A few observations
I’ve been here for two weeks and I’m now getting ready to travel home.
It’s been a busy visit, carrying out renovations and repairs to an apartment that my Dad and I own in Florida. It’s a trip that I need to do each year, it’s important to keep an eye on the family assets don’t yer know. Some property-related legal stuff that needs sorting calls for a return trip in the not too distant future.
This trip has seen me decorating, replacing a water heater, repairing a shower, sorting the garden and patio, fettling the air-con….plus all manner of other stuff that goes with owning a property.
It’s a funny old country – to say that the UK and USA are two countries separated by a common language is no understatement. Did you know that a faucet (pr: fosset) is a water tap? There’s loads more.
Americans are often very direct, if they need to deal will a problem they’re not afraid to use unambiguous language:
One phrase / sentence that maddens me is, when in a restaurant ‘a waiter will be with you momentarily’. A momentary visit from a waiter is not what I want or expect, thank you very much. I want a waiter to spend a little time with me (more than a moment) to answer any questions I might have.
Of course the waiter DOES spend time with you, as much as is needed. It’s just a strange use of words.
Whilst on the subject of words, strange-sounding names abound in America:
American prices vs UK prices
Generally, although not always, the price we pay in UK is the same (very often more) than the American price, just change the $ sign to a £ sign.
A few examples from my direct experience:
Hilleberg Akto tent: USA: $498 (=£311) UK: £490
MFJ259 antenna analyser: USA: $259 (=£162) UK: £280
Flir Infra-Red camera: USA: $1800 (=£1125) UK: £2400
Petrol, per gallon: USA: $2.80 (=£1.75) UK: £4.91*
*adjusted to US Gallon = 0.83 Imperial Gallon
Food is plentiful and cheap in Florida, lots of it looks good, some of it is quite nice….too much of it can cause problems of course.
Those puddings were wonderful – so good I went twice. Ask Mick & Gayle about them!
There seem to be eateries everywhere:
A steak with chips and broccoli in this restaurant tasted wonderful and cost norralot, BUT…the steak was quite salty, the broccoli was served in a salty garlic butter sauce, and the chips were served ready salted.
The convenience of the car
The car is king here, petrol is cheap. These prices are PER GALLON:
You don’t even have to get out of your car to go to the bank:
Patriotism / National pride
Americans are seriously proud of their country and it’s flag. Americans do not need an excuse to fly their flag. Stars & Stripes appear everywhere: in shops, fluttering from houses, in gardens, on cars….virtually everywhere you can imagine. By comparison the British appear quite unpatriotic.
A UK Polling Station sign, emblazoned with a Union Flag? I’ve not ever seen one - I can’t see it ever happening. It might cause offence to someone….and that would never do.
It’s been pointed out to me in the past (very frequently and quite recently) that it would be cheaper for me to employ someone in Florida to carry out these tasks. Not so.
I was quoted $1000 to replace a shower that was described as unrepairable: I mended it in a couple of hours.
Replacing the water heater would have cost at least $650, I did it myself for $250.
As for sorting the Air Conditioning unit, it would have been a lot of money. Then move the decimal point to the right. For some reason Air Conditioning units are shrouded in mystery here. This I find surprising – virtually everyone has Air-Con, but hardly anyone understands how they work….so they pay lots of dosh to A Man. It’s always A Man. The only bit I can’t do is recharge the unit with refrigerant. You need a special bit of paper to be able to do that.
I much prefer to come over here to do the jobs myself, apart from anything else I know that the work has been carried out to a reasonable standard.
Americans do many things differently. This is the electrical bit of the water heater I replaced:
Domestic wiring installations are potentially (see what I did there?) bloody dangerous. A house frequently has both 120v AND 240v available. 120v for normal household appliances like kettles, TV etc, but 240v is used for higher current stuff like cookers, water heaters and so on. Get your wiring wrong and……
I go to Florida where it’s currently 80degF. And the sky is blue. At the end of October / beginning of November. A few years ago they had an overnight frost – they still talk about it now.
It’s hi$$ing it down in Timperley, And it’s cold.
Anyroadup, it’s an interesting place once you understand the language. I’ll be going back fairly soon – more stuff to do.