Being away from the United States makes me miss it. Our plumbing is great, our wireless above average, and ice is easy to get. There is also the Constitution and Abraham Lincoln.
However, being away and seeing things from a European perspective does cause one to question some basic truths: such as the importance of Donald Trump. I love my country, but try as we might even our greatest marketing genius cannot salvage Trump.
Here is a top ten list of things Europeans get right and Americas get wrong.
Donald Trump: he isn’t rich, entertaining, or smart. Why?
Fake American sports: bowling has a following here (in Prague!), but most of ESPN is a mystery to any sane person.
Fast meals: McDonalds has virtues, but speedy eating does not. Why do we bolt our food? Why do we eat it in front of a television? Does our food look that bad?
Tasteless, but attractive vegetables: Go to a European store and fruit and vegetables don’t look like illustrations from a kids book (“A is for Apple”), but they have flavor. American vegetables are only fit to carry salad dressing.
Calling Obama a socialist: They are here and he isn’t.
Still being “into” Obama: When he ran last, every place I went in Europe I saw Obama’s face. One cab driver summed up present reaction: “Obama no good.” I have yet to see Obama in any pop-culture display.
Europeans living in US nobody in Europe knows: Americans don’t do world events well, but when we do we tend to get some ex-pat with an English or other “exotic” accent to opine. They can say any bizarre thing and we listen, because it is what we expect. Here is an idea: in the age of SKYPE let’s get European commentators who live in Europe.
South Dakota: really why do we have two Dakotas? Isn’t one enough?
Cars: come one can’t we build decent public transport. This generation of American kids is over cars and really . . . isn’t that a good thing?
Only old people at theater: Why? All my life when attending “cultural” events only old folk are there in the US. Now that I am old, it is still true. Why do Americans ignore culture until retirement and then start?
Bonus, fake American hipsters pretending to be European: These poor folk never pick the millions of faithful Christians to imitate. Instead, they look like American college students with trinkets made in China, but looking European. In fact, they start criticizing their nation . . . with lists such as this one.