Posts Tagged ‘USA’

  • The number of homeless people living in San Francisco is astounding. And they stay right there in the heart of the city, a few meters away from the chic luxury stores. One second you are looking at a Gucci shop window and the next thing you see is people playing dices for money on the street in front of an erotic club.
  • Only in California you can pay at a farmer’s market with a credit card.
  • You can find soft drinks and junk food in a sports equipment shop (and in many other places they don’t really belong to).
  • Having a walk in the bay area (any place beside San Francisco) feels weird. You are the only one walking and there is absolutely nothing but houses and fast foods for miles.
  • The weather is amazingly good.
  • Product features include a list of “No X”, where X can be just about anything. Does not matter whether “X” is provenly bad or not. I guess it’s very easy to start a collective psychosis: just put “No potatoes” on a product and everybody will start worrying about potatoes.
  • People are tall.
  • Cisco has offices in Cisco Way.
  • Traffic is awful. However when there is not traffic driving is great.
  • There are 2 kinds of people: those with an iPhone and those with some other smartphone. The latter are a minority.
  • Halloween is a serious thing. People don’t mind waiting hour-long queues to get into bars.
  • Everything come in XL size. 8 lanes highways, seriously?
  • Most beers taste like hop juice, let alone IPAs.
  • iPhone covers are used to express your personality.
  • Nobody drinks water. Only soft drinks, power drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks. At least it needs to contain added vitamins, colorants, and come in a grillion flavors.
  • When you go out for dinner you don’t choose the restaurant, you choose the nationality.
  • In San Francisco people stop you to tell you how much they appreciate your look.

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People usually think the USA are the epitome of democratic republic.

Two things that might be not so known in Europe:

  1. Election mechanism. People do not elect the president in USA, the electoral college does. The electoral college is just a bunch of people nominated by the party. You need 270 votes to become president. Each state has a number of members of the college allotted and they go to the party that wins the state.
    For Italians, this is not dissimilar from our “proportional” system, but a bit more messy. Basically, a candidate can win by popular vote (number of people voting the candidate) but lose by electoral college because of how votes are quantized, and a person voting in California has not the same voting power as a person voting in Alaska.
  2. Turnout. In the last 40 years, the voter turnout for presidential elections in USA has always been between 50% and 60%. I repeat, it has always been less than 60%. In Italy we went from 95% in the ’70s to 80% in the last elections, and we are terribly worried about abstention. Have a look at some voter turnout statistics and be ready for a surprise.

Something to think about next time you speak about democracy.

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California Dreamin’

The american dream awaits.

Silicon Valley, here I come!

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American style breakfast

Latte from the original Starbucks shop (1971), peanut butter cookie from Cinnamon Works, in Pike Place Market, Seattle, 2012.

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…if only I could forget how Italian coffee tastes!

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USA Style

Just drove 200 miles along Interstate 5 on a Ford Mustang 4000cc to go hiking on a volcano.

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