This is a composite list based in part on things U. and I discussed while in the States the last two weeks. Nothing earth-shattering here and some gross generalizations, but worth noting nevertheless:
- People in the service industry are pretty damn attentive. Sometimes this was annoying — leave me alone I’m eating — but most of the time, it was a joy.
- Many things are very well made. I especially found myself noticing this in buildings at home, the full grouting, the straight lines, the proper insulation, etc.
- You can get almost any type of food you want from almost any part of the world. While in the U.S. I ate Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Italian, French (both bistro and fusion), Mexican, New England (both classic and contemporary), and lots of sandwiches, boy did I miss sandwiches.
- Consumer goods are cheap compared to the rest of the world. A corollary to this is that you can get cheap consumer goods lots of places, but the quality is garbage, while in the U.S., items are cheap and good.
- Americans are big people. Not necessarily obese, although we saw plenty of fat folks during the trip, but uniformly large and well-fed.
- Washington DC and its inhabitants have a sickness, a disease, when it comes to dealing with snow. The disease is that they can’t deal with it.
- It’s nice to be able to drink tap water without worrying about getting sick.
- It’s nice not to worry about random power or heat cuts.
- It’s nice to see cops and not wonder when and how they’ll try to shake you down.
- It’s really nice to have a good, old-fashioned hamburger.
Back in Dushanbe now and expect to get geared up for a more consistent blog posting schedule now that I’m back. And yes, the vacation was amazing.