The West has won.

Posted on May 29, 2012

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Tonight I come to you live from my top bunk at “Hostel ‘Mango'” in Prague, having called it a night early after getting ripped off by some creepy waiters in our pursuit of legitimate Czech cuisine (see: glorified pot roast, less roast, more breads). And my, how the days until now have flown.

Indeed, as my blog’s timestamps will attest, quite a bit has happened since I blogged last. But I think, for now, I’ll save those chronicles for another day. For what I have to report is of far greater importance, not to mention necessary for clarifying the “Mean Girls” allusion in my previous entry’s title:

AMERICA WON, Y’ALL!

Much to my continual shock and wonder, the new bougie chic of Europe is — no, really, it is — the stars and stripes of the American flag.

I thought the Dunkin’ Donuts sign and accompanying light-up coffee cup shining over the Berlin train station — that pink and yellow frosted sunrise, that doughy marvel — were the greatest symbols of Americanization of late, but nay! Even in Paris, the self-proclaimed (though perhaps more in actions than words) capital of ‘Merica-hating snoots, everyone wears shirts, scarves, totes, flags, floppy fishing hats, light-up rings, YOLO coozies (OK no, but I’m confident I could incorporate these) et cetera et cetera ad nauseam like they shopped at an Old Navy sale on the fifth of July.

Ponder for a moment — a country that just elected a legitimate socialist is boasting more aesthetic faith in Uncle Sam than the fanny packed tourists who populate its streets.

Ironic? Yes. Hilarious? Definitely! Tacky? You betcha. Shameful? Fugghedaboutit (arguable)! One way or another, a total +1 on the scorecard for the States.

Really, North Carolina needs to start exporting its fireworks and moonshine, y’all, because I think they’d sell like kebabs (this is, to the best of my knowledge, the contemporary European colloquial equivalent to hotcakes).

For what it’s worth, I always thought symbolic Westernization peaked with Mickey D’s. But on Friday when I saw an elderly Dutch man lounging at an Amsterdam cafe wearing a starred scarf like an ascot, I nearly wished the bloke a happy Memorial Day weekend.

Not the quintessential European sabbatical I envisioned, but hey, I’ll take it. God bless the USA.

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