Why is it useful to go to the USA at least once? - ForumDaily
The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

Why is it helpful to go to the USA at least once?

Russian political scientist and journalist Georgy Bovt shared with the publication several years ago Newspaper.ru your impressions of America. ForumDaily decided to remember this text and publishes its text with abbreviations.

New York. Photo: Depositphotos

Many of my friends have never been to America. And some of them responded to the sentence “go, see”, which, they say, never and for nothing. The reasons are different: from "it is necessary not to smoke for a long time" to the unwillingness to get involved in the dreary registration of a US visa. That until recently was not quite so. Or maybe they were afraid of temptation?

It would be useful to go to America at least once. Especially those who strongly and in this case, as a rule, in absentia, without being a single time, hate.

One prominent Russian politician, an ardent Americancophobe, once confessed to me that he liked the country very much and he drove over it with great pleasure. In this case, in everyday life there is a formula-excuse since Soviet times not to admit to political sedition: the system is bad and “aggressive”, but the “simple people” are wonderful.

It is useful to go to America to look at it. Like in a mirror. Taking into account not even political, but purely everyday details and features.

Although it used to be said (now silenced) that Americans are like us, this is not so. We are each other - like aliens. Some just want “to be like in America”, but this, with a few private exceptions, is not yet possible. Although over time it will most likely become something inevitable, since it is America that sets the tone for what is called technical progress.

America for the Soviet and post-Soviet people was not only the eternal "geopolitical rival," especially during the Cold War, but also the benchmark with which they wanted to compete, and take an example from it.

Ilf and Petrov went to the United States on the eve of the Great Terror and wrote strikingly humane and non-ideological (as far as possible) travel notes. "One-story America" ​​- one of the best travelogue of all times and peoples. Excerpts from the book published the "Truth" and "Spark". Thousands of American engineers came to the USSR at the time, helping to do industrialization. And the Soviet experts went for experience and knowledge not only to Germany, but also to the USA (for example, the Gorky Automobile Plant is, in fact, Ford). America seemed, if not another, then definitely not an enemy.

So we are "shaking" from enmity to every time trying to break friendship.

Khrushchev’s “Kitchen Dispute” with then US Vice President Nixon in July 1959 at the American Industrial Exhibition in Sokolniki was not only about ideological rivalry, but also about who we wanted to take an example from at least something. By the way, somehow being in the American wilderness in the museum of kitchen appliances, I was amazed when modern kitchens appeared in the States, as well as refrigerators, dishwashers, microwave ovens and other useful utensils. For decades after this, the party and the government were taught to overcome the petty-bourgeois "materialism" in themselves. By the way, the toaster (of course, non-electric) was at the American colonists already in the XVIII century.

The first thing that draws on itself (after the picky and not always pleasant interrogation of the border guard at the airport, why the hell did you come here and when you leave) is the total goodwill of the country as a whole. Hard New York and to a lesser extent bureaucratic Washington are partly (but only partly) exceptions to this rule. You seem to be welcome everywhere. And not always the welcoming smile, contrary to popular belief, is artificially stretched.

If you stop on the street with a map in search of a route, the first passer-by will most likely come up to you and offer to help. Also with the car, stopped on the sidelines.

To you, the whole country is, as it were, “located”, which at once causes a feeling of freedom spilled on it. Therefore, they dress up somehow, as if walking around their country in home pajamas and slippers.

America is not so designed for foreigners (for them you will not find any special “privileges” a la the Soviet “Intourist” anywhere), but for itself, of course. Just there it is easy to "dissolve". Including therefore illegal immigrants are relatively easy to get a job in the millions. The verification of documents does not bother. This is considered an infringement of rights.

New York. Photo: Depositphotos

Upon arrival as a tourist, you should not register anywhere, the indication of the primary address in the short questionnaire (or customs declaration) is sufficient. You seem to believe in the word, despite the fact that, of course, the Big Brother of the name Snowden probably stands out, but at the everyday level you will never feel it.

It is generally accepted there to take the word at times more often than we do. Traveling around the country for weeks, you can never show any documents, including when settling in motels.

Even if they ask for ID, then a Russian driver’s license with a Latin name is enough. In large cities, a passport in a hotel is likely to be asked. And certainly you will never be stopped on the street to check the documents, as well as on the road, if you have not violated the traffic rules.

