Monday, April 1, 2013

Is America... Big?

I'm revamping regular-style Resa vlogs! And here is the first one, so forgive newbie wiggles. I'm also still searching for a new camera, so bear with these crummy webcam vlogs for the time being.

So, one of the first things I noticed when I came over here, was how small everything was- the food proportions were tinier, the streets or street lanes were narrower, and distances were shorter than how Google maps indicated it was. I thought it was just England, so when I was in Eastern Europe, I was both surprised and unsurprised that everything was, similarly, just as small. 
This led to me to conclude- Europe. Is. Lacking in size. 

Except that people told me that America was actually just. Big. 
Let's take a look.
     England is shaped a lot like California or Florida, however, California is 2x the size of Britain* alone. Whats also interesting is that the usual definition of continental Europe*, consisting of several countries, has a distance of around 3335mi and mainland USA, which is merely one country, is already 3100mi. For a bit more context, France (which is about 211,000 square miles) is almost the width of New Mexico and Arizona, between Texas and California. Austria (32,000 square miles) has almost exactly the same area as Maine. In fact, North America is 2449000 km2 [945,564.19 mi2] and Europe is only 1018000 km2 [393,052 mi2]. In other words, all of Western Europe can fit inside mainland USA. Just actually take a look at the map. I'm wondering where this notion that Europe is huge came from. Europeans aren't that biiiig. 
American take out container
     I was wee bit disappointed with the food and fun times. We always joke how chip bags are really half a bag of air- well over here, nearly everything is packaged differently, from chips* to beef steaks to shrimp, and the half a bag of air still counts. Groceries aren't the only criminals- I've found that eating at a British or European restaurant, you still get the same sized plates, but the food is either less thick or more compact. I mean, this is how big the average takeout box ends up looking like. 
     Like any other person overseas, I've gone to random events and tours. I'd already expected that Britain would have fewer Big Fat Modern things because all the metropolises are in America. But I didn't expect how much American media has penetrated Europe- even in the most random clubs in Krakow, Poland, I've heard 'Like A G6'.  I can't even count anymore the number of times people have told me- You guys have all the movies, whats the big deal? How come America doesn't do a lot of local? I'm amazed by how big things are in America. Etc. 
     However, we've gotta focus on resources. Like we've established earlier, America is already a LOT bigger geographically. What we've also got, is a LOT of consumerism, capitalism, and imports. Many other countries are self-sustaining, like Europe, or do a lot more exports, like Asia. I'm not an economics or politics major so I can't really say much more about this, but I think there's a pattern that we can notice, when we compare how big Americans physically are, with how much consumerism, imports, and inflation there are.
     Unfortunately, I often end up playing the Big Fat Ignorant American card anyways via complaining about how small everything is here, when actually I've just gotta take into account that, really, we're just oversized. 

So thanks for watching! How about, in the comments, tell me things you've found surprising from locals about America when and if you've traveled outside the states.

*Britain: the main island of UK- England, Wales, Scotland. UK also includes Northern Ireland. Continental Europe: most commonly defined as West/Eastern Europe, but not including UK/Ireland, Scandinavia, and the Asian half of Russia.

To calculate cross-country distances:

Thumbnail photo and some distances numbers credit to:

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