Sunday, March 09, 2008


I can’t even begin to pretend that I’m going to write here regularly, but I actually have time to kill for once so I figure what the hell.

I’m back in the US for a week to so to attend a conference. After a marathon trip of roughly 35 hours, I arrived in Davis, California. Davis is a quintessential American small town. Having lived in Jordan for more than 4 years 7 months and 15 days (but who’s counting) some things about small town America really stand out.

  1. There is grass everywhere. It is green. It is long and it is short, but it is everywhere. You can walk on it and not feel guilty that you might kill it. It is a weed that you can’t kill even if you want to.
  2. There is more color.
  3. You hear song birds everywhere.
  4. Streets have lines on them, and people driving cars pay attention to them.
  5. Streets have lines on them, and people walking pay attention to them.
  6. There are designated “bike” lanes, and all people pay attention to them.
  7. People cross roads at designated “crossing” areas.
  8. People don’t walk on the road, they walk on sidewalks.
  9. Cars wait for people to cross the road. This sometimes leads to total paralyzation of all movement at an intersection, especially when drivers encounter people who are used to darting across the road at any random place, comfortable that 5 inches between the human body and a moving car is room to spare.
  10. I think someone yelled at me for crossing an intersection when the light was red and the “do not walk” sign was flashing.
  11. People wear shorts. Girls wear shorts more often. Girls wear low cut shirts that show large amounts of cleavage. People living here don’t seem to notice this. People who’ve spent a lot of time in countries where most women don’t even show their hair do.
  12. People are generally fatter.
  13. People are so polite I want to kill them.
  14. You can drink the tap water.
  15. There are many bookstores, with an enormous variety of books.
  16. It looks like every other little town across America, with most of the same exact stores. It could be the small town on the east coast I grew up in over 3500 miles away.
  17. Nobody smokes. The only person other than me that I’ve seen smoking was a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk outside the liquor store. I’m not joking.