As I sit in a chair suspended 30k feet above the Atlantic Ocean, I’m wondering “why don’t I ever get seated next to a beautiful, charming woman, like in the movies?” I have terrible airplane seating karma. Today, there’s a robust old woman sitting next to me. She keeps looking over and frowning in disapproval at the fact that I’m on the computer, as if she still hasn’t accepted such technology as a societal standard – as if it’s a passing fad and I’m just wasting my time.

I’m on my way back to NYC from Heathrow, London. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks on holiday in London and Greece. I went to my friend’s beautiful wedding just outside of Athens. I had a great time with close friends, saw old friends and made new friends. Although I woke up one morning humming a melody and basically wrote an entire song using my phone’s voice recorder, I haven’t picked up a guitar since I left so I’m eager to do that when I get home.

Ahh, yes – warm almonds. Thanks Tammy. The flight attendants on this flight are Brits that seem to have literary names out of a Jane Austen novel. Their names just sound made up – names like Percy Brown and Tammy Lane. Our pilot, James Taylor introduces them to us over the intercom.

So, the last few weeks have been great… too many highlights to mention. Ooh, except for the best lamb Shawarma I’ve ever had across the street from my friend’s flat. I had that yesterday… and the day before. So then, if my vacation was so nice, why do I find myself sooo eager to get home? Why can’t I wait to get back to NY? What’s this red white and blue sensation I’m having in the pit of my stomach? And then it hits me… America is awesome!

Let me explain further because just writing those words made me vomit in my mouth a little. It makes me feel like the ignorant American the rest of the world thinks we all are anyway. I hadn’t been to Europe in a number of years – traveling as an American under the Bush administration was a bit embarrassing so it was kept to a minimum. But now that I’ve come for an extended stay and literally spent time in 2 very different types of Europe, I’ve come to the conclusion that the US, and specifically, the East and West Coasts have a level of comfort and civility that you don’t get in Europe. We are VERY comfortable in the US. We are VERY safe there. We have VERY good service… and for me, service is one of a vacation’s primary requisites.

London? They kind of blow you off – you’re just a mangy tourist to them – they really don’t put in the time and attention that good service requires, even in very fine establishments. There are always exceptions – don’t get me wrong, but I’m talking as a whole. And Greece? Forget about it! For the first time ever, I’m less than proud of my heritage. They’re destroying the country from within. Everyday there was another airport strike or a gasoline transport strike. You’re scared to go anywhere because you don’t know how long you’ll have to wait to get back! It’s a shame… And most of Europe is somewhere in between those two countries. In almost 3 weeks, I may have seen a total of 5 police cars – maaaybe. Everyone drives reeeeally fast. Scooter drivers are the ballsiest people on earth. Last week I was driving alongside 2 guys on a scooter (no helmets), both of which were texting as they weaved in and out of traffic at around 80 kilometers per hour – fuck if I know what a kilometer is but it felt fast… There’s just a lack of order in general.

It seems we take things for granted in the States… things like knowing exactly what time buses and trains are going to arrive – things like not having to worry about how badly your cab driver is gonna rip you off – things like not being asked “well what do you want me to do with the yellow” when you ask for an egg white omelet. And for fucks sake, how about making all of your money the same size?! It doesn’t fold right when all the bills are different!

So America, take pride in the knowledge that we don’t have to carry a pocket full of dollar coins! So what if you only speak one language?… barely. It’s an important language! So what if you can’t name more than 4 countries other than the Unites States? So what if our accents are loud and nasaly (that’s what an English guy told me yesterday). We may be overbearing and arrogant, but don’t piss us off. We might be carrying.

You can keep your ancient ruins and architecture. Keep your beautiful beaches. Keep your fancy accents and ‘devil may care’ attitude. I’m headed back to Mecca… headed back to suckle at the American tit.

America… don’t you change a thing. I like you just the way you are… and no, that dress doesn’t make you look fat at all.

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