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Sunday, April 26, 2009

America murdabad?

I was recently at a friend's place for dinner and we ended up discussing politics, religion and conspiracy theories till 3 in the morning. The topic mainly revolved around the United States. I have heard lot of Indians complain about the Americans and their attitude, the Muslims of course have their own reasons, but what came as a complete surprise to me was that how Europeans absolutely hate the Americans too! The Americans here are seen as the fat, rich, arrogant and stupid (of,course after Bush, one can see that coming). I never ever expected the Europeans to hate them, to the extent that they can tolerate anybody but the Americans.

For the Dutch people though, the Americans being fat is the most amusing point of discussion. The bread eating, ultra diet conscious countrymen seem to be absolutely bewildered as to how everybody in the US eats so much. Right from the size of the Starbucks' 'Tall' (which is actually their small size) coffee to the number of fast food joints that they have, they just don't understand how someone can eat such things. The normal Dutch coffee cup size is about 1/4th the 'Tall' Starbucks coffee and an average lunch consists of 2 small sandwiches and thats it!

For the rest, its about anything and everything about the US that they can't tolerate - their culture, their materialism, their lack of family values and so on. An Italian friend of mine gave me a conspiracy theory for almost every single bad thing happening around the US and the vehemence with which he refused to accept anything else was extremely surprising to me. He even gave me a theory of Osama Bin Laden being a fictional character!!!But there were so many questions that he asked me which I just couldn't answer either, in support of the US.

I always assumed that the US was looked at as the ultimate powers and especially in the Europe I expected a different reaction. People here don't even want to go the US! hmmm...these are probably recent developments, with the unpopular image created by the Bush government and the depression looming everywhere.

Well, to me what I really don't like is the double standards that the Americans take. If they are fighting for the lives of alive Americans by killing innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan, what do they mean by "war against terror" and who exactly are the terrorists here? Why can't there be a "war against the terror of AIDS or HUNGER"? After all, these still are the biggest killers! If they solve some of these problems, why would there be terrorists anymore? Sigh! I know the solution is not as easy as that.Or perhaps it is!

I sometimes feel that these few years are perhaps the most important historic moments of my lifetime. I watched the American elections much closely than the Indian. I cheered for Obama and I have high hopes on him. I hope the depression in some sense gives the economies a chance to reset their strategies and start afresh.

On the bright side, everybody seems to love Canada!! :D. Being normal and nice does pay off. haha!

Twilight, New Moon - Stephenie Meyer

God, when will I get over such books! I simply loooove fantasy books, to the extent that I sometimes wish I lived in that world! haha! These books are definitely not comparable to the Harry Potter series, but nevertheless, such a wonderful page turner. I devour such books in 2-3 days..:)..The story is so elegantly simple. It revolves around two young people madly in love with each other. There is only one glitch! one of them is a vampire! This is where the narration skills of the author come into play. The whole book (especially the first one - Twilight) is all about conversations between Bella and Edward - and the author so beautifully builds it up on that. The chemistry between them is magical!

I still have two more in the series to go. Hope they maintain the tempo. I keep telling myself that I should not spend so much time reading such books..hey what the heck! everybody has some weaknesses! ;)

Go for it fantasy lovers! :D

Death in the Clouds - Agatha Cristie

As ever, Agatha Cristie's books have such thrilling story lines that keeps you guessing till the end. I used to LOVE her work as a teenager and have read most of her books. This one is about a murder committed in a plane. I realized though that I actually got a little smarter, I could make a few reasonable guesses of the murderer. :)

A murder mystery, how it is supposed to be!
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