Coming Home
1. Name one of the three things you can't do in life?
2. How long had Bryson been in England before he went home again.
3. Name one of the practical problems Bryson had after returning home.
4. What one ability was it that helped Bryson get a job at The Times newspaper?
5. How many of the words to The Star Spangled Banner does Bryson know?
6. Does Bryson like basements?
7. Name on of the things about America that Bryson had forgotten but enjoys.

Level 2
"... the delight of encountering waitresses that seem to be enjoying themselves." This statement by Bryson is sarcastic and aimed at the British. Try and explain what he means and how he may be insulting the British.

Level 3
1. What is The Star Spangled Banner"?
2. What is Thanksgiving and how do Americans celebrate it? (3-4 lines)

Well Doctor, I was just trying to lie down
1. How many Americans are injured by beds, pillows and mattresses every year? Every day?
2. Where did Bryson find this information?
3. How many are injured by desk accessories?
4. How many were injured in 1992 by chairs, sofas and sofabeds?
5. What is Bryson's theory about how you could get injured by money?

Level 2
1. What was Bryson reading these statistics for?

2. What do you think is the reason for all these strange accidents in America? These are some potential reasons, do you have another idea or can you pick one?

3. "I am far more likely to be hurt by my ceiling or underpants - ....... - than by a stranger, and frankly I don't find that comforting at all." (page 26) Why do you think Bryson doesn't think this statistic is good news?

Level 3
1. What are soft furnishings? Give examples.

2. Bryson finds out that in 1992 there were 23,000 murders in America. Try and find out how many murders there are per year now, in America and in Denmark.

How to have fun at home
1. Name one thing Mrs Bryson likes about America.

2. What one thing does Bryson say he would rather have, than for example, ice water etc.

3. Which household appliance is Bryson's favourite?

4. What is the third great feature of American life?

5. Name three things Bryson says you usually find in American basements.

6. Why will no child play in a basement?

Level 2
"The most exciting event with a garbage disposal, of course, is when it jams and you have to reach in and unclog it, knowing that at any moment it might spring to life and abruptly convert your arm from a useful grasping tool into a dibber." (page 45)

Bryson has invented a word here (dibber). Explain what he means in this sentence as simply as possible, without use of additional adjectives (tillægsord).

Level 3
What is a garbage disposal machine? They are banned in Denmark, why do you think that is? Would you have one in your home if you could?

Rule No 1: Follow all the rules
1. Explain the meaning of the word supine.
2. What "crime" would Bryson like to see subject to corporate punishment?
3. Which form of identification did Bryson have that was expired?
4. Who made the rule requiring that he show a picture ID for an internal flight?
5. What did Bryson think (not necessarily say) would be a more effective anti-terrorism measure?
6. How did he eventually manage to get on the plane?

Level 2
1. "... would have to serve a small sentence in purgatory in consequence." (page 57)

2. Was it reasonable for Bryson to try and use his book as identification? Remember this happened long before 9/11.

3. Can you remember some idioms for people who have to follow the rules exactly when they do their jobs?

Level 3
Bryson states the Americans are good at following rules, and find them necessary for keeping order in society. Is your personal impression of Americans that they are rule followers or breakers?

Is Denmark a country of rules. Can you think of a rule here, which you think is ridiculous. Can you think of a rule or a law that you would like to see in Denmark.

Junk Food Heaven
1. What was the interesting product that Bryson found in the fridge?
2. Why did Bryson want to go to the supermarket with his wife?
3. Why did Bryson’s wife not buy junk food at the supermarket?
4. With what sentence does Bryson tell the reader that the junk food section of the supermarket is large? (page 85)
5. What was the name of the cereals made from cookies?
6. How many pounds of pretzels do Americans eat each year?
7. In which aisle were Toaster Pastries?
8. What did Mrs. Bryson make Bryson do with all the junk food he bought?
9. What was the worst of all the junk food products that Bryson bought, and why did it not go bad in the fridge?
10. Why did Bryson no longer like all the “treats” he had bought.

Level 2
1. Find five adjectives Bryson uses to describe the junk food.

