Author Topic: 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here  (Read 44174 times)

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Thipu1

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During the 19th century, firefighters in the US achieved the status of heroes because towns were mostly built of wood.  Due to this and the use of gaslight and open fireplaces for heating, fires were very common.   

Also, in smaller communities, firefighters here are still likely to be volunteers.  They're people you know from seeing them work in shops around town. 

In NYC, the Police are known as NY's Finest.  The Fire Department is known as NY's Bravest.  I think that says something. 

MurPl1

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They may just sit around a lot of the time, but when they work, they work.  They go into dangerous situations.  With very heavy equipment. 

Our firefighters are also all EMTs and in our small town they actually respond to a good number of medical calls with very few fires.  Some sitting around but not a ton.  And they do try to offset the down time by participating in the town.  They help with pancake breakfast and spaghetti nights for our Explorer Scouts and Exchange Club.  And host a toy drive at the holidays.  And they spent several nights driving Santa around town (past every home).  And they also do their own testing of the hydrant systems to ensure they are in good working order.  (I believe many towns have their Public Works Dept do that).

MommyPenguin

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I think we also run into enough well-publicized tragedies in which firefighters die (like the 19 in Arizona in those wildfires) that people are very conscious of the firefighters risking their lives for us.

My nephew had a firefighter-themed birthday party last year.  His father is a construction worker and the fathers of several of his friends were policemen, that sort of job.  Well, one father was a firefighter.  He brought his kid to the party, and then at one point in the party, he pulled my SIL aside and said that he had his work clothes in the car, and would an appearance in full firefighting garb be desired?  She said yes, and the kids were ecstatic when a real, live fireman walked into the party.  :)  Okay, they were a little scared, too, but it was a great opportunity to show kids that firefighters can look scary, but that's because of all the special equipment they wear to keep them safe, and here's what they're wearing and why, and how you should *never* run and hide from a firefighter just because of the scary-looking equipment.  It was so fun to watch the kids' excitement.

Katana_Geldar

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We have a combination of professional and volunteer fire fighters in Australia, volunteer ones are usually for bush fires in the summer when they're really needed.

One time we had a grass fire that got out of control, which we thought was going to go down the hill into the bush. I called 000 and the first fire fighter came in his car in full gear, he was the only one to see the flames, as he helped us put them out, which he described to his mates when they arrived in the truck to be about a foot high.

At Christmas parties, you do see Santa arriving on a fire truck sometimes.

Julian

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When I was in Queensland, I was amazed by the wood houses.  On *stilts*, no less.  I had never seen a house with legs before.  An American friend told me some places in the southern US also have houses with legs.

Canadian houses mostly come with basements, because of the cold.

Houses on "stilts" (aka piles the size of telephone poles) are mandated by building code in coastal areas so that the storm surge from a hurricane can blow out the bottom laundry room/garage area but leave the main house area intact.   Every beach house we've ever rented was on piles.

The ones in Queensland are built this way because of both floods and heat.  In floods the height of the house prevents water inundation inside.  In many cases the height the floods reach can be guessed by the height of the house - taller stumps for higher flood levels.  The raised floor allows air to circulate under the house and reduce the internal heat.  The stumps also usually have metal caps to prevent termite infestation - these houses are made of timber.

The traditional Queenslander house also had a wrap-around verandah to shade windows from the sun, high ceilings to allow air circulation inside, and frequently had open fretwork over doorways internally to also facilitate air flow.  The steep iron roofs are designed to allow tropical storm run-off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queenslander_(architecture)

Bobbie

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Banks
« Reply #440 on: January 28, 2014, 05:06:14 PM »
Back to the US banks being different then European to even Canadian banks..

US banks can't be closed for more then 3 days in a row because of the stock market crash in the 20's.

There are many us banking regulations that are in place because of money laundering, fraud, and theft etc

Also, FDIC (insurance on bank deposits) regulates how much an individual account is insured for ($250,000) because once again the crash of the stock market and the run on banks at that time.

There are many different types of paper check, personal, business, cashiers.  And many ways to pay cash, check, debit, cc, money order, western union, moneygram, bank transfers, bill pay (which can be a paper check sent or a money transfer) direct debit etc..



OSUJillyBean

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I'm an American but have a half-sister in the south of England thanks to Dad's navy days.  She's only been able to visit us once and on the first night, we took her out to eat.  She asked, a bit nervously, if the portions were going to be outlandish like she'd heard.  This was a chain pizza restaurant that also did some Italian food and salads.  We assured her that no, she'd ordered one of the smallest things on the menu so of course it would be normal-sized.

What arrived was the Italian-American equivalent of an eight-inch sub sandwich, piled high with meat, veg, etc.  She just boggled at the amount of food and laughed. 

When I've visited other countries, I have noticed not feel entirely full after dining out as I'm used to larger American portion-size so sometimes I'll treat myself to a cookie/biscuit or something afterwards.  And I don't think that's a negative in either direction.  It's simply a cultural difference.

Venus193

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I once went to a deli with an Australian after walking through a museum exhibit and we shared a corned beef on rye sandwich.  He counted the meat slices before biting in and was astonished at how much meat there was.  Apparently the sandwiches he was accustomed to were more like the ones I saw in England a couple of years later.

lowspark

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Re: 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved
« Reply #443 on: February 06, 2014, 11:05:41 AM »
LOL. I think it's written into the law that delis have to ridiculously overstuff sandwiches with meat. The delis here do anyway. They can be something like 6" tall. No way I can eat a whole sandwich!

Yvaine

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Re: 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved
« Reply #444 on: February 06, 2014, 11:21:47 AM »
LOL. I think it's written into the law that delis have to ridiculously overstuff sandwiches with meat. The delis here do anyway. They can be something like 6" tall. No way I can eat a whole sandwich!

I think it's largely for the visual (people would complain if it only looked like one thin slice of meat, etc.) and there are techniques for making it look like more meat than it is. When I worked at a deli, it was called "fluffing" and meant you sort of scrunched the meat up instead of just laying it flat on the bread. This was supposedly to get it to toast more evenly, but really I think it was to make it look like more. I got in the habit, and one day I was making myself a sandwich at my friend's house, and she remarked on it. She didn't know why I was scrunching up my meat instead of laying it flat--she's a neatnik and thought her way looked more "organized"--so I had to explain to her about work policy.

Thipu1

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Re: 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved
« Reply #445 on: February 06, 2014, 11:28:32 AM »
LOL. I think it's written into the law that delis have to ridiculously overstuff sandwiches with meat. The delis here do anyway. They can be something like 6" tall. No way I can eat a whole sandwich!

About once a month or so Mr. Thipu goes on a 'pastrami run'.  The sandwich he brings back has enough meat to keep him happy for about four days.  To eat the original sandwich you'd need the jaw structure of a T Rex. 

Diane AKA Traska

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sunnygirl

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Here's a silly small thing that occurred to me the other day: butter on popcorn. I love cinema popcorn, it's one of my favourite parts of going to see movies, but I've never seen popcorn with butter on it. I don't know what made me think of it but I am now very intrigued and will make a point of going to see a movie next time I'm in the US. Unless anyone knows anywhere in the UK that does buttered popcorn?

To go back to the portion sizes thing, the first time I went to the US I was staying in a motel that offered free breakfasts. The breakfast turned out to be coffee, bagels and doughnuts. I found that surprising enough, but the bagels and doughnuts looked like truck tyres - at least three times the size of a bagel or doughnut you'd see in the UK.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 08:29:42 AM by sunnygirl »

Seraphia

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Here's a silly small thing that occurred to me the other day: butter on popcorn. I love cinema popcorn, it's one of my favourite parts of going to see movies, but I've never seen popcorn with butter on it. I don't know what made me think of it but I am now very intrigued and will make a point of going to see a movie next time I'm in the US. Unless anyone knows anywhere in the UK that does buttered popcorn?

To go back to the portion sizes thing, the first time I went to the US I was staying in a motel that offered free breakfasts. The breakfast turned out to be coffee, bagels and doughnuts. I found that surprising enough, but the bagels and doughnuts looked like truck tyres - at least three times the size of a bagel or doughnut you'd see in the UK.

That's interesting - do you have the sort of buttery-powder flavored popcorn, or does it only come plain? I don't always get butter on my popcorn at the movies, but that's because the popcorn already has something on it that makes it butter-flavored anyway.

Also, I sympathize with your shock at the size of our bagels and doughnuts. I adore the bagel shop in my hometown, but a bagel sandwich from there will fill me up until dinnertime even if I eat it at 10:30 in the morning. When we were little, toasted bagel halves with ham and cheese was one of our favorite dinners.
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sunnygirl

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Popcorn here is either salty or sweet, or sometimes you can get toffee flavour too. But they're all fairly dry (and the toffee kind is extra crunchy), nothing with a butter-like consistency.
I accidentally bought salty and sweet mixed together when I went to see American Hustle last weekend.  :P

I am a pack rat - or a more accurate description would be a hamster with its little pouches - when it comes to food so when I lived in NY I generally had half-eaten sandwiches or whatever wrapped up in a napkin in my bag's back pocket.