People and relations:
5) The friendliness; unprecedented.
I've been to many countries around the world and met a lot of different cultures but none has been so sincerely open and friendly as the one in the
USA. In Thailand, for example, people are extremely polite and nice but it feels more like they are obliged to be so (not that they complain openly
about it though) but in the States it is more like it really comes from your heart. It is like the natural onset is that a stranger is the nicest,
friendliest and most decent person you've ever met- until proven the opposite. Of course I know that people remain people, all unique and diverse, but
I have never encountered such a warm general
approach towards myself in position of being a perfect stranger. It seemed that the more isolated
the town you're in, the more friendly the population. This isn't a complicated equation, but it has never been as obvious as in rural USA. City folks
where more of the stressed out, closed-off category but nowhere as bad as it is where I live. I think that throughout our trip we met maybe 3 real
idiots which equals half a day around my neck of the woods. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that a shop keeper would actually recommend the
store across the street for a better deal than what they provided!
We were never afraid to ask anyone for anything (though we remained typically discrete in a Scandinavian way) and what ever we asked anyone we got
full attention. Being a sucker for good service in all shapes and forms, I was in heaven!
6) Why won't people see their own country?
As we were browsing the Buffalo Bill Centre in Cody, WY we overheard the security officer talking to two senior visitors. He asked them where they've
been on their trip and they mentioned Monument Valley (where we had just come from two days ago or something like that). The security guy expressed
his deepest wish to go there himself one day and that he had been wanting to go there for many, many years.
Monument Valley, AZ is like 780 miles away. Two days of driving. The guy was a grown man with a job. If he didn't own a car (which would be highly
unlikely that he didn't), I bet he could go with a friend or even take the bus.
What I am trying to say here is that we heard this kind of thing the whole time! Whenever we spoke to locals and told them about our trip there was
"oh, that is like my dream
to go on such a road trip" or "you guys are the luckiest people alive" kind of talk.
Damn it, get in the car and GO for heavens sake! How hard could it be? We had to fly across the ocean to get there; you could just drive, any day, any
Why is it like this? Why won't you go places when there is just so much
to see and with a country that is freaking made
experienced from the road? Gas is like a third of the prices we have over here.
7) The most second-most disturbing thing was the dis-concern and/or unawareness for environmental issues, namely the depletion of the earth's
You guys have to quit wasting planet, PLEASE!
The mega-markets was a horror to witness. Yeah, we are getting them over here too so maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but the ones in the US are
just too freaking much and there isn't even a customer base to justify these literal hangars of, mostly, fresh produce that will probably just go to
waste. The endless rows of freezers. Man, do you have any idea how much power that consumes?
Seems like, however, that it is not the consumption that's the issue, it is rather the production
that is running amok. No big surprise there
though, it is bound to happen when it comes to capitalism. Just a freaking eye-sore to behold.
Typical example; at Universal studios, four escalators going between the upper park and the lower park. One escalator is switched off. At the foot of
it stands a sign: "This escalator is temporarily out of service. Universal studios does what they can to preserve energy
." Together with that
an illustration of a blooming tree.
Give. Me. A. Break.
I am sorry to tell you this but you guys are in for the roughest ride there is when resources get more and more scarce. Having been to Russia many
times I've seen that they also consume massive amounts of natural resources and stuff but at least they know the true meaning "hard times". They can
cut down on everything if they have to and survive just fine by improvising, conserving and sweating it out. I experienced none such preparedness in
the USA. It was like the entire country had the blinders on and kept thinking it was still 1955.
Well, it ain't. You have to wake up now, even though it actually is way too late. You don't have to adapt because you don't have the time, but you
have to be prepared to face a society lacking everything and without any long-term solutions to it.
edit on 22-11-2011 by Raud because: html error