1. Houses are like huts
My surroundings are a suburban clich: beautiful houses, ornate lawns, one or two American flags. But after the first two weeks of my press association in Nashville, I can say: the houses are beautiful, but they are very well built. Mostly made of wood, zero insulation. When the air conditioning is turned off, it heats up unbearably at any time. The walls may be made of grease proof paper, no matter how thin they are. You can hear everything that happens at home. When it rained heavily the other day, part of the rain came down. Doors and locks are very unstable and can be broken without significant special criminal knowledge.
My roommate shrugged and said: “We Americans want to build cheap.” He then went to the bank to bury important documents there. “Be on the safe side, if the house burns down.” From the point of view of construction, she thinks this is a realistic situation. This. A house not far from here was recently burnt down. Also parking near hydrants is strictly prohibited. You never know when they will Firefighters I have to go back.
2. Everything looks the same
The plots are approximately the same size, the houses are the same height, there is a double garage, there is at least one car in front of each house and a big tree in front of the house. The mailboxes are black, the lawn in the front gardens is the same height and our home number is somewhere in the thousands, so even the first two digits are identical. If gold Jeep My roommate is not in front of the house and I usually pass by it. Once I even parked in the front garage facade of our house and noticed it only on the way to their front door.
And it says “Home Sweet Home” everywhere: on metal signs in the front yard, a picture in the doorway reception or window. It is as if the residents of the suburbs have accepted some sort of uniform. Signs of patriotism like flowers are allowed, but nothing too much to please. The other day I was honest about “Trump”. Keep America First! ”- happy sign. It shows me when I have to change from one endless long, endless identical street to another endless long, endless single street.
3. You only see cars, not people
Sometimes post-apocalyptic ideas come to me while walking, for example I only forgot when the earth was ejected. Or the last survivor after an alien attack. Because you don’t see people here on the street or in front of houses. This is strange because the verandas are often lovingly designed, with angel lights, rocking chairs, and flowers. I have never seen someone last over them in just two weeks.
Somehow life is missing. In addition, homes do not have name tags. A house has a number, nothing more than that. The fact that most homes manage without a fence indicates an openness that does not exist. The houses look like forts. The blinds are always down and the curtains are closed. Anything can happen behind them. Mrs. Robinson can Dustin Hoffman Enchant or revive the chucky, killer toy. This is repression.
4. No sidewalks
Of course, the United States is the country of motorists. Yes, you need a car to get from the suburbs to the city center – at least in Nashville, public transportation is “very low” and my American colleagues always apologize. But is this a reason to avoid sidewalks? There was not even one in my neighborhood, and the streets simply stretched to the front yard.
If you want to go for a walk with your dog or go jogging – it seems to me, the only activity that can be done without a car in the suburbs – you have to walk down the street. This is not pleasant in view of the density of the cars, even in purely residential areas with plenty of dead ends. Lagonic comment from my roommate: “Why do you want to go for a walk too?” To save your honor, however, I must say this: motorists react almost gracefully when they see a pedestrian like me. They brake, drive at walking speeds and often greet them friendly.
5. It is loud
This may come as a surprise in light of the earlier depiction of the American suburbs as a secluded place. In fact, you can rarely see people, but you can hear them. Someone is always running, running the machine in front of the house or mowing the lawn. And almost everyone has a dog (we even have two), and some animals are always upset. But the worst cicadas are incredibly noisy – affectionately known here as the “sound of summer”.
Chikkadas leave the earth in late summer every year and climb trees – of which, as I said, are sufficient in the suburbs. And the men there were deaf and dumb. They do this to attract females because once such a chikada chick hatches, it does not have much time to reproduce. They are frantic, especially in the mornings. Thank God I don’t have to listen to her love songs too much. For the last four weeks of the scholarship, I will be living in the middle of Nashville: fewer trees, more people, and yes – more cars, unfortunately. But you can’t have it all.
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