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Old 10-10-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonman13 View Post

Crazy politics- there are some things that aren't issues in the UK, like say abortion- the vast majority of people just think women should choose, but in the US people get very angry about it. Same with taxes...even though you are taxed so much less than us! Welfare and wealth distribution also seems to be a thorny issue.
Well, I'm not even American and I don't think there's anything crazy about being anti-abortion.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Geography Freak View Post
Well, I'm not even American and I don't think there's anything crazy about being anti-abortion.
The radicals on both sides of that issue could be labeled as a little crazy.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonman13 View Post
Traveling from England I am always surprised by just how different the US is, and in what ways. Things that struck me;

Religion- a lot of places seem reasonably secular but a few places I visited (such as rural Pennsylvania) the pure ostentatiousness of it made me very uncomfortable. As did the fact that politicians and public figures felt the need to constantly re-state their faith. The difference in England is that politicians lose credibility by declaring that they're religious, for example Blair played down his Christianity.
I'm not doubting your experiences...but I found religion to be overly important in England. I taught in a public school in London, and each morning we had an assembly with prayer and singing hymns. Teachers were required to ask a blessing prior to lunch. We had to attend the parish church on Fridays...those are just a few of the religious actions that I had to endure - in a public school!!! I guarantee you that this would not be found in any public school in the U.S.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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Originally Posted by moonman13 View Post
Oh and and one more thing! A major shock to me was the sheer lack of a drinking culture. Obviously there aren't pubs in America but I still expected to find people ordering beers with meals and generally enjoying alcohol. It seemed like where I was, alcohol was frowned upon in a way. For instance, I went to a party where there were 16/17/18/19/20 year olds not drinking! Would never happen in England. I got into a conversation with a kid there and when I told him I'd been drinking since I was 13/14 he was shocked and told me that my parents must have done something wrong.
Where I grew up in New York City, Alcohol was generally drunk starting in the late teens because it is hard for minors to procure. Thus, most 13 - 16 year olds had to make do with Cannabis.

Were you in the Bible Belt or something?


ABQConvict
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Where I grew up in New York City, Alcohol was generally drunk starting in the late teens because it is hard for minors to procure. Thus, most 13 - 16 year olds had to make do with Cannabis.

Were you in the Bible Belt or something?


ABQConvict
He was in Pennsylvania, according to his post...which I call "the Bible Purse".
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
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Many think that money can grow on trees here in America and that the streets are paved with gold.
Moreover, what can shock is the # of homeless and extreme social problems as well as a good dose of apathy in the american public.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:18 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonman13 View Post
Oh and and one more thing! A major shock to me was the sheer lack of a drinking culture. Obviously there aren't pubs in America but I still expected to find people ordering beers with meals and generally enjoying alcohol. It seemed like where I was, alcohol was frowned upon in a way. For instance, I went to a party where there were 16/17/18/19/20 year olds not drinking! Would never happen in England. I got into a conversation with a kid there and when I told him I'd been drinking since I was 13/14 he was shocked and told me that my parents must have done something wrong.
The drinking age in the US is 21, so it's not unusual for teens to not drink that much (compared to Europe anyways), or to not drink at all. Where I'm from, most teens and young adults who aren't yet 21 either get fake IDs or just find where there's a store that will sell alcohol to minors. Personally, I first smoked weed at age 13, and was first **** drunk at age...17 maybe. i have a feeling that's more the reverse as far as the UK goes. It's more down to availability than anything else, because believe me plenty of kids like to drink in the US. It might also just have something to do with where you were. For example there aren't many very religious people around here, but there might be where you were.

As far as a drinking culture, there definitely is one, i find it's just often divided up into subcultures of sorts...or maybe just different types of drinking for different occasions. You have the working man who drinks with his buddies at the local bar after work (bar = pub basically, my city has well over 300 of them so there's not a complete lack everywhere, as you say...and every bar has it's regulars of course), people who go to bars to socialize with friends/meet new people, nightclubs which would mostly go out of business if they didnt sell overpriced mixed drinks, the poorer people or underage kids who drink 40oz bottles of malt liqour and 24 packs of cheap beer at the park or on their front steps or in alley ways, you have people who only drink at parties, but almost always get completely hammered when they do (sometimes it's just liquor around, no beer at all), you have people who will drink an occasional beer, and have a glass of wine with every dinner, people who are wine freaks, beer freaks, etc, etc, and plenty of alcoholics, trust me...but i agree that there isn't really an overarching culture of "this is beer, and everybody drinks it" or something to that effect. The only thing i can think of like that are Barbeques. There is always beer at barbeques.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:03 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
He was in Pennsylvania, according to his post...which I call "the Bible Purse".
Hmmmm. That surprises me even more because I spent some time in PA in high school ant the kids there were wild. All my city friends were like, "Oh, you're going out to the sticks. You'll be bored off your *ss with all the farm kids and the Amish."

In reality, There was a high school keg part EVERY weekend in the woods behind the house I was staying at. Even Amish kids showed up and got drunk. These were mainly kids 16 - 21 but there was always someone's little 12 year old brother or sister with a cup in their hand.

I always thought NYC kids were sober by comparison. We drank the occasional 40 ounce of malt liquor if we could get our hands on it but no keggers! ;-)


ABQConvict
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Hmmmm. That surprises me even more because I spent some time in PA in high school ant the kids there were wild. All my city friends were like, "Oh, you're going out to the sticks. You'll be bored off your *ss with all the farm kids and the Amish."

In reality, There was a high school keg part EVERY weekend in the woods behind the house I was staying at. Even Amish kids showed up and got drunk. These were mainly kids 16 - 21 but there was always someone's little 12 year old brother or sister with a cup in their hand.

I always thought NYC kids were sober by comparison. We drank the occasional 40 ounce of malt liquor if we could get our hands on it but no keggers! ;-)


ABQConvict
Almost everything in his post surprised me. Amish kids are the wildest...I didn't know much about it until I saw the documentary Devil's Playground, which covered the topic of Rumspringa. It's rather disturbing.

Drinking was definitely a big part of teen culture when I was growing up. My high school carpool often drank beer on the way to school in the mornings. We all had fake IDs, and it was a big celebration when one of us finally turned 18 and could buy beer for everyone...but that was a few years ago.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I'm from the US, but it seems like the point of drinking in the US is to get drunk. While, in Europe, many drink for the pleasure of the drink itself.
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