Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Expat Conversations

We all know I like to call out Americans for saying stupid shit about Australia, so I thought I would entertain you all (hopefully) with stupid shit I have said, or things I've not understood.

Setting the scene: driving to Illinois, we pass a field with animals in it.
MIL: Oh look, buffalo.
Me: wait. Those are real?
KC & MIL: laughing so hard they had to pull over.

KC walking around the house frantically looking for something.
KC: do we have any rubbing alcohol?
Me: there is some bacardi on top of the fridge?
KC: wtf?
Me: wtf is rubbing alcohol?

Standing there while KC chooses cereal in the grocery store (in 2012, mind)
Strange lady: Hello
Me: I think you have me confused with someone else
KC laughing so hard he drops the cereal.



KC and I trying to cook together.
KC: It says to broil it for 10 minutes.
Me: is that like boil? So I need to boil it? Are you sure?
KC: okay, you can cook it yourself.
Me: okay, looks like we're getting pizza.

First time I ate out in an American restaurant.
Waitress: What would you like as your sides?
Me: Um, no sides.
Waitress: you get two sides.
Me: on top of what already comes with the burger?
Waitress: You get the burger and two sides.
Me: But it has fries pictured, does that mean I get fries and two sides?
Waitress: So you want fries as one side, what else do you want?
Me: Fries are fine.

First time eating at the cheesecake factory.
Person I was with: want to eat at the cheesecake factory?
Me: No, I want real food.
Person: What's that supposed to mean?
Me: I want a meal, not cheesecake.
Person: They have food.
Me: Not just cheesecake?
Person: No.
Me: Well that's misleading.

This was via email / facebook when KC and I were doing the long distance thing.
KC: Got to see a man about a horse.
Me: you're buying a horse?
KC: no.
Me: but you said -
KC: it's a saying.
Me: what does it mean? are you getting a horse? 


Guy at work asked me to look into something and send him the product info
Guy: Hey Kristen, is this feet or inches?
Me: Inches.
Guy: But you used ' instead of ".
Me: um. Is there a difference?

The other weekend KC was watching a football game and lost his mind over a goal scored. As always, he wanted to talk to me about it, watch this replay, watch this replay! Then he explains it. I'm paraphrasing, but here's what happened:
KC: Oh my god, Michigan and Michigan state something something insert football talk here.
Me: Um. Wait, what?
KC: Michigan State scored in the last whatever, blah blah. I hate Michigan.
I had seen the replay, and noticed the white team guys said Michigan, but it was the green and yellow uniforms that scored the goal, so I was super confused, and said so.
KC is getting frustrated: what don't you understand?!
Me: Well you said Michigan scored, but Michagan is the white team but I saw the green and yellow team score the goal.
Finally realising, KC says: It's Michigan vs Micighan State.
Me: There are 2 Michigans? I thought Michigan was a state.
KC: schools. They are two different colleges playing each other.
Me: ohhhhhhhh.
Internally: there are two schools named Michigan and Michigan State? That's not confusing at all.

Basically, I do a lot of this:


Yeah, sure, I totally understand these words.

Linking up with Kathy & Nadine.

More Coffee Less Talky

80 comments:

  1. LOL this had me cracking up this morning! Love it! Football can be super confusing, especially with all the teams! And The Cheesecake Factory IS misleading! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. Haha this had my cracking up! I love this part with international relationship, H is always saying things in Icelandic that confuse me and the questions he asks me in the states always have us laughing ha.

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  3. So funny! There are some American expressions I still don't understand and I have lived here my whole life! Do you have any favorite Australian expressions that KC is like wtf?

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  4. bhahahaha oh these are priceless! Reminds me that this weekend I went to the pancake place and everyone ordered eggs on toast with bacon....what is even the point??

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  5. hahaha football is definitely over my head!! this is hilarious :)

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  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA the football. why do men think that we care? my husband goes on and on about the patriots and i'm exactly like the eddie murphy gif because guess what? I DONT CARE

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  7. Hahaha! This is hilarious. I know I've said plenty of dumb things, but now I wish I'd kept track so I could copy your post idea. I tend to be way too self conscious and not laugh at myself often enough, so good on you for enjoying the humor in it!

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  8. LOL! These are pretty good! Isn't it funny how so many communication breakdowns and misunderstandings can result from two people conversing in the same language? LOL!

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  9. Hahaha, these are hilarious! I'm sure I'd make a total fool of myself in Australia. I'm glad you can laugh about the misunderstandings you have here!

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  10. lol. My fiance is a big Oklahoma fan and he gets so pissed when i say something about Oklahoma State, because they are two completely different schools and huge vials...whatever.

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  11. This made me literally lol- the cereal lady- gah!

