10 Things I hate (and love) about Dayton, Ohio

We have come to the end of our time in Dayton, Ohio. Can you believe it? I landed here in the dead of winter, everything white and cold. Six months later I am watching the Heat Advisory warning on TV. Everyone always wants to know what you will miss when you leave, what you liked. I figured this would be the best way to conclude our stay in Dayton, before we move on to a holiday in New York City.

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Mia likes this
1. Squirrels, beavers and other small critters. I really like seeing squirrels on lawns, in the tree outside the window, and hanging out in gutters. I also loved seeing 4 beavers on the same lawn every day. I think I even saw a groundhog, and the backside of a raccoon. Oh, and a family of deer.
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2. Ice cream. Ben & Jerry, Graeters, Yoghurt Mountain, Young's Dairy. Om nom nom. Please don't remind me of the 500 calories in each cup. Just let me enjoy the sticky chocolate and/or coffee goodness with chocolate chunks, pecans and coconut shavings and hot fudge sauce. Bliss.
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3. Going to Walmart at 12pm, Dunkin Donuts at 10, Waffel House at 3am. I love shopping at any hour of the day. I have to add though, that many shops only open at 10am.
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Random things we find while randomly strolling through Walmart at night.
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Isles and isles of (sweet) bread.

4. The suburbs where people don't have walls, just open lawns. It is a nice feeling. It is confusing though when you don't know where properties begin and end. What if someone shouts at me "Get of my lawn!"
5. Super fast, cheap, uncapped internet access. I owe my sanity to you, dearest interweb. Oh, and Netflix. Watching the full series of Greek during lunches was the best.
6. York Peppermint patties. I have never been a mint chocolate fan, but there is something addictive about the dark chocolate round filled with soft, but solid mint cream.
7. Eggo Waffles. You just pop them in the toaster and you have a hot, crunchy waffle. Mmm. And don't be fooled, it has to be Eggo, no other brand compares.
8. The geese and ducks, how could I forget them? Dayton is home to quite a big group of Canadian geese. We've seen the males get all territorial and jump in front of cars. We watched them breed when it was still cold. And then we had the pleasure of seeing the multitude of fluffy yellow chicks following the parents. They were cool.
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9. The blossoms at spring. You really know when springtime arrives here. Flowers everywhere!
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10. Snow. Yes, I know you get sick of it when you live with it all the time, and everything gets wet, and it gets grey and sludgy. But I still found it magical.
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As the Plain White T's sang, "Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don't like you." 
1. The gum chewing. There are days when I thought people's DNA had been replaced by that of cows. Seriously. Just going on, and on, mouths open, making smacking-slashy sounds, like they are chewing cud. Sies man. 
2. TV ads. I once saw a good ad in the cinema, which was later referred to as a short film! So any ad with a concept is a short film? I truly hate seeing you Misters Schmidt, Hidy, The Tiger, Watson's etc. on my screen, shouting at me to buy your stupid cars/law services/whatever (see number 3 too). I hate all the food ads with dishes drenched in disgusting sauce and topped with shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. And all the ads for prescription drugs followed by 2 minutes of side effect warnings. And don't even get me started again on stool softeners and toilet paper remnants.
3. Has no one ever told people that shouting is only for sports events, fights and when you are in trouble? TV ads shout, kids shout incessantly, neighbours shout at 4 am when they get home. Just calm the flip down!
4. The dirty gym. Seeing dried pools of sweat and dust bunnies everywhere while the cleaning girl only polishes windows, is not cool. And when the floors smell like old cheese/vomit/dog...
5. The central heating/aircon thing. Yes, without it you would die of heat/cold, but I can't deal with it sounding like a WWII helicopter is crash landing/hovering in my bedroom.
6. Paper plates at dinner parties. Sorry, but I just find this weird. Paper plates and cups, in my opinion, should only be used for picnics, children's parties and big burger/hotdog braais. 
7. High fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING.
8. The big, pick-up trucks, in particular the Chev Silverado or Dodge Ram. It seems like the road is just not wide enough for the vehicles here. I don't like big South African bakkies, nor do I like American pick-ups. Infact, most American cars where pretty ugly looking things.
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9.  The toilets and restroom cubicles. You can read my rant about the loos here. As for the cubicles - you can see into them! There are big gaps between the panels. Not cool man.
10. News and weather reports. They most often report on things that aren't newsworthy and forget to report on the serious matters happening around the world. And weather reporters are prophets of impending doom. "There is a cloud, it might get bigger, it might be coming your way! We'll let you know in 5 minutes." I know they have serious weather here, but with all the warnings and interruptions of TV shows just to say there is a thunderstorm, it is no wonder people are disregarding the really warnings. Crying wolf, that's all I'm saying.

Question marks. Some things fascinated me here. Others I down right did not get.
1. Why are there so many super advanced things in the States, but the light switches on lamps are little twisty screws that forces you to look into the glaring globe in order to switch it off? Why are there so few ceiling lamps? Why is the lamp connected to a wall socket but you switch it on at the wall at the other side of the room?
2. Why do motorist never look like they are going to stop? They all storm towards stop signs and traffic lights. And considering one guy did in fact skip a light and crash into us, it is not good for my heart.
3. We found at many restaurants that when you order salad as a side dish, you get it before the meal arrives and they waiting staff expect you to consume it before they bring the rest. It was on the menu as a side, not a starter. Weird.
4. Kids can drive when they are 16, but need to leave shopping centers by 9pm if under 18. They can go die in the War at 18, but only drink at 21. Interesting.
5. Americans confuse me, sometimes they are super polite and accommodating (especially sales staff), and other times they will yawn while you are talking to them, or simply walk away while you are in mid sentence.
6. I found the mail man's truck a treat. It reminded me of Postman Pat. And they deliver mail on a Saturday too. Inside the post office, however, you will find the same miserable individual behind the counter as in South Africa or even Romania.
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7. Mmm, I can't think of anything else now. I'm sure it will pop-up in my mind as I am walking away from the computer or brushing my teeth. But just look at previous posts. There was the Amish, and  Yellow Springs and Funnel cakes and many more.
8. Banking. I don't know if it works that way all over the US, but here it works as follows: When you pay someone via the internet, the bank writes a cheque, and mails it to your beneficiary. So the payment only reaches them in a week. Crazy.

For now, this is my farewell to Dayton. It's been real. Or unreal. I'm not sure yet. But what a privilege to see more than one side of the States. It's not all Sex in the City people! It's a whole lot more My name is Earl.

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