Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. If an Lola’s Ramblings post is about a non-book topic it gets the non-book content posts tag. This feature was previously knows as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.
I usually don’t emphasize that I am not from the US, it’s not like I actively try to hide it, but I don’t often bring it up myself. Recently I had a slightly emberassing talk with an author for Lola’s Blog Tours who asked why I always put the day before the month on my tour banners and if I could change it for her banner. Now I basically do all my banners in the same format and with the day before the month, so I explained that to her. But it did got me thinking that there are things like that that clearly mark me as not from the US. So I thought it would be fun to think about those things a bit more and compiled a list of ten things that clearly mark me as not from the US.
Ten signs that show that I am not from the US
- I use the Metric system for measurements, while they don’t in the US. Really I am going to celebrate the day when the US switches to the metric system. I hate having to convert all the recipes I find on the internet from cups, tablespoons and teaspoons to grams. This is one of the things that can really annoy me as I spend a lot of time on Pinterest to find awesome recipes, only to print them out run to kitchen and then discover I have to convert all the measurements first. And thus having to run back to my computer and convert them first. Also the whole idea of cups and tablespoons just seems silly to me, I mean why use those when you can also just weigh it and know the exact amount of grams you have? It’s much more precise. The picture next to this shows our awesome kitchen scale.
Same goes with the different temperature measurement, we use celcius here and in the US (and thus in many books as well) they use Fahrenheit. Over the years I got used to this a bit and I know that while 40 degrees is very warm here, it is cold in fahrenheit. But it just isn’t as clear to me how warm exactly it is if the temperature is stated in Fahrenheit.
And then there is the issue of things like centimeter, kilometer instead of miles. Which can be annoying at times when reading as most books talk about miles and I always have to struggle a bit trying to understand. Also when I am explaining things to others I usually use the Metric system as I am used to that, which can be confusing for the person I am talking to. At least books that take place in Canada use kilometers, then I at least know how far a distance is.
- Different date and month order. Like mentioned above for me it’s natural to first mention the day then the month and then the year, so today would be 18 September 2014. In the US they mention the month first so September 18 2014, which feels so wrong for me. I try to do it the US way for exmaple when e-mailing tour hosts for Lola’s Blog Tours, but it feels so unnatural that I often automatically correct myself.
- Difficulties with words and spelling sometimes. This is more the fact that I am not a native english speaker instead of a US specific thing. I sometimes just don’t know which word to use in english, unfortunately the same thing might happen in dutch when I only know the english word. Luckily this doesn’t happen often, but the times it does happen are frustrating. I hate searching for the right word. I also have some difficulties with spelling and grammar. For example I just can’t remember the difference between change and chance or price and prize or dessert and desert, I forget which word means what and sometimes use the wrong one. I had some stupid mistakes in the past when talking about a giveaway and mention whihc “prices you could win” or enter for a “change to win”. Yeah I know epic fail. I’ve gotten better at this nowadays and I usually can figure it out when I think about it for a bit. It just shows I am not a native speaker, although I wish I where. I also might use a combination of US and UK spelling rules. On school we got taught the UK version, but most books I read use the US spelling. So I probably use a weird mismatch of the two and I really don’t know which rules are UK and which are US rules (like color and colour). So yeah that might sound weird sometimes.
- Accent. This is one of the less obvious ones as you probably don’t hear me talk often. There’s a reason I don’t vlog (actually there are multiple reasons and this is only one of them). I always feel a bit self conscious when talking in english, because I know I have a slight accent and have sometimes difficulties pronouncing certain words.
- Different weather. Remember how last winter the US was hit by an very cold winter and here in the Netherlands we actually had one of the mildest winters ever. This might be bit weird when everyone’s talking about how cold it is and I am here like “huh it can get a bit colder here, it’s such a mild winter”.
- Different holidays. When I first started Lola’s Blog Tours I once tried to do a sale on a holiday in the US, but the problem is we have different holidays here and I usually only hear about US holidays when someone mentions it on social media. So yeah planning a sale a day in advance probably wasn’t my smartest move. I now try to plan them in advance ;). This issue is also one I encounter when blog visiting, for example when people talk about a long weekend and here in the Netherlands we just have a normal week.
- Time Difference. This is probably one of the more obvious ones. I am only online when I am awake and that’s in my time from about 11am till 1 am. Which in EST time is 5am till 7 pm. So when people in the US finally go sit behind their computer and be online I am already asleep. This also can be an issue with things like facebook parties or other social media events. Also I am not sure if anyone ever notice this, but I always schedule my blog posts to go live at 9am in my time, so that’s just past midnight in the US, while it’s in the morning here.
- Brands familiarity and common foods. I’ve never eaten a Twinkie or Candy Corn and some brands people mention or common stores like Walmart don’t exist here. And you probably never heard about the Albert Heijn or Etos. So yeah that can be confusing sometimes, although often the meaning of a brand or candy can be deducted from the context.
You get bonus points if you recognize the cookie brand in the picture or know what the product is shown in the last picture ;). Both are typically dutch as far as I know.
- Geographical and historical knowledge. While I took an american history course during my university study my knowledge of the US is probably still a whole lot less then the knowledge of the people who actually live there. When a certain state is mentioned it can take me some time to remember where exactly it is and what the climate is. same goes with historical events, although I hope I got most of the important ones through that course I took. I am also really interested in US culture and history and it seems all so interesting to me, while for those who live in the US it’s probably normal. Another fun thing about this is that books that take place in the US seem exotic to me while books that take place in Europe seem familiar.
- Some Things that are normal or common here, aren’t in the US and vise versa. Some things which are normal or common here aren’t as common in the US, for example here in the Netherlands almost everyone owns a bike and knows how to cycle and there are cycling roads everywhere. From what I’ve read in books cycling doesn’t seem as common in the US. Also her ein the Netherlands you can travel almost everywhere with public transport, in books I hardly hear anyone mention public transport or using public transport to get somewhere. Another example is how footbal is really popular in the US, while here soccer is way more popular and when I was younger and just learning english I actually didn’t understand that football was different from soccer because the dutch word for soccer is “voetbal” which directly translated is football, weird huh. Then there are things like homecoming and prom, which we don’t have here. And going to summer camp, I’ve never been to camp and don’t think we got a lot of summer camps if any here. These differences can be quite obvious sometimes especially when reading when people experience things that are I never did or which seem awesome to me, while for people in the US they might be quite normal.
Beside these I am sure there are a lot more things that mark me as not from the US, but these where the first ten I could think of. If you know anything else that shows I am not from the US I would love to hear it from you in the comments. I always feel like it isn’t that obvious that I am from the Netherlands instead of the US when I am on the internet, but after easily coming up with these ten items, I suddenly think it might be a lot more obvious then I thought.
So my question to you is: