I was inspired to write this post after having a conversation with a friend of mine about why single bed is called twin-bed in the U.S. There are few stuffs that probably happens or exists only in the U.S. The only disclaimer to my readers is that the information stated in this post are solely based on my personal experience and assumptions. As I haven’t had much chance to extensively travel to other parts of the world, these things might exist in other countries too; yet, they seemed little weird and different to me, and so have I tried to dig into what those weird issues are and the reason behind those being different.
- Twin-bed, not single bed: We were at this store looking at the mattress covers where I told my friend that I didn’t find any covers for single-bed mattress. “They are called twin-bed not single-bed here in the U.S.”, said my friend. I asked him why it was said so. He didn’t know it either. The only God I believe in – Google- had to help me find an answer. A person in one of the forums writes, “Twin bed is either of a pair of matching single beds ready to be joined to another twin bed to create twin beds. The word simply describes a bed which is stackable with another bed.”
- Double door in buildings: There are back-to-back doors a few feet apart in almost all the buildings in the U.S. I had guessed that having the doors few feet apart would be useful in maintaining the temperature inside the building. Since opening the door frequently allows easy exchange of the air outside and the air inside the building, it would be difficult to maintain the temperature inside the building. This logic really seemed to be true.
- Trucks and semi: Trucks in Nepal and probably all over the world would mean these:
However, in the US trucks are these:
So, what is the vehicle in the first picture called in the U.S.? It is called “semi” or “semi-truck”. This is because the front portion (the half of the truck) with engine, dash and driver’s seat is separate with the container box. But how can trucks be smaller than semi-trucks? The answer is simple, “I don’t know!”
- Nice to meet you: This is how people introduce and exchange greetings when they meet for the first time:
Me: Hi, I’m Prayash
Other Person: Hi, I’m Smith. Nice to meet you!
Me: Nice to meet you too.
These are the times when I’m compelled to say it was nice meeting the person because how can you feel nice as soon as you meet the person and you have just told your name? I’m sorry, but I obviously need a little longer conversation to decide if I really felt nice meeting you.
- Everything is flavored: The height of consumerism can be felt in this nation so much that you can get every food in every flavor. You can have a vegan food made of soybean which instead is chicken flavored. Most of all I am amazed to see varieties of flavored water. Peach flavored, passion-fruit flavored, orange flavored… Why does the water have to be flavored? Isn’t that supposed to be called a juice?! I had never or would have never imagined of flavored water in my life. Am I too dumb about this?
- Cold inside, hot outside: This happens during the summer. When it’s way too hot and humid outside, you get this blissful moment as you enter a building since they have their ACs turned on. But as you sit in a place for a while you tend to feel cold and need a jacket. And it’s not just me who feels so, even the people who have lived in the US for a long time feel so. Why don’t they increase the temperature a little bit?
- Pizzas!: So this day we were at a mess/dining place for breakfast at 7AM in the morning. I started exploring the breakfast items that were available. One of the queues, to my surprise, happened to be for pizzas! People have pizzas for breakfast as soon as they wake up? God bless them!
- Water with ice and straw: The temperature might be negative 35 degree with piles of snow outside, but water with ice is a culture in the U.S. No matter how much you shiver with cold people sip in water with ice using the straw. More than the culture, I’m concerned about discarding the plastic straws which is used for a single-time. Thanks to one of the states – California, for banning on use of single-use plastic straws in full-service restaurants beginning 2019.
Having said that, the best thing about being in U.S. is that there are easy solutions for all our problems. Every problem is thought of and so do every problem has a well thought solution in this country! Cheers’