That being said, I am readjusting to American life after my extended leave. Now that my wings are thawed after a Scandinavian winter, I'm taking a peck at exciting American things I can truly appreciate after being away.
|This is the life.|
Water fountains. I saw my first public water fountain in 7 months when I arrived at JFK. Most people aren't thrilled about layovers in New York, but having a free drink of pure-ish water overshadowed the airport's mayhem. "Look! Water fountains!" I exclaimed to my hen friend Madge as she entered the restroom. Women exiting the restroom stared at me as if I was disturbing them, but I was excited enough to take a bird bath. If I was thirsty in Europe, I'd have to buy a drink or put my beak under a public sink. I avoided the latter except for desperate situations.
Free refills. Excessive drinks are things I've taken for granted at home. Fountain drinks abroad are rarely bottomless, nor served in barrels. I had to pace myself through that miniature glass of Coke unless I wanted to pay another 3 Euros/3 pounds/999 Kroner for another. I quickly learned that beer was a better deal. I at least didn't expect free refills on booze outside of my grandma's house.
Cash back. This is a perk about which I'd truly forgotten. On my first night back on American soil, I shrieked, "Cash back?!" to both the Wal-Mart cashier and my hen friend Becky as I paid for my beer. At least Becky understood my situation. The local Tampa woman in a Wal-Mart vest stared at me until
I made a decision. No outrageous international ATM fees, and I didn't even have to go to my bank for that $20! It felt like free money.
Groupons. Not only is everything cheaper in the USA than in Europe, but if you time it right, you can get what you want twice as cheap just by buying it through Groupon, Living Social, or another social deal website. After 7 months of overpriced meals, any price in US dollars seems cheap. Then, in hunting for dinner option deals, Becky and I nabbed $30 worth of delicious food at a sassy restaurant for $15. I waddled out fat and happy for $7.50. That's the price of a coffee in England or a cookie in Denmark.
|HOW ARE YOU?|
Back in my homeland, I'm embracing these things that make America great. Sure, we have our problems, but all countries do. Europe may have better public transit and healthcare, but I'll enjoy my bottomless soda and cheaper everything.
Read more! The Hen's Guide to Surviving Sweden!
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