My image of America

In case you’ve been living under a rock, America has been in the news quite a lot these past couple of days. Because of Trump and his band of violent idiots, America’s image is at an all-time low. This post is not about all that, but how my image of America was formed as a young girl living in a third world country.

I have never met an actual American, so all my perceptions of the ‘land of the free’ were formed by American movies and series. I can only assume that most of these perceptions are wrong, so please don’t eat me alive in the comments.

The weirdest one

As a child, I thought that America was a very liberal country. This was because of a silly reason. Oh gosh, this is embarrassing.

So, what you call a ‘drug store’ in America, we call a ‘pharmacy’ in South Africa. (Don’t beat me to the funny part.)

Also, when we talk about drugs here, most people would think about things like cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc, and not things like Ibuprofen.

Basically, I thought Americans can buy hardcore drugs at stores, and this was a common and accepted practice.

The abundance

The absolute abundance of America (as portrayed on TV) is just shocking.

If you just watch how people go at it on Black Friday (when it’s on the news) it seems like money is not a problem for Americans.

According to the movies, all Americans have infinite disposable income to spend on overseas trips (like going on a tour through Europe after high school or in college) or to go to Disneyland.

Also, apparently, Americans have enormous houses with attics and basements. I have never met anyone in South Africa with an attic or a basement.

Things about America that I don’t understand

You don’t have any state-funded public hospitals. Even in South Africa, we have state hospitals where you can get free or affordable healthcare.

I’ll admit, our state hospitals aren’t great. Like seriously, you could die if you have a serious condition while waiting for someone to tend to you, but at least the option of a state hospital is there for you.

You have weird rugby (so-called American Football, but you don’t really kick the ball, you just run around with it, so I don’t get the ‘foot’ in Football).

What is this obsession with Starbucks, and what is pumpkin spice? Pumpkin spice sounds like the worst thing to mix with coffee. Those are not compatible flavours.

Also, what the hell is eggnog?

Why does seemingly everyone have a gun there?

What is up with daylight savings?

I have so many questions.

To America

To my American readers, what is the one common misperception about America that grinds your gears? Please let me know in the comments.



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My image of America