(Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?)
The last bit of driving to get 'back to the start' was effectively the same as it was in the last road trip, save for some much sunnier weather. Most of the time.
I'd be repeating myself if I discussed driving back on the I-5 in detail, so I'll swerve in a different direction: things here in the US are different.
First, as you would expect, things are cheaper. To simplify matters, here's a list:
- All types of gasoline and diesel are cheaper.
- Anything on the starbucks menu is cheaper.
- Less taxes are paid.
- A full three-course meal in a high-end restaurant costs about as much as an equivalent-size meal in a chain restaurant 'up north'.
- Cars are cheaper the more expensive they are. Yes, I meant to say that: a
penaltyecono-box costs the same, while an enviable luxury car can be so much cheaper than in the great white north that you could buy a second new car with the price difference.
A lot of things are simply better; here's another list:
- When buying a car, the color palette is vast, as opposed to a choice of either silver, gray, or black. Furthermore, the California sunlight creates an airy, lighted ambience such that your pastel green Scion xD or steel blue BMW X3 looks cool; not so much when the sky is pacific coast gray.
- All semi trucks are Volvos...
- Small towns are nicer, cleaner, and more buttoned-up than a certain downtown of a city I live in.
- Despite the obesity of americans, American-sold food is healthier. The US is all about extremes, so when looking for something to chew on, there are two options: something that will kill you instantly or something that is so healthy that you could hang out in nuclear waste for the rest of your life without fear of getting even slightly ill.
- The aforementioned healthy choices are at every corner as well. Even at Safeway.
- American businesses realize the fact that they aren't doing their customers a favor by virtue of existing, rather that they can afford to eat only because of those very customers.
- Polite conversation is often not fake and forced, especially in the tenth minute of chatter.
- Starbucks has free wifi at all locations for everybody. I do hope this is waiting for me up north upon my return. If not, I won't be surprised.
- Freeways actually have space on them for the present and for the future. In both directions.
- You can defend your family and property without going to jail for disagreeing with the presence of the guy with a sock on his head who came uninvited at 3 in the morning.
- People don't massively and constantly look down and drag themselves around when they walk! (gasp)
Of course, there are just as many aspects that aren't so good, not limited to the rampant nationwide obesity and 'creative education', the lack of anything to do in most of Oregon, extreme viewpoints on certain political issues, and extreme lack of knowledge about the same.
But none of that is a problem. And the reason for that is also the reason for the very existence of the downsides.
Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?