I’ve been visiting family in Ohio for about 2 weeks now, which is time enough to reflect on some of the differences & similarities between my adopted and birth homes… here are 8 things which have been on my mind.
1) Nobody in Ohio walks! I was on Main Street of Springfield, Ohio. Granted, not the most cosmopolitan of America’s cities, but still: Main Street. I walked two blocks, and passed a grand total of two other pedestrians: (a) a scraggly old homeless woman and (b) a “sport walking”-walker. Apparently walking is only done for fitness anymore.
2) I would rather shop at a Spanish supermarket than an American one. No one needs a 100-meter aisle of cereal choices.
3) If Americans have heard of Valencia, it tends to be because of the City of Arts & Sciences. But not many have heard of Valencia. Everyone asks me where it is in relation to Barcelona.
4) Autumn usually brings out the rainy worst in Valencia, but Ohio is never more beautiful. (Though, Juergen reports nothing but sunny skies in VLC this October!)
5) Americans are much more courteous, patient drivers than Spaniards. The wave-to-honk ratio is drastically better.
6) They’ve actually begun showing Champions League highlights on Sportscenter. This might sound trivial, but is truly a huge step forward. Soccer exists in the average American consciousness in a way that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. When a friend from high school recently asked me how Chelsea was doing, I almost spit out my beer.
7) Why, exactly, do toilets in the USA hold so much water? I had never thought about it before, but now it’s freaking me out. My poop does not need a huge pool to swim around in.
8) Fast food is a way of life here. I miss menú del días, but I can’t deny the giddy, shameful pleasure of ordering a menu at Taco Bell.
… any other expats out there have similar observations to share? Spaniards and Ohioans have a lot more in common than most would probably assume, but the differences are more fun!