As an expat, one of the things I love are reading and seeing accounts of other expats in the places I’ve been. Part of the pleasure is in how much or little I relate to someone else’s experience; sometimes it’s surprising to learn that an altercation with the locals is universal while other, seemingly mundane situations are unique to me.
The flip-side of this is how foreigners understand the US. My parents fall into this group which is probably why it’s taken me so long to enjoy the large collection of such insights. After all, stories about how weird America and those who inhabit it are were a common occurrence in my house. Maybe it’s just that I’ve been away so long (seven years and counting) that I’m far enough away to see that yes, those people are nuts and that I was a fool for not seeing it sooner.
Here’s what Stephen Fry had to say about experiencing a college football game for his 2008 BBC docuseries, “Stephen Fry in America”
I really don’t know if anything sums up America better. It’s simultaneously preposterous, incredibly laughable, impressive, charming, ridiculous, expensive, overpopulated, wonderful. American.
You can watch the whole thing online or just the part I’m referencing below.
I can’t wait to see what he says about where I grew up.