Just crossed the USA from Montreal to Laredo: Tracing bullion shit in the US (Panamericana Part 1) - Gentleman Adventurer
That really is an obnoxious country to travel through: unfriendliest border controls in the world ("answer yes or no. Yes or no, only."). Total police state (my travel mate had to knee down before a cop). Arbitrary police behaviour. No rule of law. War memorials and garrisons everywhere. Paramilitary playgrounds. Guns galore ("we rent machine guns"). Bad ass bumper stickers ("Defeat the enemy. No mercy, no quarter.") Paternalistic attitude creating sheep-like masses ("Wait to be seated"). :censored: . Cameras everywhere. Orwellian loudspeaker messages. TSA patdowns ...
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!! :nono:
For lack of other perspectives, they have created a new enemy and turned against their own people.
I have traveled through 173 UN countries. Even Belorus and Uzbekistan were better !
They're not all bad.
The vast majority of people in the U.S are good souled, down to earth people.
Sadly, the ones with money or power are highly paranoid, corrupt and shameless. Like most politicians really.
My only gripe about the USA is that it seems to have a rather 'closed minded' and ignorant opinion on the world.
However, I blame this on their highly controlled and manipulative News and publication system.
"Land of the free" HILARIOUS !!!!
It's a shame you had a bad experience. I do know what you mean about the borders etc.
There are much worse though. Try Venezuela or Egypt. :(
Check out this: Americans are NOT stupid - WITH SUBTITLES - YouTube
For a real laugh try e-bay for Bill Hicks' Sane Man DVD.
This could be the funniest material ever AND it's informative.
To really understand the whole situation of the US empire and
intentions is to read any or all of Noam Chomsky's political books.
There's certainly some truth to what the OP has to say about the USA, especially considering Orwellian measures such as the "Patriot Act". On the other hand, living close to the US border, I've travelled there extensively and have found the people to be extremely friendly, outgoing, helpful and welcoming. Even the border crossings have been hassle free for me (with two small exceptions, out of dozens and dozens of crossings).
All in all, we simply have to accept that the USA is a different culture from what we're accustomed to. No matter how much we disagree and maybe not like it, we are world travellers and that's all part of the adventure and the experience. The borders in Central America were mostly a lot unfriendlier (relatively speaking) than what's been my experience in the USA.
Yes, there is some very troubling erosion of rights and freedoms in the USA. But whatcha gonna do? Just like you have to adapt to the laws and attitudes of other countries in this world, you also have to adapt to US culture when you're on their soil as a visitor ...for better or worse.
Horses for courses, the world over
I suspect it is the first time you have been there, correct? If not correct, then not for a while, maybe since 9/11?
Anyway, I have spent half a lifetime (as a "Limey") working with the "Yanks" and their systems surely can suck + the vast majority have never left continental US and see no reason to do so.
But, as individuals I have found them to be fine; well OK, one guy was a knob but, hey, he probably thought the same about me & the guys I was with at the time!! (with a 12 bore shotgun pointed at the mid-riff and his finger on the trigger).
I was told some years ago, probably by someone of the USA international community at that time, that only about 20% of their population hold a passport - why would the majority travel outside their own country? It has everything that they want.
So, for me the individual Yanks are OK, but the country, as a system, is going down the pan more or less as you describe - trouble for me is that the UK often wants to copy the USA, slavishly; but, that's politics for you.
I will bite.
So you came up with this hypothesis based on the borders and the fact you seemed to visit all the places where military would exist in any other country?
Your lack of perspective is obvious as you seem to have drawn all your conclusions based on excluding 99% of the country and having a lot of preconceived notions that you seemed to want to validate.
Next time get off the interstate and see what you seem to have missed the last time. I have hosted many people on bikes,motorcycles and trucks from all over the world and all have come away with a different view of the USA after spending time outside the metropolitan areas.
Stop by anytime and have a beer,
US of A
Yeah.... I've lived in the east and midwest of the US my whole life (except 18 months in France and 12 months in japan), and he's not wrong... I've expereienced all of that.
I've experienced similar things in Central America, South America, and Africa too.
I think what makes it stand out in the states is that we're supposed to be better than that.
We have (had) a governmental system specifically designed to give each citizen the power to a part of the "city on the hill"... to be an example to the world for freedom, power, decency, and compasion.
Instead, we've sat on our fattening asses and demanded that our country and freedoms get sold to the highest bidder (drill baby drill sound familiar?), all while turning our noses up to the rest of the world and acting like a spoiled child when we don't get our way at the UN or with other countries
In the end, if we lived up to the potential and ideals of this country, our shortcomings would be more forgivable.
I briefly read your blog before your agenda and attitude became apparent; I suggest that your experience in the US was in large part due to where you chose to go (first three stops: Bretton Woods, Skull & Bones, Wall Street...) and your patronizing, obnoxious attitude, as revealed in this post and your blog. "Gentleman Adventurer" indeed---your complete lack of graciousness and attitude indicate that you sir, are no gentleman.
Regarding police: I grew up and lived in the US for many years and never had any problem with the police; I suspect that any problems that you had with them stemmed from your bad attitude, as they tend to react poorly to a perceived lack of respect.
