14 Jun 2012


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

When I set my feet for the first time on American ground, it was in 1971 and my English wasn't that good. My mother's sister who married an American in 1951 and lived in Madison /Wisconsin had invited us to show us a little bit of the American lifestyle and of course also the country.

Besides the very long trip from Madison to South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Las Vegas, etc. I was very much intrigued by the shops and stores. The fact that you could do your shopping in shorts and curlers even at midnight seemed so unreal to me. Our stores close at 9 pm at the latest and of course unthinkable to go shopping in curlers. Of course I wanted to try that out, just to know how it felt like. Mr. G. laughed his head of but he was the only one, all other shoppers didn't even notice me.

Then I was really very surprised that there were Drugstores everywhere. I thought in this shops you could get drugs without any problems. As in 1971 nobody cared about canabis or cocain or heroin or whatever (there were no laws yet)  I am not a specialist, I thought these shops were made for drug users, and was a little surprised by the kind of clients. Old and elderly ladies and men, went in there, where I thought it would be rather full of youngsters.

Of course I wanted to go inside and see what they had to sell, and to my surprise I didn't see any bags with hashish, or white powder in little cellophane bags, nothing suspicous but aspirine, and other medication. My aunt lifted the mistery. She explained that a drugstore doesn't mean a shop which sells drugs, but it is  a pharmacy. I learned a new word !

Fortunately I didn't ask for a bag of hashish !


A Lady's Life said...

That's funny about how life is so different depending on where you live.
It would be ok to do drugs if they didn't destroy the body. But the world we live in is complex and you need your wits about you or end up dead in some alley.The French from France deplore the way the French talk in Quebec.
For them it's like killing a language.
It's fun to travel and learn about different cultures.Things never bothered me until I had my own children and then you live in fear every day to lose them to people and things because they feel they have a right to what's precious to you. You want people to be good around you and you realize that now it's important to set an example for your kids to follow.
It's not easy though. It's one of the toughest things there is on earth to do.

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Gattina,
I'm always enchanted by your stories, you have THAT special talent to put feelings and thoughts in nice clever funny words, correct words,I enjoy a lot this post! ;)

Sue said...

It's fun to hear about your first visit to the USA.
Had to chuckle at your "drug" store story.


sandra carlier said...

I hope to got there one day! Lucky you were with your sister's mother! I imagine your feeling in front of those drugs shops!! Ha! Ha!

jfb57 said...

Just what I needed to lighten my mood on this very wet day in the UK. Thank you!

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

You make me laugh, but your mistake is understandable. We are touring in the southwest right now and seeing many travelers from other countries, some in rented RVs =-- I think they are so brave!

Jo said...

oh that was so funny ... it's odd to think how different cultures are at times ... and how simple words can have several meanings ...

Loree said...

Haha, you might have got yourself arrested if you asked for hash. Yes I have always found the word drugstore to be rather weird.

Judie said...

A great story Gattina!! English words can be confusing!!!

ellen b said...

Funny Gattina! That's kind of similar to my experience traveling to England for the first time as a young person and being introduced to a new culture even though we kind of spoke the same language!

Lmkazmierczak said...

Loved the cartoons♫

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I don't think I even buy drugs at our local drugstore.

Wanda said...

I'm glad I finally learned how to use a curling iron. I can't tell you how many nights I slept (sort of) on hair rollers. As for drugstores today, they are more and more like convenience stores that just happen to have a pharmacy department.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Now that's funny! It's interesting and rather fun how cultures do differ. I remember a friend going to England and asking for suspenders for her son. She wanted the item that attaches to pants in the front, goes over the shoulders, and attaches to pants in the back. The purpose is to hold pants up. Well, she was sent to the underwear department.
different meanings for the same words!

anitamombanita said...

It IS crazy how people here will go anywhere dressed any way! So funny that you tried out the curlers "outfit" and no one noticed. Fun post!

Jenny said...

I'm laughing so hard here.

How in the world did you ever find those perfect cartoons!

It's so funny to think of the different interpretations on words that are common to us!

Thanks for the delightful link this week.