In my second year in the United States, I was involved with four Caucasian students in a class project. We used to meet once a week in the library for our project. When we didn’t talk about our project we—mostly them—would talk about school and sports. They used to joke with me how they are different from the rest of the world with their sports preference. But, one person from our group was adamant to talk about politics whenever possible. It was 2003 and the pre-presidential election talk had already started. The stake was high then, the USA was already in Iraq. The rest of our group was vague about their political views. He, on the other hand, was crystal clear. He said “If Bush wins again, I am moving to Australia.”
I was new to the American culture and didn’t know it was a thing among some Americans to “threaten” to move out of the country. Many Americans promise or, maybe even, threaten to move somewhere else, mainly Canada, when they don’t like their country’s policies. I of course doubt those people ever carried out with their plan. Such attitude is even listed, #75, in once very famous website stuff white people like, now published as a book.
For the non-Americans hearing that an American wants to leave his country to live in another one might be the strangest thing they could hear. For the rest of the world, the USA is the place to be. In reality, the USA is like any other wealthy country it has its pros and cons. I know many American born and foreigners who left the USA for good. Of course, each has his or her reason to choose a different country.
I believe there is no such place on earth as the “ideal city”. Wherever you live you will find things that you will like and hate. There is no such city where you will love everything about it. Finding the ideal city is like finding your ideal spouse; he or she doesn’t exist. Like marriage you learn you need to work hard to make it work even when you both love each other so much.
After living in five different cities (four countries) I think I have an idea of how my “ideal city” should be:
- Mostly sunny. I found that I am happier when it is sunny. Also, I don’t function well in below zero temperature.
- Close to the coast.
- Has a minimum population of 500,000. I lived in small cities and it wasn’t fun.
- Should have good book stores, non-smoking cafes and cinemas. Some of you might find this strange but in Irbid (pop. 1 million) where I live now there is not a single decent book store, only one non-smoking café and no cinemas.
- Its residents of different backgrounds. The more multi-cultures the merrier.