I'm doing a post of things I love about the good ol' USA. To catch up on previous posts, please click here. And in no particular order, I continue!
#21. We've got "Amish Country". The three largest Amish communities are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. I personally have visited the Amish community of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Yes, you read that right. I even took a local paper with the name of the town on it for proof. I also bought the best homemade snickerdoodles from an Amish roadside stand. While our group felt uncomfortable riding around in an air-conditioned bus peering out our windows at Amish farms, we were in awe of beauty of their community.
A Pennsylvania Dutch farm
A typical Amish horse & buggy, their preferred method of transportation
These communities do not have modern day conveniences of electricity, indoor plumbing, automobiles, or telephones. They live simple lives with very strong community ties. While they are typically fluent in English, often times they will speak Dutch/German within their own communities. The Amish came to America starting in the 18th century to flee war, poverty, and religious persecution in Europe. If you ever visit Amish country, please remember that the Amish do not like to be photographed.
#22. The dependable "like a rock", Chevrolet cars and trucks "run deep" in America's auto history. Formed in 1911 to compete with Ford Motor Company, it was founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors executive, William Durant. Chevrolet was acquired by General Motors in 1918, and has been one of GM's top selling brands. It's brought us trucks, the Bel Air, the Corvair, the iconic Corvette, the Suburban, and their new electric hybrid, the Volt. I, myself, am a Chevy girl. My first car may have been a used Subaru, which I loved, but the two cars I have purchased myself are Chevy's.
Chevrolet 490, 1916
#23. Our love for helping others. From the soup kitchen to 4-H/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts to donating blood to the PTA to the YMCA to therapeutic riding to volunteer firefighters, Americans love to help. Roughly 70% of all firefighters across America are volunteers. Whenever some kind of disaster happens, people are there to help victims of tornadoes and hurricanes, and in hard economic times. We may be divided about a lot of things, but when the shit hits the fan, we come together.
#24. Customer Service. Now, we have all had horrible customer service at one point or another. But America is obsessed with delivering good customer service, to the point where it drives us employees insane. No, really. But since no one ever wants their boss or customer to say to them, "You suck. You're fired", we do everything we can to please the customer. We want customers to come back; enjoy their shopping or dining experience enough to want to repeat it willingly. We smile and greet customers as they walk in our establishment, ask them how their day is going (even if don't really care because in all honesty, we're probably not going to remember it by the end of the day), ask them if they found everything okay, etc. The point is, wait staff want tips; sales people want commission; employees want good reviews every year; and managers/owners want customers to come back - meaning, you, the customer are the most important. Because without you, nobody would ever get a freaking paycheck.
Because NO ONE wants this.
#25. Friendliness. As a general rule of thumb, Americans really are friendly people. We love tourists from abroad - probably because we love your accents most. Even in large cities, people will still smile at you when you walk down the street. Not all the time, and my few hours in New York City scared the shit out of me, but that's my experience. Why, in the grocery store, I smile at people I pass and they smile back. The other day I gassed up my car and an elderly gentleman wish me a "good morning". People will hold the door for you, let you go ahead in the line if you only have two items and they have a cartload, and will be happy to point you in the right direction.