When I lived in Finland my wife took care of most of the logistics. So I didn’t really get in touch with the Finnish way of obtaining housing, telephone service and other things needed for survival.
I am getting a baptism by fire, however, in the American means of gaining life’s necessities. It is “fiery” because I get hot under the collar dealing with all of the little rules and regulations. From what I can see, Americans are “nickle and dimed” to death.
I have had the pleasure of recently visiting those great institutions, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Post Office. In both my current lack of a permanent address has led to problems. In the DMV I was told I could not get a driver’s license or title to my new car without an address. At the Post Office I was harassed by the postal worker, who said I needed an address before I could rent a box. I noted to her that my lack of an address was one reason I was renting a box. We figured it out, though, and I got my box.
My new employer gave me a bunch of forms to fill out. All of them asked for an address, and this delayed me turning them in. My boss finally came to me and asked for the forms when they were absolutely needed and I again figured something out.
From teaching curriculum to driving rules to visa issues I am experiencing great rentry culture shock. I feel that the land of the free is not so liberated. One person told me the the after effects of September 11 have a lot to do with all this regulation. It makes me wish I could get my hands around Osama Bin Laden.