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  12. Haha! The Cheesecake Factory is kind of confusing because you really only think of cheesecake when you go there, but they actually do have pretty good food. Your conversation with the waitress pretty much sums up why Americans are so fat! We eat way too much food because the portions are so freaking huge! And yes, there are a lot of confusing schools with similar names that play each other. If you weren't raised with it, it can be very confusing!

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  13. HAHAHAHAHA this is so good. Was someone just saying hello to you in the cereal aisle to be nice lol? That was the funniest one for me. Did you go to the Cheesecake Factory??? They are the worst at enormous portions. Like, I won't even go there because I cannot stand that they do that lol.

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  14. This is hilarious. I wish I was married to/dating an expat because I love reading these kinds of posts. Especially the "sides" conversation and the cheesecake factory one. I can't go to Cheesecake Factory because there are just too many options and I can't decide and it stresses me out. lol

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  15. HAHAHHAA, this is great! LOVED the bacardi as rubbing alcohol, you are the best!

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  16. This is hilarious. Oddly enough several states have two schools named after them not just Michigan.

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  17. LOLOL!

    I'm with you though - the Cheesecake Factory is totally misleading.

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  18. This is SO funny! I would love to see the opposite when KC is in Australia. Love it! And I have never heard that horse saying either so I would be lost too..

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  19. Lol yeah Cheesecake factory is definitely misleading, I also thought it only served cheesecake.

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  20. hahahah! Thanks for the laugh. And I totally thought the same thing when The Cheesecake Factory opened here. I had no idea that they had food as well.

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  21. I am DYING laughing right now! I am not an expat and I can totally relate to most of those things. I mean broil and boil. Who knows that until they start watching Food Network in their 30's.

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  22. This is so funny!!! I'm so glad I wasn't the only one that thought the cheesecake factory was just for cheesecakes -- I also think of like an actual factory with people making cheesecakes. And LOL at Bacardi as rubbing alcohol!

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  23. Ok for real, born and raised in IL, I thought buffalo were extinct for like... decades. I SWEAR someone taught me that in school, like buffalo died out when settlers moved west so I was lied to. But still, I believed it for years.
    There's also an Iowa and Iowa State, for your reference. The good guys are in black and yellow, the bad guys wear red. Just FYI ;)

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  24. I am cracking up. My favorite is the lady in the grocery store. I may even do that from now on. :)

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  25. I totally laughed at all of these...
    I can just see you with the waitress on your first restaurant trip. It does get confusing.
    Dont feel bad - I was confused about The Cheesecake Factory myself.

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  26. I don't want to laugh at you but yet, here I am. Laughing at you. #sorrynotsorrybecausethesearehilarious

    I am totally the same way with football. My husband talks to me like I care or understand or some combination of the two.

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  27. Hahah i love when you compare the US and Australia. It makes me laugh when something we say seems so simple (or same for you) but it can be totally confusing for another person. I have a feeling I'll be going through a lot of blunders on our trip. At least in Australia and New Zealand I'll be able to speak English!

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  28. LOL I thought the same thing about Cheesecake Factory when I first heard about it, but now all I have to say is YUM to their extremely large portions. And too funny about the lady in the grocery store! :-P
    Green Fashionista

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  29. Haha this was hilarious! I'm from here & I thought the same thing about Cheesecake factory when I first heard about it.

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  30. haha, oh the struggle my friend! My favorite has to be the horse because that's hilarious!

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  31. LOL about the sides. And yes, colleges are so freaking confusing. Cooking is hard. Boil and broil shouldn't sound that much alike when they're so different. It isn't fair.

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  32. Hilarious! Although, I'm sure I would do the exact same thing if roles were reversed.

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  33. LOL that Eddy Murphy gif is gold. I also don't get the horse one... and still don't. lol huh? And I'm pretty sure I thought the same thing about the Cheesecake Factory the first time I'd heard of it. Super confusing IMO ;) thanks for the morning laugh, girl!

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  34. bahahhaahahhaah oh my goodness. That lady at the grocery store. LOL. Yes buffalo are real... not sure if I have seen one in real life though... ? Our "state song" goes "Oh, give me a home / where the buffalo roam / and ... " so I have always known they are real.. but we don't have them roaming about. I think there are farms.. I have never been to the cheesecake factory. My "friend" (not really)'s boyfriend visited from South Africa and they ate at the cheesecake factory multiple times.... and I was like... really though? There are so many good places that are not chains. Whomp. LOL. As if football was not confusing enough... the team name thing is certainly confusing as someone who did not grow up watching college football... LOLOL We grew up with it, sort of, more basketball here. And everyone was either a KU (university of KS) fan or KSU (Kansas state university) fan. So I am used to that one too... but it makes total sense why that would be confusing!! LOLOL I just finished Bridget Jones's Diary... there are some brit-isms that I definitely didn't understand. Also, though, written in '98... I just don't get some of the adult pop culture stuff.. as I was 8. LOL XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  35. Okay this is hilarious. Hahah my boyfriend is the biggest Michigan fan in the world and he had a complete meltdown when they lost to Michigan State. It was actually very entertaining haha.

