Presentation on theme: "THROUGH MY EYES USA – 1999 / Tour MARTINA LOUDOVÁ teacher."— Presentation transcript:
THROUGH MY EYES USA – 1999 / Tour MARTINA LOUDOVÁ teacher
All of us know America very well from Hollywood films, TV documentaries or books. But these media can never describe the real atmosphere of the place as closely as we can experience it while traveling the country together with its proud residents. America will mean for us, tourists, especially the hustle of the cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, hot beaches of Florida, California or sunny Hawaii.
In case we have enough time left, we can visit Niagara Falls that are really close to Canada and the athletes won't definitely miss famous winter resorts in Colorado. None of travel agencies I know offer getting to know the real Americans, how they live, work and have fun. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to get to know this country from this side as well. Niagara Falls
FRIENDSHIP ACROSS THE OCEAN I could say that during my many visits, Chicago has become my second home. I have to say that it's mostly because of all the wonderful people I met there and who are still friends of mine. Among all these people there's a special one - my step great- grandmother Vlasta. I got to know her when she was 88 when all of her 4 sons already had their own families. She had lots of friends and a big family but she lived alone. Each year she used to invite me for a visit to keep her company. I really liked going to see her because despite the big age difference between us we were really close to each other. She was like my own granny. I have to admit that I have never met anyone so special like her in my life. I keep thinking of her and I am really proud that I had a chance to meet someone with such a strong character and life optimism, someone so generous like her.
AMERICAN KINDNESS AND WILLINGNESS I've been to Chicago seven times, anyway I acquired the most knowledge during the language course at the Concordia University where I came just after my secondary school-leaving exam to improve my English. This experience that enriched me so much is priceless. I still take Americans for wonderful people with their pros and cons, of course, according to the quote that says "nobody's perfect".
What surprised me the most is that Americans are so friendly, kind and willing to help the others. I actually found it out in the second week of my very first visit when I had a small accident. When I was heading to the city center at noon by subway my rucksack was stolen by the group of black guys. It was really unpleasant experience for me but what happened next shocked me even more. When people around me found out what had happened, they said their sorry and felt ashamed for “the entire American nation”. Just the next day when my auntie came back from a mass, she gave me an envelope and there was almost 200 dollars in it. I found out that after the local people had got to know my accident, they collected this sum as the compensation of my loss. I was shocked. Of course, I couldn't accept that money (I had actually lost just my camera) so I gratefully returned it to them with thanks. People in America are so considerate to one other, they share other's problems and small things make them happy.
AMERICAN OPTIMISM Despite being very busy Americans really know how to enjoy their lives and their lives don't seem to be so bustling as ours. They take everything easy and their thinking is positive. For example American funerals or masses are so different from funerals and masses in the Czech Republic. I had been invited to one of these funerals and I have to admit I hadn't been too excited because a funeral usually means the gloomy, depressed atmosphere of the ceremony. Nevertheless an American funeral isn't similar to our funeral at all. The funeral guests were chatting, they didn't weep and while smiling they just kept recalling the dead one. It was a really dignified goodbye with the deceased. Masses are similar to funerals, people sing a lot happily.
AMERICAN COMFORT If I should mention some cons Americans have, it's their comfortableness. Americans (as everyone may know very well) drive their cars everywhere, they don't drive just to work and shops but they also drive when they want to see their friend around the corner. They just can't do one step without a car. That's why they're generally so obese. They are not used to walking. There are even no sidewalks in some states so tourists are dependent on the city public transport that is just in the biggest cities or they have to rent cars. In Chicago there are sidewalks but as soon as I set out into the streets for shopping, people were staring at me and took me for strange. Sometimes it was really funny. Talking about American bus transport it was a kind of a problem to get familiar with the bus timetables. Almost nobody knew where any bus station is and there are any timetables at the bus stops. You just have to wait there till a bus arrives. You can also take the Chicago subway to downtown, which is probably the fastest way of the city traveling but a little bit dangerous. You ought to be alert and careful, especially in the evenings, and to know which districts avoid. When you decide do go somewhere in the evening, you had better take a car.
AMERICAN CELEBRATING Americans are crazy about various celebrations, birthday parties and family reunions. "Cookouts", birthday garden parties, the bunch of people who bring something to eat and drink, are very popular. Americans also celebrate lots of anniversaries they carefully prepare themselves long time beforehand for.
AMERICAN SLUSHINESS Looking at American gardens and households you can easily think that their residents tend to trashy decor. I used to catch the bus every morning during my studies at Concordia University and I noticed a family had a plastic duck in front of their house. It is nothing unusual because people in America have plenty of "amenities" like plastic flamingos, rabbits, hares or Santa Clause on the sledge. But they used to dress up this duck according to the weather. When it was warm and sunny, the duck was wearing a summer little dress and sunglasses. When it was raining, the little duck was wearing a yellow raincoat. It was pretty cute. As I mentioned, small things can make Americans happy, they just can stop for a while. Their lifestyle isn't so hectic like ours. We could learn from them. But on the other side, they could also learn from us, especially how to move themselves without cars.