2. When Bryson jokingly calls aisle seven “Food for the seriously obese”, what is he saying about the kind of products sold there?

Level 3
1. Search unhealthy American junk foods in google and on Youtube. Would you like to be able to buy these kinds of foods in Denmark?

Tales of the North Woods
1. What two things made it possible for the young college student to go missing?
2. Which country is New Hampshire the same size as?
3. Are the woods in New Hampshire very old?
4. Why did farming come to an end in New Hampshire?
5. What kind of houses are traditional in New Hampshire?
6.What is the name of the old town that Bryson and others have searched for?

Level 2
1. What point is Bryson trying to make with the two stories of the college student and the private jet?

2. "Sometimes life has inconclusive endings. Columns too" What is Bryson trying to say here?

Level 3
1. Find New Hampshire on a map of America.

2. Can you relate its size to Esbjerg/Denmark?

Drowning in Red Tape

Level 1
1. Name the many reasons Bryson gives for not telling the whole story of trying to register his wife as resident in the United States.
2. Name some of the things required to be provided when you apply for citizenship.
3. Why was Mrs. Bryson's application cancelled.
4. Which two activities does Mrs. Bryson want to do in America.
5. Name some of the things Bryson likes about England.

Level 2
1. Why does Bryson think that one should not be asked about political views?
2. Try and translate "flinty-eyed cowpokes."

Level 3
What does the story about Bryson's friends and their daughter say about the difference between England and America. How do you think Denmark compares in this situation, would it be more like England or America?

Commercials, Commercials, Commercials
1. Why does Bryson say that the commercial for the Dodge Backfire is hollow/suspect?
2. Being careful with the truth is the same as the idiom "economical with the truth", what does this mean?
3. What does "droll" mean?
4. What is Bryson's biggest problem with commercials?
5. How many commercials do the average American see every week on television?
6. How are American schools exposed to commercials?

Level 3
Should advertising be banned in schools and/or during children's television programmes?

Friendly People
1. What does Bryson think deserves praise in America?
2. Give an example of things Bryson's neighbours did for them.
3. Give an example of friendly behaviour by strangers.
4. Give examples of behaviour that indicate Bryson's town has no crime.
5. What is Bryson's explanation for there being no crime?

Level 2
1. What does Mrs. Bryson mean when she says "Bitch, bitch, bitch."
2. What does "... the most trifling of burdens." (p 118) mean

Level 3
Is Bryson's description of his New Hampshire town typical of what you think you know about America.

On the Hotline
1. How did John Smoltz get injured?
2. What was the foolish thing Bryson did himself?
3. What is causing problems for American computer users?
4. Which gene decides whether you are a worrier or not?
5. Name one of the useless pieces of advice on American products.

Level 2
"... you are probably not ready for this level of oral hygiene." A sarcastic comment from Bryson. What does he mean?

Level 3
1. What label do you need to remind you not to do stupid things?
2. Why do you think all American products have hotlines?

The Cupholder Revolution
1. What had the man been using as a cupholder on his computer?
2. Where are cupholders usually placed in cars?
3. Name some of the car features rated in the New York Times.
4. What features did Volvo provide in their cars, whilst forgetting the cupholders, and what was the consequence of this mistake?
5. What percentage of American travel involves cars?
6. How does Bryson know that Nils Nilsson and Lars Larsson are common names in Sweden?

Level 2
What does the focus on cupholders say about the American consumer?

Level 3
The Americans and the English use the Imperial measurement system, and not the metric. Find some of the Imperial system's equivalents to some of the following: centimetre, metre, kilometre, kilos, litres etc.

The War on Drugs
1. What is the sentence for owning a marijuana plant in fifteen states?
2. What was the average sentence for drug offenders according to a study in 1990.
3. What benefits are denied convicted drug users?
4. There are two other examples in the text of problems caused by a conviction for drug offences. Name them.
5. Name an example of corruption from the text.

Level 2
- Is Bryson in favour of drugs?. What does he suggest for solving the drug problem?
- Research briefly and find at least one statistic about incarceration in the US.

