Saturday, 11 June 2016

What I've noticed about America so far.


Emma is out right now to a ballet rehearsal, so she has left me alone to make do. (That sounds more dramatic than it is: I have the lovely company of her family members, the cosy couch, and the sound of American sparrows coming from the trees behind the porch. All is well, and I have time to write a blog post, so there's no need to complain!) 

For the ignorant: I am not American. I live in this little tiny patch called Belgium, and I am capable of writing English because I'm half-British as well as half-Belgian. For the even more ignorant: I am currently (LIKE NOW) visiting my American pen-pal (aka my dearest friend ever - we're two of the same kind, we are, and I love her enormously) and yep, it's the first time I've set foot into the realms and scopes of the USA. Many of you (wow, that sounds like I have this 100-million-members-fan-club out there) are wondering what I, the un-American European, think of the un-European America. Well, I thought I might just tell you in a blog post!


(PS Don't worry if you actually did not know those things. You're not that ignorant - you're just not a devoted, long-lasting follower. It's fine. It's okay. We're still friends.)

Do be aware that these might not count for the entire nation of USA, and that some of these might be bold in my mind because of Emma (*country music* *ahem*), but whatever, here are some things I've noticed so far about America!

The roads are wide.
If I lived in Britain (where the roads are like, what, 3 inches?) this would definitely be the first thing I'd notice. (And it was one of the first things I noticed. Told you I was half-British!) American roads tend to be stretched out width-wise as well as length-wise: houses and shops are scattered around lightly, and there is enough place for everything, because, after all, America is so huge and free. :-P


The houses are adorable!
People think this is a big fat joke when I say this: But the houses here ARE SO PRETTY. They're made out of wood; painted in cool colours, they have cute porches, steps leading up to the door, and some of them have shutters. It's just so adorable! Seriously, they all look like the house up there in the Pinterest picture. I've seen about ten houses so far that reminded me of Green Gables, and I've only been here for a week, so fact proven. (A week already! I KNOW.)

What's the big deal with trucks?
This is something I can't comprehend as much; Americans, I think, tend to like trucks. Or cars, in general. (Aaaaand I don't. Which is perfectly fine; I don't mind if they care about trucks, but I just don't quite get the big deal of them. I tend to agree with Mary Crawley on the matter of vehicles: They are simply objects to move us from one place to the next. :-P)


More churches - more Christians?
At least where Emma lives (won't give away quite where because else you guys would come storming in to stalk her in her adorable bedroom), I've seen so many Churches around. It makes me so happy to see a Church for every five roads or something. (Maybe that's slightly exaggerated, but I'm actually almost serious.) It makes me wonder if there are more Christians in America - the fact that radios have Christian messages in them, and the fact that I've seen an ad with a Christian message in it makes me think that is so. It makes me very happy, because sadly there's less of that where I live.

Country music
This one is probably because of Emma and her family, (I'm quite sure of it), but since I've been here, I've been listening to so much Country music! I'm not complaining: I actually love it. (Surpriiiise.) It's super American and it really brings me into Emma's world, so to speak. (Yes, some of the country songs out there are quite bad, but all in all Emma's influence on me has made me love Country music quite a lot.) (Also, she literally knows every single country song out there. Don't consider me her equal when it comes to Country Music, heheheh.)


Very Patriotic.
I took that picture up there, and isn't it purty? Everyone is so proud of their country - flags deck the streets, and people hang American-flag buntings on their porches. I think it's cool. :-)

Yard sales.
There are so many yard sales around here, and like, NONE where I live. I've seen many people displaying their old junk for people to buy in their front gardens, and I think it's really quite cute, although I don't think I'd actually buy anything in them (aside from books). I suppose that kind of shows that Americans are generally nicer and more open people than Europeans; they sell their stuff in their front gardens. (This is very random.)

Amish people. 
IT IS SO COOL TO SEE AMISH PEOPLE HERE AND THERE GUYS. I spotted an Amish lady in a craft store when I went there with Emma the other day. And then there were these two Amish guys fixing the roof next to the field where Emma and I were planting beans. It is SUPER cool.

I could also talk about how food is generally more sugared and/or salted, and how there are SO MANY LIBRARIES around here (super jealous, by the way), but Emma is here and now and I must get on with this fun life of mine. Have a good day guys; you are good folks for taking the time to read this! Bye... <3

25 comments:

  1. SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL WITH TRUCKS. It drives me cuh-RAzy. :P I despise large trucks.

    And country music.
    Heh heh.
    At least, modern country. If we're talking fiddler music or even a little bit of bluegrass, that's an entirely different matter.

