Life is what's happening while you're busy making other plans

02 juin 2010

california, land of excess

sooo, daphne hasn't written in a while and actually it's all my fault... me: emilie - sister and first guest of honnor on this blog, a mission i have entrusted myself with in a tentative apologetic gesture to all of the followers of this blog who have been wondering what the heck daphne was up to these days...

since it is her blog though, i have however decided to leave to daphne the task of giving you all the details about what we've been up to in the last three weeks, and i shall concentrate on sharing with you my main conclusion of this trip.

first, a quick reminder of our objective in coming here to california, for daphne and i : verify to what extent we were really familiar with the american culture - having grown up in an american school but never having actually lived here.

well, it turns out i'm way more european than i thought and apart from a couple of items bringing back childhood memories, nothing here has convinced me my life would be better than the one i have back in brussels. and the main reason for this is : everything here can be summed up in one word : EXCESS.

>excessive size of the cities, size of the cars, size of the streets, size of the food portions...

>excessive attention to customers (only linked to the tipping-system they've got here, which, to be perfectly honest, we did not, in 3 weeks, yet grasped entirely, probably leaving lots of frustrated waiters out there), excessive service in some instances (valet-parking!!!!) and yet aboslutely none in others (did you know there is only 1 way of getting from san francisco to LA in public transport other than an airplane ? well there is, it consists of a greyhound bus, taking up to 9 hours (for 400km), with one 1/2hr stop at burger king for everyone to gulp down a whopper in an average of 10 minutes depending on your toilet-needs and your position in the queue to order!!! i mean seriously!!!)

>excessive desire to be classy but just not getting there... summing up this conclusion: check out the Hearts Castle if you're in the area one day... this place, for me, clearly illustrates both what the world envies to america (any dream is really possible here) and yet despises about it (it's just not done right...)

>excessive advertisement on tv (15min of a movie alternate with 10min of ads...), and shopping-channels (if you want to see smthg really funny, check out the shake-weight and its video :

>excessive use of excessive-words like "hilarious", "wow", 'amazing"... when things are just funny, ok, or nice. (need we mention that there are actual tv and street ads to "not use the word 'gay' to mean that smthg is not cool"!)

On the positive-side however, i am leaving with some great memories, the best one being to have shared this with daphne - a truly sister-bonding trip with its necessary laughs, private jokes and stressed-out moments! otherwise, i loved (in no specific order) :

-attending a night at a comedy-club in San Francisco - thankfully, some americans do have a great sense of humour and self-derision

-road-tripping from las vegas to san francisco : amazing scenery despite the wind

-actually managing to tick each item on our very long list of "to eat", even adding things up as we went along, like ribs and chinese.

-seeing the movie "sex and the city 2" and laughing at totally different moments than the rest of the audience.

-having a shopping frenzy in GAP

-visiting 2 very touristy places, yet original : alcatraz and hearst castle.

-chippendales in las vegas

-going from an all-mexican fair to an all-white american rib-cook-off only a few miles away...

and all the rest...

so thanx D for sharing these 3 weeks with me and continue to be safe in your next adventures!

Posté par wendorej à 06:07 - United States - Permalien [#] Partager