I stole this exchange from Becca’s diary:
overheard in the office…
canadian commenting on american ego: “you guys think you’re god or something.”
american student response: “no, we’re one nation UNDER god.”
That amuses me so much. I am jealous that Becca gets to live in exotic places for six months. (Ok, so on the grand scale of things, maybe Switzerland is not that exotic, but it’s still pretty darn cool and I wish I could go live there too.) Anyway, it doesn’t surprise me to hear yet another non-American expressing distaste for American attitudes…because of course they’re not wrong. Americans are stereotyped as loud, inflexible, and rather obnoxious because for the most part, we ARE loud and inflexible and rather obnoxious. It’s just a part of our culture.
When we were traveling through Europe back at the beginning of the summer, I think we originally had intentions of trying to blend in a bit, and try to experience some of the culture. That didn’t work. We were with friends, on vacation, seeing amazing sights and unusual people, and so we ended up just acting like normal. And of course the American definition of “normal” is much different from the European one.
Not much to be done about it. We’re different, that’s all. Little conversation exchanges like the one above just remind of that, and make me laugh.
Anyway. So Phil arrived last night, and our two bedroom, one dining room apartment became a three bedroom, no dining room domicile. It’s weird, but it’ll work until mid-September, when I leave for California. I felt bad for Phil, because he had a horrible day — he got up at 5 a.m., the drive from Georgia took an excruciating and traffic-ridden 14 hours, the power in our apartment went out, and he got hot wax all over his face trying to blow out a candle we’d lit when the lights went out. He asked if Ron and I could check on him when we got up this morning to make sure he hadn’t burst into flames in the night. (Thankfully, he hadn’t.)
It’s good to see him, and now I’m lucky enough to have two roommates who can always make the best of any situation. When the power went out, I figured we’d just sit around in the dark, thinking about how hot it would be if we didn’t get air conditioning back soon. Instead, Ron pulled out a flashlight and the infamous pumpkin, Phil dug out his guitar, I salvaged them each a beer from the fridge, and we all sang the got-no-electricity blues. It’s gonna be a fun final month in Houston.