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Old 15.12.2010, 23:00
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America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

There's quite a lot of America-bashing on this forum, which is all fine and dandy, except I've got to go there next week, and I'm starting to get a little worried. I won't be in New York or Los Angeles or anywhere fancy like that, but a small town in the Mid West where, I'm told, it's quite chilly at the moment.

I've never been to the New World before, and I have no idea what to expect, apart from what I've seen at the pictures. I'm guessing that most of what I've seen at the pictures is a load of cobblers.

So... rural middle America: What is it really like? What should I do there? What should I be careful about? What enormous social mistakes should I avoid? What shouldn't I miss?

Also, if anyone has any advice about being stuck in an aeroplane for the equivalent of a British working day, and dealing with the chaps in immigration, I'd love to hear it.

Cheers, er, guys.
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:04
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Hmm 9hours plus on a plane. Did that two weeks ago when I went to Florida. If you can, go business, it gives you much needed leg room etc.

I shouldn't worry about customs, I've always gone straight through.

Just look forward to pleasant happy customer service over there and enjoy
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:05
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

For coping with rural midwest US, read Lake Wobegon. I need to visit this place (even though I'm assured that it doesn't exist).

Re coping with the flight... you need to see me the evening before, anywhere will do, but a bar will be even better.
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:07
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Re coping with the flight... you need to see me the evening before, anywhere will do, but a bar will be even better.
A couple of pints down the Tap and Spile?

(We'll be in Brum...)
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:10
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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So... rural middle America: What is it really like? What should I do there? What should I be careful about? What enormous social mistakes should I avoid? What shouldn't I miss?
My advice.... Don't pi$$ off the in-laws, it's a remote place

For the flight, sleeping tablets or a good book

Enjoy
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:15
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Before I go anywhere, I take a trip there first with Google Earth. Orient myself, look at the photos, check out the restaurants, cruise around in street view, etc. Amazing how much you can find out that way.
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:16
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Alas, we can't afford to fly business class, but the sleeping tablets are already arranged, and I'm planning on taking an unabridged copy of Boswell's "Life of Samuel Johnson", so that should help a bit.

Do I need to wear special socks or anything? I see them advertised a lot, but my wife, who thinks of transatlantic flights like I think of the journey across the Zurichsee, scoffs at the notion.
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:18
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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So... rural middle America: What is it really like? What should I do there? What should I be careful about? What enormous social mistakes should I avoid? What shouldn't I miss?
...ohhh, this is going to be GOOD !

Ehhm, as for advice, maybe refrain from sticking out your pinky whenever you are holding a beverage. I know how you British folks love to do that...other than that, be yourself (yes DB, even you...) .
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:18
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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My advice.... Don't pi$$ off the in-laws, it's a remote place

For the flight, sleeping tablets or a good book

Enjoy
Agree with No 1 - person I don't like the idea of getting blotto or take sleeping tabs - if the bird goes down, I won't to be in charge of my destiny. LOL. Can't wait to hear how you got on. Ein Frohes Rutsch ins USA und 2011 fur beide.
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:18
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America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

In lake woebegone, the men are handsome, women are strong and children are all above average.

Just be yourself. And get some Xanax or something to help you sleep on the flight. Don't eat on the plane if the food looks gross. Bring boots. Craploads of snow in the Midwest. And have lots of fun!
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Old 15.12.2010, 23:50
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Quote:
There's quite a lot of America-bashing on this forum, which is all fine and dandy, except I've got to go there next week, and I'm starting to get a little worried. I won't be in New York or Los Angeles or anywhere fancy like that, but a small town in the Mid West where, I'm told, it's quite chilly at the moment.

I've never been to the New World before, and I have no idea what to expect, apart from what I've seen at the pictures. I'm guessing that most of what I've seen at the pictures is a load of cobblers.

So... rural middle America: What is it really like? What should I do there? What should I be careful about? What enormous social mistakes should I avoid? What shouldn't I miss?

Also, if anyone has any advice about being stuck in an aeroplane for the equivalent of a British working day, and dealing with the chaps in immigration, I'd love to hear it.

Cheers, er, guys.
Oh, be very, very careful. Watch "Real Housewives of New Jersey." That's all you need to know: shallow, obsessed with money yet bankrupt, delusional, back-stabbing and botox-injected. The only problem is that the good-looking chicks on that show don't reveal how incredibly fat we all are.

