Day Eleven in Orlando: A well-earned rest and some meanderings on culture clashes

After all that excitement, we needed a day off, so today was spent mostly sleeping, except when we needed food or beer or the cleaner came and banged on the door. It was awesome, but does not make for terribly interesting reading, so here are some random anecdotes from the holiday instead:

* The beds here are composed of a mattress stacked atop another mattress. Why this should be so, I do not know, but the net effect is that when the Bossman turns over  in his sleep (which he does often, poor thing, for his rib virus is back), I get literally catapaulted into the air and awake mid-imitation of Sigourney Weaver’s character in Ghostbusters (the part where she levitates, not the part where she shags Rick Moranus).

(This should not be taken as a slur on the Bossman’s weight, for we have both been hitting the buffets pretty damn hard, and besides, it certainly does not happen at home, what.)

* I have made friends, of sorts, with a lassie at Smoker’s Corner. She is living here with her dog and her bloke, while he works in oil, and they have travelled all over the country doing so (she told me about getting locked out when it was minus 20 and they were staying in a trailer park). She seems very gentle and soft-spoken, and I do hope she has friends and is very happy.

* I have stayed the hell away from some of the other denizens of Smoker’s Corner, however – although not the lovely Brazilian lassie with no English – but including the scary guy who threw a fit when some kids threw some scrunched-up paper that bounced off the bin and landed at the feet of me and a Nice Denizen.

In truth, I had him in the ‘skinny wee bam, pay no attention’ box, but everyone else was freaked like anything – including (later) the (massive) pizza delivery guy who was trapped for fifteen minutes by him, and our pizza went cold. I figured telling the guy to sort himself out would do no good, however, and if everyone else was cowering, there just might be something to it.

I reckon that something might be, guns.

* There was also a guy I was having an amiable conversation with, until he asked me if we ‘have Obamacare in Scotland’, to which I very nearly explained that their president does not run the entire planet, thanks (but then remembered that my own government is pretty much the US government’s lapdog). He then became very agitated on the subject of how scary Obamacare is (which is ironic, given that I consider that his own current healthcare system is bloody terrifying). I declined to explain that the NHS is (in his probable opinion) considerably worse than Obamacare, which only requires one’s employer to insure one.

* There was also a very nice and somewhat posh gent, who on hearing I was from Scotland, complimented me on my command of the English language. It was sincerely meant, so I just didn’t have the heart to correct him.

* One difference from home that the Bossman and I have noticed, is the size of the painkiller packs you can get here. None of this ‘fourteen in a pack and you can buy ONE pack’ stuff; hundreds and hundreds, and they are all quite cheap! I guess, who’s going to kill themselves with a pills overdose when guns, right? Well, that was my first guess. My second, on seeing that antihistamines are about thirty dollars for a fortnight, which is roughly all the times what I refuse to pay back home, was that maybe in the UK painkillers are sold in small packs because if you find yourself buying more than three a week, you should get your arse to your GP to deal with the cause of the problem. Over here… well, just keep taking the painkillers, eh? You can’t afford to get to the cause of the problem, let alone deal with it.

(It should be noted that I have no direct experience with the US healthcare system, except for having heard that you can apparently lose your home paying for it, and still die. So there we go, I am as terrified of their healthcare system as that guy is of it changing.)

* This aside, everyone over here is very friendly all the time, and by ‘everyone’ I mean, everyone behind the till; and yet is expected to whisk you through in record time while also wishing you a lovely day and the health and well-being of all your descendants for the next five generations. I have trouble adjusting to this, and usually make some garbled mash of ‘thanks and you too and-‘ while the Bossman frogmarches me out of the shop. Whoops, ‘store’. There. I can say ‘restrooms’, now, and ‘freeway’ and ‘interstate’ -although when a small child hit the ‘call emergency services’ button in the lift and I called down to say it was okay, the woman on the phone corrected me. ‘You mean the elevator,’ she told me. So that’s me told.

* Actually, by everyone being friendly all the time, I also mean… the kissing, always with the kissing. Kissing everything. Well, as long as one is a small child, one is encouraged, nay expected, to kiss everything in the vicinity, on the mouth. Seriously, I speak with hindsight (having now completed the holiday I am wittering about, so that I will have a nice surprise to read about later in life when I get dementia), but I have seen small children encouraged to kiss, on the mouth:

their parents,

their siblings (several different pairs of siblings, on several different rides, did so in ride-carts in front of us so often I nearly leant over and yelled, You’re supposed to be trying to kill each other! That is what siblings DO!),

the ubiquitous dolphin-kissing thing,

small alligators,

absolute strangers (no, wait, that last one was in the airport on the way home, where the mother was all, Look I know you’re very loving, but do not be running round kissing strangers on the mouth! (the way I have – presumably – encouraged you to do to everyone near you at absolutely all other times).

Yes, no doubt it looks very cute, but this is going to be the ultimate in screwed-up generations when they suddenly start getting yelled at for doing what was ‘adorable’ for the first six years of their life. I felt like putting a bandana over my face, until I remembered security would pitch a fit.

Well, this might explain Seaworld’s, Would You Like To Kiss A Beluga Whale On The Mouth? experience…


About beshemoth

Mainly making art, making wine, writing and gardening. Having a life only as the above allows.
This entry was posted in adventures Abroad, all the small things, inane theories on society/media etc. Bookmark the permalink.

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