Things the US Does Right

One of the running jokes throughout my South African experience has been the things that the US does that doesn’t make sense.  The US is on the Imperial system, which is not easily converted to other measuring systems (or even its own system…).  The US has only two major political parties that cannot represent the entire population.  The US does not include tax in the sales or purchasing price (it’s calculated after, which is kind of annoying).  The US writes the month, the date, then the year (1/13/2015) instead of the date, the month, then the year (13/1/2015).  These are just a few.

It’s just so interesting because the US is one of the most influential countries in the world, but just does things that have to be different from the rest of the world.  It doesn’t make sense!

But, there are a few things that the US does “right”:

  1. Limitations on Smoking (Cigarettes).
    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am really sensitive to the smell of tobacco.  If I breathe it in too much, I can easily start coughing.  So, I like that in the US, there are designated areas of smoking and it is generally prohibited in many establishments.  My lungs can rest easy, and it’s generally better for health.
  2. Oxford Commas.
    The Oxford Comma saves lives! So, if you don’t know what the Oxford comma is, it’s the comma right before an “and” in a list. It’s also called the “serial comma”.  I think they should be used more often.

    Yes, I agree that the Oxford comma is probably unnecessary in cases where it’s clear that there is a list, but as seen above, sentence construction isn’t always so clear.  The Oxford comma makes it clear.  I’ve definitely been thrown off a few times because the author didn’t use the comma.

  3. College Ruled Paper.
    I seriously haven’t found any notebooks here that have college ruled paper!  Everything is wide ruled!
  4. President Obama.
    I’ve been following the US presidential election and debates as best as I can, and I’m not going to share my thoughts on that. But, they, and many other factors, have certainly made me realize how much I’m going to miss President Obama as president.  He’s a great man, and I truly believe that he has done great things for this country.  And he won’t spend R235 million (approximately $16 million USD) of taxpayer revenues on a house.
  5. Diversity.
    The US is also incredibly diverse with different languages, cultures, and food (I craved Mexican food like crazy over there!1).  It is through this diversity that the US is such a great place to live.  It is this diversity that brings innovation, acceptance, respect, and even cultural understanding.  I really hope that the American people can remember this uniquely American aspect in this upcoming election.

And… that’s all I got (for now).  And these are small things, but they are important things in my life.  These The US also has a great economy (despite a lot of wealth at the top and wealthy people being able to evade taxes).   Overall, I am thankful to be a US citizen, despite the problems that we still have.  It’s quite interesting to live across the Atlantic for a while and view the US from an international perspective.  It allows me to be reflective of the place in which I grew up.

The US sometimes doesn’t make sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Over and out.

 

1 There are a few Mexican restaurants in Cape Town, but there aren’t many. “Mexicans never came over,” Trevor Noah once said.  I had to explain what tacos were to some locals I met, and the Mexican food that I was able to eat there was not the street Mexican food that I was used to eating growing up.  Still good, but not what I was craving.  I definitely had some carne asada tacos right when I got home.

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