The things I learned about America

America, America, from sea to shining sea… and what a nation it is ! The first thing a tourist can learn about you, folks, is that you worship fat, fast, greasy and in no ways healthy, food. Every mall out there inhabits the infamous “food court” which is filled with the same old mixture of industrial, bland and uninviting lunch deals. Just seeing the amount of oil the French fries swim in could make a person think twice before digesting it. If that person isn’t American, that is. Oh, and vegetables, by the way, do exist in the world, only you can’t seem to find a fresh tomato anywhere in America, with the exception of New York’s fine and seemingly healthy-ish delis. But when it comes to pure fat desserts with all their wonderful calories, you, my dear Americans, rock. Your cupcakes, cheese cakes, chocolate-chip cookies, doughnuts, and waffles are a symphony to taste buds. So when the nice guy who was in charge of breakfast at our NYC hotel practically pushed a plateful of waffles at us, first thing on Monday morning, we just couldn’t resist. But, hey, next time could you please add some veggies to the buffet?

On to the next thing a tourist can learn about America… well, that would be that you like to talk. A lot. To complete strangers. Everywhere. Well, except the subway maybe, because that’s where you like putting on your headphones, attaching them to whatever little media devise you have with you, and pull yourself away from reality. But other than there, you just talk too much, really. If I stand next to you in a hallmark store, browsing through hundreds of birthday cards, I really don’t care if your niece is having twins and you think she’s so inconsiderate for inviting you to their birth party at the last minute and you’re stuck with no greeting card. But on the other hand, you never talk when someone suddenly approaches you on the street trying to get directions to the zoo. That’s when you ignore that stranger completely, and don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming you. You have probably been a victim of a beggar once or twice, and you automatically close yourselves up whenever a strange person tries to approach you. He might be asking you for money, and yes, this also happens a lot on American streets both above and below the ground. Some of you may be scared of being the next victim of your most wonderful second amendment. Honestly, I can’t hold that against you.

The third thing that can be learned about America only by visiting it is that it is what you would expect, and that all the movies you saw about it, well, they were pretty accurate – the roads ARE wide and long, and full of big American cars. The supermarket IS enormous, and sales DO exist, and you CAN find a 100 dollar coat at half price in January. New York City IS full of immigrants and it is very hard to find an authentic American actually living there. There ARE actual diners which serve pancakes at odd hours, and to sum it all up – yes, America IS beautiful.

So all I ask is please, Americans, keep doing what it is you’re doing to keep your country one of the best ones to visit in this big old universe of ours. Keep the calories, the talkative manner, and the highways, the variety of people and brands, because these are what make America what it is.

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