Why No One Walks
1. What happened when Bryson invited his neighbours to dinner?
2. What percentage of Americans are completely sedentary (that is who never walk or do exercise)?
3. What does Bryson do when he walks to town?
4. Why does Bryson's friend drive to the gym to train, when she can never find a parking spot?
5. What happened in the village of Laconia.

Level 2
"... it never occurs to them to unfurl their legs." (p. 157) What does unfurl mean?

Level 3
Americans measure distance in miles, but also in blocks. Find out how big a block is.

Where Scotland Is
1. Where did Bryson find the quiz.
2. What information about Scotland had Bryson assumed that everyone should know?
3. Name a piece of useless information that Rick Steves provides to US travellers?
4. What is sterling?
5. And one thing Joseph Raff suggests.
6. How does Mr Whitman help travellers to cope with "Do not disturb" signs.
7. Name one of the errors Bryson read.

Level 2
The last paragraph is full on sarcasm. Can you see why Bryson's information is deliberately incorrect?

Level 3
Search youtube for videos with names like "Americans know nothing about geography".

A Day at the Seaside
1. Name one of the things Bryson sarcastically lists will happen on a trip to the seaside.
2. Does Bryson like the seaside. Why?
3. How are American beaches different from British ones?
4. Who is little JImmy?
5. What did little JImmy need to make his day at the seaside complete?
6. Name some of the things that happened to Bryson at the beach in Kenneport.

Level 2
Look up the word "trenchant". (p. 208) What does it mean in this context.

Level 3
Google Kennebunk beach, Maine and look at some pictures. Then compare to google images of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England. Think of a few adjectives to describe each.

1. Name one of the three things you can't do in life?
Beat the phone company
Make a waiter see you before they are ready
Go home

2. How long had Bryson been in England before he went home again.
Twenty years

3. Name one of the practical problems Bryson had after returning home.
All things to do with being an adult:
Feeling out of touch
Not knowing how much things cost
Paying for mas at gas stations
Knowing how to operate the heating system in his home
Knowing how to operate an automatic garage door
Knowing what things are called

4. What one ability was it that helped Bryson get a job at The Times newspaper?
He could spell the name Cincinnati!

5. How many of the words to The Star Spangled Banner does Bryson know?
About two thirds

6. Does Bryson like basements?
Yes, he is in awe of the size of them “… the wondrous, unfillable vastness”

7. Name on of the things about America that Bryson had forgotten but enjoys.
Baseball on the radio
The sound of a screen door closing
Wild thunderstorms
Big snowfalls
The Fourth of July
Glowing insects
Air conditioning
The sight of himself in shorts

Level 2
"... the delight of encountering waitresses that seem to be enjoying themselves."

This statement by Bryson is sarcastic and aimed at the British. Try and explain what he means and how he may be insulting the British.

He means that in America, they are known for their customer service. So, workers in shops and especially restaurants seem happy in their work and are very helpful to their customers.

However, this may have something to do with the fact that they need to get tips from their customers, as they earn very little in basic salary.

He is implying that waitresses in England are not happy or helpful to their customers. There is a stereotype is that the English are NOT good at customer service, as the English do not like having to serve others and that generally customers also treat waiting staff badly as they look down on them.

Additionally, in England you do not need an education to be a waitress or shop assistant. These jobs are therefore often (but not always) done by people with little education or young foreigner travelers.

Level 3
1. What is The Star Spangled Banner"?
It is both the name of the American flag and its national song. It has only been the national song since 1931.

2. What is Thanksgiving and how do Americans celebrate it? (3-4 lines)
Thanksgiving is the American holiday now celebrated on the last Thursday in November (it has previously been celebrated at different times of the year in different states).

The tradition of holiday fasting and then feasting days came with the pilgrims, who sailed from England to America, as fasting and feasting is common in most Christian countries.

The American holiday is said to celebrate the pilgrims first winter, when they had little food to eat and local Indians saved them by sharing their food.

Nowadays Americans gather with family and/or friends and eat and drink lots, and tell each other what they are thankful for from the past year.

Many Americans prefer thanksgiving to Christmas, as it is a longer holiday. (At Christmas many business are only closed for the morning of 25th December!!)