Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Top Ten

It's been a long time since I last wrote; I've been busy but want to get back to the blogging. So here's goes.

One of the first things an expat does (in modern times) is to search for expat websites and forums. Before I moved to Madrid I found such a site in NotesFromSpain.com. Run by an Englishman and his madrileña wife, the page offers everything from advice on moving and restaurant reviews to Spanish lessons and podcasts. Recently they've posted some Top 10 lists. The first was the Top 10 Rants about Spain; to be fair they followed with the same list about England. And they've wrapped it up with the Top 10 Best things about Spain. All of this got me to thinking. What would be my list of the Top 10 Best things about the States? I've put this list together in just a few hours, but what comes to mind first is probably an accurate representation of my feelings. I'm going to work on a similar list for Spain. In the meantime, let me know if you agree about the States...
  1. Massive, well-stocked supermarkets. There isn't a single store in Spain that can hold a candle to a top-notch American grocery store in terms of variety, quality, and service.
  2. The customer is always right. Well, almost always, but even that is a major bonus.
  3. Great Smokey Mountains National Park
  4. Well-funded suburban high schools. Gorgeous, university-like campuses, swimming pools, tennis courts, running trails. You get the picture.
  5. ESPN
  6. Entire neighborhoods filled with holiday light displays worthy of the cover of Good Housekeeping.
  7. The loss-of-innocence, freedom-finding, move-away-from-home college experience. (And I'll throw live college sports in there for good measure.)
  8. Happy Hour
  9. The efficient, inexpensive, and friendly postal service.
  10. People who wear the American flag. When you're there it screams tackiness but once you've lived abroad you realize that such a display of patriotism isn't to be found everywhere.

What do you think?


JustMe said...

Very interesting! That makes me think about what my Top 10 list would be. Hmmm. I hope other people add ideas in your comment space.
I'm trying to think of something to add.
Good list!

Carl said...

Good list. Thank you for that. I know it is very un-PC to write such a list about the U.S. while you are in Madrid. Europeans are trying really hard to convince themselves that the states is a horrible place to live.

leftbanker said...

1) Jazz
2) Baseball
3) NY, NY
4) Seattle
5) San Francisco
6) Los Simpsons
7) Maryland blue crab
8) Washington state merlot
9) Northwest beer
10) Midwest produce

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

JustMe said...

leftbanker must have meant Cardinals! when he said baseball :)

Anonymous said...

He vivido varios años en Rañeigh, (NC) y es imposible encontrar la variedad de pescado que puedes encontrar en cualquier pequeño supermercado de España. Sólo como botón de muestra.

Bilingual Blogger said...

Great post! Here's my Top 10, listed in no particular preference:

1. U.S. universities
2. Entrepreneurial creativity
3. Unfailing optimism and can-do attitude. Dreams can come true with hard work and perseverance.
4. Stunning, geographically diverse landscapes
5. New York City,Chicago,Las Vegas, D.C., San Francisco
6. BBQ (North Carolina, Texas,Memphis,Kansas City)
7. Silicon Valley
8. Racial, ethnic diversity
9. U.S. legal system. We may not always appreciate it but for the most part it works and the laws have got teeth.
10. Whole Foods supermarket

rachel said...

Great list, especially #2: the customer is always right. This has long been one of my rants about Spain, which has the nicest people in the world until you ask them to do something for you (and I don't mean asking favors of friends, rather the service sector).

I would add beer variety -- although our PBR or Bud Light might not be much to boast about, there are sooooo many beers to choose from, both American and imports. Where's the Boulevard Wheat in Madrid?

erinisabadger said...

what about happy hour at TGIF by Plaza de Espanya? not exactly the same...but it exists.