Hello once again....
For everyone who isn't familiar with the book 'war and peace', it is a classic epic masterpiece written by Leo Tolstoy that, as that majority of you will be aware, engross's the reader with its fantastic character development and encompassing story line! War and peace (for all you lesser educated people reading this diary) is a chronicle of two or three decades of several families and interrelated characters set in Russia during the 19th century. One fact that captivates me about this book is that if u took the print out of the book and laid every word next to each other in roughly a size ten font, it would circle the world around ten times!
Thats right ladies and gents, this book is one hell of a book! Its about 4 inches thick( thats a lot of pages)! If u read it non stop at an average speed while travelling in a car at approximately 50 miles per hour, you could quite easily drive across the whole of the US and back! Before the yellow pages were invented, this was THE book to stand on when trying to kiss some one taller than yourself!
So what I'm trying to say is that this is a BIG, with a capital B, book....and thats where the comparison with my diary entries comes from! And haven't we got off too a good start again this week!
The feedback I got from my last email hinted that my diarys were a tad long winded to say the least! Well....do not fear, for I have taken heed off the advice and I intend to make this entry a little shorter (see how i only say intend...this introductions taken you 15 minutes to read).
So, may I start by saying how brilliant Americans actually are! Thats right, I want to praise the American people (that I have met so far) for their hospitality, their kindness and their willingness to buy me alcohol without asking my age! Seriously though, Americans get a lot of bad publicity about their views about (and ignorance of) the rest of the world, their obsession with guns, war and anything that explodes and their undying obsession with country music.
Unfortunately I cannot defend them on this last accusation, they have a whole channel devoted this infernal racket of red necks, slack jaws and billy bob sue's whining about something or other! However, it would not be fair to brand all americans as isolationist, gun toting, oil hunting, french hating (though i wouldn't blame them), fat, un-educated people who are so obsessed with America and everything that, that they are told by their presidents, is good about it that they dont see that they are actually becoming the terrorists....stop! whoah, thats becoming a tad bit political, boring and long winded!
Basically what I'm trying to say is that from my experience, the majority of americans are great...for example, the family I am staying with have taken in a complete stranger and treat me as one of their own, I am sleeping in one of their childrens beds (not withthe child might I add) they buy me anything I want, ranging from alcohol to cookies to moisturising cream (I have dry skin, before you start). They treat me as royalty, and will not let me lift a finger to help out with the cooking or cleaning. (For this I use the 'ask twice rule'...I'll teach you it:
"Mrs (add surname here), would you like a hand with (add job here),
"no no, you sit down and relax dear"(i hope anyway, if not your screwed and i apologise),
Then you reply
(just to add that bit of sincerity to your offer)(which, by the way, you can use after any of her two replies) "are you sure?"
To which she replies
She is happy, thinking that you are a considerate young gentelman/woman, you are happy as you have just enhanced your reputation for the better while having to do abso-fu*king-lutely nothing for it!)
As i was saying, this is no mere fluke, nor is it coincidence that my mate anthony (who i now work with) also has a family like this! This happens at 9/10 homes where people who i work with are placed...yes i know not every american is like this, far from it! If you go to places like New York, there is a vast majority of people who seem to be the complete opposite of what I have just described, but the majority of America is not like new york and nor are the people who live here.
Their lack of education about the rest of the world (yes a lot of americans would struggle to point out even the UK on a map) has a lot to do with federal (national government) policy of education in schools and a hell of a lot to do with what americans see and hear on the news! Such is the biasedness of the news channels over here that even I'm starting to believe that there were actually weapons of mass destruction in iraq! Hell I'm even starting to think that George W. Bush is a very well educated, well read man, who 'liberated' the people of iraq because, gosh darn it, he's just a nice bloke, not like that Saddam guy who used to rule there (it was sheer coincidence that their was vast amounts of oil in there!), and not at all like 2D TV portrays him (as a man who very much resembles a primate in looks and has the knowledge, wit and charisma of a 9 yr old in a bad mood who finds entertainment in a sock hand puppet).
My point is that yes, a some americans fit the sterotype that we 'cultured' english give them, of being fat, lazy, obese, dumb and dumber...but a lot of them do not, and the ones that do are not to blame for being in this predicament....it is a lot to do with the way the country is run...and the fact that you'll find 3 McDonalds, 1 Dunkin Donuts, 1 Burger King, 2 Subways and countless other fast food outlets in a town that is populated by only 35,00 people and yet has no library!
Just had to get that off my chest....God Bless America :wink: