GFG is back and already in his own home. I haven't had time to make anything from my condensed or evaporated milk yet, neither have we had time to use DH's wing sauce. But PC has tasted his Twizzlers (good but not mind blowing) and cereals (Kellogg's Froot Loops with Marshmallow, Reese's Puffs and Chocolate Lucky Charms) have been evenly divided between GFG and PC. And GFG could spend a day at home before heading to his own home so we got to hear more stories too. He did have a good trip and he enjoyed his time there a lot. He got along with his team mates better than expected and made some new friends with boys from other teams. Didn't get himself in any major trouble and for once he wasn't the one getting most fines (inside team discipline system.) (He was the second and probably only because one of the new boys in the team is even worse scatterbrain than he is, but still, he racked up much fewer fines than usually.)
But here are some of his observations (keep in mind, these are just his thoughts):
- Again people were really extra friendly, nice and helpful and interested about them. This may be because they were mostly in small town or in the nearby smallish city. And they were a sport team from 'exotic' country (if you look it from your point of view.) So people probably showed more interest for them than would normally be common.
- Rush hour in New York is mad. New York is mindbogglingly huge.
- Great selection of all kinds of ethnic food all over the world also in smaller cities. Food in restaurants is very cheap and there is enough of it (again his perspective, if portion is big enough for him, it is probably much too big for average person.)
- Everyone having really nice cars. And big cars. In average cars were much bigger than here. Gas was really cheap (that probably explains a difference, and our taxes for new cars explain the rest. The new car you pay 16 000 dollars we usually pay around 25 000 dollars. And if the car is bigger, the tax rate goes up, so the difference gets bigger.)
- Work has to be cheap. Every place was very staffed. In restaurants there were probably twice or thrice as many waiters than same size restaurant would have here. Same with supermarkets, a lot of staff. There were also lots of people working in jobs that don't even exist here. Packing grocery bags, welcoming people to somewhere, carrying bags, just hanging around and doing little bit this or that. (This may explain something I have wondered a bit when reading your posts. Most of your GFGs seem to easily find a job and find a new one after they loose the one before. Really doesn't work like that around here. We have very, very limited job market for unskilled workers and finding a new job if you are a GFG or lost your last one because your own fault - forget it.)
- Many people being extreme in size. People, especially women tended to be either very skinny or obese or very obese. Much fewer of those people who have that extra 10 to 20 pounds that they plan to get rid off, when they just find the motivation (which will likely be never.)
- Everything was very heavily packed leading to huge amount of trash. Very little recycling going on what they saw.
- He finally got what was meant with 'the significance of the frontier' that he has been taught in his English classes to explain American culture. He had never really understood before that the optimistic, unlimited possibilities train of thought is not just a pep talk, but a real and huge difference in the core of thinking. (I'm rather proud of him getting that one.)
- People spend awfully lot of time in their cars. He met many people who commute even three or four hours per day.
- Every car really being an automatic. (He did know that beforehand, but still he found it odd. We tend to prefer manuals.)
- People working a lot and work being a centre of their life. Short vacations, long workdays. Lots of talk about work. Little free time.
- Being busy seems to be a status thing. People talking a lot about being awfully busy and having to work so hard while not really doping much to get all the things they talked about actually done. GFG felt that if they would just stop talking about their business and actually do things efficiently they would soon be done and could do something fun instead.
- people are very involved with charities and are much more religious than we are. People actually going to church.
- School is really strict and a lot of work. He felt he could have never made it through. He talked with local boys and their school days seemed very long to GFG. Both now and especially for younger kids. And amount of homework was huge, though what he did see it, he thought it was mostly busywork. The material he felt was rather similar, except of course the languages (our kids tend to study at least two, usually three or four foreign languages from early on, for example GFG started his first foreign language in grade 3, his second in grade 5, his third in grade 7 and his fourth in grade 10), but you put your kids to work much harder with it. One of the US boys showed GFG his math book and he felt it was same level than his math book and could have done the exercises easily, but the amount of home work that other boy had to do and turn in was four times what he was asked to do. And our kids don't have to turn in any homework, only some essays etc. they don't want to spend class time on and that are assign to homework because of that. It is considered that homework is there to help them learn and if they don't do it, it is their problem and shows up in exam. And if they do well in exam without homework, they didn't really need to do it. It is not about the amount of work but what you learn. If you can learn with less work, good for you. I do know you have different level of courses in your high school so I don't know if that book was for some lower level course. Boy who showed it said it was the hardest class they offered in his school though, something called AP Calculus BC, but I don't really know your system so I don't know if he was telling a truth, or if it just felt the most difficult for him.
-Little recess in schools. GFG doesn't understand how especially smaller kids make it through the day. In our schools classes are 45 minutes and after every class there is 15 minutes recess and kids have to go outside to play. In elementary schools we have playgrounds where kids play and also possibility to play soccer or basketball. Also skip rope, playing tag etc. are popular with younger crowds. In middle school they mostly play soccer etc. In High School (grade 10, and age 16 onwards around here) kids are allowed to stay also inside or leave school yard if they wish. And they may even have classes put together and have hour and half class and then half an hour recess. Younger ones are allowed to stay inside only if it is very cold. Usually limit is around - 5 F but kids often feel that school thermometers are adjusted so, that they never go under it (they may have a point, teachers and parents hate what kind of hellions our kids tend to turn to, if they can not get their free outdoor playtime. And after all, it's just matter of dressing up correctly.)
And the matter with cereals: After tasting those I do understand why you eat so much less candy than we do. If you start your day with those, you certainly don't need any candy later in the day They really are sweet. And colourful. I have seen Froot Loops (without marshmallow) also here, but they certainly are not that colourful (I think EU forbids using many of those food dyes or something.) I do wonder though if it really is common to let kids eat these kind of cereals regularly or are they more like the Sunday treat they are in our family? If kids really eat these for breakfast and go to school after that, how on earth are they able to sit still? And doing it without much recess? Mine would had been climbing on curtains after that kind of breakfast, when they were small... I also wondered how nutrition info was given. In our products information is always per 100 grams so it is easy to compare. they usually tell it also per portion but because portions vary, I find it more difficult to compare, when it is only told per portion. And those portion sizes. If your portions in restaurants are huge, portions in cereal are anything but. I mean, do people really eat that 20-30 g portion at time? For me it seems very small for breakfast. Okay, I'm a tallish and active adult women, I eat more than many. My kids eat much more than average people. But really 3/4 cups of cereal for breakfast? And GFG also brought home a can on soft drink that said there was two portions in it. It was half an litre can. Do you really share you soft drink cans?
Oh, and link to his former adventures in USA: http://www.conductdisorders.com/foru...-needed-49861/