Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Traveling to Show the Less Fortunate to My Daughters

by | Mar 3, 2024 | Travel | 0 comments

Let’s go be loud over there — Part I (28/40)

I work hard because I know how lucky I am to be in this country. But I worry that my daughters will grow up entitled because they don’t understand how fortunate they are.

I do my best to show them how the less fortunate live. So last summer, I took them to Europe.

It’s never too early to learn that life would’ve been less enjoyable if born on the wrong side of the pond.

Tsk, okay, fine. Europe is all right.

I go to Europe because the languages are beautiful, the food is delicious, and especially in Spain, the poetry, the literature, and the music are second to none for me.

But there are always dangers associated with traveling there.

One, the doors are way too narrow. It’s as if the building code was established during the plague when people were a type of skinny known in fashion circles as skinny-bubonic.

Two, if you are lucky enough to have a private bathroom, there is a good chance the toilet is in the shower. Of course, they are going to brag about the macarons when they can’t stretch their legs when they are sitting on the toilet.

And finally, the moment you state you are American, there is a pause in the conversation where Europeans expect an apology, and some Americans fall for it.

I saw it happen at this beautiful restaurant in Barcelona called Casa Lolea.

Justine and I were there after Trump was elected president. We sat next to a couple from Houston and spent two hours listening to them apologize to every single staff member and patron of the restaurant for Trump’s election.

Listen, I voted for the lady; why am I responsible for how she handled her email? I’m not apologizing to anyone. I showed up at the booth, I voted against my conscience, but along party lines, and then I spent the next day in a haze, deciding whether or not to cry just like the rest of Americans. Ooops, I’m sorry. I meant to say, just like almost forty-eight percent of Americans.

I’m not apologizing to Europeans about it. I’m especially not apologizing when I only want to enjoy my ‘pa amb oli, sal i xocolata.’

It’s not that I believe in American Exceptionalism.

It is just that I believe in Global Un-Exceptionalism.

Every culture and country in this world has streaks on its historical and societal undies. The British still have a monarchy, the French don’t want to work, and Berlusconi was elected three times!!!

Two continents can play this game.

Americans show up to vote like everybody else in the world, and then shit happens. Voting gives every citizen in the free world an illusion of control, but like in Europe, in the United States, most decisions are made behind closed doors, powerful interests shape our narratives, and we are all, whether we want to admit it or not, easily manipulated.

Sure, maybe, Europeans are entitled to a sense of superiority because they “brought” culture to the rest of the world. But let’s not forget, they also brought us rats.

That’s right, Europeans brought rats back from China through the trade routes. And because they couldn’t leave good enough alone, they decided to “discover” and subjugate more parts of the world with the sole objective of enriching themselves.

So, they place nice families of rats on every single continent.

Right now, there is probably a rat in Kauai, hanging loose, enjoying the sunset and thinking, “How lucky am I that just a few centuries ago, my ancestors were in Europe, and now I’m here enjoying this amazing American island.”

He is also worried that his daughters will grow up entitled. So soon, he will have to make the trek back to Europe to show them how the less fortunate live.


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