My good friend moved to the USA some time ago to explore her possibilities. She is coming to her home town Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia, for those unaware) every now and then, which usually results in many hours spent together upon her arrival. She told me plenty of stories, mostly hilarious, about vivid American imagination of the "other" part of the World. The World that is not America. Sure, the USA offer variety of opportunities for those who know how to take advantage of them, but let us take a closer look on average people. People that in my opinion represent classic Americans. And, yes, I might be stereotyping, but these stories are very much real.
Firstly, for the sake of introduction, let me tell you a tiny bit about Slovenia... We like to think we belong to the Central Europe (location could be right for that), but truthfully, everyone classifies us as the members of South-Eastern Europe. Nowadays we are forming a part of the EU (since 2004), however, Slovenia used to be Yugoslavia till 1991, and that's mostly connected to the questions about war. A war that actually did not touch us, at least not like the countries where the war really took place. There was one American, a journalist, which kind of makes it even worse, who thought we have mine fields. Mine fields? Google should be used more frequently, that's all I can say.
Then the electricity. Questions about electricity were raised on many occasions. No, we still live in caves, and I use smoke signals to deliver my thoughts, which are then transformed by good people, still able to read smoke signals, to this blog. Bearing with question if we know who Sienna Miller is, is easy compared to that. Yes, we have TV, internet and gossip columns.
Anyway, we are one tiny country, with approximately 2 million inhabitants, pretty much like canned metropolis. All in all - and what's the most important message - we have dolce vita you are dreaming about on daily basis. Just to give you the most precise description.
Now, let's return to my friend and her experience. These are more or less connected to the food. Eating habits differ from nation to nation and according to my opinion the Americans have by far the worst habits whatsoever. And food, as the matter of fact. Don't get me started with plastic vegetables, hormone stuffed chicken and one of the best inventions - VITAMIN water. I almost suffocated myself with exaggerated laughter when I heard about that. This is not vitamin water. It's just water with additives. We, Slovenians, like to call it water with taste. Because they add all sort of flavors to it. Artificial sugar mostly. Or the real one in some cases.
Slovenian food on the other hand tastes like real food. Our tomato is red and meaty when you cut it and we have bread to die for. Whole-wheat, buckwheat with walnut, white with olives... should I go on?
So, this friend of mine took lots of customs friendly food from home country with her when traveling across the pond. She ate it on her trips she had made while discovering natural (and built) beauties of the USA. On one special event she was sitting on a boat directed to Alcatraz. She took out her "lunchbox" and started to eat her delicatessen. A canned pâté. One of the most popular and tasteful in Slovenia - Argeta. A woman sitting next to her, very nicely dressed American, was eyeing her constantly with suspicion. When she encouraged herself to pop the question, amazing words came out of her mouth: "Sweety, are you eating cat food?" (Just to let you know, every time I think about that sentence I can't help but laugh.)
Her bite stopped in her throat. "No, this is pâté," she replied. "A what?" the lady went on. Not knowing how to explain and still petrified from shock, she just thought to herself "Lady, you have no idea, what you're missing." Amen to that.
My friend added, that the lady made her feel so embarrassed in front of the others, who obviously thought after the question was raised she must be sort of a freak (or at least homeless person pitied by some zoo employers).
After hearing that story I made myself pâté Argeta sandwich at 10 pm. Celebrating the unique taste, creamy consistency and knowledge about the existence of pâtés.