My US Chronicles Issue 1 : The one that made me go “Wow! Really?”

So, 2014 was a surprise!

I was given the chance to be sent to another short term assignment. This time to the US, as in the United States of America.

This is my second STA, the first was in Japan, 10 years ago. This will take me away from home 6 to 9 months tops, away from my 2 beautiful girls and my husband. But to be sent to the company’s headquarters and to be able to support a program on-site, is just something hard to pass up. Thus, our decision, that I take it.

So it’s been close to 4 months now, it is a constant learning, wonderful experience still. Both at the work front and living here in Michigan, in the United States generally. I’ve always wanted to keep something of a journal and I am trying to do it now with this post. So join me as I give you a glimpse of how I am seeing and processing these new things! The funny, the perplexing, the educating and the amazing.

Here’s 10 things that just blew me/floored me, in no particular order.

1. The word rest room. Yes, Rest room.

Back home it is, comfort rooms or CRs. So yeah, I’ve been getting a lot of furrowed brows, a blank stare sometimes or a polite “excuse me?” when I used CR the first couple of weeks. I still sometimes forget but yes, rest room it is, and not comfort room or CR.

Now, since we are talking about REST ROOMs, number 2 on my list is,

2. Disposable paper toilet seat covers/sheets!

Wow! I am used to navigating a tricky public toilet and by tricky you might just get the bare toilet bowl and or some running water and or no tissue paper, you get the picture, disposable paper toilet seat covers, just rock!

And then there’s the

3. Family rest rooms! Hands down, this has got to be one of the best ideas there are. I’ve had had my share of “rest room” mishaps with my 2 girls, that involves well, whisper-shouting instructions to “do not touch that!”, “don’t peek on the other stall!”, “stay put!” “do not move!”, etc. Here, it would mean, dear husband can come in with us and then we can each take one kid, thus minimizing stress, maximizing the day’s excursion’s enjoyment. And the family rest rooms are for those people with special needs too! Neat.

4. Dishwasher. It took me awhile to get used to the dishwasher but it’s one mechanical/electrical wonder.

5. The eye colors! Baby blues, blue as the sky, green, gray, grey/green, hazel, brown, just fascinating!

6. Granola bars. Yes. Filling and lightweight!

7. The drinking age and the driving age! 21 and 14-17 (Varies by state), respectively. This is something surprising to me probably, because one, the drinking age back home is more of like a guideline really but I believe it is 18, and I had this vague recollection that one of my uncles gave me my first beer when I was probably 8 years old; and two, driving back home is really for those who could afford to buy a car, so yes, it is kind of flipped here. You get to drive early on than drink. So yep, this is making the list definitely.

8.  Plaid. I mean how it is actually pronounced! Ha! I always thought it is pronounced same with “played”. The shock? It is still not wearing off. Flabbergasted! 🙂

9. The American slang! There are just so many! It’s like discovering a treasure trove!  I even started listing those I’ve had the chance to use. True. 🙂

10. The tv commercials. I’ve never seen so much insurance, dating sites and pharmaceutical commercials before. It’s disconcerting and equally fascinating.

And so, I’ll leave you with these for now. And hopefully, I get to bring some of my experiences here especially for my friends and family back home. 🙂 I gotta go get me some gas, and that means pumping my own gas. 😉