The US is indeed a strange place. The world’s largest cultural, political and economical influencer, so truly grounded but also so truly abstract. Something we all have one or many opinions about, whether we ever sat foot in the country or not. To me, personally, the country I had the most knowledge about and impressions from, way before coming here. Fed with American music, literature, TV shows, movies, news, fashion, politics, capitalism and food – I think there’s a very few people out there untouched by the long American arm. And honestly, the country is exactly the way you think it’s gonna be. Except it’s also completely wonderful. Again, as I have stated before in this blog and in many arguments about previous travels from Israel to Iran – no people is its leaders, not even democratically chosen such. Fact is, the current president was chosen completely under the wrong pretenses. Make America great again? What ya’ll talking about? America IS great. Just try to preserve that greatness, dude. Don’t change a thing.
Yes, it has its flaws. It has its tensions. There is something seriously wrong about the weapon laws, intolerance and re inflated raging racism. Let’s not talk politics, let’s talk about the people. There’s a general politeness without feeling there’s anything fake behind it. Are you lost you won’t even have time to ask for help before someone offers you it. They call you “Ma’am” or “Missus”, a shopkeeper or barista can be personal and intimate without being neither pushy nor desperate. The border police seem to have all the time in the world, chatting away about Teslas and Porsches, my choice of career and what my brother is doing in DC. I understand he’s asking the regular questions necessary, but he’s being so bloody naturally friendly about it I’d reveal my major life lies if he’d asked me. In what country could you ever make jokes with the border police? And yes, I know the waiter is dependent on the tips I might spend, but every time they call me “hun’” I honestly melt. Even if it’s all an act, it is a really well performed such, where they do actually work hard for their money. Compared to a bartender in Sweden, looking tired and annoyed behind the bar, mocking your choice of drink and then expecting a tip? Weeeell.
There are crazy people everywhere, and I mean literally, crazy. Homeless, mad, drug addicts, drunkards, free spirited, loving or just outgoing, it’s hard to tell the difference. There still seem to exist a sense of community between them. Mad people are mad together. One young good looking mad man came up and told me I’m stunning, on a regular Sunday night. Without being creepy, just a sense of spontaneity about him. And you know what, I’ll take it. Maybe I’m naïve being on foreign soil but every homeless person I met here so far mostly compliment my tattoos and seem more interested in me than in my money. Even the ones supposedly making this country unsafe and insecure are making me feel welcomed and heart warm.
Nah. I’m not buying it. There’s no need to make America great again, Mr President. There are plenty of good people around, just put them in charge to preserve what you have before it gets lost.