MANY Americans travel to the Old World to discover the roots of their culture. But sometimes they expect Europe to have developed the things which they have created, are accustomed to and of which they are justly proud.
We may do the same. Our attitude to a holiday is often relevant to its success, even before we reach the point of departure. It is important to make up one's mind initially as to what we expect from a particular holiday. If it is just relaxation, you may find it in the United States, but it is a long way to go for it.
For the s-unworshipper there are cheaper and more accessible venues than a trip across the Atlantic. On the other hand, the United States will provide stimulus and excitement in profusion. But even so, you may be disappointed by North America if you are in search of a bigger and better England, Bernard Shaw wisely said that the language divided us.
We are readily irritated by the American insistence on size, but it is understandable. The country is vast and the people "think big" whether in terms of gigantic skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building or in economic aid programmes or just in business.
We must accustom ourselves to the fact that business or selling does not inhibit citizens of the U.S. They are direct to the point of bluntness. If a visitor accepts this fact, he will find it refreshing.
Making a purchase in a store or arranging a tour, you are not expected to voice your requirements diffidently. Rather do you state your demands dearly. Introductions at social gatherings arc made for the purpose of people getting to know each other. Our friends across the Atlantic pursue your name until they have a firm grip of it. They do not hope, forlornly, that they may discover it later.
Today the furthest corners of the world are accessible and to get to the United States is easy and, strangely enough, it becomes relatively cheaper all the time. There is not sufficient space here to write even of a corner of Manhattan Island and of the vast opportunities the United States offers its visitors throughout the country, not to mention their overwhelming hospitality.
Many readers will be familiar with them, but they pale, whatever their size, grandeur or magnificence, compared to the vigour and vitality of the achievements of the people. A visit to the United States may not be a rest cure, but it will certainly be a tonic.