First off: A bunch of photos and yet another travel account can be found over at Jonnas blog.
American toilets have lots of water in the bowl – This makes you sit really close to the water and you run a higher-than-usual risk of getting splashed when taking a dump. And why doesn’t the seat go all the way round?
What’s with the pickup trucks? – I’ve never seen such an abundance of huge pickup trucks! It seems like the average Joe feels the need to be prepared to move a piano about. They even have two kinds of parking spaces, one that says ‘compact’ and one unmarked (it’s a bit telling that the bigger is the unmarked one).
The roads are huge! – A normal road can be over 20-30 yards across and still only have two lanes. That’s just wierd. And it’s surprisingly often that a turning lane (a lane in the middle that you’re only allowed to enter if you are turning off the road) goes on for a few miles instead of just popping up when there is an actual road to turn to. The roads are very well kept though, at least the ones we’ve been travelling, almost all of them have had asphalt that is so new that it’s still black, even the backroads. The only really bad road so far was the interstate, which they seem to make entirely out of concrete for some reason.
The bills are all the same color and roughly the same size – This makes it really hard to distinguish between the different bills. They also seem to be made of rather flimsy paper. Annoying and really easy to fix.
Trees are really big – I thought it was only the Redwood trees that were big, but it seems that a lot of other trees a big as well. Especially in the parks we’ve been to, it’s not unusual that the trunk is two yards in diameter. Maybe it’s the mild climate. That’s another thing by the way, I would’ve though it would be much colder, at least up north. In Sweden it was around 10 degrees (Celsius that is) when I left, but here it’s more like 25 (and rising as we go south).
People are really friendly – I didn’t expect that, and I also didn’t expect to like it. But it feels really good when they wish you a good day when you leave a store. I guess I’m just used to surly swedes…
I’m overwhelmed by choice – I guess that’s capitalism for you, but when you’re facing a row of shelves with 80 different kinds of juice at Safeway, that’s just too many choices for you to be able to make even one.
Towns are often a bit wierd – Often a town is just a collection of fast food chains spread out along a main road, sometimes making the town go on for miles and miles despite having only a modest population. I heard about Vegas being built like that, but I guess the phenomenon is more widely spread than that.
Road signs are very talkative – Most signs have a lot of text on them, requiring a good deal of attention before you get what they mean. Take the speed signs for instance, they say ‘Speed 55′ instead of just being a certain shape and color and just saying ’55’.
Most people actually drive according to the speed limit – It seems strange to me as in Sweden the speed limits are seen more as suggestions. What makes it even more strange is that the limit seems to be even a bit lower than in Sweden. But maybe all this is because we’re driving along the 101 that is more or less designed for cruising and not for people wanting to get from A to B in a hurry.
Wood shingles – Frankly I don’t understand the point of them. A lot of the houseswe see have them both on the walls and the roof and almost all of them look like crap. It makes the house look like the owl in the dutch show De Fabeltjeskrant (Fablernas Värld) when they’re new and it’s only downhill from there. The shingles seem to deteriorate rather quickly (either that or people here just don’t care for their houses as much as they should) getting cracked and overgrown with lichen.
What’s up with all the Tsunami signs? – Oregon is littered with Tsunami Hazard signs. Is it really an issue in Oregon? After some digging though we found out that the guide book says that Crescent City was almost completely destroyed in a tsunami following an earthquake off the coast of Alaska in 1964.