I had dinner with friends yesterday. One friend and I see differently on the subject of being American. I have long had my problems with U.S. American culture and she, even after over 30 years in Austria, thinks the U.S. is great, possibly the greatest country in the world.
Usually when this topic comes up and she makes a cryptic remark about places she would never want to live I close down thinking she simply has an overly rosy view of life in the U.S. This time I suspended judgment, looked at her inquiringly, and waited. And I was rewarded. It turned out that she was thinking in particular of Saudi Arabia and what her rights as a woman would be and meant specifically that she would not want to live there. I’m glad I waited. I understand better now.