United States vs. The World

Last night Lauren, Shauna, Alice and I went to the cinemas. It costs 20$ to see a movie here. I know. Ridiculous. But, they have la-z-boy chairs. So who’s complaining? Not me anymore.

Anyway, we went to see the film “Argo” which is based loosely on former Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez’s historical account of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t always pay attention in history class. I could have been found zoning out, writing a note, contemplating the meaning of life…all of the above. But sitting there watching this film made me really question the last 15 years of my life spent in school. I know NOTHING.

If you were to talk to almost any foreign student they could tell you so much about the history of the United States. They could also tell you a ton about the history of their own country and multiple other countries. Ask me about history and I can repeat what was written in our textbooks. I couldn’t tell you hardly anything about other countries.  It’s quite the double standard.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while studying abroad this semester is that we live in a very sheltered world in America. I’m not sure it’s meant to be this way; it just is.  Of course I cannot speak for everyone- I’m just speaking from my perspective.

Looking at the United States from an outside perspective really made me stop and think.

I understand that the US is super powerful and in charge and what we do effects the rest of the world but I feel like we live in a comfortable little shell in the US and I have this strong desire and urge to know more… to learn more. Someone told me the other day that I was the smartest American they had ever met. This was 1) an insanely awesome compliment and 2) it made me really sad. I just wish sometimes that more people my age had the desire to travel and learn like I do. I wish kids my age understood that just because they have a way of doing things that it doesn’t mean it’s the right way.

Being here has just really changed my outlook on a lot of things.

My friend said-  “Most people don’t really like americans, but this is a prejudice too. I learned that people are like this because you have the perfect life in US. You basically have no need to learn things from ‘outside of your world’ because you have all you need. Unlike here, that we have to fight for basic stuff.”

We’re so lucky.  Please remember that.

Things I’ve learned:

  • The cinemas here.. OMG. They have an entire area dedicated to buying concessions. and I’m not talking popcorn and the occasional candy bar. No. An entire wall filled with candy assortments. 6 different kinds of slushy machines. Nachos. Hot dogs. EVERYTHING. One of the happiest moments of my life.
  • Canadians are freaking awesome. Why don’t we learn more about them and their way of life?
  • People do not wear sweat pants in public places outside of the United States with the exception of going to the gym. COME ON GUYS, I JUST DON’T LIKE JEANS THAT MUCH.
  • Almost everything in Australia closes down at like 6 pm. It’s so weird. Even the mall. We got out of the movie at 9 pm and everything was shut down…on a Saturday night.
  • They have coconut m&m’s here but NO REESE’S. REALLY.
  • I found a peanut butter that I can eat without crying.
  • Alice and Shauna couldn’t believe how  much we tip our waiters/waitresses in America. Tipping isn’t a thing anywhere else it seems.
  • Two girls can go through a giant jar of Nutella in a week. NO SHAME.
  • People actually think Vegemite tastes good.
  • THEY MAKE NIKE PHONE COVERS IN AUSTRALIA. Obviously purchased one. The cashier asked me where I was from. He said he had been on a vacation to Indiana once. I asked him why and he said “That’s a good question.” ouch
  • The Gold Coast is considered the “Los Angeles” of Australia if that tells you ANYTHING.
  • British people send “xx” in their texts and posts a lot. This doesn’t mean end of conversation. Just letting you know in case you might have thought that.
  • Even people in Australia think Tom Cruise is crazyyyyy.
  • The birds here have a staring problem.
  • My time here is going by WAY TOO FAST.

2 responses to “United States vs. The World

  1. Awesome post! You’ve really hit the nail on the head about the things we’re taught to hold important in American culture, and modern U.S. history isn’t one of them. The entire 20th Century brought the age of wide open media- and with it came gatekeepers with money, power, and omnipotent influence. We don’t talk about things like the Iranian hostage crisis or the Cuban Missile Crisis because they were points of American weakness. Don’t even get me started on the ‘forgotten wars’ of Afghanistan in the early 70’s and Korea.

    Thanks for bringing your thoughts to the table on this one, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Hope you’re having a great time, we’ve got to meet up when you get back!

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