Sunday, 1 April 2012

A is for America

A is for America. More to the point, Texas. I've lived here for just over a year, and people always ask me if I enjoy living here, what are the differences between here and the UK, and many other questions on the subject. I love that they are interested in my life, my story of how I ended up here, and how I'm 'adapting' to America and Texas. Yes, there are similarities to the UK, and yes, of course there are many differences. Too much to discuss right here right now, but I can mention a few.
New, new new. Almost toy-town like. I honestly get that impression in some places. No back street hidden pubs to stumble upon, just the giant restaurants lining the highway with their towering signs and maybe even flashing arrows. Globalisation in action. Drinks the size of buckets. Seriously. It shocks me every time I see it. I don't think I could drink that much in a week. Fast food is just too easy to mention, but it is true. There are so many different names that just do not exist in Europe. And people get excited to go they never get the chance. Patriotism running through all those American veins. Flags everywhere, patriotic songs in school, and a never ending supply of memorabilia celebrating America. And not to mention the voice of the people. Americans are not afraid to express their passion for their country. Brtis are probably in general patriotic creatures, but I don't think we are as expressive as this side of the pond. Oh my, so much more I could say, but it would take too long.
Similarities? Well, we work hard too, in Britain. That's why we all don't pack up and move to the beach and drink Mojitos. We need to work. Believe me, I'm sure so many Brits dream of just that, given Britain's reputation with the weather, but it's just not possible. The economy is in great need of some support right now. I would like to say that language is a similarity, and ok, it is, but when I speak often people look at me like I am speaking Greek, so it can't be totally true. Actually, most things seem to be 'similar but different'. On the surface they seem the same, but you bet something will shine through as a difference. Moreover, the more profound differences are harder to describe; they are more related to my experiences. So when people ask me "what are the differences between the UK and America?", they generally don't want a long discussion about my experiences, so I just stick to the obvious. And when they ask me if I like living here, well, seriously, what would happen if I said no? It would be similar to if someone were to say "no, I'm awful", and list their ailments when responding to the simple question of "how are you?".
Of course, I would love to live by the beach in a hot Mediterranean country, or live back in England, even for a short time, where it may be old and cold, but that's just the way it is and you love what you know. In fact, I would love to live in lots of other places, but America is where I am, even if it was never my plan, and I am grateful to be able to experience living in a country desired by so many.

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