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October 30, 2002

Cultural Differences...

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness.

-Mark Twain

I delight in the cultural differences here. There is a wealth that is strikingly different, and loads that is just slightly different. But, I have been thinking what fun it would be to return to the States and perform a sort of cultural experiment. That is, I want to do things that are completely normal here, in the States.

For example, I want to try to bring a live chicken, or even several in a homemade basket, on a packed city bus. Then, I want to put my bundle underneath someone else's seat. I won't ask for permission, I would just do it. Chickens squawking all the way.

I want to bring a young child onto the same packed city bus and proceed to just hand it off to a stranger to hold.
I want to ask the bus driver to pull over because I have a "little need" I want to take care of on the side of the road.
I want to refuse to stand in a line of any sort at any time.
I want to get involved in every argument or discussion that takes place around me, if I know the people involved or not.
I want to carry a bucket of water on my head in the middle of New York City.
I want to, at 5am, take a machete outside and cut my grass with it...in suburban Illinois.
Cutting the grass

I want to tell people with glee that they are fat, or that they are gaining weight!
I want to take a bath and wash my clothes simultaneously in the Chicago River.

It makes me giggle to think of normal life here, in the context of the US. But, too, there are lots of things about the States that would be equally amusing if uprooted and plopped down here.

Living here makes me appreciate so much about both cultures. I think that you have to be away from your own culture for a time to truly appreciate it, but also to note what should change and be made better.