Living in the USA

Tanya Jones The following article was written byTanya Jones Denver (ex Perth).

A lot of people ask me what is so great living in the USA. There is nowhere in the world quite like it. I still remember the feeling of excitement as I boarded my first international flight and headed to Los Angeles. I was like a kid in a toy store. I was so excited about everything. It was funny too because I think my enthusiasm was contagious because everyone seemed so excited that I was excited...LOL The whole country was like Disneyland to me.

The people, the accents, the food, the landscapes, the buildings, driving on the other side of the road, the weather.... It was so amazing to me. It was like another planet, I felt like I had stepped into a movie. I spent several days in Los Angeles then took a road trip across the country. I just can't explain in words how it was coming from a small town of 20,000 people to the United States of America.

They say you cant choose what family you are born in, well you can't choose what country either. When I went to America I felt like I had come home. America has so much diversity in every state. You have the brutal weather in Minnesota, then you have the ever changing weather in Colorado, (snow one day, tornados another), hot days in Nevada and freezing nights of the desert cold. You have the biggest buildings I have ever seen in beautiful Chicago. Then there is the lights and the feeling you have stepped into another planet in Vegas.

Every state has its own accent such as yah you betchya in North Dakota. Then there is the total convenience. Whatever you want or need you can go at any time of the night to a store and get it. Everything is right there for you and so cheap. You can buy a pair of jeans there for 14 bucks.

There is the melting pot of nationalities. In Colorado one might believe they have stepped into Mexico with Spanish and English on every window. Mexican food is abundant there. It is damn good too. :)

Rent is pretty good there. There are so many apartments there for rent. I lived in an apartment overlooking a lake with the works for $200 bucks a week. It seems like high rent but you get a lot for your money. Every apartment comes with free central heating, garbage disposal, fridge, balcony or patio area. Usually all the buildings have secured access where you have to press a button and announce yourself before you can get in. A lot of the buildings have a gym, community room with tv and library, pool table, an indoor pool, jacuzzi, business centre, undercover parking and washing machines and dryers.

Oh the dryers....lol Nobody that I know in America hangs out clothes outside or rarely use an iron. It is all done in the dryer and then hung straight up. Okay now the negatives: the health system sucks. Insurance runs the country. If you have a good employee he will give you a good health plan where you will only have to pay $150 a month for medical insurance for your family plus co- payments but a lot of people pay $500 a month for insurance. Those on a lower income can go to clinics where it is cheaper if you are in the right income bracket. You have to have insurance on your car in America, if you don't and you are pulled over by the police you will get a fine. In Colorado it is $500 fine.

In Wisconsin if you are picked up speeding or without insurance on your vehicle. It is bond or body. Meaning always carry cash or a credit card when driving thru Wisconsin otherwise you are going to jail if you mess up driving. I remember I got picked up for speeding by state patrol there and I wasn't really going that fast but I got $180 fine, thank god for plastic. The police there have a credit card machine in front of the sheriff car, scan the card and let you go.

There is a lot of homeless people in America. You will find them on the corners with their signs. Now the law in Colorado is if they are caught they get fined $5. There are many political negatives too that I wont go into. ;) Also when you are on a road trip they have visitor centres for travelers every few miles or road houses where you can take a shower if you want. It is pretty much like the movies.

Also education is very important in America. You will have a very hard time getting a job there if you do not have a high school diploma. There are so many jobs there though. It is so easy to get a job that is hard to get here. You basically have your choice of jobs. You can be a nobody in America and become the richest person.. The land of dreams and opportunities.

I highly recommend going and exploring another country if you can. I was young and adventurous..hehe..still am..but it was so worth it. I found myself and discovered a whole world of opportunities and some amazing people. I found that I had been sleeping and I was now alive, that I wanted to experience everything that life had to offer and still do. :) hehe can you tell I am excited about getting "home". Thanks for reading.

Tanya Jones
November 2006