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  36. My BF is German and I imagine that our conversations are much the same for him. We just chalk it up to "language barrier" when we don't understand each other, lol.

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  37. That lady at the grocery store comment made me LOL. I probably would have dropped my box of cereal too.

    Since I grew up here, all of these things seem perfectly normal, it's funny to me how they just don't translate well to expats. & it always reminds me how HARD it must be to learn English, especially American English. since so many of our phrases don't mean anything like what they say.

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  38. I don't know why, but the burgers and fries one made me laugh out loud.
    Oh, Americans. So strange.

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  39. LO freaking L. hahaha. So funny! I love the cereal aisle one. And that Eddie Murphy gif if golden for this. Great post, thanks for the fun read!

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  40. Haha. I totally recognize these. I'm a Swede living in Hawaii with an American and a French - we have those moments all the time.

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  41. This is too funny!! So many things I would never think are weird or different, but totally are in other countries! :)

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  42. haha I can totally relate. I went through this when I first moved here but 14 years later, I'm much better but not fully "cured. At least KC gets it that some things just fly over your head.

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  43. LOVED the burgers and fries one. I think all the college football teams are super confusing for people who didn't grow up here!

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  44. I think my favorite might be the rubbing alcohol! ;-)

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  45. Hahah "does that mean boil? Screw it. We're ordering pizza", lol!!! That was me two years ago. "Does our oven even HAVE a broiler?" Hahah! I'm dying. This post was perfect.

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  46. Hahaha this is too funny. I'm from here and I am still so lost anytime Michigan plays Michigan State. Or any college football game for that matter...

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  47. Hahahaha! I'm from Michigan, though I'm not a football fan myself, I have heard plenty about the UofM v. MSU rivalry. I've got two siblings at UofM so it seems like I ought to be partisan...
    It's okay, there were plenty of times, especially when living in China, when I felt totally confused and like a child who everything had to be explained to in very slow speech. Nothing like living in another country to have some humbling experiences. :)

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  48. hahahahaaaaaa!!! Are those real? WTF is rubbing alcohol! I had some of those tape strips to hang pictures or art on the wall and it says to use rubbing alcohol to clean the wall first. I don't have any. I wondered if I could use vodka!

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  49. Oh my gosh this is amazing! The buffalo and rubbing alcohol ones killed me. I so relate to the football thing. I mean, I know about the different colleges and stuff but when Michael is like OMG WATCH THIS REPLAY I'm like...you know who you're talking to right? This doesn't interest me at all. Hahahaha.

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  50. Bahahahaha... the rubbing alcohol and '/" KILLED me! You're so pretty! :)

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  51. omg, hahaha. the michigan/michigan state one made me laugh, not that it's the point of this post but that was an exceptionally crazy last play. haha and I don't know why I can't figure out the cereal aisle one...???

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  52. Hahahaha this was amazing. I think the rubbing alcohol one is my favorite and totally agree that The Cheesecake Factory is a misleading name (but so so good). And I actually know what Michigan/Michigan State game you are talking about, lol!

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  53. I have lived in Kansas almost my entire life. Despite buffalo/bison being our state animal and having them in the zoo, it took me until I was in my teens to realize there were still wild versions of them.
    Also, I completely understand the Michigan/Michigan State thing. Again, being in Kansas, we have Kansas State (K-State) and the University of Kansas (KU).

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  54. Ha ha , this is so funny! I love the football conversation :)

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  55. I love this. So funny. Yes, the Michigan and Michigan State thing is stupid. Call one of them something else! I think Iowa has a similar thing going.

    Having grown up in fairly small towns, I didn't know the Cheesecake Factory had real food for the longest time either. You're not alone!

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  56. BWAHAHA! I loved this! I'm totally the same when it comes to sports though! And I totally thought the same thing about the Cheesecake Factory when they first opened in Hawaii. Dying about the rubbing alcohol, broil vs. boil and the cereal aisle!

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  57. Hahahahahahaha I love this!!!! The Michigan vs Michigan State thing is legit. I could see how that would be confusing. And same with Cheesecake Factory. Like why don't you name it food factory instead because their menu is a fucking novel!

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  58. Hahaha that is so funny! I love the boil/broil and rubbing alcohol ones! Don't feel bad about the football mistake. When I went away to college at Penn State, which is a HUGE football college, I asked when they played the Philadelphia Eagles. AKA a professional team. I didn't realize colleges didn't play against pro teams. Whoops.