If I may ask, where are you heading in the Great Flyover, for that is my home on this Earth. There are definitely micro-cultures even in the Midwest, and the friendliness level and conservative/progressive range depend on where you are going, but you will be adored for your accent, regardless. Did you see "Love Actually" where the do-nothing Brit flies to Milwaukee to score? Well, that is just true. Maybe not a threesome, but still.

Politically, it REALLY depends on where you are going. Look at the red/blue maps from the last election and you will understand the politics of where you are going. Somewhere like Madison, WI = "Yes, We Can!" Somewhere in the middle of Indiana = tea party. The types of stores you will find, the education level, the body shape will all depend on where you land (I won't give it away, but you will figure it out quickly enough).

Regardless, you will be treated very well and people will be extremely open and talkative. They will constantly ask you if you are from England and then smile broadly and say, "I just love the way you talk." Way back when, when I visited London, coming from Germany, I felt at home with people calling me love and dearie (although here it would be hon' and sweetie). Also, the standing in line felt very nice after being burned constantly by the Teutonen for my lack of aggression.

But, yes, we do weigh 50 pounds more than the average Schweizer, so be prepared for the onslaught of food and just vow to work it off when you get home.

[ The smilies are from my 5-year-old daughter, who is "helping" me write this.]
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:00
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Beware of men named Bubba.
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:07
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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For coping with rural midwest US, read Lake Wobegon. I need to visit this place (even though I'm assured that it doesn't exist).
Of course it exists. Might go by a hundred different names, but there's a little bit of Lake Wobegon in all of us.

Quote:
In lake woebegone, the men are handsome, women are strong and children are all above average.
DB, this is all you need to know about the American Midwest.

That... and Powdermilk Biscuits, and Beebop-a-Reebop Rhubarb Pie.



Enjoy your holidays.
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:07
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Oh, be very, very careful. ...
[ The smilies are from my 5-year-old daughter, who is "helping" me write this.]
Wow! Thank you for a very comprehensive answer! (and regards to your daughter )

I understand that where we are going is somewhat conservative - ice tea rather than martini, church rather than monster truck rallies, political conversation rather than celebrity tittle tattle. It sounds like it'll suit me down to the ground (apart from the ice tea bit).

I'd heard about the effects of an English accent upon American ladies. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have the opportunity to do any experiments in this area, as I'll be with my lovely Mid Western wife and her family - and her brothers are bigger than me!

Speaking of the wife, she just told me to say that in her part of the country, people wish they could see Russia from their houses. Apparently that is some kind of code.

It's like she's speaking a foreign language sometimes...
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:09
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Well, depending on where you go in the mid-West, you could be in for a culture shock. But in all all cases, it is fine to smile and greet perfect strangers in a friendly manner

As for immigration, look your finest after the 9 hour flight, as you will be photographed and fingerprinted. Also, make sure the airline has all the newly required TSA information.

Looking forward to your postings.
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:11
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

...reference to Russia is Sarah Palin. In my part of the mid-West, we could see Canada (really).
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:29
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

My only advice is to save all your best bomb jokes for after you've cleared immigration
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:35
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Quote:
Wow! Thank you for a very comprehensive answer! (and regards to your daughter )

I understand that where we are going is somewhat conservative - ice tea rather than martini, church rather than monster truck rallies, political conversation rather than celebrity tittle tattle. It sounds like it'll suit me down to the ground (apart from the ice tea bit).

I'd heard about the effects of an English accent upon American ladies. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have the opportunity to do any experiments in this area, as I'll be with my lovely Mid Western wife and her family - and her brothers are bigger than me!

Speaking of the wife, she just told me to say that in her part of the country, people wish they could see Russia from their houses. Apparently that is some kind of code.

It's like she's speaking a foreign language sometimes...
Oh, I forgot your wife is from around here. Well, then, I was wasting my breath, and I know exactly where you are going! It's COLD and that little Lake is bigger than you thought.
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Old 16.12.2010, 00:50
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

The Mid-West is like one giant Aargau!

Lots of trucks, lots of convenience stores, lots of churches and HUGE portions of food.

Just tell them you're british and love a good fight, they'll like that.
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Old 16.12.2010, 02:23
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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.So... rural middle America: What is it really like? What should I do there? What should I be careful about? What enormous social mistakes should I avoid? What shouldn't I miss?
i believe it's alot like cannock but with more walmarts -also cow tipping seems to be a sport of some sorts!

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