|No really, we dare you…|
1. The internet. It’s flipping fast here and you can use it for pretty much everything from emailing questions to your doctor, making an appointment for a haircut or waxing, booking your car for a service, or ordering a pizza. I can hear you all going “but I can order a pizza online in Australia!” and to that I say pffft. I tried that at Crust once. They didn’t see my order come in apparently. If I’m honest, I don’t enjoy picking up the phone and talking to people. If you call me, I’m going to let it go to voicemail. So this whole way of interacting with people without actually speaking to them is marvelous for me. Plus, I hear Al Gore invented the internet, and he’s American.
|Isn’t it just beautiful?|
2. Highways.As much as I complain about driving here, I do love the highways. They’re four or five lanes at their narrowest. And the overpass exits are these magnificent swirling feats of concrete and mixed with the sweat of engineers that give you a feeling of awe. Although American highways are highly confusing to someone who is used to driving on a three-lane road, you have to admit, they are magnificent looking.
|Now that’s what I call a path.|
3. Hiking trails. There’s a possibility that this is one of those things confined to the west coast, or even just some parts of the US. Hiking routes are fairly well-maintained here, they cater for a range of experience and fitness levels and are very well sign posted. I’m coming off a low base though. The majority of my time spent hiking was in NSW’s Blue Mountains, where I expended more time quizzically staring at guidebooks to work out whether I should be taking the right or left fork in the “path”, and getting lost. And the US has some amazing through-hikes like the Pacific Crest Trailand the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
|There is no way that you know a better beach than Maui’s. Give up now.|
4. Beaches.Technically, Maui is part of the US, hence I’m calling out the beaches. I used to say the beaches in Nice, France were my favourites. But then Maui came along, snatched the trophy, put a little grass skirt on it and used it as a prop to distract you while it pretended to dance the hula. My usual aversion to beaches comes down to these factors: the water is full of jellyfish and other nasty things, pollution floating everywhere and sand gets in your everything. Maui blasts two out of three of those: the water is crystal clear, it’s warm, it’s calm, AND you get to swim with fish and turtles! And the sand makes for some good castles, so I can forgive it.
|Do yourself a favour, PhnomNom is delicious.|
Right brain: “But then I’d have to find a parking spot, get out of the car and walk to the ATM. Don’t you realise how much energy that would entail? Efk that!”
Left brain: “Shut up, idiot.”
7. 24-hour everything. If I ever find myself craving pasta or ice cream at 3am, there is a 24-hour supermarket within walking distance of my apartment. And a 24-hour chemist (sorry, pharmacy) down the road. Keep in mind that I’ve never actually needed these things, but if I ever find myself in a predicament them, they’re right there! All the time!
|Picture courtesy of Comedy Central.|
8. Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. Sure there’s a metric tonne of crazy happening in this country. From federal elections to adult illiteracy to crumbling infrastructure and not forgetting staggering health-related problems (Did you know that more than 190,000 people diedfrom painkiller overdoses in the US since 1999?), when stuff goes downhill it plummets. But then there are people like Colbert and Oliver (and Jon Stewart before them) who not only explain to people why they’re being duped, but they do it in an entertaining way. Knowledge is power and all that…