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. =/
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.
Ah, well...You guys got Macdonalds, though. Gotta give you that, I couldn't live without junkfood. Had a fun sight recently of a Scotsman having an argument with an American.
Scotsman: Let's get some breakfast in that tavern over there.
American: Let's go to Macdonald's. They're cheaper.
Scotsman: There's a reason they call it JUNKfood, you know.
I laughed so hard.
I have always wanted to visit that creationist-museum you guys got. :p
And I am looking forward to going to California one day. Have you been there?
I am not very interested in going to the Creationist Museum lol, but the science museums & museums of natural history with tons of cool fossils and stuff are pretty awesome. ;)
And McDonald's is supposedly slightly different in the different countries lol, so it would be cool for you to see what the original American ones are like... and yes it can taste good... lmao but it's the most horrible-for-you junk food - if that's really our best culinary contribution to the world, we should definitely be ashamed lmao.
I have been to California, I have been to Manhattan Beach multiple times, I have family that lives there, been to a Bar Mitzvah and a Bat Mitzvah over there, as well as when my grandfather died he happened to be at another Bar Mitzvah at the time so we went there... I've also been to the San Diego zoo which is pretty cool since it's such a famous and big zoo, and I went to Disney Land when I was 8 years old. ;) My dad lived over there for 6 years. And I'm really into all the Hollywood stuff so I've always sort of dreamed of going over there permanently and getting a job working in television in some way lol, now that dream has sort of subsided and I'm still really enjoying editing and being a crazy fangirl as a hobby, but I don't really think of it as my potential career... ;)
But yeah I've been to California, mainly just the Los Angeles area.
Which part(s) of California? I've been through a considerable chunk of the state, and it amazes me how night and day it can be from region to region. It seems to comfortably run the entire gamut from ultra-liberal to ultra-conservative.
Haven't been to Florida since childhood, so I can't comment on that corner of the country so well.
SE Florida is absolutely wild, anything goes. As you say for Cali, FL varies immensely per region too :)
My 6 months in California were in San Diego.
tho I have not visited yet... I'd add to your list of good reasons, music and cinema and fries and mussels and white asparagus!
As for the USA, I've spent a lot of time in S.E. Florida which is quite multicultural and cosmopolitan and the weather is fantastic. People are religious, but not like in the bible belt!
Yeah. America is cool in that you can go skiing or surfing here, you can see all sorts of different types of natural parks and waterfalls and springs and wildlife, I still have yet to go to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon but I think it'd be worthwhile to go someday. :D
I saw my first Broadway show ever in New York this past November and it was really awesome and worth the experience. ;)
I've been to some minor league baseball games in Indiana, and a major league baseball game (the Orioles in Maryland), they were pretty fun experiences as well, although not something I could really imagine a European coming to America to do.
There are tons of things to do here though, the country is so huge. ;)
Well, one of the biggest issues with America has less to do with how the nation actually is on average compared to how it appears from the outside looking in. As a Canadian, the Americans I am most frequently exposed to are those I see in various media and those I encounter through internet interactions. In most cases, the loudest and most visible Americans are also those with the least items of value to say. Too much of American media celebrates the crass, the stupid, the vulgar, and the scandalous because it is marketable. The extremes get a lot of air time, but most people I've met are more reasonable and approachable, regardless of their views.
But I've been through about thirty-five of the fifty American states as a traveller. It's a pretty diverse country. Just going off of wikipedia, it has about thirty times the population of Belgium spread out across roughly three hundred times the land area. It's easy to imagine how some states within the same country can be as different as if they were distinct nations. I've met some pretty friendly and decent people in just about every state I've been in. Certain American stereotypes appear a lot different when you're talking to living examples of them face to face.
I think it's really something that's just worth seeing for yourself, firsthand.