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I do not like my home country better than any other. I am not patriotic. I have lived in quite a few other countries before coming here. I feel more like a citizen of the world. No particular attachment, no particular allegiance. I actually very much dislike any blind patriotic displays, such as pledges, flags, etc.
I came to the USA in 1979, very enthusiastically, with my family, as my husband was transferred here for his job. Disillusion came quickly. By 1981 I was desparate to go back, to anywhere else - not my own country necessarily - I would have been happy to go to any continent. But my husband's job was in the balance and we were not all that young anymore to start over. (Also my husband is of a different nationality than me, from a country which has more affinities with this one). He had already invested many years in his company by then. We always thought we would move back somewhere in Europe when he retired. By then, it was too late for us. Our children are established here now. Grandkids.
In nearly 30 years, countries in Europe have changed, habits, places, ways of doing things are all different and we would have to adapt to all this newness at our age when it is difficult to change. But that really does not mean we enjoy it more here than if we had not come in the first place. In fact I dislike life here more and more, to the point where I do not wish to go and meet new people. I read a lot. I take care of my garden. We do go out and have foreign friends, who do not like it here either and we all tend to "find" each other somehow!
My feeling is that I have acquired a knowledge of this country that would be valuable if I could use it, but in doing so, I have ruined a part of my own life. My children are pretty happy here: they don't remember much else for comparison. I say part of my life only because this is not something I think about most of my time. We do do things we could be doing anywhere in the world here. One has to live somewhere, no?
Why is it that Americans cannot take criticism? My own opinion on this is that since infancy they have been fed propaganda on a large scale. History books in schools don't tell the real story and never tell other peoples' story. US kids grow up thinking everyone in the world is American! When they finally discover there are others, they imagine them as savages, and when they are grown up they make it their mission to "teach" the world.
It would be so interesting for American people visiting this site to have an open mind to what others have to say of their perception here or from abroad. Instead it is another battle front. Why is it that Americans are so confrontational, so allergic to criticism? I think it is because they are so insular. In Europe's many countries, children travel at an early age to each others countries, learn languages and the history and customs of these countries. They know other people don't do things the same way or think the same thing. They may laugh but they accept it.
Also Europe has seen many wars between these countries and they dislike war. In America "war is a word that gives us meaning" (part of the title of a book). War on drugs, war on poverty, war on terrorism, war on smoking etc. America has never had an invasion war. Its inhabitant have never gone through being invaded or bombed and having to live for years on rutabagas. It has had a bloody civil war but that was so long ago. Yet the re-creation of battles each year baffle me. People seem to enjoy war.
That is all I have to say, little C23.
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