Big is not necessarily Beautiful !!!

[There’s LARGE, there’s Extra-LARGE and then there’s AMERICAN !!!

Lets face it, the Americans are obsessed with big things. Everything about them is just too big – their cars, their buildings, their roads, their dress sizes  ….not to mention their food portions !!! Given a choice, I’d prefer that they genetically modify their brains to be extra-large too, but I guess that’s one of those things for which you regret that technology is not there yet 😉 ]

So here I am in the fabulous city of Los Angeles, basking in the glory of sunny California and enjoying the hospitality of my wonderful hosts 🙂 This place is simply stupendous and for the first time since I arrived in this country, I’m actually getting the feeling of being in the US of A ! Honestly, I haven’t yet seen anything to complain about in this sprawling city. Its unbelievably clean, well maintained and organized. Almost every other locality seems extremely posh and painstakingly landscaped. Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica,  the Pacific coast, the winding roads through the hills and the glitz & glamour were all too good to be true, and the panoramic sight of the massively spread-out and lit-up city from the top of the hills at night was totally out-of-this-world !!!

The one thing that stands out about America is that everything here is extra-large. The roads are massive ! Even the quieter residential localities seem to have 3-lanes going either way ! And not to mention the freeways, which are perhaps wider than 2 British motorways put side by side. But then, if you look at the American cars […. and the people who drive them], you’d know why the Freeways here have to be so wide. Everyone seems to be driving unnecessarily large vehicles. Unlike Europe, there’s no concept of a hatchback at all. And sadly, must admit that what they always say in Top Gear about American cars are all but true. They’re big, definitely…..powerful, maybe…gas-guzzling, sadly yes……and beautiful ? God no ! Haven’t American car manufacturers ever heard of the term ‘aerodynamics’ ??? The muscle cars that they seem to so badly love and show-off are such eye-sores. Fat, rectangular and ugly !!! Los Angeles, being home to the rich and famous of America is a bit different, and it does have a fair share of classy European cars – cars that exude passion and turn heads as they glide by. But the scene back in New Jersey was deplorable to say the least. Everyone there, seems to be riding badly maintained 70’s and 80’s jalopies and lack any form of road discipline at all. They do have a few Mercs and Beamers down there…a couple of Porsches…and I did spot a single roaring Ferrari pass by…But then, their combined ages could very well be close enough to America’s history 😛

Nevertheless, I did enjoy my first-ever experience of driving a left-handed drive car in New Jersey…on the wrong side of the road, as I’d like to call it 😉 But one thing that instantly struck me, is that unlike in Europe, nobody cycles at all here. There are NO bike lanes on the streets and the traffic is not bike-friendly at all. But then, I reckon finding an American who cares about the environment is about as rare as finding an American who is health-conscious 😉

Boy, the food portions served at the restaurants here are so humongously large that even I find it hard to finish them :O [And I am someone who is proud of the fact that I generally don’t waste food :)]. So much so that I’ve had to have the left-overs packed away so as to eat later, perhaps at a time when my tummy wouldn’t swear at me as badly. But hey, relax…I’m told that this is very normal thing to do here in this country – packing away left-over food ‘to go’, as they fondly call it ! Couldn’t think of doing that back in Europe, but then, back in Europe, when I order a half chicken, I get half a chicken. Here, when I order a half chicken, I get portions from about 3.5 chickens !!! Unless of course, by chicken they mean ostriches here ??? 😉

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2 Responses to Big is not necessarily Beautiful !!!

  1. Manoj says:

    You should visit the rural America to see the real pick-up truck filled roads 😉
    I don’t completely agree with the bike thing. In Seattle I was surrounded by hundreds of bike trails and many of my colleagues were commuting by bike. But yeah, Seattle is different.
    Also I found Los Angeles to be one of the not so clean cities I’ve visited in US. May be you missed the neighbourhoods around Universal Studios. New York is not squeaky clean but hey, its New York.
    I really wished you visited some of the national parks there, thats the best part of America (which is not part of Hollywood stereotypes). May be one more trip? 😉

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