Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Friday, September 22, 2006

US Store??

Something I neglected to mention about Luneburg earlier is that there is a shop called "US Store." Do they sell the best of American products there? Noooo. The store's chief products are air guns, camouflage, flags, knives, and other kinds of military-style products.

I am not certain what to make of this exactly but it does appear that at least to a certain part of the German population America is synonymous with warlike images and lifestyle. I wonder if that has become our most recognizable export?

Of course, movies are probably the most obvious export here. I have cable TV at my apartment. Many American television shows are on the German networks - CSI, Cold Case, Law and Order, even the Simpsons, and some older ones like Little House on the Prairie. They are all dubbed in German so are a challenge for me to figure out. No CNN, unfortunately, but in the mornings before 10 a.m., CNBC Europe is on in English so I often watch that and then there is, of course, MTV.

Finally, as I sit here in the university cafeteria with some of our students there is a break-dance demonstration/competition going on on the soccer field outside. Lots of German kids from local grade schools breaking some moves. The American students around me are providing some commentary about the relative skills of the German breakers.


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