LA vs NZ

I haven’t even been here a week, and already I’ve been absorbing and coming to terms with some of the differences and oddities between New Zealand and America… well, LA anyway. Haha.

1. The malls

They’re huge. Like “let’s put a two storey carousel in the middle of the mall” huge. And that’s the a local mall in the suburbs.

2. The date

It’s going to take me a while to get used to writing the date month first. So the 27th of November 2012 would be 11/27/2012. That’s just strange.

3. Accents

I already have a relatively strong American twang to my accent according to my NZ friends – I roll my r’s and say things like “mom” BUT I still sound pretty kiwi…. which so far, I’ve been told sounds “cool” and “exotic”. Hahhahaa

4. Coffee

Everyone here drinks coffee. My cousin’s wife has taken it on herself to get me drinking coffee again (I haven’t drunk the stuff in over four years). So I got a chai latte when we got to Starbucks. Apparently Oprah has her own line of tea. Who knew?

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5. Retail

Technology is everywhere. There’s a jewelry store I came across today that has an holographic sales assistant. Creepy.

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6. Hello Kitty

It’s huge here. Hello kitty bags, clothes, even shoes.

7. Toilets

They’re not quite as outrageous as the ones in Vietnam or China, but the water level is REALLY high here in America. It’s a bit daunting.

8. American cars

They’re hilarious. EVERYONE drives SUV’s, and the firetrucks are so cute!

9. Measurements

It’s going to take me a long while to get used to using pounds and miles instead of kilograms and kilometers…

10. Driving

Yes, it’s on the right hand side (which we all know already), but the speed limit here is typical 30m/hr – 40m/hr in the suburbs. Which is the equivalent to 48km/hr – 62km/hr

11. Dogs

So far, everyone has one. And they all take them shopping at the mall. I’m not just talking about soccer moms either – heaps of buff dudes have ridiculously tiny dogs. Thug life.

12. Bugs

They’re huge here. We found a pine sawyer bug lastnight that was the length of my ring finger, and approximately the width of two of my fingers. Yuk.

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13. Ice machines

Every fridge has one. They’re right up there with coffee – you’re a freak if you don’t have iced water all day, every day.

14. Food

I haven’t even explored that much in the way of food (besides my auntie and uncle’s AMAZING Persian cooking), but soΒ there is SO MUCH and the servings are massive. The cheese is very different to New Zealand’s, but it’s not too bad! Even the Tex Mex is okay (though I hear the food trucks are much better)

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15. CrossFit

Thankfully, Ive found a box that has a very similar feel to that of Functional Strength Crossfit in Auckland. Crossfit West Hills is very family oriented, and has a good feel about it. I’ve already been taught a more efficient way of doing my box jumps (yay!), my snatch (woo!) and completed my first yoga class (boom!). Hopefully when I get back to LA after Massachusetts, I’ll be in the area, so I can keep going there.

16. Jobs

I’ve started familiarising myself with some of the jobsearch websites here, and dude, it’s crazy. There’s SO MANY different sites for different types of work – and there’s hundreds – THOUSANDS – of jobs in every area. It’s a tad overwhelming.

17. Compliments

Seriously. Everyone in America seems to be very forthcoming on the compliments. No bullshit here – no cheesy one liners either. Just flat out compliments. Different.

18. Flatmates

They’re not called flatmates here – they’re room mates. So, again, I’ve started familiarising myself with the room mate search sites so I can start brainstorming how I can look for a house when I finish work in MA. Eek! I know it’s three months away, and I’m sure I’ll figure out how to work it all, but it’s a wee bit daunting!

Challenge accepted.

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