6 Reasons to be Grateful for being an American in the USA Right Now

Greetings! This has been a list that has been playing in my head over the last months while succumbing to a newfound news addiction. From the current supreme court justice debacle, frustrations and dumbfoundedness of how plenty of people seem to fangirl around the president, to just general COVID-19 stuff – there is still plenty to be thankful for!

1. We do not go to prison for being behind on bills.

For example, in Dubai, you fall behind on your bills you go to prison. So, if you perhaps are behind even $1000.00, they send you to jail for three years. Then you’re free for 30 days to bargain with some wealthy relatives. If you do not have any wealthy relatives, or your GoFundMe page has failed, then you’re back to jail indefinitely until the debt is paid! (Yayyy!)

Apparently, many-a-folk, when they realize their predicament, leave the country, never to return, leaving their Lamborghinis to join the thousands of abandoned luxury vehicles there every year.

Imagine this, but abandoned.

Thankfully, here, that does not happen. Sometimes you can just call your creditors and work out a payment plan. On the worst end of the stick, you lose everything – but at least you’re not in jail.

2. We do not have to include our weight and a picture with our resume when we apply for jobs.

First things first: I love Korea. I think of it as one of my homes. With their exceptionally fast Internet, efficient public transportation, and the best fried chicken in the world.

Sorry, KFC.

Well, because you know, here an employer is not supposed to discriminate you based on your sexual orientation, gender, race, or… looks.

That is, in Korea, you may get passed up for a job because the other candidate is skinnier, younger, or is simply seen as better looking. And they’re able to vet a lot of people by simply asking you for your weight, height, and picture on your resume.

Photo courtesy of a Sleepy Anna in the photo booth at the US Embassy in Seoul

For this reason, plastic surgery is super-duper-popular, and is generally seen as a necessity to land a job.

3. We have access to Google (including Youtube, Gmail), Facebook, CNN…

Then you’ve got China. China is underrated and beautiful.

Gansu Province, PRC

When I lived there, I had to use my Yahoo account as my primary account. My Yahoo account that doesn’t allow me to use special characters in the password – that one. And oh, I had to use Bing to search. That was horrendous. Before going into China, I knew about the censorship, but sheesh, I realized how dependent I was on quite a few sites rather quickly.

True, VPNs exist, and I most definitely went through a few. Though when you combine a VPN with slow internet, and a regime that actually cracks down on shutting down and/or disconnecting you from servers… you just find yourself yearning for the simple life of Google, is all.

4. At the end of the day, we can pretty much go anywhere we want.

True, our passport may not have a lot of power right now in the sense that a ton of countries think of us carriers of COVID-19. However, at the end of the day, I know that I can go anywhere. I may have to withstand a quarantine if I travel during COVID-19 Times, or I may have to wait for certain places until it all settles down. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Coco in Krak de Chevaliers, Syria | September 2019

One day, when I am not throwing ABA at children (I think my community would frown upon my wording just now), or when I just simply block out more time, I will write about my adventures with Coco around the world. (Especially Syria, Syria is great. I expect that I will go back there many times with my cats over the years.)

Anyway, since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve been camping. I have not even gone all of that far from home!

Somewhere near Eagle Harbor, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) 2020.10.10

The U.S. is super-fantastic-great for camping. I would bet hard money that there are beautiful national parks and worthwhile campsites in all 50 states and territories.

Camping has allowed me to take all of my cats. I have five.

Here’s one of them: Killua in Baraga State Park, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) 2020.10.10

5. We have cheese. Varieties of Cheese.

Okay, we are not the only country with cheese. But there are so many countries where cheese is this uncommon, and/or expensive item.

But it’s so worth it.

Take for example, Russia, how they often respond to the sanctions imposed on them is by banning food imports. Like cheese. There are folks out there in Russia, smuggling in cheese so people can have proper pizza.

Basically, anywhere where cows are not all that common cheese will be an especially prized and rare possession. (Think Korea, Philippines… most Asian countries).

6. Though the country is divided, people who do not normally come together… are coming together to fix it.

I have never paid that much attention to politics and the government until the last four years. At the end of the day, I thought, “There are checks and balances, and a lot of stuff only has a pseudo-effect on me. And no matter what happens anyway, I will just work around it.”

Then, throughout the last four years, I realized that a lot of those checks and balances seem to be held by… honor. Like, I have learned a lot in the past four years about how the government works. Anyway, if a leader has no honor, then lot of changes can happen.

The man who still can’t get over the Hunter Biden Thing even though it originally led to his impeachment because he extorted Ukraine over investigating it. The guy who blocked aid to Puerto Rico, showcased in the worst airport experience I’ve ever had. (Cuba, Syria, Philippines all have water in their bathrooms). The guy who talks about how the media spreads fake news yet retweets conspiracy theories to “let people decide what to think”. I could go on…

There are:

And then I suppose, funnily, Putin will not fully endorse Trump. If you watch the following video, I thought it was a bit interesting how it was almost as if it was seen that blacks having rights was a Democratic Party view. Which, by the way, Putin is all for.

I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is so bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values. Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, these can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative. […]

The Soviet Union also supported the African Americans’ movement for their legitimate rights.

Vladimir Putin,
the man who banned gay pride, lacy underwear, and good cheese for his people, and regulates memes and popular bloggers.
But he’s also kind to dogs.
October 7, 2020

And if Trump wins? I’ll probably move out. Even though I have a house and everything. Because that just means my birth country is not as great as I’d want it to be.

Technically, I am grateful for more…

Like the comfort that the hot dog I buy before the expiration date should not poison me, I can return an item for a refund, clean water, and efficient heat. Prime veterinary service for my cats and doggie. But you don’t need to read more, you get the idea.

It isn’t always about seeing new places

If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?

Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men

I am going to Lebanon in just a few weeks, with the hopes of also making my way into Syria. In the interim, I have been Googling and Googling whatever interests me about Lebanon and Syria.

One of the tidbits I came across was to not even think about going to Lebanon without having listened to Fairouz. She is a cultural icon in the Arab world.

I am now all about Fairouz. This song makes me happy.

Aaah ya sahar le layali,
aah ya hal la la bayali…

Aaah you lovely night
Aaah you are are so beautiful when I remember…

___________________

My goal for traveling to Lebanon, at the very least, is to capture a sense of wonder. Perhaps my life will become one long escape. More on that later.

Sometimes we just want to get away from a place. Traveling isn’t always about seeing new places. Sometimes it’s about escaping old ones.

David K. William
Science Proves that Traveling Boost your Health and Overall Well-being