06 August 2015

Re-Entry into America

So, it has been almost 3 years since we moved to New Zealand. This week, Mike got a new job at Google, and we moved to Sunnyvale, California.
What is like living in California after living abroad in NZ? America seems different than before. I see things in a different way. Moving back is tricky now that I am back in the US. Top ten things International (Kiwi)Americans notice coming back to USA: 10. Portion sizes In NZ, food is beautiful and tiny. In America, a dinner plate is a platter size plate! An American muffin is about 3 times the size of a Muffin in NZ. This will make healthy eating very challenging. 9. Courtesy and Voice Volume In USA, people simply ask you to move out of their way. This would be rude in NZ to say. Cultural change. People talk with loud voices. I am no longer the loudest person in the room. 8. Shoes No more optional footware. No shoes, no service. No more barefoot walks in the mall. Zack has the hardest time with this. He liked going barefoot everywhere before. 7.Drugs Over the counter meds are in supermarkets, not in pharmacies. Antibiotic ointment no longer requires a visit to the doctor. Just pick it up at the pharmacy or supermarket with Doritos and some Diet Coke and you are good to go! 6.Dollar Deals Dollar stores sell heaps of stuff, all for one dollar. In NZ, this would be a 2,4,6 shoppe. Meaning most things are a lot cheaper to buy. Hmm. Being on the larger continent vs surrounded by vast oceans makes shopping easier. 5. Sun The blinding, burning sun of NZ shines less brightly here in "sunny California". I still use sunscreen, but SPF 70 is no longer required for an hour long outing. No giant ozone hole to fry your skin. 4. Store hours Many stores are open until 9 or 10 pm. In NZ, most everything was closed by 5:30 or 6. Shop til you drop.... 3. Security Airport security and school security is intense here. No longer can you have water in your bag or let your kids play outside without supervision. Missing the relaxed nature of things in NZ. 2.Medical care is expensive No insurance means you are screwed in the USA. No socialised free care for kids to teens. A doctor visit will cost you way more if you are not covered. Obamacare is a good start, but things are still super pricey. Miss my cheaper Dr visits in NZ. 1. Paperwork and Bills Moving to the U.S. means filling out paperwork like crazy. Registering for school in California requires a giant pile of identification and forms. There are disclaimers everywhere that you must read and sign. Privacy laws and rules galore. Better bring more than 1 pen to sign all the documents. Take a seat, because you will write a mini novel of paperwork before doing anything. Being a grownup means filling out a lot of paperwork. Taxes and tips not included like in NZ, so things are trickier to sort out with bills.

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