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The United States has been called a “melting pot” because it boils away the character of immigrants from many diverse backgrounds and nationalities. America's ancestors were foreigners, just like you! While some of these immigrants “migrated” here against their will, these days all of America's slave labor is “practiced” overseas.

America is a big country: words are not sufficient to describe the grandeur of her vast and varied regions. We'll let the pictures do the talking.


FOOD: Italy has pasta, Mexico the enchirito, but don't count America out! American ingenuity has provided the world with many unique foodstuffs:

Restaurants that combine food and entertainment are an American specialty. You've probably heard of such famous American establishments as Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Café, where you can enjoy a variety of fried foods underneath Jean-Claude Van Damme's underpants or Neal Schon's guitar. Many large cities have "fifties"-themed diners, where you can be transported back in time to a more innocent era where hamburgers cost nine dollars.

SEX: America's sex industry is the biggest and best in the world. As Americans like to say, "Bite it, Sweden!" When it comes to videos, photographs and Web sites depicting sweaty, grinding genitals, the US is number one. Be careful, though: Americans' liberal attitudes toward sex don't extend into the real world. It's best to be discreet in approaching someone with the intent of obtaining sex. In some European countries, men commonly pinch the bottoms of strange women! Here in America men look down their shirts instead.


MUSIC: American popular music can be heard booming from trendy clothing boutiques, inside family restaurants, from car windows, and through the paper-thin walls of your hotel room. A "Walkman" personal stereo is a wise investment, as it allows you to listen only to your choice of music, and drowns out disagreeable loud noises common in American cities (honking car horns, screams for help, the Dave Matthews Band).

MOVIES: The moviegoing experience is quite different here than in your country. Americans like their movies LOUD. In fact, in most multiplexes, it's possible to hear the noisier parts of the movie being shown in the adjacent theatre. Don't worry, though, the sound is generally not so loud that it will prevent you from hearing your cell phone ringing or your fellow patrons talking all the way through the film.

SPORTS: Sports are a favorite pastime in the United States. Watching them, that is, not playing them. Americans attend the games dressed in the colors of their local sports teams, who are usually named for a unique local animal or feature. For instance, basketball's Utah Jazz pay tribute to the state's rich musical heritage.


Some visitors to the United States think America is a dangerous country filled with pistol-wielding thugs. Of course they're wrong — some Americans prefer knives, or even vials of acid. Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of America's mostly criminal populace or her draconian laws.

1. Narcotics are illegal in the United States, and the penalties for attempting to obtain them are steep. Be sure to bring plenty from home.

2. Do your best to look like a local. Thieves prey on tourists, and foreign visitors are easy marks with their brightly-colored clothing, comically oversized backpacks, cameras strung around their necks, maps sticking out of every pocket — I mean, Jesus Christ, have you looked at yourselves?

3. Stay with your own kind. Most major American cities have a "touristy" area where locals never go. Whether it's San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, Fells Point in Baltimore or South Street Seaport in New York City, you can be sure the people milling about are tourists — just like you! Stay there and you'll have hours of safe, expensive fun in an area nothing like the deadly city you came to visit.

In Chapter II:
Forms of currency, American native costume, and
“‘Kiss My Grits’ vs ‘Sit on It,’” a guide to American catchphrases

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One Nation, Extra Cheese

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