Tuesday, April 26, 2011

America... land of the easy.

So I've been back in America for six months now and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.
At first it was wonderful. I went on a couple of shopping sprees to refresh my wardrobe after choosing from the same twenty pieces of clothing day-in and day-out for four years. The shopping euphoria wore off quickly as I remembered I never did like shopping, nor the bills that come with it. At least I had clothes to wear now though and more than three pairs of pants. After the consumer in me feasted the foodie in me really started to come to the table. I could now cook Thai food, eat Mexican everyday (if I wanted to), and find almost any ingredient my heart desired. I had "the world" at my fingertips except the things I really wanted, like sugar sweet just-from-the-tree mango, extra-wide rice noodles, fresh fluffy tamales, chipati, goat samosas spiced just right, olive oil so good you want to drink it, and tomatoes so delicious you eat only them for at least two meals a day. But alas you can get the tasteless poor-man's (or blind-man or ignorant-man) version of all of this right around the corner of wherever you happen to be in America. America the vast, America the fast, America the easy.

It's not that I hate the land of my birth. There are good things here. I love the diversity and the fact that we are a melting pot, or salad bowl depending on your school of thought. I love the opportunities provided for those who seek them. I love that you can get one-off versions of just about anything you've had anywhere in the world... but they just never seem to measure up. Maybe my memory paints a better picture, but I'm pretty sure that some countries do/make/grow specific things better than other countries.

America may "have it all" but that doesn't mean it has the best of it all. Vanuatu still holds my heart for beaches. Thailand has the sweetest, purest tasting fruit I've ever wrapped my lips around. East Africa has the brightest smiles and the most regal, awe-inspiring landscape I've ever laid my eyes on. Bulgaria has the best vegetables and quaintest villages I've had the privilege to garden in. Italy the best cappuccino and espresso. Brazil the best caparina. Mexico the most vibrant colors and colorful nightlife. All this is only my humble opinion and based on my limited experience.

I am young, a tempered idealist, and a fish-out-of-water. I feel uncomfortable anytime I am comfortable. Whenever life is easy it makes me uneasy. There is something in me that hates complacency and the strive to have more while forgetting those around us. I do have to admit though I strive to have more... rarely it's more money, usually it's more experience, more time, more love, more friends, more family, more quality time. I find that no matter how much of these things I have I always want more. I doubt that will ever stop...

Sorry if this meander through my mind has been a bit hard to follow.

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