saw the Daruma with only one eye painted sitting on top of the shelf, or the Sake container right next to it, or the japanese "language map" (I hate that word) on the kids menu. if there´s any benihana rep reading this, which I doubt, I´d like to say: congrats, it´s still very compromised, but you´re making an effort), we made off to Charlottesville in Virginia. and our navigantion system completely lost its mind: it sent us off the highway one exit and onto the highway again on the nearest ramp, all the way saying dumb things in that really impolite voice we have all grown to hate by now. so we ended up in the middle of Nowhere,VA. up and down unfinished or unexistent raods, and past unupdated map parts, that would have let us cross a bridge that didn´t exist anymore, past app. 5839 chruches of all kinds, but FINALLY, after a huge detour of 3 hours, we arrived in charlottesville. this is where I am right now, sitting on my rollaway bed and typing away the night. it´s 5 past midnight, and I hope you didn´t mind me letting off all that stocked up stress. thank you very much
disclaimer: this wasn´t pointed at anyone in particular (except YOU, yes, you, fat guy in plane), and these are just details that I noticed, which describe the differences of europe and america, the differences in mentality, environment, and habits. thsi doesn´t mean that I think Europe is "superior", or anything, this is just me ranting about anything and nothing at all, there´s a lot of things that I love about america, too, for example the excellent taxi service, the fast processed orders or the request whether the food is good in restaurants. Or the fact that everybody speaks the same language, or some kind of half-language that you understand. to cover such a big area in europe would mean to have to learn french, italian, spanish, english, german, dutch, polish, serbian, turkish, bosnian, maltese, luxembourgish, greek, and a couple of other languages, whereas, in america, you can speak with everyone if you know english.
oh, and stop putting ice in my drinks without being asked, the ice cubes are always just the wrong size, too small to just choke, and too big too ignore, to they always get in your mouth, want it or not. leave them inside, and your beverage will taste like water, because the ice melted away. oh, and your tap water is not good. neither is your "polish springs" mineral water. it tastes that bad because you guys add fluoride to it to strenghten your teeth. ever thought about where that mineral water comes form? just check. "poland springs" comes from municipal sources somewhere in the state EM, whatever that is. the coca cola company´s "everest water" doesn´t come from mt.everest, but from Ohio. Evian really does taste better, but it´s still tap water. french tap water. no fluoride.