Washington D.C. has a very high concentration of ‘murica going on.
I am at my last stop on my grand North America trip. After my home 2.0 Minnesota and newly found love Canada it’s Washington D.C., the US-American capitol, and it’s a big contrast.
I’ve said it before: to me Canada and the States are very different. The mentality is different, especially among young people as myself; not only talking about alcohol and tobacco ect but also more broadly spoken: Canadians are so much less stuck up than their neighbors. They’re more cosmopolitan, more chill and less serious.
Plus, the biggest difference I’ve been getting slammed into my face everyday here: overly exaggerated patriotism. The kind of patriotism Europeans like to mock. I am sorry: It’s pretty ridiculous.
I am staying here at a friend’s house. Although basically being Swiss (with some British influences), she also has the US-American citizenship. We are a fun combination of her being American without having experienced American culture a lot and me being very much European having spent quite some time here. So many quirks I’ve simply gotten used to, now seem ludicrous again with her perspective.
Washington D.C. is so much pomp. So much Schönmalerei (= idealization, gloss coating, trivialization) of the past. So much…. ‘murica. There’s flags and cops and burgers and Trump shirts everywhere. It really is like in the movies and I don’t know if I find that cool or sad.
Don’t get me wrong: I like US-American culture. I find it incredibly interesting. I mean, I am going to freaking study it at university.
To me, big war memorials, singing the anthem before Baseball games (and on Facebook and in museums and everywhere), and being excessively friendly to everyone seems normal now, however, the excess of it in D.C. and my friend’s inexperience with it, has shown me again, how different US-American and European cultures are. Europe may have copied a lot of the States’ pop culture and other stuff, but we have a contrasting mentality concerning topics such as patriotism, politics, superficiality, and much more.
And that’s okay.
On the contrast, I even think it’s pretty cool that my friend and I are smart (?) or mature (?!) or just attentive enough to realize that although in the U.S. you can get MAC lipsticks cheaper and have more fast food options, there are also more complex and deeper aspects we do not agree with. We’ve moved on from the ‘I-love-America-because-they-sell-Abercrombie&Fitch’-stage.
If you are a U.S.-American: Please, don’t get butthurt. I love your country, yet maybe it’s not the greatest country in the whole world, maybe your country has also made mistakes and is still piling them up, and just maybe you can acknowledge that and still like it.
Getting to eyeball and nevertheless appreciate other countries is another reason for me to travel. I really appreciate you, USA, but try to contain the ‘murica a bit more, man. There is always two sides.
Thanks for reading.