This April I am “celebrating” my fifth month of living in the US.
…I have never been in this country before, moreover, I have never dreamt or even thought of coming here. But (ughm!) you get what you get, and as it happens in my life in 85% of the times – for good…
But this is not what this piece is about. This piece dedicated to one, quite banal thing: an attempt to sort out for myself the place I got lucky enough to live in.
Only there is one quite complex problem: my own perception of the environment around is changing. Almost every day. Which probably cannot help with “sorting out” and turn the whole idea of the US in my head into some kind of ragged tissue. So, please, if you will be able to finish reading this page, do not swear too much on the way. This is just a sample of thoughts.
Okay, here we go…
I lived in many countries before, but never before I had so many troubles in defining feelings towards the place around, as it is happening here.
And so far questioning myself “what is the US about for me?” I could only come to a tattered amount of the following:
The US is about the grand failure of the public transportation system. One of the main gods of the American culture`s Olympus is a car. Planes are almost priceless, trains are like disable unicorns. So…cars are everywhere. And if you cannot drive in this country you are doomed either to suffer in endless trips in the buses, or to be enchained to one city. So, which one will be “worth trouble to do” for you?
The US is about riding home through clean suburbs in a filthy metro car and staring at the reflection on the window of odd couple sitting across from you: a woman looking like a man, and a man looking like a woman, with a thought that they also could possibly be a beautiful man looking like a plain woman and an ugly woman looking like a gorgeous man.
The US is about making unthinkable food legal. Here is legal to dip French fries into a vanilla milkshake and eat raw cookie dough. Oh, do not get me wrong, I am not complaining, especially about the last one, and especially when there is a great deal of cafes dedicated only to the cookie dough. Amen!
The US is about building big expensive sun batteries on the residential parking lot which no one will ever use.
The US is about a vulnerable environment and absolute unsafety. Even if you are living 25 minute walk from the White House or the Capitol, people here are shouting each other very easily. I witnessed this couple of weeks ago – gunshots were twenty meters away from my house door. And then everything happens like in famous TV shows about two detectives: police cars, yellow tape around the crime scene, many also yellow tags on the floor, police officers with lights scurrying here and there, and criminologist doing their job in those dark blue outfits. It was so fast and perfectly coordinated so you cannot help yourself to think that for these guys it became routine. Welcome to America!
The US is about people not traveling to other countries/continents but having all these countries/continents inside themselves. Chinatown, Little Italy, Koreatown…why should you even think of going anywhere else?!
The US is about being a very controversial place. As a country which, probably, for many logical reasons can be considered as the most desirable place on Earth to live, it has too many obscure things that are hard to understand or even to accept. And that is what makes experience/process of living here truly fascinating.