Posted by: monsonmadness | February 7, 2013

Randoms – Adjusting

Here are some random funnies and differences between the culture we’ve just moved from and the one we moved to…

* I keep getting caught out at the store. When the cashier tells me my total, I hand my credit card over to her and she stares blankly back at me. There is an awkward silence for a few seconds while both of us are trying to figure out what the other one is waiting for. The cashier usually speaks first…”uh, you just swipe it and sign”.

Oh yeah, I remember now, but out of habit I am used to physically handing the card over to the cashier who either enters the information manually or takes it into a back room to do. Silly me.

* We can drink milk. Real milk. It’s fresh, and it tastes great!

* Tax. Dumb tax. So dumb. I don’t have anything good to say about it. I hate tax on purchases. I wish they’d just include it in the price so you know what you’re paying, and don’t have a surprise at the end. No tax added on at check outs in the UK, none in American Samoa…it’s just dumb.

* Food is SOOOOO cheap here. That has to be the reason my cart is overflowing every time I go right? Can’t be the bejillion things there are to choose from….

* Gas is cheap too, but our new car is a gas guzzling menace. I’d only fill my tank once every two weeks in American Samoa, here it’s way more often and what’s more, I have to pump the gas myself in the cold. What the heck? I miss the full service we get in American Samoa. The first time we got gas here the kids were confused…”it’s not open Mom, there are no men here to put the gas in”. Yep, we really got used to that little luxury (did you know there are luxuries in American Samoa? There are!)

* Oh yeah, when we were at the gas station the kids got excited and yelled out, “Mom, look…a real car wash!” They are so used to seeing villages and football teams doing car wash fundraising at the sides of the road every Saturday in American Samoa. When you get a car washed the Samoan way, you pull over and 5-10 people pounce on your car while you get to sit back and listen to the loud beat of their island music blasting through their amplifiers!

* It’s weird dealing with fresh money, meaning bills that are still flat and rectangular in shape. In American Samoa the money is falling to pieces because of the humidity and is soft, crumpled and dirty!

* Hot water. Already mentioned the bath, but boy it is so nice to have hot water again. Don’t take it for granted friends…

* Here’s something I miss… beautiful singing in church. I miss those Samoan voices harmonizing together. At the first ward we went to in Salt Lake, there were only a handful of people singing. It was very sad. I felt bad for them. Talk about missing out. I wish everyone sang from the heart like the Samoan people.

* It’s really hard to get up in the mornings here. It is pitch black and freezing cold. The beds are so soft. Why would anyone want to get out? We were used to getting up with the roosters and the daylight ready for a shower because if you stay in your bed, you’ll just get hot, clammy, and uncomfortable.

* Driving faster than 25 mph is exciting. At first it was scary, now it’s just fun!

* Our poor family had quite the adjusting to do with the climate change. We’ve all had a selection of dry, cracked lips, bloody noses, congestion, runny noses, and coughing so hard we throw up. Almost three weeks in and there’s only a few of us experiencing symptoms now. Phew.

* The children are LOVING the static electricity that they create when they run around the room. Giving each other electric shocks is apparently the funniest thing in the world, but I think seeing them all laugh with their hair sticking up on end is better!

* Um…On Friday I ordered something on the internet. It arrived on Monday. You have got to be kidding me. That’ll take a lot of getting used to. I guess it’s not necessary for me to start my Christmas shopping in August any more.

* My little girls are getting funnier and funnier. One of the first nights we were here, one of the kids had a bad dream and Michael went upstairs to take care of them. He ended up falling asleep with them and never came back to bed. The next morning, Mary came into my room and I asked her, “Where’s Dad?” she replied straight away, “Oh, he’s gone hunting for pigs so that we can have ham…..” Seriously???????

* Lastly, yes, we are still enjoying the photo booth app on the ipad.

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  1. I sooo wish we had full service gas stations here!!! Your kids are great!

  2. It’s funny, after I talked to you in church I then realized I followed your blog! I have been since we thought we were all moving to American Samoa last July.

    This is too funny! I completely agree with the Samoan voices at church and the full service gas stations!

    I’m so happy you are all doing well!

  3. I really admire your attitude Helen. I have always been a glass half empty’ kind of person (I blame my Dad, obviously). I would probably be moaning about all the changes since coming home and probably would have moaned about all the difference when you first moved to American Samoa but you see the positive exeriences in everything. I wish we could all see the benefts of all of life’s experiences the way you do. You appreciate everything and I wish I could be more like that.:-)

  4. Move to Oregon! Full service gas stations!!! When we go to Seattle I just sit in the car waiting for the guys to come out and I end up sitting there for 5 minutes before I remember that I have to do it myself. I’m sorry about the music – that would be hard to give up.

  5. I miss your sense of humor! Love to you all, Teri

  6. Cute list. Welcome back to the states. The singing would be something to hear!

  7. MISS YOU MONSONMADNESS!!! Love the blogs!!! Take care and alofa to Michael and the gang!!!!!

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