Subtle Differences

22 Mar

I’m back in America for about a week, taking care of some personal and business affairs, and it is my first trip back since moving to Australia.

When you go abroad, naturally you will always notice things right away that are different. Other things are more subtle and can take some time before you notice and register the differences. Sometimes a trip back home speeds up that process.

One thing is that I never noticed before just how frequently one hears police sirens in an America city. I suppose before I was just used to it and didn’t notice. Now I’m so used to hearing bird calls and other peaceful sounds that all the sirens are ear piercing to me. H assures me that crime hasn’t necessarily exploded and said the constant shrieking of sirens were one of the first things he noticed when he first came to visit me.

Another thing is that pretty much every restaurant in America is some sort of chain. There are locally owned restaurants, but they are the exception, not the rule. In Australia, I can’t think of one single chain restaurant, other than fast food joints, which is to be expected. I suppose one I did see a TGI Friday’s in Melbourne, but that’s an American chain and doesn’t count. In America, you almost need to know exactly where to look in any given city in order to find a locally owned eatery. Most places near major intersections and shopping centers will be chains.

It’s strange how things that were once so familiar they didn’t even bear noticing become glaringly obvious after time away.

3 Responses to “Subtle Differences”

  1. Cosette May 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Wow. I hadn’t thought about the police sirens, but that is so true! In three months in Melbourne, I heard a police siren once. In Miami, it’s almost daily past my window. And I rarely hear birds here. In Melbourne, the sights and sounds of birds are everywhere. Right on about restaurants too.

  2. Amy May 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Again, so true!
    (I hope you don’t mine me commenting so much – LOL!)

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