Why I love American consumerism...
Netflixs. We don't have anything like this in Australia, do we? Oh, okay, I just checked. Apparently there's Homescreen, Quickflix and FetchMeMovies, but they're not very good yet (too slow delivery service is the main complaint). Anyway, maybe everyone already knows about this but I'll explain anyway... Netflix is an online DVD rental store where you select DVD's as part of a subscription and they are sent to you in the post. After viewing the DVD, you place the disc into the provided reply envelope and it is sent back to the provider. Netflix will then send your next requested DVD (you have an online 'list' that you can add to and change). The reason I love Netflixs so much is the choice. They have everything: all 80s teen films, 70s sci-fi, documentary, foreign, television... everything! Suddenly I have access to all these movies I've heard about but never been able to access and I love it! Currently I've got a wish that's about 50 movies long. I can't watch them fast enough! Next in line: My Bodyguard.
Supermarkets. Trader Joes, Wholefoods, Fairway, Zabar's and Citarella... they put Safeway and Coles to shame. SHAME SHAME SHAME! I don't know where to begin trying to describe how yum these places are. I know there's some nice markets in Melbourne, but I lived in CHELTENHAM. You can't get fresh rabbits in Cheltenham. You can get duck eggs in Cheltenham. You can't get gefilte fish, knishes, blintzes, REAL bagels, and foie gras. You can't get one million different kinds of cheeses, bread and beer! I'm a fatty and I'm eating it all.
Old Fashioned Diners. They are so cosy and comforting. I'm even partial to a Denny's or Waffle House when the mood is right (eg. when on long car trips stopping in nothing states in nothing towns where the waiter will still ask you 'smoking or non-smoking?'). The continual coffee refills are amazing.
Amazon. The price of shipping suddenly got a lot cheaper. Makes those 30 cent first edition sci-fi paperbacks seem like a real deal...
Why I dislike American consumerism...
Tipping. It's not that I'm against tipping. People need tips! Only, I just find it really embarrassing. Especially in cabs and hairdressers where you have to do the whole "oh, and make it $$ for you." Egh. It's something about placing a judgment in dollar value on someone's service to their face that seems so crude.
Service assistants. Waiters are fine. It's supermarket assistants that kill me!!! I've done my time in supermarkets (six years on the front line in a deli) and I know how bad it can get... but these people don't even say 'hello'. They don't say anything. They just look like they really really really want to die. And if you dare ask them a question you'll be lucky to get a single word bark for a reply. The floor staff at Macy's are also terrible.
Double bagging. Again, in the supermarkets they ALWAYS automatically DOUBLE BAG everything. It drives me crazy. This is just one bag-happy nation. It's truly disgusting. I watched incredulously the other day while a person in a store double bagged a single sketchbook. It's turning me into a green bag vigilante. And if I forget to take my green bag I've gotten into the habit of asking for 'no bag' and end up walking home with my arms full of groceries in a futile attempt to cut down on bags. Say no to plastic bags!
The bastardisation of Australia. Kookaburra licorice? Kangaroo sneakers? Wombat shampoo? Superficial Australian branding on mundane products in order to make them seem exotic (yet safe). Makes me want to vomit. Well, I suppose it doesn't bother me that much. It's just stupid is all. For example:
Wallaby. Organic. Dulce De Leche. Creamy Australian Style. Lowfat. (Made in Napa, Calif.)... and it tasted horrible!
And that's really all I've got to say about that.
Signing out Australian style,
5 years ago