Whether you consider yourself an expat(riate), a transplant, an émigré, an exile, or an immigrant, you notice how and in what way your new country—the U.S. in the case of American Robotnik—differs from the country of your birth.
“Cultural distance from host society”, that is, how much your new country differs from your old one, plays a role not only in your acculturation, but also in what you notice and how it affects you. When it comes to the differences between developed Europe and the U.S., Vincent Vega said it:
(Yeah, mayonnaise on French fries in the Netherlands is nasty. Peanut sauce on the other hand…)
I have already started capturing some of my impressions, old and new, in the Kultur Clash category where I’ve touched upon Black Friday, Halloween, peanut butter pickle sandwich, and heritage festivals as some of the phenomena that fascinate me. I’m going for the differences that don’t necessarily affect me profoundly but that 1) are different enough to point out and 2) not immediately obvious. In other words, the little big differences. At the same time, I aim to steer clear both of the trivial differences Mr. Vega highlights and of those you can read about elsewhere, from de Tocqueville to Baudrillard to Lévy—what is it about the fascination of the French with America?—or other blogs.
And so, from among the posts in draft status, I will share my observations about birthday parties for 1-year olds, infant safe haven laws, jello shots, or banned books. There will be others, of course. Meanwhile, please share your suggestions in Comments.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”
- Jean Beaudrillard, “America”, 1986
- Bertrand-Henri Lévy, “American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of de Tocqueville”, 2006