When I first arrived at San Francisco Airport I was excited. I have never been to the United States before I moved here, not even as a tourist. But growing up with TV and Internet I thought I was well prepared.
Enthusiastically I started my new life, overwhelmed by all the shopping opportunities open 24/7. Buying groceries took nearly 3 hours for one trip to the supermarket which on one hand was because I could not find anything but on the other hand it was because I started reading.
And this was when all the fun began.
I wondered what the missing one percent in the box of liquid egg was or what the 98 percent in the cheese might be because it said on the packet it was made with 2% milk. “In crust we trust” just made me laugh out loud in the frozen goods aisle which earned me suspicious and scared looks from well organized housewives.
And then there were the warnings, regulations and security advises on nearly everything. Opening bottles might result in severe eye damage, eating mushrooms kills, jumping off a bridge might be fatal and binoculars are for distant viewing. Well thank you. I would never have figured that out on my own. I learned that you should not store babies in boxes, coffee is hot, rattlesnakes are poisonous and bears might want your food – or you – as food. Swimming in the ocean was basically invented to kill you and high cliffs are better not even approached.
And this was when the fear started.
Am I just too simple hearted? Is life here really more dangerous than in Europe? Did I just never notice all the dangers surrounding me my whole life?
Well let me say it like this: NO
Although I never found out all the missing ingredients in food (which might be better as it is or I would be really scared to death) I learned that the legal system here is just different and to me still weird. You can sue everyone for anything if you can proof that you were not properly warned or enlightened – which makes me wonder if anyone ever tried to sue god. If yes I am sure it was a US citizen.
And this is when the relief came.
Since then I enjoy all the fun stuff I find out there and I can only recommend you to join me – although you might consider taking some of the warnings seriously if you don´t want to end up on papa bears dinner table.
Eleonore from Austria