I don't live in America, I live in Belgium. And I'm very glad to live here.
Well, simply because the things I've heard, read and seen about America don't really attract me to the land of the "free". In fact, from what (mostly American) people tell me, America is anything but the land of the free.
I know that America has some problems with general healthcare or social security or something (I'm not really strong in all that kind of stuff, but it does sound bad), and that a lot of politicians in America are straight out liars and cheaters.
Sure, Belgium has a very bad political situation at the moment, we haven't had a government for 6 months now, but still it's better than the USA in my opinion.
I still have a lot of questions about America, and I thought -since most of you are American I suppose- I should ask you guys here. So here I go.
- Is it true that a big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants?
- What exactly is going on with that healthcare/social security thing?
- Do you guys notice any religious overshadowing?
- How is your economy?
and last but not least:
- What reasons would you give me to persuade me to come to America on holiday?
PS: forgive my poor English. =/
If you came to a city like New York or Boston or Washington D.C., you'd find that there were tons of atheists/free thinkers, it was very gay-friendly and immigrant friendly, etc.
It's just that a huge portion of America isn't quite like that.
I'd have to know you a bit better before I'd know what would persuade you to come here. Um, what would you say to persuade us o come to Belgium lol?!
Thanks for asking these questions, Timothy. I've been wondering the same things as a non-American myself.
I get the impression that nationalism has taken such an ugly turn in America, with anti-gay sentiments openly expressed, poor education, religious discrimination, too much money, intense religious beliefs by the majority, and overt racism. Pretty much all of the South Africans I know except for the one or two who have American family members take great joy in poking fun at the American way of life: McDonalds, obesity, Oprah, the accent etc.
I understand that not all Americans are like this, but that's the stereotype that's been ingrained in me by the media and, unfortunately, by Americans I have met in real life. I'm quite intimidated by America and don't think I would ever want to visit there, although I've always been curious about the Creation museum.
Too much money
Actually this applies only to a small minority of Americans.
You're on the right track though!
Over here 5% of Americans own over 80% of the nations wealth. The rest of us don't have "too much money." In fact.. the American middle class and lower class mostly resides in massive debt.
PS... which accent? lol... american accents depend on region:
Yeah, I'm totally convinced that not ALL Americans are right-wing religious nuts, I really am. Assuming that would just be dumb, but all I see of America is just these right-wing religious nuts.
I never see those people here in Belgium...Or at least not in ONE group. Usually they're either right-wing atheist or left-wing religious.
Um, what would you say to persuade us o come to Belgium lol?!
Well, I would obviously keep my mouth shut about our weather and our economy, as they are both in the crapper at the moment, but otherwise, I'd probably suggest you to check out our cultural attractive places like Bruges, Ghent, Waterloo, Antwerp, Dendermonde and many other cities. We haven't really got many friendly people here, as a lot of people here are very conservative towards immigration and gay people, but we don't nag about it. We just accept it and keep our opinions to ourselves.
I'd also tell you that (no offence) our country is not in the least as capitalistic as America.
Oh, and try our beer and our chocolate, they're the best! :)
I've actually been learning all about Belgium in my Language Myths class lol... ;) I'm a Linguistics Major and we've been learning about Luxembourg, South Africa, Belgium etc. as very different ways multi-lingual societies can work... ;)
And oh yes I know about your chocolate lol, America is lame when it comes to all culinary things, we don't really have anything unique to us that's any good and we all know it. ;) Still we love having food from pretty much every country in the world and we have plenty of awesome restaurants and gourmet foods for sale in stores, etc. because of that.
I think there are plenty of fascinating things in the U.S. for people who come to visit, we have tons of awesome museums, etc. But I'm just not the best person to tell you what you'd most like to do, I don't think... I'm just some 21-year-old girl who's never left the country and isn't really used to knowing what tourists to our country do... ;) I've been to quite a few states around the country but still... I don't know.