Saturday, July 07, 2007

Through Another's Eyes

I've been hosting a young man from Botswana for a few days. He hasn't been to the U.S. before, so it's fascinating to hear his observations.

He arrived on July 4, and was surprised to see all the stars and stripes flying on private residences. He says that never happens back home, even on national holidays.

He was also disbelieving about vanity license plates. Didn't there have to be an official number? He liked it, once he believed it, and saw that it was a good money-making opportunity for the government as well. He's probably already emailed home about it.

Soon they'll have vanity plates
In Botswana - just like the States.

2 comments:

Ergo said...

Hey that's really cool. How did this guy land up at your place?? Exchange student?

Both observations of his that you cited were what I had as well when I first entered the US. Even in India, we don't have Indian flags up around every residence--in fact, until just a couple years back it was illegal for regular citizen to fly Indian flags; now they force us to sing the national anthem in movie theaters before the start of every movie.

Ugh.

But, I'd be interested in reading more on the experience the Botswana man has while at your place.

JohnJEnright said...

Ergo, he is visiting to attend a series of capitalist-oriented conferences, in one North American city after another, over the course of a month and a half. We volunteered to put him up for just a few days. I always enjoy learning about other places, and on top of that he was a charming and intelligent guy. He's 34 or so, recently started an NGO in Botswana, and is in the States looking for workable ideas and help. Botswana is in good shape compared to many subSaharan African countries, but it has lots of challenges ahead, including a bad problem with HIV right now.