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  59. Hahahaha youre so cute! Oh I totally get confused with football team names! It is like they are trying to confuse us by basically having the same name! So lame

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  60. So, yeah, uhm, has anyone pointed out to you that between Michigan and Michigan State there is no team in green & yellow? Michigan is blue & yellow; Michigan State is green & white. :) I'll let you give me a soft punch for that when you see me.

    You know I have similar stories, but opposite. Here's one:

    The first time I saw a cockatoo sitting on the ledge of a shopping center, I said "Oh no! Someone's bird got loose!" (thinking it was someone's pet...because I had no idea they actually lived in the real world and not just a cage as someone's pet)

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    1. One more thing to add (because I know you care)...these are all legitimate AND different universities in Texas that play sporting events against each other: Texas A&M University (my alma mater), the University of Texas, Texas Tech University, Texas Christian University...oh, there are more...I was just reinforcing that yes, it is indeed confusing.

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  61. ha! yes to all of these. and the football thing is totally confusing!! and those tend to be big rivalries too, the state vs the State. now, i'm confused!

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  62. This was great! I come across situations like these all the time! Especially the Cheesecake Factory one. That IS misleading!

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  63. I totally did the same thing with the Cheesecake Factory and that was just a couple of years ago after I'd been in the States a long time! I had a lot of adjusting to do when I first moved here and my boyfriend and friends teased me pretty mercilessly that first year. I knew idioms because my parents were English teachers, but there was a lot to learn when moving here. I still am completely ignorant when it comes to football. The Michigan thing would totally happen to me ha!

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  64. Oh my gosh Kristen I'm laughing so hard right now. These are hilarious. The Cheesecake Factory is a legitimately confusing thing for sure. And I love the buffalo thing!!

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  65. Oh my gosh Kristen I'm laughing so hard right now. These are hilarious. The Cheesecake Factory is a legitimately confusing thing for sure. And I love the buffalo thing!!

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  66. Oh Kristen, I started crying from laughing so hard about the UofM and MSU football game convo (I live in Michigan)!

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  67. Oh my gawwwwwd!! This was hilarious!! I wish I could have been there to see some of these!! And I remember being confused as a kid when schools would be Arizona vs. Arizona State. I'm used to it now, but at first it was like "are there really NO other names you could use??" Brilliant post. Thanks for kicking off my Friday with a laugh!

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  68. haha you cracked me up. I have a couple comments haha:
    1. How does an Aussie with the weirdest animals ask if a buffalo is real?? Is a blue tongued lizard real?
    2. I have been travelling to the US since I was a kid and only realized in 2014 that cheesecake factory served more than cheesecake
    3. Michigan and michigan state = weird. Like my cousin plays for Penn state but theres another Penn something.... weird.
    4. Explain the cereal one - that flew over this cuckoos head

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  69. Okay so I don't want to laugh at you but this is hilarious. Although to be fair I'm pretty sure I made the same mistake about Cheesecake Factory before I ever ate there, so. Not just you! Also, the "man about a horse" thing is supposed to indicate going to the bathroom without having to say it in front of company.
    When I was little I was confused about state schools vs. universities too. Same deal in Florida, Ohio, etc... when talking about the team from the University if [State], you just say the state usually. But if it's [State] State University, you'd say [State] State. I'm sure you've already figured that out by now. But yeah, confused the hell out of me when I was little too.

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  70. These are too funny! I'm sure I'd have similar misunderstandings if I lived somewhere besides America. My favorite is the buffalo, though technically they are bison, and I loooove bison, I think they're so cute. I'm weird I know.

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  71. I'll admit that I feel that way about football teams from time to time (and Eric is a HUGE football fanatic, so I hear about sports a LOT). I'll also admit that I didn't know The Cheesecake Factory had real food until I actually ate there for the first time in college. So it's not just you! :-)

    I'll admit that I was laughing over several of these, though. Sorry! (Or maybe not, since you DID want to entertain us!) Haha.

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  72. This might be my favorite post of yours XD

    "Hello."
    "I think you have me confused with someone else."
    *dies*

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  73. Thank of the phrases went over my head too and being an Indian I am sure when and if I visit America I will make a fool out of myself sometimes too. This is also one of the funniest posts of yours. Loved reading it.

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  74. I really enjoyed this. Made me smile. :)

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  75. Too funny; I love this! Especially the buffalo and the rubbing alcohol.

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  76. Those conversations had me laughing out loud several times :) I know what you mean about the cheesecake factory though... that is very misleading!

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  77. LOL! Literally laughing out loud right now! I love you, you are absolutely hilarious! Sorry to laugh "at" you, I'm really laughing with you! :)

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  78. HAHAHA this is SO Great. This reminds me of me in England, going up to an employee and asking for half & half. "What's that?" he said. "You know, half milk, half cream." "In the UK we have full milk or full cream."

    LOL

    I like the rubbing alcohol one the most.

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