Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Scary to visit America

This is a post I drafted while at FSI, but never managed to finish / post.

We've heard from several of the instructors that America is considered a scary/dangerous place to visit. Kind of the way we (Americans) joke that "EVERYTHING IN AUSTRALIA CAN AND WILL KILL YOU." However, unlike Australia where this is in fact true, the United States is relatively safe, right?

Well... it depends on how you look at it. Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, Volcanos, Floods, Landslides, Blizzards, Firestorms, Rattlesnakes, Alligators, Bears, Mountain Lions, Black Widows (albeit non-fatal, they still are often mistaken as such), and Crime are all in the news and in movies. Let's face it, that media exposure is how most people form their opinion of the US. Plus, I think most people who have never been to the United States don't really grasp how big it is (like us regarding Africa). They live in relatively small, geographically homogenous countries and therefore may not internalize the sheer size of the US. Even the Aussies, plan like one week to see the entire US and they live in a huge country as well, albeit sparsely populated (though to be fair, I only spent two weeks visiting Australia).  If you condense all of the US's various dangers into one place, say one state... I could see how that'd be pretty terrifying.

I bring this up because I was recently sitting next to an LES from Morocco in the breakroom while the news reported on a sinkhole in Baltimore that swallowed some (empty) cars. No one was hurt, but the guy I was talking to was pretty shaken up about it. He said he has the opportunity to move to the US soon, but he's not sure he'll take it. Apparently he wants to come, but the US is a "dangerous place." He then proceeded to list off a bunch of the dangers I mentioned above. I explained that only some of those apply to any one place you live. He didn't seem to convinced and said he never has to worry about any of those things in Morocco (though I've later learned that Morocco does in fact get some floods, earthquakes, and insect swarms...). In the end, we didn't talk long, but I was surprised to find out that our instructors weren't just pulling our legs about the "scary America" idea.

Take that Europe! Even your map distortion can't save you!

Ok, Ok, you win Africa.

There's a neat website where you can compare country sizes, aptly named

1 comment:

  1. Europe, Africa, Asia, & S America are continents with many countries. The US shares the continent of N America with Canada & Mexico. Australia is a continent & a country and Antarctica is a continent with no countries!