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Bye bye the US… bye bye Nouillorque…

Publié le 14 janvier 2010 par Tomtom

People generally like pretending they are intellectuals so I will start this post with a verbatim from John Steinbeck from 1953…: « New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it – once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.”
Although 57 years later, these two sentences still describe pretty well I think the paradox of this city and the US in general: people keep blaming the US (especially in France …) either for its foreign policy, its disastrous health system, its inequalities, its ‘McDonalization’ of the world, etc … (the average European person would already have a full list of arguments to talk about the US !). Though, this country still fascinates the world and still manages to attract people from all over the world. As a journalist of ‘The Economist’ said in the last edition: “The greatest strength of America is that people want to live there, America is a Ponzi scheme that works […] immigration keeps America young, strong, and growing”. Everybody talk about China (and/or India) as the future super-power(s) … Well, China strength is obviously its number of poeple but this doesn’t necessarily makes a great country.
Some people (especially in Europe) are used to comparing the US with the Roman Empire … well, by attracting people from all over the world and making sure the ‘American dream’ is still alive, I do believe the US keep a significant advantage ahead and there is still a long time to go before seeing China, India (or even Europe) overtaking the US (I am talking about innovation, GDP, politic power, etc…).

Unfortunately, I now have to leave the US but hopefully I am already planning to be back in 1 or 2 years. Anyway, I can’t say I didn’t take advantage of my stay in the US to discover it. Within 2 years, I visited its 2 neighboors (Canada & Mexico), more than 10 states in the US : amazing places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New-York, Boston. Apart from New-York which is unique, I will miss many things actually, to name a few:

• Las Vegas: There is really only place in the world like this: a giant Walt Disney village located in the middle of nowhere. This is the ‘wonderful sin city’: everything is permitted (almost…), everything is fake, it smells money laundering in the casinos but that’s such a great sociological lab : old people dreaming to win the jackpot, couples looking for getting married, cowboys playing poker, businessmen meeting there for ‘conferences’… I had the experience to race for a Xterra triathlon in Lake Las Vegas last year and I will remember it for my whole life.
• UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship): yes I know…in France they would call me a “beauf”/ in the US a ‘redneck’ or ‘white trash’ but I definitely enjoy this sport! I discovered it and got hooked up right away. Showcasing fighters of different proficiencies—including boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling and Muay Thai, among others—UFC athletes are complete athletes and real gladiators thrown in the arena! UFC is a ‘Made in USA’ product, I love it (mixed sports + (almost) no rules and a big show).
• Hawaii: that’s simply the most amazing place I have ever seen so far: volcanic islands with amazing climate phenomenons, fauna & flora like anywhere in the world, surfing & windsurfing, etc…
San Francisco : see previous post before !
• + all the rest: the commercials, American football, TV shows, Starbucks, NY cabs, etc… and I know I forget a lot of things.

And obviously I will miss all the people I met there in New-York… the wild Kangaroos and their depressed dogs, Eric : the tough climber and future associate , Charlie : the British 2 hours-and-half-marathoner, Carol & Brian (+ Quigley…), the Chilean cheerleader and future Xterra World Championships announcer, Doctor Shara, Aaron the triathlete fundraiser, Genevieve our future Niky designer, Emil: the 200 pounds former Harvard Hard Rock singer, the Ecuadorian couple arguing like hell on the soccer field, the other soccer girls and eventually all the other Frenchies met here and the one I am missing in this list.

Hasta prontito in Paris !

Thomas


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