1: The super sized shake story: I was taken to a McDonalds for lunch on my first full day in America. Since I hadn't eaten anything besides airline food in over 24 hours I was starving. I was asked what size shake I would like and since I was thirsty I ordered the largest one they had. A few moments later I was passed this enormous drink container that ended up being 42oz/1.25 liters. It took about 2 hours to finish the shake. I was surprised that drinks at here were this big since a large drink in an Australian McDonald's was marginally bigger than a small drink here. I soon learned that big drinks were quite common in America and always asked how big each one was before ordering. The biggest soft drinks are found either at a movie theater or 7-11 and can be almost 2 liters.
2: Drive up ATM's and pay at the pump for fuel: If I wanted to get cash from an ATM in Australia I would often have to drive downtown, find a parking space which was often half a block or more from the bank and then walk up to the ATM to withdraw cash. American banks often have their own car park/parking lot and have at least one drive up ATM. This might seem lazy but it does come in handy especially if it is dark or the weather is bad. Another great convenience is at the gas/petrol station where you can pay for your fuel at the pump. The last time I was in Australia I filled up the car and almost drove off without paying because they didn't have pay at the pump and I was so used to paying prior to fueling up. Thankfully I remembered right before driving off and went and paid before the police was called.
3: 24 Hour Walmarts and other stores: If you get sick in the middle of the night and need a drug store in Australia you are often out of luck and will need to suffer until the chemist opens around 7am. In America most drug stores are open 24 hours a day and so are convenience stores like 7-11. Walmart is another store that is often open 24 hours a day so you can get just about anything you need at any time of day or night. I have a great Walmart story that I would like to share with you. I was first taken to Walmart a few days into my trip to America (with Amanda and one of her friends) and I quickly figured out that the store layout was exactly like Big W. (which is the store I worked at in Australia) Amanda's friend who was with us was looking for a certain item and asked Amanda if she knew where it was. I replied by saying that it was in the next aisle, on the left about half way down and on the middle shelf. Sure enough it was exactly where I said it was and she was shocked that I knew exactly where it was as she knew I had never been to a Walmart before and had not been anywhere close to that aisle. She couldn't figure out how I knew and I decided to keep my little secret until later on as revealing it then would have spoiled the fun.
There are many more stories about things I love about America but that is for another day and another post. Is there something that you love about a place that you have traveled to?