Speaking of violations. One time I had to pay a parking fee somewhere on the coast of Maine. Overdue parking for five minutes - with this there is strictly, but no one will ever take the car on the tow truck unless it really interferes with traffic or you did not leave it at the airport right at the entrance. It is significant to “dryuit” people in America, despite the fact that it is full of strict regulations and rules that should be followed. So, I enter the local police station with a receipt from under the janitors (there is no person on duty, no one writes off passport details), I ask the cops where the ticket office is to pay 30 bucks, otherwise in two weeks the transfer will be twice as expensive . They point at a box at the entrance - throw it straight there. I also thought meanly - do they not then rake out the loot in their pockets?

Much is generally built on trust. In the province, very often along the roads are trays with products of local farmers (they sell without the formation of individual entrepreneurs) - berries, fruits, vegetables. There is a price tag, no seller. Take the goods, put money, take delivery (it is not always provided for all the same). No one steals. In large cities, of course, otherwise.

Trust can theoretically be abused in various cases - to lie, cheat, etc. Not everyone is checked. But if they suddenly find out, it will not seem to be enough.

Yet you almost never will find fences - neither large nor low. And the windows are almost always not curtained. In this regard, society is also "transparent."

Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Depositphotos

Americans are touchingly loving their country and are proud of it outside of any politics in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine and other places. There is no “external factor” at the household level. Including you exactly how the Russian doesn’t care, nobody will “avenge Putin”, to which, by the way, there is no antipathy either, and everyone knows him.

The manifestation of patriotism, in particular, is that there is no rubbish on the roadsides. As it is not in the places of "mass recreation of citizens", licked and walked around, as in the picture.

The maps are specially marked roads, where scenicdrive (i.e. beautiful surroundings and a pleasure to ride). And as soon as you thought that, they say, this is what a beautiful view and it would be nice to take a picture of it, as there is a pointer Sceneview - with a stop at a specially made parking lot, from where you can do it.

Country rigged by cars. There is not one place where you could not drive up and park. In the overwhelming majority of cases - with the exception of the largest cities and even then not always - for free.

There are no barriers in the courtyards of apartment buildings, in the “cottage villages”, but the inscription “parking only for residents” works flawlessly. You can risk it, of course. But without guarantee not to get a fine. By the way, parking in underground parkings that New York that Chicago in terms of per day is much cheaper than in Moscow. Public transport in large cities (including New York, where bike lanes finally appeared in abundance) is developing with might and main, but for motorists they leave all acceptable options, including money.

New York. Photo: Depositphotos

By the way, more about the roads. You can, if you do not enter major cities, where there are terrible traffic jams (especially at the entrance to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles), to calculate up to five minutes the arrival time to the final point for a few hundred miles from you. And go most of the way on "autopilot". On such roads, you can drive 160 km / h, but everyone pushes 110 – 115 (plus 3 – 5 miles to the speed limit). “Traffic cops” also “meanly” are waiting on the roads, and there are almost no cameras outside the cities. That is, "there is no reason not to trust the police."

But in the cities you can turn through two solid ones, if you need to go to the store opposite. And this is also America: two continuous ones are a flexible concept, depending on the real situation. Well, turn right to "red", of course.

Road works to irritation are frequent, but the narrowing of the road begins in advance, and at the same time everyone pushes in one lane, rearranging in advance, almost no one climbs along the sidelines, in order to integrate at the last moment.

Politeness on the roads - an order of magnitude greater than ours. Somehow they explained to me for fun reasons: "Do not cut him, he may have a gun in the glove compartment." By the way, on the sign “Movement without stopping is forbidden”, it’s not the one on the right that goes first, but the one who came to the intersection first (there’s something purely American in it), it’s important to have visual contact with another driver, agreement "and compromise.

Love for their country is also in the fact that Americans literally make museums out of everything.

Not only from the apartments of outstanding people (the museums of not only George Washington are amazingly touching, where there are long queues, but also Mark Twain or Edison, where there is no queue at all and you should specifically invite a guide - a local aunt), but also from a fish or cattle farm, power stations and even dams, which in this sense are never a “specially protected object”. Not to mention the launch site at Cape Canaveral and the entire amusement parks of some Paramount Pictures.

Any place that is interesting from the point of view of nature and visited (which is why it is visited) abounds — for a very different wallet — by motels, hotels, and other tourist infrastructure; you can go there by car or fly in cheap. Everything is built without federal federal programs for the development of tourism, and especially tourism fees. Be it Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon area or Niagara Falls. And even the most prestigious Cape Cod. For a week or two, you can always book a room for your money, even in peak season. And only in Las Vegas in August is better to take care in advance, and then you spend the night in the desert. Most often, if it is a working day, you can stop at a motel that you like along the way, orienting to luminous lights visible from afar. Vacancy or Novacancy (in the second case, just ignite the first part of the board). It is better to do it before dark, and that place ends, most goes just "randomly."

