185 days. 6 months and 1 day.
Phew, i’ve been sitting in LAX in the city i like the least out almost anywhere i’ve been in America. For 10 hours now. I guess not everything ends on a high note. It’s pretty hard to short the excitement i have for getting home.
The desire to get home has grown daily and i cannot wait to see you all. It wasn’t there and then suddenly it was overwhelming. The close it got the more my impatience grew.
I will miss this country, i’ve been thinking about America a lot in the last week or so. People sell this country so bloody short, i told a lot of people how the people in the USA are narrow minded about the world, geographically, culturally, historically and politically. I still believe that but in thinking about , how was i any better before i got here? I just assumed i knew what it would be like, the stereotypes would be true, Obama was awesome and the healthcare system is fucked.
So i wasn’t totally wrong but it’s the things you have no idea about. People are extremely nice, i have been to a lot of countries and these folks are up there in the generosity and unselfishness department.
Which makes it all the more sad when you do come understand the confining culture of young Americans. Unlike Australia there is no gap year here, not everyone has the desire to leave their country. Through a combination of fear mongering , awfully skewed media and poor education not many young Americans have that yearning desire to fly the coop. Of course economics play a huge roll, university age students here can be earning as little as $3 an hour, its impossible to travel when you cannot make enough money to pay for a bus pass let alone a plane ticket. It hurts to see a whole countries youth starved of the amazing experience that travel is. I feel it is a little to excepted though, and there is certainly a lot of feeling that travel is unsafe. It is just hard to come to terms with especially when they so happily embrace foreigners. Everyone will happily chat to you, mistake your accent and not know where your country is with a huge smile on their face whilst they hand you a shot or a beer.
There is an incredibly rich culture here, it’s hard to explain and decipher and i think it will take some time out of it to really be able to analyze it. It’s certain a very proud, patriotic and unforgiving country. Whilst it has deep flaws with racism, inequality and socio economic divides as well as massive health and foreign policy issues you could substitute almost any country in the world into this sentence and be correct. (Except Greece, those guys are so beyond fucked, they didn’t even take a paddle up the creek to begin with).
But i keep coming back to the view that, this country is bloody awesome. The cities are incredible, like nothing you will see, their unique personalities separate them and create the feeling of different countries entirely. San Francisco and New York in particular.
The food and sport, which go somewhat hand in hand, but are both so proudly loved and embraced to fanatic levels. Some of the best food in world is here in shitty caravans and dingy diners. It will kill you if you eat it for a week but calories don’t determine how good a food item is. I had peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches that tasted like satay chicken, i had mexican food that would blow your mind (really where is this in Australia, why do not have good mexican, zambreros is shit). Barbeque is a religion in the south, with sacred recipes and secretely garded glades of magical trees which imbue meat with mystical properties. Next level street food, pies, ice cream, bakeries and a million other cultures. Shout out to Eddie Huang, who i have become a huge fan of recently. Dude is speaking for a people and fighting against stereotypes in his way.
If you think Australians enjoy sport come to America, go to a college football or basketball game, regardless of where there will be student fans that rival the greatest toothless Collingwood idiot or Roosters troglodyte. This nation bleeds for sport and its intoxicating, stars here are really Stars. Winning means so much. Losses mean more. There are rivalries, there is more pressure on college kids than million dollar pros, those pros have got their check, these kids just wanna beat their greatest rivals. Watch this http://youtu.be/0ROiJGvKiP8 .
College is an experience like no other (http://youtu.be/1yzdRQqnovg). Whilst my personal experience was perhaps not the realest of deals, i feel like what i got was perhaps more authentic and pure than others. Not to detract from what others experience, i would happily admit that others probably had more fun than i did, but no everyone subluximates collarbones in classes either so HA!
The friends that i have from these, they are brothers and sisters. I’m glad i got to share it with the people i did and i look forward to reminiscing when i see them again. Hopefully regularly throughout our lifetimes.
I’m not sure how to end this, but end it has so that i will have to come to terms with. If anyone ever passes up the opportunity to have an experience like this i’ll call you an idiot to your face. Even if your built like a nose tackle or a 7”2 center. I had so much fun, my eyes were opened to so many new avenues of interest, as well as letting me see a few old ones to begin to persue again.
Farewell America. I’m out, but I’ll be back.
Im not done with the photos but i have like 2500 of them and i realise that a lot of photos of me and friends drinking is really only interesting to a pretty small minority.