When ever I am asked where I am from by a foreigner I say, "America." Neglecting the United States prefix. But really, isn't that the most important part of our country's title? We are a collection of 50 united states that all have different culturally, geographically and historically. Would a Mississippian care as much about crabs as I would being from Maryland? One of the greatest things traveling has taught me is to look at my own culture, something that I used to overlook as the norm.
One such opportunity was a family trip to Glenwood Colorado. A small mountain town with a magnificent hot spring that attracts both locals and tourists, like my family. The hotel that became home for two nights hosted one of my favorite sights from the town, the washing machine room.
It struck me with such a sense of mundane American life that I spent enough time that my family started to wonder where I was, not something that happens often at 19. This was one of those exact examples of culture that I would over look. But after seeing the futuristic robotic appliances of Japan, the bright buckets given for hand washing in India or the sleek stainless steal washers of Western Europe this set of washers seemed so truly American to me. It seemed to be a rare cultural commonality that crossed the boarders of these United States of ours. The apparent normality of it suggests the greatest level of cultural representation. Yes, our music, film and literature are ways to see our culture but the pieces of us that we have attached to our everyday lives can be the most interesting parts of Americanah. I guess I need to go on a search for more washing rooms to really get to the bottom of this one. But for now, here is this: