There are many things wrong with America, but today I would like to thank her for all of the things I take for granted. Things that I really missed while traveling in some of the countries I visited. Things that we may not realize we are lucky to have until we have aggravating experiences in other places.
First, I would like to thank you, America, for not having garbage all over your streets and sidewalks, in your bodies of water, and tainting the beautiful scenery of your nature. I have been home for a few weeks now, and I still cannot get over how litterless your ground is.
Thank you, America, for being friendly to your pedestrians. It is so nice to walk across intersections knowing that your cars will not skid through paying no heed to the people crossing the street. In fact, drivers here actually slow down and let the crosswalkers traverse to the other side peacefully, without a constant fear for their lives!
Thank you, America, for your efficiency. Even in the leisurely days of travel, I got frustrated with the preposterous disorganization and waiting times at banks, hotels, restaurants, and ticket agencies in some foreign countries. Here in America, we are always in a rush, with too much to do and too little time to do it in, going crazy if we have to wait too long at the Starbucks drive-through or in the grocery store check-out line. But at least we have the option of frequenting businesses that want to serve us quickly and efficiently – and even if they are not always successful at it, they usually give off the aura of trying.
Thank you, America, for your reliability. Your courts may deal with many frivolous lawsuits, but on the flip side, the laws that encourage these ridiculous cases also motivate corporations to follow through with what they promise. I rarely have to worry that when I buy a bus ticket for a certain seat at a certain price, my ticket will be exchanged without my knowledge and without a refund for a worse seat on a worse bus that costs less. And if that were to happen, I usually have some sort of recourse that will at the very least give me a venue to vent my anger.
Thank you, America, for your entrepreneurial spirit. In most of your industries, there is a healthy level of competition, which means I have a choice of which company to give my business. If one company gives me bad service, I can easily switch to one of its competitors. And out of spite, I can get my family and friends to do the same.
America, thank you for giving me the freedom to voice my frustration with your government and to freely access information in whatever publication I want to read or on whatever website I want to visit.
Thank you also, America, for respecting your women. Thank you for allowing your women to walk the streets without being subject to offensive catcalls and devouring looks. Thank you for making the machismo attitude an ugly thing and not one that your culture glorifies.
Thank you for making it possible for even the most unlikely and underprivileged of us to succeed.
And finally, I would like to thank all the people, both Americans and foreigners, who have fought to make it possible for us to live in a country where we can enjoy all of these things.
Happy Memorial Day!
(Yes, I realize Memorial Day was actually yesterday, but I succumbed to procrastination, and before I knew it, the holiday was over. Obviously, I will never be a breaking news journalist.)