Las Vegas. Photo: Depositphotos

But the entrances to national parks, as a rule, are paid - from 5 to 25 dollars per car per day, which is also the time for us to do, by the way, not taking 100 – 300 rubles, but enough to support our semi-poor national parks and nature reserves and the arrangement of the necessary tourist infrastructure.

Contrary to popular beliefs on the part of American fast food, traveling around the country, you will never be hungry, and you won't have to “be poisoned in McDonald's”. Kitchens of the peoples of the world are at your service in almost every “hole”.

Watching TV. Content is what compare big with green. Advertising is also intrusive, its a lot, although commercial breaks are shorter than ours. What is striking is the abundance of advertising for the elderly: a lot of goods, insurance (there are many medical advertisements, this is a huge market). A sign that this is one of the most solvent categories.

Among the elderly there are many workers, this is also striking. People for a long time for 70, but at home can not sit.

At the same time, many give themselves away to all volunteer organizations, in which, it seems, every second American is, if not all, without exception. The nation spends in private more than 300 billion dollars a year in charity. And, oddly enough, it sounds hard capitalistically (I never would have wanted to work there, except in a university environment, which, however, is not deprived of the same squabbling as ours, it is better to come as a tourist) - this is a community of volunteers. And altruists. It is surprising how much money and powers are distributed by local authorities through NPOs. When reporting is much simpler than ours (hello to the Serebrennikov case). And do not steal after all!

The rights of local government are our envy. For example, I once witnessed a meeting of residents of a county where the question was being discussed whether to hire another police officer to patrol the neighborhood (this is separate from the city or state police, and the feds are only the FBI). After an hour-long debate, we decided to hire another “district police officer” for our taxes.

Fully on the streets not only mobile and cheerful old people, but also people with disabilities. On modern wheelchairs. Rebuilt for them - it started in 80 – 90 — the entire infrastructure. Mobile oldies also put a discount on all tickets and many services for those who are behind 65. Seniorcitizens - This is not a formally respected category. What purely outwardly creates the impression that "the nation is sick and old," which is further aggravated by the abundance of obese people. But at school they are not teased by “zhirtrest”.

Our bureaucracy even in something became more agile than the local paperworkers, and in some of ours before them - as before the Moon. There, you still (from the side so it seems) feel like a full tax payer, and the bureaucrat is seen for your money as a hired worker.

You can write about America endlessly. Not all the features in it are nice. Sometimes it seems that our society at the household level today is much freer and more “informal”, which for many outweighs the well-functioning institutions at all levels. In the field of services - utilities, any repairs - we, in my opinion, have bypassed America, we have cheaper, simpler and faster. But medicine is better not to compare. American society is sometimes annoying with its “correctness” and the desire to always act according to the regulations, even if you burst and die in front of an official. Sometimes it seems to be truly totalitarian in general because of unavailability (inability due to stereotypes) to accept a different point of view.

I could write a lot about what I do not like in America. But, firstly, even without me there are plenty of hunters, and secondly, not those times to aggravate. The current notes are torn and random. We must go by ourselves, no matter how mocking this proposal may be in the light of the upcoming “visa-free times”.

Walk through the luxurious and stinky streets of New York at the same time, look at the fur seals on the San Francisco waterfront, go to the NASA Museum in Washington (there are “our” exhibits), look into the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, touch hot the Yellowstone streams, taking a selfie at the geyser named "Old Friend", erupting, the dog, right on schedule (it hangs alongside, there are benches arranged for the observers), and drive through a group of bison wandering along the road. On the way, do not forget to call on the first nuclear power plant in the Idaho desert (alas, this is not Obninsk, although the American version was terribly low-powered, for several houses). Bringing children to the "spiritless", but touching Disneyland. Many places in general.

San Francisco. Photo: Depositphotos

And in order to convince yourself once again that you did the right thing, that you did not emigrate, if you suddenly had such an idea, you should definitely visit Brighton Beach. It seemed to me that “our people”, who live there, are wretched in their “quasi-order”, which is not dissolved in America. However, they often look terribly content with their “sausage emigration”, endlessly talking about “welfare”, money, discounts, benefits, and other “freebies” from the generous American state.

And in the local cafes there one can find fierce, almost to a fight, disputes of convinced “Putinists” with haters of the “bloody regime”.

And go back, come back. Tell that these Americans - not at all scary. As the hero of a cult Soviet cartoon said, "they are the same as we are, only without a tail." Rather, it is, of course, we - and only we! - without a tail. And they are all with a tail and even horns. But, frankly, completely invisible.

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