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Reverse Culture Shock in America: Fake Boobs and Street Food

Good thing I’m headed to Hong Kong for the new job in October because it turns out that I really am not meant to live in the USA any longer. Not because I don’t love and adore my friends and family. Not because I don’t find the landscape of both natural and urban jungles absolutely fabulous. And CERTAINLY not because I don’t gobble up the food and wine, happily and always looking forward to the next gobble-fest! Nope! I’ve gotta get the hell out of dodge because I can turn into an American-basher apparently at the drop of a hat – or shall we say more easily after a few drops of vino!?!?

Culture shock usually happens when we travel, but living abroad most of my adult life – with 12 of those years spent residing on the Mediterranean in Spain – has made me more European now than American. Coming home to my native land has become a more unique experiencing than visiting a new culture is for most of the time now, too. It’s like I’ve come to a foreign land when I visit the U.S.…honestly! And although some of it is upsetting to me (and those around me when I start to go on about it), luckily other things are damn funny so here’s a happy mix of my top 2 topics du jour:

American Women and Their Fake Boobs

So I was in the Rocky Mountains at my sister’s holiday home outside of Breckinridge over the 4th of July when one of her best friends and their family came to join us. I knew the friend’s sister from when we were kids but we had never met before so I was politely listening as the rest of the group caught up on their funny antics of the week. Then, literally within five minutes of meeting my sister’s friend, she starting talking to everyone about her recent ‘mommy makeover’ (which I had never heard of but is a breast enhancement surgery coupled with a tummy tuck or liposuction). She decided that she not only wanted to show everyone the good work but that I needed to FEEL them, too! I protested but she didn’t care! Grabbed my hands, placed them as you’d imagine and squeezed. What the flippin’ WHAT? Haha! I’m no prude but it was crazy, I’d just met her!

Although I’d seen it in movies like The Sweetest Thing, I’d personally never witnessed this before (or been a part of it). Well, then it sort of happened again a few weeks later at a birthday party for my sis’s friend. This time it was gentler though because there the women were simply flashing their ‘enhancements’ … with one lady still sporting surgical tape on her tender zones because she had JUST had the surgery. In Europe, women are in magazines and sunbathe topless every day – but that’s very different. I simply don’t have any close friends who’ve had plastic surgery so I’ve never seen what happens to a woman who goes through that and the changes in their modesty.

The Cool World of Street Food and Food Trucks

In Spain, the only time there was street food was when there was a festival going on and it was enjoyed pretty much by anyone and everyone. In India – where I lived from 2011 to 2013 – street food may be consumed by anyone and everyone who happens to be drunk coming out of a club but that’s not often. There are a TON of food carts every night around the country but it is considered something for the lower classes and not a novelty Indian meal to plan an evening around. In America, however, street food is all the rage – and my Mommy is one of the biggest fans of it all!

From street food festivals I’ve seen going on now in Manhattan, VC-backed food trucks selling lobster rolls at $15 a pop to stockbrokers in San Francisco’s financial district, to entire television shows and series dedicated to everything and anything delectable in these genres…Americans love their down-and-dirty GRUB! In the past few months I’ve seen pop-up wine and cheese stalls, food trucks selling everything from Indian or Mexican food to sweet things on offer like cupcakes and deep fried Twinkies … and as always the famous New York hot dogs are for sale on street corners all around the city.

Saying Goodbye…

I had planned to share my two cents on the absurd laws that Americans fight so hard to protect like the right to have the highest murder and suicide rate by firearm of any industrialised nation (well, any NOT at war anyway), or the fight to keep a healthcare system that results in the highest number of needless deaths per year simply because people can’t afford healthcare…oopsey daisey…SEE, I did it again! Must…move…away…!

With only two weeks left before I leave the country and relocate again, I declare – ‘hand on my heart’ – not to America-bash again and to just have FUN eating and drinking my way through a bucket list of everything I will so dearly miss – like pumpkin pie, garlic mash, big leafy salads, Rice Krispy treats and caaaaaaaaaaandy corrrrrrrrrrrrn!!!! {insert big smile here!}

XOXO Angela

© 2014, Angela Carson and All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 37 countries on 4 continents, residing in 8 of them (currently Indonesia's Riau Islands is my home). I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!