My original thought on starting this blog was to record the differences between living in the USA and England. To a degree I think I have achieved this, albeit with many deviations along the way.
Now well into our sixth year living in the beautiful state of North Carolina, I've come to realize how many things are similar while, thank goodness, many things are very different, even within this state.
Twenty years ago I asked a visiting technician installing new equipment at my workplace where his work took him. "Europe, North America and occasionally the Far East," he replied. "That's interesting, you must see a lot of sights and experience cultural differences?" His answer made me aware of this changing world. "Do me a favor mate, one Holiday Inn is exactly the same as another!"
That's probably simplifying the global world, or rather the economy we live with, but apart from the language and the prices, that statement rings true. I find it somewhat sad, that any Main Street / High Street / Alameda Principal or whatever, can look very much the same wherever you are.
One branch of one of my many interests is the study of transit buses. I view many photographs of these from the world over. What is more noticeable as each year passes is that not only that the vehicles are becoming so similar looking (even the individually owned, unique and quirky buses of Malta have been replaced overnight by the corporate giant of "sameness"), but the street furniture and the store fronts could be anywhere - one KFC, Best Buy, Starbucks is the same as another. There are exceptions of course . . . . . . . . . . .
A typical Starbucks strip mall location in the US
This Starbucks is located at the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City, Beijing.
Bringing the peoples of the world together to work in harmony must be a good thing, but can individualism survive on Corporate Earth?
I for one hope so.
Footnote - I have nothing against Starbucks, believe me (well perhaps the prices). I just prefer a strong regular at say, a Waffle House (no, that does not make me a redneck)!