Yesterday I told you what a magical place Disneyland is!!
I filled you in on all the juicy details of our time there. But I left out one thing. The most shocking thing for a family place like Disneyland!
Let me set the scene…
We line up to go on the Space Mountain ride. It’s super fast to get on because we’ve somehow lucked into the quietest visitor day of the century!!!
We settle ourselves in our seats. Kate and Continue reading
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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!!
- 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’!
- 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!)
- 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!)
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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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As we have been driving long distances in America it has given me loads of time to think about what we have experienced here and how it is different to Australia and different to other parts of the world we have visited.
So here’s my delusional ramblings of my 7 favourite things for you to devour…..
- I love giant sodas for $1. I know it makes me a bad person but where else can you get litres of soft drink for a buck? I drink diet so no need to really worry about getting a fat arse!! Right? Continue reading
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We’ve arrived in America. And boy are we excited!!!
We can’t wait to visit all the places we’ve read about and seen on TV – the natural wonders, the movie scenes, the people!!
Our first stop was California.
We decided to slum it and stayed at Wilmington.
This is a suburb near the Port of LA. VERY near the Port!! Close enough to hear train whistles all night. Close enough for the local members of the ‘hood to play doof-doof music at 1000 decibels in the middle of the night. And close enough to hear someone scream out “shut up!!” when said music was playing!!!!!
Also close enough to use the Port’s free wifi!! Score!!!
Upon check in to our hostel one gentlemen enquired as to why we would even Continue reading
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