Posts Tagged ‘Living in America’

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

Long time no post here. Not only I neglected this blog but also a place lived a big part of my life, that is nearly 16 years in the USA. Yes, it was a January of the year 1985 when landed in LAX. I had a suitcase, some money, and many skills. Oh! Did I tell you I also was young and handsome?…  

After the usual “welcome to America” in the airport, immigration and customs all I remember from that day is the suspicion of that Filipino immigration officer that pushed hard the questioning of my Visa type B, like, business she wanted to know in details on what kind of business I’m in and the purpose of entering the US. So if you see a Filipina officer in the airport change lane and go to the other one with blue eyes and blond hair.

Anyway, there I am in a taxi heading to Venice Beach 20 minutes ride from LAX with no suitcase, being told: “will arrive with the next plane from Paris”. Arrived at my apartment at midnight with not even a change of a pair of socks. Indeed, my suitcase was delivered a 10 PM next day at my place.

Venice Beach California My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America! I went back to Venice on February 2015. My cute condo was demolished and the little garden on the front was gone. They built 6 units instead of two it was before.

My apartment at 419 Ocean Front Walk was right there where its name is, @20 meters from the sand. A small, cute two stories two units condo facing the beach with a small garden on the front and a big, big window facing the boardwalk.

I hadn’t even had the time to explore the beach when a loud screaming and voices woke me up at 7 in the morning. Jumped out to see what was going on, saw 4 cops on top of a man on the floor trying to handcuff him. Said to myself, he must have done something grave to have all these cops trying to arrest him; I ask a bystander if he knew why he was arrested and got the shocking reply.

He was drinking a beer on the street
I said, then? Was he drunk?
I don’t know he said, but you can’t drink in public places here.
Do they really need all this manpower to subdue a guy just for drinking a beer?
Apparently, the bystander didn’t like the question, he left.

Venice is a crazy place to live. You’re caught in the middle of a middle-class bourgeoisie homeowners, homeless, leftists activists, nostalgics of the hippie era, artists and singers in search of a breakthrough that will change their life, but more often will never come.

Cops are everywhere on the streets, their 4X4 patrol the beach all night long looking for campers. I have rarely seen such a concentration of law enforcement on a tourist place. Talk about California the most liberal state of the Union…

Let’s post a video from my FB  I filmed last year for the heck of remembering the real face of Venice.

And this picture here

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America! Venice Beach California February 2015

Should I mention all reasons for loving this country I’d have to write a book not a blog.
First and most important in those years, you weren’t seen as a foreigner but rather as a newcomer. That’s at least how my US friends used to introduce me to others,Unlike the rest of the world, newcomers and US citizens are caring the same form of ID, the driver’s license that is; as opposed to French and other Europeans where the citizen cares a National ID and the Immigrant one of the several stay authorizations reserved to them.

Love affair cultural shock. Only in America! My years in America. America! America!

Days later I met a woman in her 30’s  she invited me for dinner to… MacDonald’s. We talked about everything and nothing, she told me she was working then as a social worker for the county with a salary of $8 an hour, never married and she would like to, something it was the last thing I was thinking recovering from a recent divorce.

Anyway, we finished dinner and decided to go. I saw her taking her plate and bringing it back to the designated place, something I didn’t, left everything on the table. With an authoritarian style she almost ordered me to do the same, I replied sorry, I’ve never been to a fast food before and don’t know the rules.

But out of curiosity, I asked her why should I have to do that? I’ve been to restaurants all my life, had never seen it before. Her answer was that we must help to keep the cost down, should every customer leave the table without clearing it they’ll have to assign an additional employee to do this therefore raising their prices!

She went on saying, ” One more thing you should know, here in America, she said, we must help the rich to become richer because they are the only ones can resolve the poor people problems! Not the government! 

How a liberal like me, by French standards, coming from a socialist country where even the most extreme conservatives views are far from being not even close to her statement can digest this? 

I hadn’t to. She does not have a legion of supporters on her thinking, I’ll even say she was an exception. But I did like the woman for expressing her views as she sees them, regardless of what YOUR perception is on the same.

I like Americans for defending their opinions, expressing them fearlessly, no complex or reservation, as stupid and incomprehensible might be to us Europeans from a different culture living with taboos and often nonsense conservative traditions that often complicates our life. Should I go as far as to say I should endorse Donald Trump? Just for having the courage of his opinion?.

No, I won’t! Even though he now tries to correct his rhetoric on violence sexism and racism is too late. Sorry, Donald, you don’t fit the all-American profile of a leader as I knew it in the 80’s. You look to me more of a madman than a president of the US. 

 My years in America. America! America!
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