Do you remember the part in Barcelona where one American says to another that he loves dating Spanish women because he can be a jerk and blame it on cultural difference? Sure, wasn't there a moment back there when everyone watched Whit Stillman movies?
Anyway, I always remember that scene when I come into a new situation where I can't tell if there's a cultural difference or just a personal lack. For instance, at the apartment complex where I live in San Angelo, there's a lot of people who don't pick up after their dogs.
So, is this a cultural difference between Illinois and Texas? (Something like: there's so much space here, it doesn't matter if you pick up after your dog. Or, more charitably: it's so hot here, that after a few hours, the dogshit has turned to dust.) Or is this a cultural artifact of small city living? Or is this a reflection of the type of person who lives in this apartment complex?
2) Birds of prey:
In Chicago, I once saw a peregrine falcon eating a pigeon on the Lakeshore path, which was pretty cool; in San Angelo, I just saw a hawk of some kind being harassed (in flight) by some songbird, which was also pretty cool.
So, for birds of prey, it's a tie between Chicago and San Angelo.
3) Manger scenes:
Someone in my apartment complex told me that it was the first day of Christmas--on December 1st. Yesterday--to celebrate the second day of Christmas?--Sarah and I went to go see this manger scene, which might be up until... who knows when Christmas ends around here. It was a cold day with a light rain, so I was glad to see the cast changing. (The first angel we saw looked totally like a pouting teenager, so I'm sure she was glad to get out of there, too.)
Beside the people (and their fake beards), the scene featured at least one donkey, some goats and something that might have been a small llama (filling in for the more climactically appropriate camels?). Also, very loud Christmas carols.