15 Things I Never Did Before Moving to the US

Things I never did before moving to the US
Credit photo: NASA Kennedy on Flickr

15 Things I Never Did Before Moving to the US

A few days ago I celebrated the anniversary of my arrival in the United States. Three years before, I thought I knew the country pretty well. I had seen lots of American movies and TV shows, read American literature, and even travelled through the country before. But, moving to Washington DC was different from what I’d expected.

Here are 15 things I never did before moving to the States.

1. Passing right on the highway
Despite laws and signs to the contrary, Americans still pass on the right side! Guys, this is not allowed. Unfortunately, it is tolerated by the police, which is, in my opinion, a big mistake. Elsewhere in Europe, you would get a ticket for passing on the right.

2. Driving an average of 55 mph only on the highway (88 km/h)
I don’t want to brag here, but I’m familiar with the 125 mph (200 km/h) average speed on the German Autobahn. Can you just imagine how boring it is for me (or any German) to drive here?

3. Enjoying 2,800 miles of a road trip
Even with cars or truck passing me right and a super low-speed limit, I found a way to have fun. Read more about my Spring break through the country here.

4. Teaching my 16-year old daughter how to drive without having a heart attack
On the other hand, it’ll be great when she has her driving license: one child less to pick up, and one more driver to support the “taxi mama” transportation unit at home.

5. Waiting for hours at a pharmacy to get my prescription prepared
Pharmacists are the exception to the standard American friendliness. They never smile, and they are never nice. I don’t get it. They study for years to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and for what? To get a job counting pills at CVS?

6. Eating bread with sugar in the dough
Or honey. Or high-fructose corn syrup. I don’t like it at all.

7. Baking my own bread
Catherine’s bread is guaranteed sugar-free!

8. Eating lobsters whenever I like
In the US, they are way more affordable than in France or Germany.

9. 90-minute birthday parties
I still wonder why some of my guests leave after 90 minutes tops… to go to a movie. (Is it not funny enough for you here?) or a restaurant (You didn’t like my food?).

10. Living in a house with air conditioning
No discussion, I appreciate it during the hot and humid months, and I turn it off as soon as my European soul needs to breathe fresh air.

11. Driving during the winter without winter equipment
This is a Washington problem, not an American one. The nation’s capital is considered to be located in the South, which means no car has adequate equipment for rough winters. After three winters here, I think it’s time to reconsider the situation! We had snow in November 2013, accumulated 7 feet of snow during the winter 2014/2015, and survived a blizzard in January 2016 which left 2.5 feet of snow within 36 hours.

12. Watching a real rocket launch in Florida
I loved it and dream of seeing a new one!

13. Spotting seals at the beach in Cape Cod and California
They smell really bad, but I loved it too.

14. Paying tolls with cash only
Okay, toll roads in the US are not as expensive as in France. But, paying in cash in the country of plastic is a paradox.

15. Screaming enthusiastically in public “Oh my God, it’s so good to see you!”
Ladies, I know I quickly adapted to this. Still, I’m sorry to say, this greeting sounds very weird and questionable. Do you really always mean it?

Does anything on my list resonate with your experiences?

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