It’s been a few months since my last blog update, and that can be attributed to the lovely Chinese government and their hefty upgrades on the VPN blocks in China. I also upgraded to a Macbook Air, so finding a suitable VPN for my new OS was a bit of a pain, I must admit. However, here in the states I can access facebook and wordpress headache free, so hopefully I can continue to update this blog of randomness and get all of the crazy thoughts out of my mind and onto some written format.
Anyway, I’m back in Utah. While I’m quite used to the U.S. to Asia and vice versa trip, with culture shock not phasing me anymore, I feel myself changing. After two continuous years in Japan and a year and a half in China, I can feel myself shifting over to the Asian lifestyle and cringing at how everyday life is conducted in America. There’s so many traits to the U.S. I love, such as:
1. Friendliness – American people are goddamn friendly. Anyone will walk up to you and talk about ANYTHING.
2. Openness – I forget the convenience of space and low population. While Japan may have a low population, it is still an island; and although China is larger in size than the U.S., the person to person ratio from its overpopulation makes the wide place we call ‘zhong guo’ quite cramped.
3. Creativity – In China where technology is continually copied, and Japan where only porn directors and anime producers seem to churn out products with any hint of ingenuity, being in the United States feels like a fresh breath of air. We are taught to think differently–and while this may seem so cliche and routine to the average U.S. citizen, it is definitely something I didn’t learn to appreciate until now.
4. Cleanliness – Since I’m coming from China, this is a big one.
5. Manners – Again, since I’m coming from China, hearing a ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ or ‘excuse me’ almost brings tears to my eyes
And things that I’m not so fond of…
My god what the hell is this!? Who wants to eat a candy called GOOBERS!?! What was Nestle thinking when they launched this product and thought of the name? When I think of goobers, only shit and that crap in your eyes come to mind…. definitely not chocolate.
In addition to unnecessary candy that is most likely disgusting, the American way of life seems familiar to me, but it’s something I don’t want to return to. I hate driving everywhere, I hate how materialistic Americans are, I hate how we put no emphasis on families or our own health, I hate how we bathe in wealth and buy more than we need, yet complain about how much we are lacking. Why must we go to costco and buy 3 grocery carts of food and freeze it for 2 months? Why must we eat everything that is double or triple in daily caloric intake? Why do buffets exist?
Americans have also forgotten where food comes from. Everything comes neatly packaged in seran wrap, or in a can, tube, carton… instead of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, or even meat and dairy products, the average American will just take ‘vitamin capsules’ or some other supplement from a bottle and call it an acceptable replacement. Even in these supposed ‘health food’ stores, all of the organic content comes in neatly processed and packaged bags that are triple in cost and tailor made for sun tanned California moms.
Maybe being with extremely poor Chinese people has made me skewed, or perhaps it was living with the Japanese who learn to use ‘just enough’ and eat only the freshest of meat and seafood (so fresh, they don’t even cook it).
Compare the high class Shanghainese food to GOOBERS or “Outback Steakhouse” and you know why I want to stay in Asia.
Americans are also about getting in and out and making time be as effective as possible. In Asia (and Europe), they like to take things at a slower pace and enjoy the more subtle things in life, like having a glass of wine or coffee in a cafe and talking for maybe 2 or 3 hours while nibbling on biscuits or something. Believe it or not, that is me. I love to just sit in a cafe and chit chat about absolutely NOTHING. I love observing the cup and tableware of the coffee shop, as well as relish in the bitter taste of a black cup of coffee. Or better yet, a beer.
This is impossible in the states.
Anyway, that is all for today. Mary needs sleep.