Sunday, August 8, 2010

Observations from the Road - Part Two

In case you missed part one, I'm traveling in the foreign country of the United States of America. Perhaps not foreign to you, and not so different from my country Canada as to cause any real confusion for me, but it is interesting to note the subtle little differences between these countries.

For me, Trash is the place I send unwanted emails or computer files. I do not throw my waste in the trash. I throw it in the garbage. I know what someone means when they say "take out the trash", but I'd say "take out the garbage". At some hotels they advertise a "spa". To us that means a place you can get a massage or maybe even a pedicure. Here, sadly for the Missus, it means they've got a hot tub. Which is interesting since it is also clear that in the U.S. they use the term hot tub. Maybe there is a difference between the two here that I'm not clear on.

A lot of the products are the same on either side of the border, but there are some things you can't get north of the 49th that I always get when I'm down south. I had some Wheaties for breakfast for instance. Why we don't have those is a mystery, because the rest of the cereal aisle is almost identical. Perhaps the American's competitive nature leads them to keeping the "Breakfast of Champions" all to themselves.

In an aside on the topic of funny and unnecessary signs (a previous blog topic), there is a funny one here in our cabin. I guess there is a law that there must be a fire plan in rental accommodations. Our fire plan shows a diagram of the cabin and then the following two steps: Step One - Open door. Step Two - Go out. I'm not kidding, that's what it says.

One of the more interesting events for us when we are traveling is visiting the local Safeways (grocery stores). You see, Safeway has a club card that you use when shopping to get the sale prices. When they swipe your card at the till it brings your name up on the receipt. They will say thank you Mr. So and So as they hand you the receipt. For some reason, back home our card when swiped brings up the last name Pusey. When they hand us the receipt they either mumble a name or just say thank-you as they are concerned, I assume, about the pronunciation. My running joke is if they were to say thank-you Mr. Pussy, I would respond, in a French accent, "That's Poo-Say". The thing is for some reason south of the border our card doesn't come up with the name Pusey, we actually get the thank you Mrs. Showers from the cashier. How weird is that?!

In closing, here's a strange but true traveling fact. In Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas. Either that or the guy at the gas station was really protective of his job. He told me this was the law in Oregon and New Jersey. Are these two states right about this or are the other 48? I wonder what their thinking is?

1 comment:

  1. We were travelling through Oregon four years ago from the south east to the north west on backroads and touching the gas pump was a definite no-no!Can't say as I minded. Speaking of gas we were travelling, like Jack, and filled up the SUV in Medicine Hat,Alberta, 93 cents a litre, hmm just a tad cheaper than here in Victoria?Ah well, xelA.