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Perspective by Ben Hogan – 01 de setembro de 2013

September 1, 2013

It has certainly been an interesting time to be an American abroad. I first arrived in Brazil as there were unprecedented protests beginning in all of the major Brazilian cities and soon after I was witnessing the reaction to the discovery that the United States’ National Security Administration had been spying on Brazilian citizens. As this is my first time outside of the United States, I have never really had the opportunity to observe my country from a perspective other than as an American citizen but being in Brazil I’ve had much more of a chance to see how others see America.

One of the things that stands out the most is that Brazilians don’t seem to really think about the United States as much as we think that they might. They are as busy as we are thinking about school, work, parties, families, and soccer. Most of their reactions though are positive and sometimes funny, barring the news about the NSA, and are often from our movies. A few in particular that stand out include my friend Tatiana telling me upon seeing a FedEx folder, that she has always wanted to get a package from FedEx since seeing Castaway. Another friend was very amused when we ate pizza with our hands, saying that it was like “we’re teenagers in a movie.” And more than once people have apologized when they’ve served breakfast for it not being as fancy as an American breakfast, only to try to explain to them that we don’t have breakfast like that everyday.

Not being so caught up in what’s going on in the United States has also been strange for the past couple of days since the possibility of US involvement in Syria. It was really nice not to have to hear so much about whatever Miley Cyrus did at the VMAs but President Obama’s speech on Saturday had caught me totally off guard. As Congress looks into possible US involvement, I think it will also be interesting to see a foreign perspective on this issue.

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