SS | ET Student
Over the last few weeks my cultural perspective broadened dramatically. The preconceived ideas I had formed about the culture of the United Kingdom have since been humbled and have brought me to a new understanding. Through the various circumstances and acquaintances I have encountered over the past four weeks, I have begun to set the record straight regarding my perspective.
Over a week and a half ago, I met an employee who worked at the hostel we were staying at in England’s Lake District. After some small talk, the conversation transitioned into a discussion about the United States. He mentioned that trade between the U.S. and the United Kingdom is not as fluid as it could be. According to this gentleman, people in the U.K. love American cars, television shows and restaurants, but are unable to enjoy them due to poor trade practices. Until that moment, I had not realized how important the American television industry was to the U.K., nor how much they enjoyed these American-made products. The comment about cars also brought some surprise; even though European cars are held in high esteem by the U.S., I did not realize the U.K. reciprocated these feelings toward our vehicles.
It was not only this instance that changed my outlook; other locals I have spoken with have also expressed their love of the U.S. One of them, Pedro, a salesman at the Foot Locker in Chester, said his dream was to visit the U.S., even though he had not seen the majority of the U.K. There were others who have also expressed as much, many of them mentioning New York as a destination.
As travel writer A. A. Gill mentions in “America the Marvelous”, not all Europeans feel this way; a fair amount view America as, “a stupid country made stupid by stupid, stupid people.” As people from both places continue to talk and share ideas with one another, these differences will subside as these two nations come to realize how similar they are, and how much they can accomplish united.