My first task upon arriving in the United States was to rent a car. After signing paperwork, an attendant gave me the keys. “It’s all ready, sir,” he said.
I strode over to the shiny new car, opened the door—and to my surprise—did not find what I was looking for. “Where’s the steering wheel?!” I thought to myself as I opened the passenger door.
Welcome to America, the land of left-side steering wheels! While navigating a vehicle on the opposite side of the road was a daunting prospect for an Australian, I casually tried to act as though I meant to open it, and then coolly strutted around to the right side—err, I mean, the left!
As I would soon discover, driving was not the only difference between my home country and the United States. I often travel to the United States on business trips and have learned that even though these two nations have their own distinct characteristics, there are many similarities as well.
Marriage is under assault as never before. Will it—can it—survive? Adultery is exploding—why? Traditional home and family life is blurring. The once-typical family is becoming extinct—why?…
Driving in America
Back to my first time in America: after driving off in my rental car, it became clear that American road networks are much bigger and more organized than in Australia. I found the North-East-South-West and sequential numbering systems helpful for navigating—if you know your bearings.
Because I live in the “land down-under,” which is literally on the opposite side of the globe, I would sometimes take the wrong direction, certain I was right.
My number one rule for driving in America is to always keep the middle of the road on the same side of the car as the steering wheel. This has helped me.
While driving in America became less of a challenge with practice, applying math was a different story. Converting everything from the British system of units to the metric system—especially Fahrenheit to Celsius—required constant brainpower.
Few equate Christianity with having a true zest for life. You can be filled with joy and happiness! In fact, God intends you experience the abundant life.
The idea of changing Fahrenheit to Celsius at first seemed simple. Subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit figure, multiply by 5 and divide by 9—relatively easy, right? Not exactly!
In my experience, it is best to remember a few key temperatures, such as 32 degrees F = 0 degrees C (freezing), 70 F = 21 C (comfortable), and 100 F = 38 C (uncomfortable).
Other common conversions one needs to travel between Australia and America are: 1 inch = 2.54 cm, 1 meter = 3.28 feet, 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers, 1 gallon = 3.78 liters and 1 kg = 2.2 lbs.
The Internet provides easy access to conversion websites, but memorizing a few conversions is handy, as you never know when you will need to perform “international math.”
Another difference between the two countries that I have discovered in my travels is that Americans are noticeably more religious than Australians. According to the CIA World Fact Book, the United States is 51.3 percent Protestant, 23.9 percent Catholic, and 4 percent claim they are “none.” Australia, on the other hand, is 25.8 percent Catholic, 27.4 percent Protestant, and 18.7 percent consider themselves to be in the category of “none.”
On one occasion, while exploring the States, I was approached by someone who asked, “Do you know Jesus?” The person who started the conversation then tried to offer me a small pamphlet promoting his religious beliefs, which I politely refused.
One simple fact of history is that nations are families grown large. In God’s Word, Ishmael is the father of most Arab nations. Also, Esau’s descendants gave rise to modern nations such as Turkey.
Unknown to most, though, is from where the American and British (this includes Australian) peoples arose. What family “grew large” to become these prominent nations today? Due to many proofs throughout history and the Bible, the answer becomes clear: these two countries are descendants of the biblical patriarch Joseph.