A couple of years ago my daughter did two exchange visits with school. One to Germany and the other to the USA… Delaware somewhere. My interest when she returned was which she felt was the most ‘foreign’ and her answer was America. Maybe thats a sign that we are more European than we give ourselves credit for… or maybe not.
I thought about this again last weekend as having had an afternoon imbibing some sea breezes on the north Wales coast me and the bear returned home via Chester.
But no…. ’twasn’t a ‘smokehouse’ it was an American dining experience thing… now I can find my way round an Indian menu without ever having been to India… a Japanese menu ditto…. Thai… Polish… you name it… I can usually work out what I want to eat.
But this place felt really foreign… not bad… just strange. It probably doesn’t help that I have a long history of being irrationally anti-american… (i’ve never actually met one i didn’t like.. but have never had the urge to mix with them en masse on home turf). I partly blame my mothers post WW2 anti american sentiments… but only partly…. my daughter grew up without Disney, Coca cola, Barbies and MacDonalds becuase of my irrationality – which maybe why I was so keen for her to go on an exchange visit there.. to try and redress the balance somewhat.
I looked at the menu for a long time… I understood what some of the stuff was… vaguely in some cases (pulled pork) or not at all (roadhouse burger)… but mostly it was residual resistance to a whole culture (if you can call it a culture) [see…there i go again].
I had ribs (thats like having a chinese isn’t it)? They came with very good chips (fries) and ‘slaw (coleslaw)…
I feel slightly uneasy… I think its the puritan in me… so much about mainstream america is about easiness… gluttony…sweetness…. if I give in to it…. its like heroin…. it won’t be too many dishes of pulled pork… or buffalo wings (who have known they had wings)? before I’m craving bacon with syrup on it… and that way lies twenty four stone right wing christian horse marrying madness. [i’m doing it again aint i]?