I had a coffee with Jack Wisemore, one of my undergrad professors who did his PhD at St Andrews, a couple weeks before we left. He had plenty of advice and insight but this is what I took away: "I thought I was adjusting well," he said leaning across the table toward me unblinkingly, "but one night, three weeks after we arrived, I had a dream I was walking down a close and before me unfolded a stripmall with a Target, Red Robin and Starbucks." He also went into detail about the only place in town to find a nice, cold Diet Pepsi (the Old Course gift shop). I assumed some aspects of life in St Andrews might take some adjustment (ie. opposite road driving, accents, carrying around 8 denominations of coins [who needs a two pence coin???!!!!] and small kitchens) but I did not truly grasp the depth of Dr. Jack's subconsious yearnings. There are many differences about life in the States. Here are a few:
A man, his wife and his 85 year old mother sat next to us today at the Marty's memorial on The Scores overlooking the West Sands and the Old Course today. We gathered to get a view of the Leuchars RAF airshow across the firth. The show wasn't mind blowing; it was raining and most of the flying took place at a distance. However, I got to talking with this fella and found out that he was on a church outing from Glasgow to visit St Andrews and catch some precision flying. His mother convinced me to go the Scottish Episcopalian Church this Sunday, she was quite persuasive: "There are some churches, but not many, where they sing old hymns and new hymns. They even clap their hands! But you should go to the Scottish Episcopalian church and ask for a booklet on the church's history."
Advertisments like this: "I've lost 2 stone and still eat at take-aways!"
I bought two liters of Morrison's value brand cola today for 17p. It costs less than bleach and tastes worse.
Electrical outlets have on and off switches.
Chinese tourists love taking pictures of Scottish weddings.
Haggis pizza with potato, carmelized onion and bechamel sause is the Barack Obama of pizza (intelligent and delicious, but a bit too scary for some people to try); Pizza Hut is the Michelle Bachman (cheap, lazy and manufactured); Little Caesar's is the Rick Perry of pies (greasy, cheap and you feel like you've had it before). Also, everyone eats pizza with a fork and knife.
If you've had any observations/stories about places you've been that are noteworthy, COMMENT!