The Culture

I can’t begin to think how weird it must be to be American, and absolutely everywhere you go, people speak your language and know your culture and history inside out. At least some of it. I feel that although 98% of what I’ve seen on this incredible road trip (the very essence of American culture in itself) has been completely new, I still feel I know it like the inside of my handbag from thousands of films, TV series, books and songs. My poor American friends try to feed me what they think are revelations and tidbits, but of course I already know it from Sopranos and Breaking Bad…

Here is something NEW new, at least. The everything-sink. This was in a truck stop in Tennessee and had everything: Soap dispenser, water and turbo speed hand drier in one. Unfortunately these sinks, while saving people at least two steps or 1.3 calories to carry out the necessary operations separately, took up half the room. I suppose they never really gained traction; at least I never saw another one. Then again I didn’t visit all the truck stops so who knows.

Oh, the truck stops! What a joy. You could live in one for a year and not get through a third of the food there, nor see all the things truckers buy for themselves and maybe their long-suffering ol’ lady at home. There’s a book there for those with their own car and a year’s worth of petrol. We were so pushed for time that we never really had time to explore these wonders of the road. But any doctor would have found them a treasure trove if he was trying to illustrate what happens when you combine a sedentary lifestyle with everything coming in 16 fl.oz. deep fried with an extra serving of lard: I swear to God these truckers’ waistbands were longer than I am tall (168 cm).

But if I were married to one of these wheezing, ambling heaps of quivering flesh, all would be forgiven if from every trip he brought me back one of these:

Talking of Sopranos: In the middle of one of our earlier long drives, I found out that James Gandolfini had died. That was very sad. I will always be thankful to him for being my gateway drug into American TV series. I even liked the dreadful New Jersey Turnpike because of The Sopranos. Oh, American pop culture! I know thee so well.

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