Monday, December 12, 2011

Annoying Me Slowly

I've been back for just over a week and actually arrived in Orlando this morning. Not surprisingly, after a mostly two year hiatus, there are things that are annoying me in my homeland. Here's a quick list of some of those small differences that have annoyed me as I start my slow re-immersion back into American culture:

Voice Mail
In India mobile phones don't have voice mail. So as you might expect based on its lack of existence, no one uses voicemail. As a person that really doesn't like the phone, this is a good thing. Listening to voicemail is excrutiatingly annoying. If you call me, there's this little thing called caller ID. I will see it. If I want to call you back, I will. No need to waste time with the voice mail.

Traffic Jams
India gets (in my opinion) an unjustifiably bad rap for its traffic. It's slow but flows like a river. Drivers are generally courteous and serious accidents (at least within Delhi) are more rare than you'd think. American traffic sucks. I had the misfortune of driving on the inbound Eisenhower "Expressway" at 5pm last Friday evening. It was much more stop than it was go. I think this may have been some sort of karmic punishment for moving from Chicago; perhaps a big "eff you" from the traffic gods. On the bright side, there were no cars on fire (cited more frequently than you would think on Chicago radio). On the not-so-bright side, cities of five million shouldn't have expressways that merge and choke down to one lane. I will not miss Chicago traffic.

Americans, who drive on the right side of the street, tend to walk down the right side of corridors or sidewalks and walk up the right side of stairs. Indians, who drive on the left side of the street, tend to walk down the left side of corridors or sidewalks and walk up the left side of stairs. I must admit, I had gone local. And it becomes a habit. In my first week back in the American office, I avoided any major collisions and injury; however, I can't even count the number of times I was forced to say "excuse me."

First Floor
I have to admit, I got used to the whole "ground floor is the ground floor" thing and the "first floor is the floor above the ground floor" thing. I know this drives most Americans crazy. I actually like it. It makes counting the number of flights of stairs you need to walk up that much easier (because, you know, it's too complicated to subtract one). I've found myself confused when people tell me something is on the first floor. It hasn't gotten to the point where I've gotten on an elevator from the ground floor and pushed a button to get to the first floor and expected it to move, but it makes me stop and think. And yes, I am lazy enough to take an elevator one floor.

Sports Talk Radio
I never listened to the radio in India. I don't think my life was any less rich because of that. I'd also like to think I have better things to do than listen to people argue about nothing which is, in effect, the idea behind American sports radio.

More to come I'm sure....

1 comment:

  1. sports talk radio is as american as ... anything american. welcome home.