‘Tis the Season

The U.S. is like a strange new country to me sometimes. I haven’t lived here for 14 years and visiting California these days is more and more a curious event.

I notice now all the things Europeans say about Americans: they’re all fat, everyone eats fast food all the time, shops are open all hours so no one gets much time off, they all complain about the cost of everything but compared to the rest of the world the U.S. is a bargain bazaar.

I come here to see my family and to shop. I have to admit that with such a short visit (10 days) I spend an equal time with both (and feel guilty all the while). The pre-Thanksgiving sales have started and I’m IN THERE. For someone living in Europe, you really can’t comprehend the sales and the cost of things and it’s just impossible not to buy buy buy just because it’s so much cheaper than at home. I only came with one suitcase. Silly me, I should know better.

I’ve bought: an orange hoodie for 10 euros (great for Queen’s Day), Levi’s 501’s for 25 euros, a 4-in-1 fleece lined ski jacket for 40 euros, and t-shirts and pants and that’s only the start. I haven’t yet bought the iPod or the running shoes. And I promised myself I wouldn’t buy much this trip. I always promise myself this. And I always fail. And this time it’s worse because it’s Thanksgiving and prices are SLASHED and the newspaper arrives in the morning with 100 pages of advertisements calling on you to BUY and the TV ads are louder than the TV programs and nag you to BUY and I love Target and Penney’s and Circuit City and everyone takes credit cards and really I’m shopping for the year and for DB also and I’m saving so much money!!!

Sigh. Today I promise I won’t shop. Really. Unless suitcases are on sale…..

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