Saturday, 5 April 2008

American People.... (by Dan)

If I ask folks back home what they think of America and it its people they (in most cases) talk mainly of a crazy bunch of people with a bad president, that love junk food. They see them as a very dangerous people that would knife you for a few dollars.

Into my ninth week and my eighth State, I will share with you what I have found so far. I feel inspired to share with you what (staying away from the big cites) my perceptions of people here are like.

I got off the plane nine weeks ago and took a ride with a jolly dancing cab driver. The next morning the staff at the RV hire place were very kind and did all they could to give us the best possible RV for our trip. An amazing couple, Pat & Jim drove all the way to the hire place to meet us a treated us like their sons & daughters for 10 days (See Brees older blog posts on Florida)

From there we have continued to meet the nicest, friendliest, sharing people possible. We went to Georgia to a maximum security prison where all the inmates and staff were very nice, and where we met a lady called Lesley who went out of her way to help Bree set up the visit over a period of many weeks previously.

The people of Alabama greeted and us treated us well, they were very interested to hear all about our family and Ireland.

In Mississippi and Louisiana we were welcomed, especially in the places that were effected by Katrina. These people were really pleased that we came to spend a few dollars and see first hand the effects of the terrible hurricane.

People in Texas treated us like long lost family the second we walked in the door in certain places making us feel really at home, in fact warmer than being at home.

The people in New Mexico walked the extra mile with kindness and friendliness, if they saw you arrive in a town they would greet you and introduce themselves. Great down to earth people, really pleased to see you.

At present we are in Arizona and it just keeps happening. After speaking to a lady for a few minutes one night I had an offer to take my family to her house for Sunday dinner and baths! She treated us so well, cooked amazing food and had a wonderful family.

In general I have met the most thoughtful, kind, and interesting people possible. People that appreciate and enjoy life, with good values, people you could talk to for hours about things that matter, family, nature etc.. people that don’t want big yellow M’s coming to their towns, people who watch the stars and ignore the rubbish on TV. People who I could mix with and get along with just fine. Sometimes I feel like an alien in my home town in Northern Ireland. In a way I feel one of these little towns is more than my home, even though I only just passed through it.

In fact the only cross people I have met are only cross with the running of the country. They would say to me “everyone hates Americans at the moment , we are hurting real bad, thanks for coming and thanks and for the nice things you have said”

Its so easy to get an opinion of a place by a weeks holiday or something that you have read in the newspapers or watched on TV. I am not saying I know it all after a few months, but from what I have seen, this place is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it must have more than its fair share of nut cases and after all statistics don’t lie, this can be a dangerous place to live. But if you keep out of the big cities, America would get my vote for a friendly place to live.

Don’t even get me stared on the beauty of this place. I could write a book on that one. The national parks are everywhere and are breath taking. Going back to the people, the staff at the state and national parks are passionate about the parks in a real and genuine way. The children are given activities to do and the staff are so friendly to help and so pleased when they see them learn.


Davy said...

You're right young Steve. People do tend to stereotype entire populations -- arrogant Germans, rude French, drunken Irish etc and of course there are all types of people everywhere.

When we visited New York, hardly anyone spoke to each other, but that's just a big city thing. Obviously you're going to the friendlier places and it sounds great.

There is of course one exception -- everyone thinks Northern Ireland people are a bunch of neanderthals who can't get on with each other -- and they're right!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dan, great thoughts, great text! Helps people to get together


Tom S. said...

Excellent comments, and a very interesting perspective. I particularly like that you have discovered the beauty of non-big-city america. You have taken the time to see what the rest of us live like!

Because the media is centered mostly in New Your or Los Angeles, that is the image of America most of the world sees. What you are seeing is what is referred to in the media as "flyover country" - i.e. that vast area that lies between the two coasts. And you are right, it's a whole different world.

Thanks for appreciating the rest of our country - and the rest of us.

Tom S. said...

Oh, I forgot to ask:

"big yellow M’s" ????

Dan said...

Lol, sorry, by big yellow M's I meant McDonalds.