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    1. Glad to hear not all Americans are obsessed! ;-)
      Well, I love many modern country songs- (I told you, Emma influences me), but I can see why someone wouldn't, because there was a time when I didn't. :-D

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  3. I'm so glad you posted this because it's so neat to read about your observations! I live in a Midwestern state, and I see lots of trucks, yard sales (in the spring and summer!), patriotism, and libraries here. There are also so many churches where I live. Like one street has three right next to each other, it's crazy!
    I'm not into country music, but I definitely hear it around, probably because a large part of my state is actually open country and fields, haha. ;)
    If you ever get a chance to eat Amish food, do it! It really is the best because they make everything themselves!
    Thanks for updating us on your adventure in America! It's really interesting to hear about it from a non-American's perspective. :)

    -Emily

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    1. The Amish have what my Grandad calls "used food stores" which is because they are stocked by the leftover goods from the bigger stores. They also sell homemade this and that (they make REALLY good raspberry pie. It's pretty much to die for). You should see if you can check one out. They're lots of fun to visit, and the one that's closest to us sells about a million different kinds of wonderful candies. They also sell essential oils, which, besides being good for home remedies, smell really good. (Just don't get garlic oil. I'd go for Lemon Balm or Lavender, if you want to buy any at all, which are both devine. Lemon Balm wards of the skeeters and Lavender is calming.)

      P.S. I was told British chocolate is different from the standard American Hershey's chocolate. Is it? (I know this is kind of a dumb question, there are different brands if chocolate and whatnot, and each tastes different but Hershey's is the go-to for most of us Americans. [If you say "chocolate" that's what we'll think of.] I'm curious.) Personally my favorite is the dark chocolate. My pastor's wife used to give me dark chocolate when I helped her. I don't remember the brand, but ever since dark chocolate has been my absolute favorite. Oops, sorry to ramble on so, I'll shut up.

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  4. Aye, what Miss Livia Rachelle said. For one thing, our country is rather large compared to Britain. Belgium is approximately 11,787 square miles, and England is 50,346, as opposed to my home state, (or, what I think of as my home state, I'm not living there now, BUT I SHALL RETURN!) which is about 104,185 square miles, and it's not even the biggest state we've got! So EVERYONE has to own their own vehicle to get anywhere.

    Someone I knew who was visiting England told me that a "long" journey over there meant going more than three hours to visit an aunt. For me, if I want to visit my aunt (one of my aunt's, anyway) it takes three days fairly steady travel by car. That's why we're all so big on owning vehicles. A railway system wouldn't work too well with so much space to cross.

    Plus, big trucks are cool, and you need them to pull trailers (or they're better at it than dinky little cars or mini-vans). My dad builds trailers, so I have Opinions (capital 'O' intended) on the subject.

    But it would be kinda fun to ride in a train or subway. I've never done that. My cousins have though.

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  5. I love this post so much! <3 Absolutely so much fun! I've often wondered what non-Americans would think of different things in our country, just as I probably wonder different things were I in their country. But this... this had me in stitches the whole way! :) I hope you have many more wonderful adventures here with Emma!

    We don't all love our trucks. I personally don't get the whole truck deal. But my family just did a three-day yard sale in our front yard, so I had to smile at that.

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  6. (By the way, does Emma have an American accent to you? Do you make fun of each other's accents?)
    Sorry I'm just now getting around to commenting, (sorry I didn't comment on y'all's joint post. You've no idea how busy I've been. In fact, I don't really have time for this. :) but anyway, how exciting it is that you get to be together!!! I only get to see my best friend once a year or less, so I know how absolutely wonderful it is to see one's best friend after a long time (such as forever)!
    It's interesting to see what you think of America! I hope you like it! I would love to go to Europe,especially England, someday.
    Lovely post, Naomi!

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  7. Love this! It's so fun to see America from your perspective. :D I want to say more, but I'm exhausted tonight and not thinking too well. I just want you to know that I enjoyed this post immensely, and found all your observations very interesting. Thanks for posting!! :)

    ~Miss March

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  8. This is so fascinating for an aussie! :D

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  9. I am glad that you generally like this country of mine. :) About the roads, I can see that they are wider, but there are times I don't think they are wide enough.(Such as when I am driving my family's fifteen passenger van.) But I know that I really don't have much to complain about. Vehicles in general are rather important with this large spread out country. And I appreciate the fact that we have wide open spaces. I love taking long road trips over several thousand miles through some rather empty spaces.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that more churches means more Christians. Buildings are just buildings, and many people are nominally are Christians but that doesn't really mean anything for their true spiritual state. It is real easy to say that you are Christian here. Unlike other places in the world, there are no repercussions for claiming the name of Christ. Nominally being a Christian doesn't really threaten anyone. If you really try to live out your beliefs as a Christian, there is probably going to be some backlash as can be expected anywhere the Word of Christ clashes with the kingdom of Satan.

    Sarah
    www.sewcharacteristicallyyou.com/blog

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    1. Also, there are LOTS of denominations in America, and they each get their pwn building. :) Some of the denominations (for example, Baptist) are also split between Northern Baptist and Southern Baptist.

      I really want to see beyond America!! But so you know, America looks MIGHTY DIFFERENT depending on what region you're in. I guess because we're so big, it's a bit like moving around from country to country -- where the states operate a bit like their own countries. The South looks WAY WAY WAY different from the North, or the West. Houses out in the West look a sight different from houses in the South, or houses in the North or Midwest, and the roads are a lot different (width, for example) depending on where you go in America. The trees, the flowers, the very sky -- it's different depending on where you are. An Arizona sunset is spectacular. I think this is probably true of other things you observed, Naomi. Country music would be more prevalent in the South and probably the West (I can say from my own observations), and the South tends to have more openly Christian people than the North (the South is referred to as The Bible Belt by a lot of people. Not to say there aren't churches everywhere and Christians all over America, but a lot of the people in the South assume Christianity as a standard. There are definitely Christians all over America though. I've noticed from my own American wanderings that the South has A LOT of flags. :)

      ONE DAY I MUST SEE BEYOND AMERICA.

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  10. As a fellow European I was very happy to see this post, I'm often wondering about what they do different in America. It sounds lovely though.
    I hope you're enjoying your vacation there:)

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  11. Wow, this is so cool! It's fascinating to hear your perspective on everything, what jumps out and what doesn't--because, to us, it's all "normal" and so we don't notice any of it particularly much.

    You mean our roads are WIDE? Really? I thought all roads everywhere were that wide. Odd.

    I . . . am not a HUGE fan of trucks, but I don't dislike them, either. (My dad used to own a Chevy truck, after all, and we used to have lots of fun with it, so . . .) But yeah, in general, like the other girls were saying--everybody here pretty much HAS to have their own vehicle because stuff is so spread-out, and there isn't much public transportation. Especially if you live in the country.

    (Like, my family lives in the suburbs, and we actually own THREE vehicles--two minivans, one for each of my parents, and one car which Rosie and I share. But we have ten people and so it's a lot of work to transport them all around, that's why we need three vehicles.)

    Yeah, there ARE a lot of churches in the U.S. (especially where I live, in the Deep South), and I really do like that :-) Of course, here in the South, there are hardly any Catholic churches (where I belong), so that makes me sad . . . One of my favorite things about visiting New England (where my family's originally from) is seeing all the Catholic churches.

    Country music . . . *sigh* Not exactly a fan. But it's okay. And there are a few songs I really do love.

    YARD SALES. YAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. This is one of the best things. You can buy ALL SORTS of cool books and clothes and furniture and toys--in fact, growing up, some of my most treasured possessions came from yard sales. Same for secondhand stores like Goodwill, which sell donated used items--I still get a LOT of clothes there. In fact, I just found the most beautiful jacket you've ever seen, plus two wool skirts in perfect condition, at the Goodwill in the next town over.

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  12. I used to live in a northern part of America, but a while back my family moved to the south. I've noticed that the deeper you are in the south, the more trucks there are. And cars in general.

    Seeing Amish people is always so cool. It's so hard not to stare. They look like they've been pulled out of an old-fashioned movie, or something. :o

    I hope you're having a wonderful time! :D :D :)

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  13. So glad you like our country!

    I do agree that our houses are cute, and home-y, and Green Gables-y. Hehe:D

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  14. That's where we get all those songs about 'the open road' and all. Do you really not have yard sales in Europe? Wow! They are such a part of my life, I thought that everyone had them! Trucks. I don't LIKE trucks, but cars are very necessary over here :P I'm so glad your having a wonderful time!!

    P.S. I'm a big fan of country music. HUNTER HAYES!!!!!!!

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  15. Well some of these are for certain areas of the U.S. (meaning the South) On the West Coast (where I live), certain areas of the East, and Miami Florida, Country music isn't popular. That could be because those states are very diverse! And usually Amish live in the Midwest or East states. But yeah streets are huge here! I've seen intersections that are five lanes wide. And yep, yard sales are always occurring every Saturday and Sunday.
    Now you need to come to the West Coast, specifically California, where breezy sunny days reign:) It's beautiful!

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  16. Almost forgot the trucks! Yeah I guess Americans do like trucks lol, probably because of all the freeways. And country music.... well I really really dislike it (don't throw darts at me!:) ) But I think country music is mostly popular in the South, Midwest, and a few other states. As far as I know the Eastern States don't really listen to it, certain cities in Florida like Miami, and here on the West Coast, yeahhhh no way. Probably because those states are very very diverse.

