Monday, October 27, 2014

This Week in America-land - Sex, Drugs and Funerals

If you watch American TV for any amount of time, you are guaranteed to see at least one commercial for prescription drugs with the tag "Ask your doctor for ...whatever said prescription drug may be".  I always react the same way, with a loud "Eh?" whilst throwing my hands in the air.  The husband who is used to such gestures from me, just shakes his head.  At me, not at the commercial.   I can't get my head around this stuff at all!  Viagra, depression, you name it.  At home, it's the doctor's job to tell you what kind of medication you should take, not the other way around.  After the commercial tells you to ask your doctor for said drug, it usually goes on to list the possible side effects - which sometimes include death.  Yes, death!  The side effects can take up to a minute to be described, all whilst some actors frolic and play with their pets in the background to cheesy music.  It's both hilarious and disturbing at the same time. 

I am guilty of having picked up the phrase "Oh really" from America.  The first time somebody said it to me, I thought they were being rude.  It sounded almost like a challenge, or that they didn't believe what I'd just said.  But the reality is, it just means they like what you said and are showing an interest.  I say it a lot now, hopefully nobody will think I'm being rude and deck me when I'm back in Scotland next time. 

Whilst driving home the other day, I saw a strange sight coming towards me on the other side of the road.  At first I didn't realize what was going on - flashing lights on top of what looked like a small limousine?  Some kind of reality show or publicity stunt perhaps?  Nope, it was actually a funeral procession.  Some hearses over here are so jazzy!  Back home, funeral processions are stately, sedate affairs and the hearses look like, well, hearses.  Over here, they look very similar to what us Brits would call an estate car.  Not only that, but I guess some hearses also have lights similar to police cars flashing away.  The hearse is then followed by the family members' vehicles on the road.  So yes, I know the lights are to warn cars to pull over and not overtake or cut into the funeral procession, but surely just the sight of the hearse alone should be enough?     

When I first moved to America, I loved the amount of restaurants that were everywhere.  But that was back in the day, before I realized they were mostly chains and franchises.  These restaurants are the same wherever you go, and usually offer the same kind of food.   It's hard to find places that are unique, with fresh ingredients and menus that differ from the usual offerings.  But, I recently visited a new restaurant here in town with some friends, called The Curious Kitchen.  It was beyond amazing and so much like being back in the UK!  While the service was understandably slower than in Chili's/Red Lobster/all the usual suspects, it was more than worth the wait.  I would always rather wait for freshly prepared food than have a bunch of cheesy mush with fries rushed out to my table in a couple of minutes.   The service was personal and the food was delicious.  The portion sizes were perfect, so no to-go boxes were needed, which, as you know, is a plus in my book.  I will definitely return here in the future. 

Anyway, I'm getting ready to leave chilly Tennessee behind for a few days, to hook up with some fantastic girls and run the McDowell Mountain Ragnar Trail Race  in Arizona.   So, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, javelinas and scorpions notwithstanding, I hope to return safely and blog about our experiences.  Till next time, friends!   

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