Apparently, Americans have a lot to learn

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Recently, I stayed in my first hostel. If you’re ever in Austin, check out the Hosteling International there. It’s like summer camp except with beer and foreigners.

On my first night, I met a pair of brothers from Switzerland, travelling across the United States down to Mexico through Cuba and somehow ultimately ending up in Panama. We started talking about the differences between Swiss and American life, beginning with our education systems.

After determining that “college” to them was “high school” to me, and “university” to them was “college” to me, the blonde brother said:

“In Switzerland, we go to University to learn…I don’t know how to say in English what I’m trying to say..we go to University to…we study for four years to learn…to learn hand job.”

“In Switzerland,” I said, “you have to go to school for four years to learn how to do a hand job? I didn’t know it could be so complicated! Have we been doing it wrong all these years?”

“NO, NO! We know how to do that! I mean to learn job we work with our hands” he assured me.

PHEW, I thought. We Americans may have a lot to learn when it comes to fiscal responsibility, economic policy, education, foreign policy, diplomacy, domestic policy, healthcare, militarism, capitalism, democracy…but I was really beginning to question things when I thought we might not even have know the proper way to do a hand job. I always thought that was the real cornerstone of our society, the one thing we would always have in the bag. If these Swiss bastards are dedicating four entire years to studying hand jobs we really are in big trouble. But, not to worry, it turned out to be just a simple misunderstanding. Keep calm and jerk on, my fellow Americans. It’s all good.


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