We Are All American

 

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, I saw a lot of Asian and Mexican people at Yfs sonfs school. Later I found that in the stations or public places in LA, signs were always written in English and Spanish. The announcement in the airport was done also in English and Spanish. When we were driving, I could see Chinese characters and the Hangul characters from Korea everywhere alongside the road. London is called "crucible of races", but LA is a society, which is formed by many more various kinds of people than in London.

Y told me she had once asked her daughter about one of her school friends.

"From which country is she from?"

Then the daughter answered to mother,

"Why do you ask me such a silly question? We are all American. Thatfs all."

This was a just sound argument. Furthermore it was a model answer. I was surprised at the effect of American education, which cultivates childrenfs solidarity and loyalty to their own country.

On the other hand, a person in the UK, who has a different ethnic background, for example, Chinese or Indian, does not identify themselves as "British". They may say that they are "Chinese or Indian living in UK". People in other ethnic groups in UK do not classify themselves as being British which is controversial to the Americans, who all have a strong sense of identity: "We are all American."

 

Y and I went to an enormous supermarket to buy some materials for a barbecue, which we planned to have that evening. There were many people of different cultures and races: White, African, Central and South American, Asian, etc. I could not say which race was dominated. All the ethnic groups seemed to be mixed in the same proportion. I thought this country should be called, "The United Folks of America". (More than hundred years ago, "United States" was translated into Japanese as "United Folks" unknown where it was done accidentally or intentionally.    

 

It was also a surprise to me, in this supermarket, the tremendous quantity of shopping that everyone did. It was the special supermarket that sold everything in bulk. The drinks were only sold in big packages. Everyone bought orange juice or coca cola in big boxes, in which at least one dozen large bottles were packed. Naturally, the shopping carts were huge.

 

On the way to the supermarket, Y said to me,

"We do not have enough shampoo and dish washing sponges. Please remind me to buy them at the supermarket."

I only realized that we have forgotten to buy the dish washing sponges when we were waiting in the queue by the cashier.

"I will find and get them."

I told her and went around to find the sponges. Of course I found them, but even the smallest package contained twenty sponges. Having no other choice, I took that pack and brought them to Y.  

She joked with me, "Oh, you have bought sponges to last me for the next ten years!"

"Never mind," I said. "I will bring half of them back to London."

It was not a joke. I truly thought of bringing them, but when I left Yfs home a few days later, I forgot to bring the sponges home with me.