7 Things I Hate About America

You probably read my post earlier this week on the 7 Things I Love About America.  (Here’s a clue if you didn’t – click on the link to be amazed!!)

No list would be complete without its opposite so here’s my list of the 7 Things I Hate About America.

Yes, believe it people.  There’s stuff about America that makes me want to punch someone in the face!! HARD!!

  1. I hate giant $1 sodas!  Yes, I know this is on the list of things I like but I’m having a love/hate relationship with these big cups of calories!  I drink diet so I’m good.  The kids do not.  BIG problem.  The large bodied people sucking these sodas back in Maccas very obviously don’t do the diet thing.  After much deliberation I’ve decided these giant cups should be banned!!  It probably won’t make any difference because in almost every store there are unlimited refills. They arrive before you’ve even finished the first one. It’s obscene. Just sayin’!
  2. I hate all the smoking.  Although it’s much better than the last time we were here, it sure is hard to get used to everyone being able to smoke.  Several times I have moved myself in a casino because a smoker has plonked down beside me.  I have to say it’s odd to be at Yellowstone or any other national park admiring the scenery and smoke comes wafting past.  I will never get used to this (I hate it in Australia too!)
  3. I loathe the red tape of America.  Especially as it relates to children.  There are so many rules here.  Life is particularly complicated at times.  Maybe I was just spoiled in Asia where there are very few rules.  But really…..I can’t sign my kid into the kids room without the sales rep who’s dealing with me?  Even though she has a broken ankle and will have to heave herself all the way down here?  What do you mean I can’t sign up for prepaid mobile without giving you a $500 deposit that you will not return for 12 months?  Why the hell do I need a deposit when I’m PRE-paying by credit card? My kid has to be in a carseat in California until he’s 22? Really? (OK so I’m exagerrating but you get the idea!)
  4. Pedestrians have right of way – ALWAYS!  As a  pedestrian I should be happy with this but it’s just plain freaking wierd!!!  It’s been the hardest part to get used to when driving here.  Walmart carpark – hang on those pedestrians are allowed to wander across the road outside the store at will and you have to yield?  (I forgot once and boy did a pedestrian scream at me!)  When we even look like we might be about to cross the road, cars stop right in the middle of the flow of traffic to let us cross.  BIZARRE behavious people.  I want it to stop before someone causes an accident!!  Hysterically while I’m typing this there’s a story on the news of why pedestrians can’t cross the road safely – complete with video of car accident!!  What are the chances?  lol
  5. Talk of sueing people.  We only have to sit in a fast food restaurant for more than half an hour or so to hear talk of someone taking legal action against someone else!  This is a particularly litigious society.  Insurance premiums for hire cars run from $9 to $23 per day on top of the rental charges.  We haven’t been game to not pay them – Imagine the fallout if you hit someone!!  I can’t abide this and I really hope Australia doesn’t go this way, EVER.  There are massive lawyer billboards all through Vegas – I guess if there’s anywhere you’ll need a lawyer, this could be it!
  6. I hate hidden taxes and fees.  This is particularly shit!!  In Australia our tax is already included in the advertised price.  There’s no dicking around adding it on at the end.  Easy.  In America there are loads of taxes and fees.  It seems on everything.  Keep in mind there are 50 different states.  The tax is different in every one.  Sometimes it is different between Counties, within each state.  We have no idea how much anything is until we hand over our cash.  Bloody annoying.  I pity the poor kid who has just 50 cents to spend and discovers at the checkout his lollies are actually 54 cents.  Try it out yourself.  Go to one of the travel sites and try to rent a car.  They are advertised at $9 per day but once you add on tourist tax, sales tax, airport pickup taxes, insurance, it’s Monday tax, I broke a nail tax etc, it can come to upwards of $50 per day!  Total bullshit and one of the biggest travel ripoffs there is!  Then there’s tipping.  Don’t get me started on this.  Tipping should be voluntary.  If America thinks the server is entitled to it regardless of anything, then they should bloody compell the employer to pay the server and leave us the hell out of it!  I don’t mind paying it if it’s part of the bill.  I resent being asked if I want to tip – If I wanted to wouldn’t I have done it?  Do you think I forgot?  How about automatically adding the gratuity for parties of 6 or more?  Kiss my ass!  The Gondola driver just happening to mention that gratuities are not included in the fee (that would be $32 for 13 minutes!!)  Sign everywhere asking you to tip your tour driver if you were happy with them.  America – up your wages and pay your people what they are worth.  Stop making them practically beg for the extra they are entitled to!
  7. I hate that there are four hundred and ninety one billion, squillion, trillion stop signs in use!  And that was NOT an exaggeration.  I’ve lost count of the number of intersections in little quiet backwater country towns that have 4 way stop signs.  Hundreds of them.  There’s no traffic.  It’s not just an off day – we come across them every day of the week, at all hours of the night and day.  There’s no bloody traffic!  None.  Not a single car!  On the very rare occasion that there’s another vehicle at the same intersection in a town where only 300 people live – no one seems to know who goes first anyway!  I’ve tried it out – sometimes I go first – no one gets upset.  Sometimes I wait – no one gets upset.  Mostly I decide whoever got there first has right of way.  Basically I have no freaking idea.  And neither does anyone else!!

