We have left the US and are now in Europe. Iceland more specifically.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my absolute love for America. I stand by that - the country is awesome.
But now that I have passed through Washington DC customs and am somewhat out of reach of US authorities, I feel it's safe to single out my biggest problem with the country.
I want to meet the insane American who decided that minimal coverage was the best guide when it came to public restroom doors. Then I want to kick them in the shins, ask them what their problem is, and tell them about how privacy is a basic human need for certain activities.
Almost every public restroom I came across in the US had stall doors that barely reached below the toilet bowl, giving you a tremendous view of a person's legs as they went about their business. The doors were also ridiculously short, so you could pretty much tiptoe and look over the top.
As if the over/under open policy wasn't bad enough, most doors also had an inch-wide gap straight down the side once they were shut - just in case you couldn't quite see in without it.
Someone please explain. What's up with that? Are we overextended-bathroom-door countries actually just full of prudes?
On behalf of the boys: I'd like to relay from Nathan that he also took issue with how full the toilet bowls were. I'm not going to elaborate, but feel free to add your support for him if you can relate.
There are a couple of other aspects to the US that I'm happy to leave behind.
First, tipping. In one of my earliest posts I asked for advice on tipping, and was told "Don't worry. You get used to it. You won't even notice in a week or so." Liars. I noticed up until the last moments when we had to tip the shuttle guy, who had arrived 15 minutes early and was downright unpleasant for the entire drive to the airport.
Don't even get me started on having to add tax.
I'm also happy to escape the constant clash of English. Who would have thought two people speaking the same language would have so much trouble understanding each other? It's weird, but people seem to understand us better in Iceland.
We caused confusion when we asked where the "loo" was, and also had problems with other words - jandals, deck, biscuits, jelly, and footpath among the most obvious. There was also an amusing incident when I said I was "totally buggered". That simply did not go down the way I intended it.
My last name was also a constant issue, and spelling it out over the phone for hotel reservations was a nightmare. I did eventually come up with a way around this. "Romanos. Like Ray Romano." That was working pretty well, until one excited woman thought I was related to the Everybody Loves Raymond star. Um no.
US by the numbers
8884 - Kilometres travelled by plane
5590 - Kilometres travelled by car
4300 - Number of times I've complained about my stupid slashie (roughly)
4101 - Photos taken
867 - Photos deleted
360 - Minutes spent watching Game of Thrones
249 - Steps from the Menage Hotel in Anaheim to my favourite Denny's
67 - Unattractive photos of me asleep in vehicles
51 - Times "Have we got the passports?" has crossed my lips since an unfortunate incident in Chicago
34 - Beds slept in
22 - People who have commented on our accents
21 - People who thought our accents were either Australian or British
12 - US dollars lost in Vegas
7 - People who thought New Zealand was in Europe
3 - McDonald's visits (yes, we caved)
0 - Serial killers that we came across
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