It really hasn’t been that long since the last time I was in the States (August of last year), yet somehow it seems like a lot has changed and some of it not for the good. In just a few days I have been inundated with bad news from every angle. This country doesn’t feel like the America that I once knew. It feels more like how I would imagine a South American country to be. Since I haven’t actually been to South America, I can’t say why I see it in this way except that I sense an economic and social instability that has made life downright dangerous or so it seems by the everyday crime and destruction.
It’s not just crime either. It’s also problems with infrastructure and the environment not to mention the survival tactics that are being used by most everyone regardless of social status or upbringing. Basically, there is sense of uncertainty or insecurity in the air.
I am starting to realize just how fortunate I am that I am sheltered from all of this and don’t have to worry about it infiltrating into my psyche. Here are some of the “words” or phrases from the news stories and what’s being covered in the Dallas area. I am only listing these to illustrate a point and also give an update on stories that I’ve picked up since arriving. This could be indicative of Dallas or Texas and not the rest of the U.S., however we are all part of the same planet so it has an effect nonetheless.
- Words from today’s news: rip off, gas leak explosion, cheese heroine, serial rapist, pharmacist shot in the hip by robbers trying to get prescriptiondrugs, murder at a grocery store (thief shot by security guard), 1 year old drowning in a dirty pool while grandma was babysitting
- A 13 year old girl committed suicide because she was rejected by a 16 year old on myspace. The boy was “made up” by the mother of the 13 year old girl’s classmate to “inflict emotional distress.” The mother has been charged with conspiracy.
- California’s Supreme Court declared that gay couples can legally wed.A company producing a yearbook altered photos like switching heads, making a girl look naked and cutting off arms.
- Wine maker Robert Mondavi died.
- I also heard a story on the radio about Hillary and McCain drinking vodka in Estonia years back and apparently they drank 4 shots and Hillary drank McCain under the table.
- Coke to use stevia to make a no-cal cola.
Other Tid Bits:
I’ve noticed that in American culture there is a certain level and kind of raw vulgarity that does not exist in the same way as in Europe (perhaps the UK, but definitely not in Scandinavia or the other major European countries), as well as an overly extroverted nature. People tend to reveal a lot of themselves, which can be seen as both good and bad. I guess I am now accustomed to Danes being the opposite way so now it’s even more striking.
I have had loads of small talk, gotten things for free, returned a face lotion after trying it and not liking it and got my money back with no questions asked, and pressed many buttons on the telephone to get through to the right person for customer support. Ahh, it feels good to be home.
Finally, I am thrilled about the produce and fish selections, as well as natural food selections at Whole Foods Market. I tried wheat grass today for the first time and while I did feel a bit like a cow grazing (I know it’s used for juicing but I don’t have a juicer here so I just used my trap). It was tasty with a peppery kind of spiciness. I also tried a new kind of mango from Haiti that rocked. It was a white mango and super sweet. And for dinner I prepared a mix of all kinds of fresh veggies with couscous mixed with some of the mango and sauteed fresh Atlantic shrimp from off the coast of Florida and the most enormous scallops I have ever seen in my life. They were scrumptious.
Cheers for another crazy day in the U.S. of A.