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  17. Dawwwww ;D

    What a fun post! Yesh, we do have a lot of trucks and a lot of Amish/Mennonite people :) T'is nice. And I hadn't thought of it so much before, but we ARE blessed with a lot of churches. It's really quite cool.

    (I've heard there was a big difference between European and American roads--now I know for sure, I suppose :P)

    Aww, now I'm curious--what do houses look like where you live? ;D

    Keep milking this trip for all it's worth!! :D

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  18. This was so fun to read!!

    I'm so glad you think we have such adorable houses! I usually don't think American houses are generally cute, but I do love farmhouses. :)

    Hahahaha. -guiltily raises hand- I actually do love trucks. But I also like that quote a lot. :)

    Oh, we Americans.... I guess we are kind of big on our patriotism. We certainly can't ever let the Brits forget how we beat them! ;) (Your photo is BEAUTIFUL, by the way!! I love how the sun is shining through the flag!)

    Hahahaha, YES. Yard sales. We do have a lot of them. I laughed aloud about how you describe us as selling stuff in our front gardens. :P

    Amish people are so cool!! :D

    I loved this post, Naomi. I'm so glad you're enjoying America!

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  19. I saw your post ages ago, but I've only just now been able to sit down and WRITE. So I shall. :D

    I was very happy to see this come up (as I'm sure you already knew). It was all exceedingly interesting!!

    I jumped a little when I saw that second picture! (At first I thought it was a photo you took! Haha!) If only OUR houses were as pretty as that...

    YES! I'm very ignorant as to what the big deal about 'trucks' is. (And what 'trucks' are in AMerica, are very different to what 'trucks' are in Australia, as I've just begun to find out. If we're talking about America's types of trucks, a lot of people have them around where I live, also, because we live in the country. I know some boys (well, young men - but they act like boys! :P) who moved furniture out of their house by taping them onto the back of their "truck" and driving very slowly across country roads, haha.

    Haha, country music. Yeah, I reckon it may have something to do with the fact that you're in the Anderson household. ;P

    Oh, yes I already knew about the patriotic thing. Hehe. ;) The first word that comes to mind when I think of America is "LIBERTY!"

    Really? We have quite a few yard sales here! That, and also markets every week, all around little local towns.

    WOW. THAT LAST PICTURE. IT'S AMAZING.

    I can honestly say I've never seen Amish people here in Australia before. ;)

    My Uncle who lives in America said that the food was very different and people go "out" to eat waaayyy more than they do here. He also said that things like asking for a cup of tea were COMPLETELY different to Australia. Something about them giving you cream not milk, and it would be cold or iced tea, instead of hot tea (it's almost always hot tea, over here).
    All this made me wonder what you would think about Australia. ;) Hehe. It's so intriguing, hearing about what is "normal" in different countries!

    ~Miss Meg

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  20. Thanks so much for sharing your observations-- I find it fascinating to see our country through "foreign eyes". :D

    Haha! Wide roads are a must-have for all our large vehicles, eh? ;)
    Mm, I like many of our houses too. :)
    Ah, trucks! "When it comes to trucks: the bigger the better," I've always said. Hehe! Seriously, though... I do love big trucks, I always have! (Could possibly have something to do with growing up in the country of southern Oklahoma, down here in the South? ;P ) But it ain't just trucks-- no, ma'am! ;D
    Definitely agree with Miss Evie up there about churches..... :/ There are tons of them, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
    Country music? YES!! I enjoy a fairly wide variety of music, but Country is definitely at the top. :D
    And patriotism, definitely! It's a pretty big deal- especially in the South, from what I understand & have seen for myself.
    Oh, and I love yard sales! I have gotten so many books at yard sales.... *happy sigh* And a large old steamer trunk where I have even more books that won't fit on my bookshelf. ;)
    Amish people. Okay, this is the only one I can't really say much about. There are some Amish near where I live, but not nearly enough that I see them on a regular basis or anything...

    Well, again, thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed your post! :) I hope you continue to enjoy your American experience! :D

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  21. Awww I'm so so happy for you, dear! It sounds like you're having a delightful time with Emma. :-) What fun!

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  22. Good (and surprising!) to hear you have such a positive opinion of America so far! Because obviously Europe is many, many times better. ;) Except for yard sales, those are pretty nice. Unfortunately, although Christianity is a big part of the culture here, that just means there are a lot of nominal Christians. Real Jesus-followers are harder to find. But, yes, there are plenty of churches!
    Hope you're still having a wonderful time.
    ~Awdur

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