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Top 10 Reflections on my Trip to the United States

October 29th, 2007 Posted in culture, lifestyle

Written by Jamie  

As I sit in my office and look out at the big lake and the Andes, I figured I would share some of my observations from my trip to Southern California. The contrast between home here in Patagonia and the Los Angeles area couldn’t be stronger. Below is a list of my observations in no particular order.

  1. Crosswalks-They are everywhere and brightly painted. I even crossed a busy street with my luggage and cars stopped to let me cross. I think in Argentina, they actually would have sped up, realizing the point value would be higher because of the suitcase.
  2. New and clean cars-This wasn’t really a surprise, but one thing I did notice was the cool new rims that you can see through. I am not sure what function they have, but it is interesting to look at the brakes.
  3. Gadgets-Between the new iphone and other little electronic devices, it is amazing what adults are playing with these days. I especially like those little things connected to the ear, it reminds me of Star Trek.
  4. Medical Marijuana-In Southern California, there are shops and advertisements all over. They even offer free samples for new clients. Here in Argentina, not only has marijuana yet to be socially accepted, the quality is at a much lower level than the medicinal kind.
  5. Obesity-I had forgotten about very heavy people as there are virtually none in Argentina. The most surprising part is the diet most Argentine’s eat; lots of bread, tons of beef and plenty of sweets. It makes you wonder what they are putting in the food in the US that is different.
  6. People on the go-Obviously here in Patagonia, things move at a much slower pace. It was really interesting to see people on the move so swiftly. The first few days I caught myself feeling like I was in slow motion and the world around me moving faster. By the end of my trip, I caught myself checking my watch to make sure I was on time.
  7. Moving billboards-This was a first for me. Actual people holding billboards up on the side of the street and moving them around to catch attention. I even saw a huge wind gust come along and blow the sign and the person holding it over. I wonder if worker’s comp for sign holders is higher in area’s prone to big wind?
  8. Driving on the freeway-It had been a long time since I drove 75 mph with 4 lanes across going the same speed. In this part of Patagonia, I don’t think we even get the truck above 45 mph unless we are taking a road trip. And if we do, it is one lane in each direction.
  9. Customer service-Much like people not realizing how busy they are, I had forgotten about good customer relations. Self checkouts, knowledgeable employees who actually want to help, not waiting in several lines to make a purchase, etc. My favorite example was at a hockey game, a waitress took our order at our seats, typed it into her electronic computer, and as we paid for it, another person brought the order to us.
  10. Consumerism- In addition to the customer service listed above, I went to a shopping mall that was bigger than any mall I had ever been. The ability to go to one place and get everything done in one stop seems impressive to me now. The selection of items was also eye opening. Here in Argentina, each store is pretty specific. You go to the “zapateria” for shoes, the “panaderia” for bread, etc. Things in Southern California are definitely consumer oriented.  

I feel that there is no one way to live correctly. A person must choose their own path. As much as a “fish out of water” as I felt in LA, I am sure others would feel the same here. I think that what is important is that a person is happy in their environment. 

Peace out from Patagonia! 


  1. 3 Responses to “Top 10 Reflections on my Trip to the United States”

  2. By time management skills for students on Jan 5, 2012

    Yes, how appropriate that Massachusetts is the first state to push back against the counter-revolution launched by the extreme, radical left.

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  2. Nov 13, 2007: LivingInPatagonia.com » Blog Archive » Book Review of Culture Shock! Argentina
  3. May 12, 2008: LivingInPatagonia.com » Blog Archive » 10 Observations from my Last Trip to the States

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