Wednesday, July 9, 2014

America Again Part 2: Lincoln's Revenge

Being a Global Citizen means to me that you are able to relate to a greater group of people. I think that someone who is able to call themselves a Global Citizen should be able to understand the train of thought that someone who comes from a different country and nation might have when travelling to the US or vice versa. I wouldn't call myself a "Global Citizen" though because while I might have spent a month in Spain, I don't think even that is enough time for me to put myself into the same thought space that a local would be. It also hinders that process being that we were there as an American class which spent most of their time together. We essentially made a small American community between us which just happened to be living in Spain. This fact however did not interfere with any lessons or epiphanies which might have been had while living their though.

I noticed that the native do live much more frugally and take much more joy in smaller things, at least what us as Americans would consider small. I think this is something that Americans should try and learn from; taking joy from smaller things. We are so used to just having things the way we like it that it has become the norm and we don't know any other way of living. That goes double for today's youth. We have the ability to set our houses, even individual rooms to the exact temperature within the degree, the ability to freely watch anything whether it be on the internet or television, as if we were just plucking it out of the sky, huge living spaces to the point that we need to find luxury items to fill extra rooms with, and enough water and power to the point where we don't have to be frugal with our resource expenditure. Americans have what is thought to be an unlimited amount of food, cooking enough to feed double the amount of family members and then throwing out the rest when it goes bad. Of course, this is not everyone but some people do fit this description and I think it would be good to recognize that not everybody has the luxury to live like that and should be happy that there have to ability to live that type of lifestyle.

I don't feel like I have any reverse culture shock. The time difference actually helped me out too because I have been falling asleep at 9:00 or 10:00 and waking up at 5:30 which is perfect for my profession. If anything this is reverse culture assistance.

Week 4 (Tim Howard v. Iker Casillas)

The US will always be on top because 'merica. But Spain does have some things going for it which I wish was more prominent in the land of freedom and peanut butter. For one, I enjoy that most people choose to travel by bike. Although this kind of emphasis could be found in a lot of major traffic cities such as New York, it is not something that is prominent everywhere. The way Spain and especially Granada is set up kind of accommodates this form of travel much better because everything is so close while America has things a little more spread out. I also liked the amount of pride that Spain takes in their soccer teams. (I'm back in the US... It's soccer now) When we arrived in Toledo and the school of children booed Rob's choice of team jersey. That is something that would never happen in the US. As we were walking, people were generally perturbed, staring and grimacing. People have alliances with certain sports teams in the US but it was nothing like it is across the pond. The things that I missed while I was in Spain? I can't honestly think of anything that I missed for sure because everything that I did here in America I was largely able to do in Spain unless I forgot to bring it with me and was to cheap to buy it over there. Spain had ice cream, I brought my laptop so I was able to divert my attention with streaming movies, watching youtube and playing video games. I even coded the odd program here and there. There was a gym that I was able to go to, the restaurants were all good and the plazas were all beautiful. The only thing that saddened me was the fact that peanut butter does not exist over there and most people don't even know what it tastes like. Nutella on the other hand is largely popular there which partly makes up for that though.

The element from Spain that I would like to most bring back with me though is the gratuitous amount of plazas scattered throughout the city. You can't go a couple of blocks without walking through one and it is such a cool place to go and see. Kind of like a watering hole where people like to gather. I think it would be cool if the US embraced that a little more. I think it might encourage more people to spend more time outside if more places like that existed here.