American views and others
This is really cool to read all this stuff from you all. I also live near the Canadian border and enjoy going to Vancouver BC several times a year. I used to go to a horse camp every summer near there. The Canadian kids were very tough and self reliant. They played rough and never complained, and didn't suffer fools lightly.
One thing I noticed on my most recent trip to Van was that very few people are fat! In the US, there are soOOOOOO many fat people, and I mean FAT! In Vancouver BC folks are very outdoor oriented and I believe that their generally high level of satisfaction with their lives meant that they did not eat to sooth anxiety or bring meaning to daily life. If you go to some places in the US you will be shocked at how fat, and big, people are. What saddens me now is to see how many young people are already the size you might see in a middle aged woman, and they are only in their twenties.
I lived in Tokyo for 3.5 years, back before you were even born, and when we came back to the US for a couple of visits, after 18 months abroad, I was shocked at how BIG everything and everyone was. We in North America are so used to having more than enough space (and other precious commodities) available to us that we don't have to be conservative or creative in how we utilize it. Japan is SOOO different there. Every bit of space is used, there are very few empty lots or things like large mediums between two parts of a freeway. That's valuable land going to waste! I could go on and on.
I just wanted to say, persuant to the thread topic, that I have really enjoyed reading the threads from Inaclick. Your view point is really refresshing to hear. We don't want to forget those times. What's the old saying, . . . That which we forget we are doomed to repeat" Or something like that.
I spent a few weeks in Yugoslavia in mid 1987 and that was an experience. It was sooo different. The thing I remember mostly was the desperate, hardscrabble faces of the people. They weren't very nice to us, but they didn't have the mental energy to do so. They were suspicious and only looked at us as added burden unless we could provide some benefit to them like US dollars or Duetchmarks. Otherwise, they couldn't be bothered with us. They were too interested in their own petty squabbles among the ethnic groups, and their constant shortages of things they needed. They didn't look happy or healthy. Then you would see German tourists go through and they were the picture of health and wealth, and to my dismay, were often much more of "Ugly American" tourist, worse than Americans. I did, however, on my many travels in those years meet Americans overseas who caused me to be embarassed. Especially in Tokyo. So, I felt it my duty to make up for them be being as polite and sensitive to my host country's culture as possible. Speaking the language is #1 to that end.
So , back to Inaclick. Your English is certainly very good. Your posts are really interesting and don't feel shy about expressing your honest feelings. That truly IS the greatest thing about my country is that we CAN agree to disagreee and still be neighbors. We loudly express our opinions . There is a lot of debate going on now about our relationship with the Muslim world. Although it really hurts to hear Christians saying that they will burn Koran's as a symbol for honoring 9/11, I will defend their right to say this. I hope they will not do this but not because they are not allowed to express their anger toward Islam, but rather we don't need to insult ALL Muslims to express our anger toward the extremists.
Sorry, I went off there. Wierd.
That's all for now.