Finally, after a long period of uncertainty I made it over the pond the United State of America. I set foot on this country and hope to explore all of its facets. I arrived at Logan Airport in Boston Massachusetts. People pointed out to me previously that it has a very European touch and that it is the academic hub of the country. The city is famous for schools such as the M.I.T. and Harvard. There are also numerous other colleges and universities in the area. In fact, Massachusetts is home to over 120 institutions of higher education.
Besides the specific characteristics which the Boston area has, there are also very American attributes I found to be true. You can often hear that if every person on the planet lived like an American we would need 4.1 earths. This number is from popsci.com and compared to 2.5 earths in France which is a good number for Europe too it is quite a lot. This is a bit shocking. Why is that? Well, firstly, gas is much cheaper here it is roughly half of what it costs in Switzerland. That is an incentive to drive more and also to drive cars with enormous consumption. Cars are much bigger in general here. I don’t know why, for most people it doesn’t make sense to have a large car. It seems to be part of the lifestyle to have a large car. The second observation which is radically different from Europe is, that so many things are made of plastic and cardboard. Not a single coffee shop in which I have been so far had real cups. No one brings his/her own bags to shop. Groceries are always placed in small, thin-layered bags that is why you need several of them even for a few things. The other shocking thing is that every cafeteria also only offers plastic and cardboards utensils, that is plates, forks, knives, spoons all plastic and all one-way, all goes to waste. Since I arrived, I only ate from plates a couple of times. I first thought that this might be a thing that is only done in our college but I was wrong. One day, I waited at the Social Security Office which is a huge federal building with huge cues with people waiting to get something regarding social security. Well, I waited there for roughly three hours. During that time, I had lunch at the cafeteria of the building and the same concept is at work there. Take a cardboard box, choose what you want to take and get the plastic cutlery at the cashier. Eat is, throw it all away and go away. That is something shocking which is radically different in Switzerland.
These two observations might help understand, it is not a full list but it is a start. The issue is that the system cannot be changed from one day to the other. Very much the opposite happens. You have to participate in it.