Thursday night. I’m home, eating and watching a sports game on TV, when the fire alarm goes off in my apartment building. I wait for a while to see if some idiot hit the alarm just for fun, but when a fire truck arrives and people start walking outside, I decide that it might be a good idea to go leave the building. With my passport, of course. After about 20 minutes in the rain, the firemen realize that there isn’t a problem and allows us back inside again.
An hour later. I’m ironing my shirt and the sports game is getting more and more exciting, when the alarm goes off again! No way that I’m going to stand in the rain again; I’ll stay here to iron my shirts, and before I know it, I don’t even hear the alarm anymore. No problem for 30 minutes, until it started smelling bad in my apartment. Oh, the alarm is still on! In the meantime, seven fire trucks arrived and two police cars had shut down the street on both sides. Thank god it was only a small fire on the 6th floor, and the bad smell disappeared soon… Lesson learned: Americans are able to overreact very well!