I’m writing this sat on the plane to Singapore, America behind us and relegated again to being another place of the map (although one that will always trigger memories). I thought that I would try and wrap up what has now turned out to be part 1 of our little adventure, to clear the decks for what lays ahead and to apply the perspective of hindsight.
America, it’s big, brash, brazen, simplistic, complex, harsh, kind, crazy, imperialistic, beautiful, sinister, tasteless, charming, warm, vibrant, hard nosed, flawed and a thousand other things all at the same time. I don’t think that I will ever understand the American psyche, but I do understand that it shapes the whole place and its people (and for that matter, the rest of the world).
We may never return, but if we do it shall be to California, the flawed Eden and most likely that most charmingly flawed city, San Francisco. California is really too good for the yanks (as racially diverse as the term means here, it really is cosmopolitan) and probably man in general as we try and outdo those taut seismic faults in a race to carelessly destroy much of this most beautiful, fertile and resource rich land.
I loved and loathed the place in unequal measures, I confess, the former is my strongest emotion. I have come to realise that we are conditioned by our our own environments. In Britain, a small, crowded island, that once punched way above its weight we naturally scale things in our minds to fit, but still carry a hankering for the influence the nation once had. America has never been constrained by size or history and like all energetic, hormonal, spotty teenagers, it knows it all and has got to learn the hard way. Lets hope this gangly, oversized youth learns to stop bickering with his siblings and grows into a mature and thoughtful adult member of the “world family” sitting at the table sharing the delights on offer.