Welcome Back to the US – Culture Shock Edition

I can legitimately say that I’m super pleased to be back in the US! However there are a few things that I haven’t quite adjusted to yet….

1. I’m so used to being able to walk anywhere in 10-15 minutes, or take the train and the furthest travel time is 30 minutes. Here you have to account for drive time, potential traffic, idiot time at any retail store (like the lady checking out in front of you has a million questions and wants the cashier to look up her rewards card, blah, blah, blah)….I have been consistently late to anything and everything the minute we flew into town!

2. Overwhelming options at any store. I’m so used to shopping with minimal options, it makes picking anything out super easy. Here there are a million options for anything.  For example, in Monaco there are 10-15 deodorant options…here there are like 100-200 options.  I mean, all the different brands and colors and scents and “protection levels”.  Aye!

3. Having a server at a restaurant bombard you with service.  I mean, this one I’m totally grateful for….but I haven’t quite adjusted to being asked 4-5 times during a meal if I need anything.  I’m used to having to track down a server if anything is ever needed.  This is something I’m happy to be re-adjusting to, for sure!!

4. Exchange rates.  I’m consistently shocked by prices here in the US, then I remember that it’s not Euros and if I do the conversion more often than not it’s better priced here.  Another thing I’m happy to adjust to!

5. Not having to map out potential conversations before going places.  When in Europe, I would think ahead on what might happen in any given conversation and look up words that might apply before going anywhere. Here I can just walk in anywhere and hold a conversation on the fly.  It’s so great, but definitely an adjustment!

6. The friendliness of everyone. The guy stocking groceries at the store asking if I need help finding anything.  I think American’s have gotten so used to great service that they take it for granted.  In Europe you have to track down someone to begrudgingly (and most time inaccurately) help you out….here they offer to help you before you even ASK!  Woah….craziness!

7. Re-adjusting to credit cards and living beyond your means.  It’s so easy to get carried away with buying things you don’t need here and just putting it on your credit card.  Hello Christmas gifts!  I need to go back to the simple days in Monaco when everything was on a debit card and if you didn’t have the funds, you simply didn’t buy it!!

8. Lack of dog friendly places.  I guess I should re-phrase…..the lack of places dogs are “allowed”. Now we’re living in FL so nearly any restaurant has an outside space where a dog is allowed.  However stores, restaurants, pharmacies, offices, etc mostly do not allow dogs.  I’m so used to just walking in with our 4-legged friends…it’s an adjustment to leave them home so often and a sad one at that.

Finally…..

9. How much money Americans have and spend!!! Everyone has the nicest car, clothes, handbags, eats at the best restaurants, only drinks the best wine, has 3 kids with the best accessories, the list goes on….granted it’s all paid for with a credit card, meaning that often times they can’t really afford it.  But WHOA Americans know how to spend money!!!!

With all the pros and cons and adjustments…I’m still proud to be an American and back living the dream here in the USA!!American flag

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