So much empty space still
Each time I go to the States, after I haven't been there for a while, I feel like a foreigner for a few days. This time the strange feeling lasted the entire trip. It didn't help that my brother kept wearing his "Texas is bigger than France" t-shirt to annoy me.
Here are some of the things that struck me freshly this time in my six-state travels through l'Amérique profonde.
--The U.S.A. is a very religious country-- 83% Christian according to a recent poll. Below is one of many sets of these three crosses you will see if you take a long trip on U.S. roads.
--So many people are so fat. Fat is normal. And people eat all day long: chips, sodas, ice cream, candy, and more chips.
--Both Republicans and Democrats present themselves as in a struggle against high taxes and "big government." The idea that more government is always bad is an article of faith.
--Michele Bachmann may well be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, or even President. And she's scary. (If you are French, don't laugh.)
--That many people live in great poverty, such as I have not seen in western Europe.
--The media seem to show news only from the U.S., Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel is our best friend in the world and loyalty to everything it does cannot be questioned.
--The younger generation, even the "educated" (i.e. spent more years in school) is staggeringly non-literate and ill-informed about the rest of the world and even their own country.
--No one had ever heard of Dominique Strauss-Kahn before his arrest in New York.