Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's The Little Differences (or Not In Slovakia Anymore)

Stereotypical or not, this is how I know I am back in the United States (in no particular order):

1. I can chit chat with random people in the supermarket without them being surprised, shocked, embarrassed or horrified.

2. As a driver, I might occasionally get tailgated, but the chance that the driver behind me will honk, flash his lights, attempt to push me out of the lane and/or finally show me the middle finger when passing me (while I am driving 15 miles/hour over the speed limit) is close to zero.

3. As a pedestrian, I do not have to wait for 10 minutes before finally throwing myself under the wheels of a moving vehicle in order to cross the street.

4. While it is perfectly acceptable to gift a child with a kid-sized rifle, kinder eggs are banned by law, because they are deemed dangerous.

5. The copay for my kids' previously scheduled pediatrician visit costs about the same as the final bill for a middle-of-the-night emergency room visit with suspected (but not confirmed) appendicitis.

6. Coffee is served in a paper cup, intended "to go" wherever you go, instead of being served in a small porcelain cup, with an extra amount of boiling water, cream and a cookie, intended "to sit" wherever you take a break (Americans might need to google the term "break").

7. "How are you doing?" is answered by cheerful: "I am fine, thank you!", not despairing: "Oh, just horrible...where do I even start..." It is a polite exchange of formal greetings rather than an invitation to an hour long monologue about the catastrophe called life.

8. It's not that you can't find good bread or decent pastries in the US, it's just that any Slovak supermarket or general store sells better baked goods than a 5-star-rated bakery over here.

9. When contacting customer service, the representatives in the US are actually trying to help.

10. And last but not least - no matter which continent, Fiona is always referred to as a boy (even when fully dressed in pink).

Now where is that mayo for my french fries and fried cheese...


  1. This is just wonderful Andrea! The baked goods...oh, what I wouldn't give for a REAL croissant and cafe' au lait French style with the pitcher of steamed milk. Gives a reason to travel abroad though! So glad you are back!

    1. Hi Lillian - glad to be back too and I hope to see you soon! Thank you for reading :-)