I just got an e-mail from a European friend, an exchange student who spent his senior year of high school in the States 40 years ago. He hasn’t been back, but we’ve kept in touch. I hadn’t heard from him in a couple of years and while his English is still pretty good (usually better than mine) it seemed a few things in his e-mail got lost in translation.
“How are you,” he wrote, “Is it as bad over there as we see on TV? It made me very sad to hear that all Americans have lost their jobs and that they spend 12 hours a day looking for work in obsolete automobile factories. I don’t think Europeans want those cars. What we like is American culture. Almost all you hear on the radio here is American rap music and everyone goes to American movies. Couldn’t more Americans get jobs as rap singers or movie stars? That would seem to me a better idea. Or as basketball players? As everyone knows all Americans are good at playing basketball and it is a good, well-paying job. Why would you want to make cars when you could play basketball?