This past weekend I went to Paris. This was the first time I had ever been somewhere I do not speak the language. My eyes were opened when trying to order some macarons.
“Framboise, citron, pistache, chocolat?”
“Umm.. raspberry and lemon, please.”
My answer and the reaction on his face made me realize that I was the foreign one and I didn’t even have to respect to learn any french before visiting. I felt so disgusted and frustrated with myself. I felt disrespected by my own self because I was on this high horse thinking that everyone would know english.
I guess you could say I realized the world doesn’t revolve around America.
Since begin in Europe I have discovered that everyone here speaks at least three languages; their mother tongue, english and french or spanish.
I am still learning my second. It made me realize how America lives in such a bubble and doesn’t know very much about the world. Because the US is huge I never really thought that the rest of the world was much different.
I’m amazed by how I realized how wrong our education system is the US.
First of all, we do not take classes to learn, although some may, we are programmed to pass test, we do not retain information, it’s just a test to see how fast we can memorize something, but we are never tested on it again.
I learnt so much more about the US outside of it than in it.
For example I didn’t know that Christopher Columbus committed a genocide with all the Native Americans on Thanksgiving, were always taught that he befriended them when really they were slaughtered and raped.
When I went to the Palace of Versaille they had a room called the Galleries of Battles and it was a room full of paintings over hundreds of years that showed the history of french wars. Here I learnt that the French fought with us to help us declare our independence from the British.
There is still so much I don’t know about the world, so much I don’t know about my own country. I can’t wait to learn about everything and everyone. I know it’s not possible to learn about EVERY SINGLE difference and similarity between countries but I want to learn enough.
I have traveled to different countries that are so similar yet to different to the United States, I can’t wait to go somewhere that is so different from everything in the United States; the people, the communication methods, the food, the culture, the education, the way of living.
Written October 18, 2017