Living Here vs. Living in the USA

Cars are much smaller.

You’re allowed to; in fact it’s normal to park on the sidewalk.

The toilet paper goes in the trash can, not the toilet.

Shower curtains?  I’ve seen a few in the country.  I don’t have one, which sometimes makes for a very wet bathroom. But there are drains in all bathroom floors.

You walk a lot…in fact everywhere unless you’re going out of town.

It’s cheaper to feed your cat sausages than cat food. (If you feed your cat or dog because most seem to live outside and feed at the garbage dumpsters.)

Normal meal times:  11:30AM, 4:30PM, 9:30PM

Normal sleeping times:  1:00—6:30 AM, 6:00—7:30PM (Obviously this varies, but it’s my observation.)

Normal Teenager/Young Adult Friday/Saturday night Party times:  12:00—6:00 AM

No central heating……  Never heard of air conditioning, but haven’t needed it yet!

Many wash their clothes by hand—I have a washing machine. (Yeah!)  But you only wash clothes after you’ve worn them at least 2-3 times.  (On the other hand I haven’t experienced summer yet!)

All clothes are hung up with clothes pins to dry….mostly on a balcony, but I use my living room so far.

It’s common to see electrical cable, cable TV wires, internet cable, etc. strung between households–at least in my town.

Everyone grows something they eat and/or drink.

You can knock on anyone’s door at any time just to visit.  (I don’t actually DO that, but people probably think I’m stand-offish.  I have to relax a little more with the culture!)

It’s normal to live at home until you marry and then you AND your spouse live with one set of parents. (Maybe on a different floor of the house?)  When your kids come along, you have built-in childcare.

Driver’s licenses cost A LOT of money.  You have to first pay for driving school, then the tests, then (if you can afford it) the car, then the registration which can be as much as the cost of the car.

Gas is ~ $8/gallon.

2 rooms are plenty, 2 stove burners are adequate, and an oven the size of a roasting pan will do.

A job-equivalent $30,000/year (from what I can tell) working person’s income is about $450/month….or $5,400/year.  My income is more like $220/month BUT the Peace Corps pays my rent (about $140/month) and my electricity which varies, but last month when I was running the heaters it was about $90.  This, in a country where the ‘official’ unemployment numbers are in the 40% range.

Do you ever wonder if birds of the same type living on a different continent ‘speak’ a different language?  My Macedonian is getting better, but sometimes it seems terribly slow and therefore lonely.  Tomorrow I’m going to adopt a brother/sister pair of 5-week old kittens that were abandoned at 2 weeks and have been bottle-fed by a Fulbright scholar in Shtip.  She’s going home soon, and I’m a sucker…a very happy sucker who is looking forward to having some kitty-love in my apartment.


4 responses to “Living Here vs. Living in the USA

  1. Marie Murray

    Don’t let the kitties go out without supervision! Do they have litter boxes there?

  2. I’m okay with everything except the toilet paper.
    God Bless You!

  3. Kim Crawford

    Congrats on the upcoming adoption! Do they have names yet? Keep those kitties indoors!

  4. ….and the 9?30 dinner time!!! That’s usually my bed time!

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