In your blog you also state that "Along the highways, the majority of road signs was either for fast food "restaurants" - or for war related stuff"--as anyone who as spent 5 minutes in the US can tell you, this is complete nonsense (at least regarding the "war-related stuff"). In your post above you state that there are "war memorials and garrisons everywhere." This is also complete nonsense, although perhaps you mistook the numerous boy scout troops or hunters dressed in camouflage for whatever passes for an army in your country? And whatever memorials exist are not memorials to the war, but to the people that perished in it.
I could go on and on, but I'll end with a comment about your apparent attitude torwards travel: I too have travelled to, and lived in, many countries around the world, and part of the pleasure of travelling is to experience cultures and values different from your own and to understand these cultures, indeed the world, better as a result. You however, seem to have come to the US (and presumably the other countries in your travels) with a preconceived notion and explicitly tailored the trip to reinforce notion. I suggest that you are wasting your time travelling, you can do the same thing much easier on the internet. And before you sound too enthusiastic about Belorus or Uzbekistan (you left out North Korea by the way) I suggest that spend more than a few days in these places and try to understand what the **** you are talking about.
Well this one is a hornets nest.
I have lived in Canada,i can see why you would come to these conclusions.
Travelling to the states is vastly easier if you are Canadian.
Although i did not have unpleasant border crossings i would say they were confrontational ,always glad to be done with the experience.
I've traveled extensively in the states ,i must say out side of the major cities ,i've met many wonderful people,had many positive experiences .
My hope is you give the place/people another go.Noel:D
I have found the Americans of any part of the political spectrum salt of the earth and wonderful people. They are creative, spiritual, curious and helpful. They cook good grub and like a good beer, too. But then you probably met different folks.
No country is perfect and we are all allowed to draw our own conclusions.
It would be easy to bash any other country than the States. Let´s take for example Monacco ... a former pirate town, spanked by the French, ruled by a grotesque family and safeguarded by operetta-type police.
You could even go more prejudiced and say it is inhabited with tax-ditching, self-centered folks. I travelled the Cote Azure last year and finally found out what filthy rich means.
See? It is not that difficult.
Feel free to bash any other country, including mine.
I am French but live in the US for a very long time, they are not bad people at all and even if the border are getting tougher and maybe a bit parano the rest of the country is great and welcoming . try to embrass the change and soon enough you will see they are like everyone else , just looking to be happy .
PS: if you come to Florida you may feel treated by old ladies driving huge cadillac and not seeing the road , its normal here but a bit scary at first.
Average Americans are among the friendliest, most welcoming and generous people I’ve come across and definitely the most hospitable among the Western countries.
Unfortunately, hyper-controlled media and politics, especially since 9/11, are killing that natural spontaneity (often perceived as naivety) through biased news, Homeland Security Act(s) overriding the most fundamental rights, paranoid TSA measures and the like, making the average American to believe that they are the target of a world that envies and hates them. It’s a pity, but a natural reaction, so that often it has to be clear that you as a foreigner are not a threat. After that, enjoy the average American, an honest, kind and hard working person and don’t mistake them for those politics (which many of us and them dislike).
I have been waiting a while before I decided weather or not to post in thread.
Apart from the overzealous border control (actually didn't think we were going to be allowed entry), I have loved touring in the US. Lots of fun and nice people and so much to see. Lots of variety of stuff to see. Yosemite, Yellowstone, deserts, the west coast, not to mention the great history of Route 66. I am enjoying this as much as I did Russia and Central Asia.
As for cops everywhere? What cops? I think Missouri is probably the only place where I have seen them in any sort of numbers I am used to.
And when I was actually pulled over for speeding (42 in a 25) I was let off with a smile.
So I am thinking the original poster had his mind set on what it was going to be like and only saw what fitted that preconception.
Probably the only negative is the food is not the most healthy, I would kill for some simple fare that can be found in a Russian cafe - oh and some Shaslik!
On my last 2 visits by plane and borrowing a bike in summer 2010 ( Summer 2010 Riding some pleasant tracks in the western United States: CDT, TAT, Lolo & OBDT. All Images � C Bright to ride in the west: entered USA at Philli) and Christmas 2008 ( Baja California TBSdotCom to ride Baja: entered USA at Chicago) the only ballache was at immigration at the airports.
If you play the game = don't smile, don't volunteer any information unless asked, follow instructions to the letter etc. it's fine too. Entering back into the USA from Baja at Tijuana was very easy too. It was only when I said I was English that they actually wanted to see my passport. Not having "Mexican" features probably made it easier, but that's another topic entirely.
I did get stopped by a copper in Hicksville Nevada in 2010. Allegedly no taillight, no tag, no mirrors (I was able to correct him: I had all 3. The chappie should have gone to Specsavers...). He called my details through on his radio and sent me off with a "Have a nice Day".
I also agree with the comment about the horrid food. I spent a lot of time at Subway:(, the best of a bad bunch.
After looking through that web page, I can only believe that the OP is taking the piss with anyone who reads it.... :rolleyes2:
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