I tell you: I never knew how much America was known for the sandwich until I moved overseas. I’m still pretty baffled by it. This is from a place in the Zurich airport, which was convincingly neither Italian, or American.
Click here for past “American”isms.
I think I took this in Beaune, France, this fall. I came across it (happily) while sorting through massive quantities of barely-organized digital photos and wishing (unhappily) that I did more organizing of our travel photos immediately following our traveling. I lost two hours trying to turn an assortment of the best from last summer’s vacation into an iMovie and then considered how difficult it would be to create some sort of “best of Europe” album from our time here—and do I fancy sorting through thousands of digital photos to do it?
The thing I kick myself for is not labeling the photos immediately with where they were taken. A year afterward, I’m looking at photos taken in five charming French villages and trying to recall which was which. The only really good tip I have is to take photos of village-name signs and road signs and restaurant names and things like that—the images may not have artistic merit, but they will help you later on.
Any other travelers out there have great tips on organizing and finding actual uses for your photos?
All right, I’ll agree with this one. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m looking forward to roasting some of these into sauce—these “power berries from the USA”!
Also on the “America” theme… in September in France we stopped for an off-the-highway dinner at a place called Buffalo Grill. It’s the kind of place I feel ironic eating, because there we are confirming their ideas that this is how Americans dine. Well, in the US I avoid places like TGI Friday’s; and in France, I don’t think I’d return to a Buffalo Grill. The food was mediocre, but the experience was surreal. Twangy, sappy American country music was blaring on the sound system, and TVs set up throughout the large restaurant were looping a promo video for recreation in the state of Utah. It was minute after minute of footage confirming that happy Americans spend their days white-water rafting, hiking, and climbing, all looking incredibly fit and sun-kissed.
Placemat, Buffalo Grill
If you go to this link and watch the video called “l’concept interieur,” you can also view a sample of the decor as it includes representations of Native Americans and, of course, the American bar-snack staple: popcorn.
Addendum: I’m not the only person who finds these things (and is amused by them!). Here are two other “American” restaurants discovered by Expat Bloggers….
“I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas” from A Flamingo in Utrecht
and “Not Quite a Slice of Home” from Marwarology
You know how at grocery stores there are different cultural aisles? Well, it’s no different at la Grande Epicerie, the upscale food extension of Paris’s famous le Bon Marche. There is an Italian shelf with fancy pastas and tomato sauces. There is a Japanese shelf with the makings of intricate home sushi.
And then there’s the “USA, Canada” shelf. Have you ever wondered what sort of goodies we’re credited with in the wider world? Processed salad dressings… ice-cream toppings… M&Ms (at a whopping €8-9 a bag!)… Fluff… peanut butter… microwave popcorn… and, OK, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. That’s one thing I actually stock up on when I’m at a Target!
“Classic Foods of America”
Harry’s American Sandwich
You can see past “American” sightings here.
I’ve been accumulating, once again, references to my home country amid European grocery stores and markets. Above, from the refrigerated section of C1000, we have pre-packaged “American” pancakes. The curious thing about this one, to me, is that pre-packaged pancakes or pannenkoeken are a very Dutch product. And yet, the one peeping through that window by the American flag does resemble something produced by my dad and a frying pan on a Sunday morning…
The truly unfortunate thing about this photo is that there is nothing to give you the size perspective of this T-shirt. It could have housed a family of five. Interpret at will.
And last but never least common: another sighting of American cookies. These particular cookies appeared at Marqt in den Haag, a Whole-Foods-esque store (though smaller), which annoyingly will not let you pay cash, no matter how small your purchase. Therefore, buying a €1,90 cookie seemed silly.
For the origins of “American,” read here.
I have passed this sign—one of the most curious examples of “American” I have seen—on the train so many times and wanted a photo of it. This week: success (despite the blizzard-like effect).
For past “American”isms, read here. Also, please appreciate this post extra, because I definitely burned my lunch to obliteration while writing it.
Spotted at the set-up for lichtjesavond:
No, it’s not poetic popcorn. “Verse” means “fresh.”