So there’s my list.  Feel free to add any others you may have to the comments below.  Notice I didn’t include guns?  I’m trying to do the ‘when in Rome’ thing when it comes to firearms!

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7 Things I Hate About America — 21 Comments

  1. Ok, when you get to NY, that pedestrian thing goes right out the window. And the smoking thing as well.

    The rest I totally agree with you on! Litigious crap and red tape – I hate it!

    I can’t wait til you get to drive in Boston!

    • Oh dear. What’s different about driving in Boston? Haven’t I mastered enough new stuff!! lol

    • Lol…I tell myself diet is ok!!!!! Smoking drives me nuts everywhere but you’re right, it’s really more obvious in Vegas. Just today Jono told me the lady who walked into the service station smelt like cigarettes!! How gross!!

  2. Wow – reading this I was thinking that I could turn these around and say that these are all things that I miss about the US. In a converse sort of way. I’m American originally, moved to Australia several years ago and became a citizen of your country too because my husband is Aussie. I agree that the cheap junk food in the US is ridiculous and we don’t have roundabouts so I guess it would seem that there are a lot of stop signs. But the US was one of the first to ban smoking in public places (not casinos, I agree) in major cities – when I encounter so much smoking in some of the countries we’ve travelled to I hate it. But I find other countries to have so much more red tape and taxes than the US. My husband always complains about the sales tax thing too, but if you live in the United States, I guarantee you are paying a lot less tax overall than you are in most other countries in the world. I see you’ve lived in Asia so that may be a perception thing… I’m totally not being defensive here, by the way, I have an equally long list of things I hate about the US (the over-incarceration of minorities, protection of fraud in banking, lack of public services, the defunct health-care system)…it just surprised me to read some of these. It’s always interesting to read about the perception foreigners have about your country, haha =) Hopefully there are other things about the US making your time there valuable? Definitely agree with you about the guns and overly-litigious nature of Americans, by the way =)
    Andrea recently posted..Posture and Ergonomics for Digital NomadsMy Profile

    • Hey I was clutching to find 7!!!! I had to think about it for days!! The good far outweighs the bad and we’ve had such a great time here!! We have just as much red tape in Australia. I’m sure it’s just annoying after having free reign in Asia for 3 months!! But 12 year olds really have to use a booster in California unless they are a certain weight – I cannot believe that!! 12 is so OLD to be in a booster!! I have a whole raft of things I didn’t include in the post – didn’t want to sound whiney! Lol

    • Agreed! I just went to book an apartment online. All excited to find its just $240 per week. Get to the paying page – plus $109 in tax!! I don’t think so!!

  3. God, you are as funny online as you are in person. and i’ll have to add you to my list of bloggers who allow themselves to curse, be opinionated, and inappropriate in their writing. brilliant, bloody brilliant. refillable calories- screw them, pedestrians everywhere- hit em, suing galore-tell them to bite you. you’re good at that@ ! in the meantime, i’ll go back to writing about prostitution and seaweed flavored Lay’s potato chips in the lands with NO RULES or LAWS! love ya from here,


    • Oh I miss the land of no laws!! Can you imagine a 4 way stop sign intersection in Thailand or Cambodia?? Hahahaha!!

  4. Freakin love this! Im from the states, and you are just so used to the taxes (and what states do or do not charge how much tax on different types of items), that im still always asking “yea, but how much is it with the taxes” and getting looked at like im an idiot.

    And yes, on the tipping. In Massachusetts, the waitress minimum wage (which hasnt changed in 15 years) is still a whopping $2.68 an hour. I was a waitress for 10 years. Relying on tips sucks. But it could (if you were good) end up much better than the actualy min wage which is about $7 federally (very few states pay more). Which is still not enough to actually live on.

    But i def dont mind the giant sodas. I actually really, really miss my 1 and 2 liter bottles of Mountain Dew right now!
    Dani Blanchette recently posted..Week 19–Road TripsMy Profile

    • Oh thanks for that info. I’d been DYING to know what the minimum wage is for hospitality staff! I wasn’t game to ask any of them though in case they thought I was being rude!! We have received some of the best service while here in the States. And I’m sure it’s because of the tipping thing! 2 litres of Mountain Dew? There’s no way I could consume that!! Eeeek!! I hear New York is trying to bring in a law to limit sweet drinks to 16oz!!

    • I’ve steered well clear of politics!! I’m quite interested about how you vote in your president though! I even had someone in Texas ask me if I was on the electoral role – I was super tempted to try to enrol!! lol.

  5. All sounds very reasonable things to hate!
    I think we can be a little spoilt in Aussie!
    And I couldn’t agree more, I hope that we don’t turn in to America in the way of Suing everything, left, right and centre, the lawyers are trying to change that, with all the “no win no fee”.. just a matter of time I’m sure!
    Sam @ Travellingking.com recently posted..Caffe Paesano Dinning ExcellenceMy Profile

    • You’re so right Sam. I’m starting to see more and more comments on Australian news sites along the lines of “you should sue!” It won’t be fun once it gets like that here!

    • Some of these things really do suck! Lucky there was so much awesomeness in America to make up for it. A return journey to visit all the states we missed is still high on our bucket list! Thanks for dropping by.

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