Jul 7, 2010

Fresh Eyes

Today brought a visit from a girl of eighteen, here to practice her English & experience a new culture. She is from northern Europe, & so I took the opportunity to ask her,

"What do you notice most about American culture; is there something here that strikes you as different & odd?"

After quietly thinking a moment, she responded thus.

"One thing that makes me wonder, is why do restaurants give so much food?"

She was right, of course. What makes restaurants think that we could possibly eat everything they give us? Or a more pertinent question might be, how have they made us think that we (in our right minds) would want to eat such enormous portions? For clearly we are convinced more often than not, & end up staggering back to our cars with regret for each final bite.

"The other thing I have noticed," she continued. "Another thing, is why do Americans all have such big cars when they do not have such big families? Where I live we drive much smaller cars."

I began to think of feasible answers.

"Well, sometimes people fill up the cars; perhaps we tend to have bigger families here."

This led to the average family productivity: our 2.09 children hardly exceeds their 1.8 enough to warrant such drastic vehicle sizing differences.

"Perhaps many of the cars are intended for driving other kids places, like sports & music."

But let's be honest. Even I don't understand those massive trucks that fit a mere 5 people but have enough room for a living room sofa set.

"For another example, I went and bought shampoo and shower gel, & I thought why do they have to be so big?"

It seems as though we all have a bit of a super-size-me syndrome. We are so immersed in opulence that extraordinary quantities do not phase us in the least.

My belief in doggie-bags is now official.
(although we do fill it up)
I'm extremely tired of our mammoth car.

1 comment:

anneliise said...

America: the nation of excess. It's very neat to get a perspective from someone outside of our nation; thank you for sharing and by that way, you should read *Revolution in World Missions* :-)