Nachdem bereits Umar aus Pakistan meine Fragen beantwortet hat, sind diesmal die Antworten von Victoria aus den USA an der Reihe.
Sie ist Kinderbibliothekarin in der öffentlichen Bibliothek von Bay Minette, AL. Geboren wurde sie in West Virginia und wuchs in Florida auf. Die letzten 30 Jahre lebt sie bereits in Alabama. Abgesehen von einem Sommerjob in Minnesota lebte Victoria immer im Südosten der Vereinigten Staaten.
Tell us a bit about the city where you live. What is it like to live there? What makes it special?
Bay Minette is a small town in Baldwin County, AL. We are about 30 miles from Mobile, AL and 35 miles from Pensacola, Florida. I like living in a small town. It is safe, relatively crime free, and friendly. Yet we live close enough to the cities of Mobile and Pensacola that we can take advantage of good medical care, Universities, cultural events, and the like.
Bay Minette is on the edge of the 2nd largest river delta in the United States and we have wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities.
“What do you like most about your country?”
Despite increasing income inequality, it is still possible to work hard and get ahead. Freedom of speech is a real thing. Democracy is messy and imperfect, but it is still the best form of government in my opinion.
“And what are the things you don’t like about your country?”
I don’t like the swath of the population that yearns for a nonexistent golden age of the past.
“Would you like to live somewhere else? If yes, where? And why? If no, why not?”
No, I’m happy where I am.
“What should someone who visits your country do and see?”
It is such a big county that it is really hard to recommend stuff. I depends on what you want to see and do.
“And what should they definitely not do?”
Don’t forget to tip your server in a restaurant. Most servers are not paid minimum wage- they depend on tips for a good portion of their salary.
“What are your favourite meals of your traditional cuisine?”
It is funny to think about Southern Cooking as a traditional cuisine. But here along the Gulf Coast, I would recommend seafood gumbo, fried alligator, corn fritters, fried green tomatoes and cheese grits. This is obviously not health food, but it sure tastes good.
“And how about drinks? What drinks should we try when we visit your country?”
We actually have a local vineyard. The muscadine wine is quite good. There are local craft beers as well.
“How do you get around in your country? Do people use public transport or do you prefer not to? Why?”
There is not much public transportation in this area. The United States is such a large area it is hard to generalize. The larger cities usually do. We do have a couple of ferries that cross the Mobile bay.
“What does your ordinary day look like? Do you think it’s a typical everyday’s life for people in your country?”
Believe it or not, I live in a log cabin. It is a modern one, though, with central heat and air.
I’m married and have 2 children at home. My daughter is in college and my son is in high school. On an ordinary day I get up about 5:30 am. I fix breakfast for my family and pack lunches. Everyone has their own vehicle, so everyone heads out to work or school. I usually leave last, about 7:45 am. I get to work by 8:00 am. I usually pack my lunch and eat in the employee lounge at work. I often take a walk after lunch. There are parks and nice streets to walk on. I leave work at 6:00 pm and get home about 15 minutes later. I fix dinner and we usually eat together. After dinner I might work with my son on college test preparation, or watch some television with my husband or daughter. I like to do needlework in the evenings.
On weekends I like to hike, or kayak in the delta. I also enjoy gardening and working in my yard. I attend church on Sunday mornings.
This is pretty typical for most people around here.
“What’s the best season for visiting your country/region/state? Why?”
Spring is wonderful, with azaleas blooming everywhere. Fall is nice, too, although we don’t have the colorful trees that they do in New England. We have fall wildflowers, asters of all kinds, goldenrods and other fall flowers. Winter isn’t bad either. We are nearly sub tropical here, so there is no snow. Summer can be very hot.
“Tell us something about traditional activities, festivals or holidays in your area. Which do you enjoy most? How do you celebrate them?”
We have Christmas Fest in early December. It is a city wide celebration with a market, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and a parade.
Another traditional activity in this area is fall football. On Friday nights there are high school games, on Saturdays there are college games, and on Sundays there are pro games.
“Where would you like to travel in your life? Why?”
I really want to come to Europe. I am hoping I will be able to in May of 2016.
“Most of my readers are from Germany and Austria. What comes to your mind when you think about these countries? Are there any stereotypes about Germans or Austrians in your country?”
I know you and your readers will probably find this amusing, but the first thing that pops into my mind is The Sound of Music. I love that movie. I know it is completely inaccurate, but I love it anyway. Several of my ancestors came to this county from Germany in the early 1700’s, so I have always wanted to visit, and plan to do so someday.
Most people in this area have a very positive view of Germans. Thyssenkrupp built a steel mill nearby, so we got to meet quite a few Germans. As far as a stereotype it would be that they are hard working and efficient.
“What do you think: Which stereotypes exist about your country and its people? Are they correct – at least partly – or not?”
I would like to reassure your readers that it is really quite safe to visit the US. We are not the gun toting rednecks often portrayed on the nightly news. I live in the South, but I have friends and co-workers of all races.
“If you could change one thing about the place where you live, what would it be?”
I wish people would work together more for the future. That and I wish I could get high speed internet.
“Your dreams for the future?”
My dream is for increasing use of renewable energy technologies. I would like to see solar panels on every home, feeding back into the grid. I would also like to see more public transit.
Die Idee hinter diesen Interviews:
Wir reden und schreiben so viel über die Länder dieser Welt und auch über die Menschen, die darin leben. Die Einblicke, die wir als Reisende in diese Länder bekommen, sind doch immer nur kurze neugierige Blicke von außen. Blicke durch ein Schlüsselloch quasi.
Statt über die Menschen zu schreiben, so dachte ich mir, sollten wir sie doch einfach einmal selbst fragen. Gerade in den heutigen Zeiten, in denen Menschen ferner Länder doch meist nur einen Klick entfernt sind, ja, wir mit ihnen sogar häufig in sozialen Netzwerken befreundet sind.
Deshalb starte ich diese neue kleine Serie, in der ich Facebook- und Brieffreunde, die ich in aller Herren Länder habe, einfach eine Reihe Fragen stelle und mich neugierig darauf einlasse, was sie dazu zu sagen haben. Auch dies wird ein Blick von außen durch das Schlüsselloch bleiben – aber vielleicht vergrößert sich das Schlüsselloch doch ein bisschen?
Nachgefragt bei Umar aus Pakistan
Nachgefragt bei Sören aus Dänemark / Grönland / Island
Nachgefragt bei Martina aus Italien / Slowenien
Nachgefragt bei Stanislava aus Tschechien
Nachgefragt bei Rona von den Philippinen
Nachgefragt bei Giovanna aus Italien