Tourism in Your Hometown

Mario’s here. (Yay!) He’s visited before: in January/February 2010, August 2010, October/November 2011, and now August/September 2012. He knows what’s up in the Midwest.

Like mailboxes!

It’s been fun to show him things like Chicago,

school buses,

parts of Crawfordsville history,

how to throw the pigskin,

and much more.

Touring your own city/hometown/region can cause you to see things in a new light. For instance, mailboxes. I never thought they were special in any way; Mario did. The same thing with school buses. I also admit to not being impressed by the skyscrapers in Chicago, but guess what! Mario was thrilled.

This time we’ll be eating at a historic Indianapolis steak house (St. Elmo’s), having a labor day barbecue with my family, driving to Bloomington experience the nightlife, attending the Saturday Farmers Market in Bloomington, attending a wedding rehearsal (Mario is excited about this, naturally), and an American-style wedding (my brother’s), and many other small things. Just last night, my father took Mario to a neighbor’s house to see the deer, who flock to their property. Their house was built in the Civil War era, which he loved.

Have you ever been a tourist in your own city? Have you ever shown someone from a different country around your home town? What do you like to show them? What do they like to see?

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13 thoughts on “Tourism in Your Hometown

  1. A friend from France came to visit my tiny town in Arkansas, and I definitely agree that this role-reversal helps you understand aspects of what define your own life stateside. Things she thought were most amusing were giant grocery-store sizes, open spaces, houses with porches, and–you guessed it–yellow school buses. Things she didn’t like so much were root beer and Velveeta cheese dip (the latter was not exactly on par with the after-dinner cheese course she was used to, ha)!

    1. Hahah, ohhhh Velveeta. I have heard many people don’t like root beer (apparently, it tastes like Japanese medicine). Mario hated marshmallows. I understand it, though: they’re pretty chemical-tasting.

      Mario loves to visit the grocery store. While there are no big aisles full of olive oil, the cereal aisle is impressive!

  2. I’ve always wanted to show a foreign friend around some part of the U.S., it seems like it would be so much fun! Alas, I don’t have any foreign friends I know that well, or who would be visiting the U.S., nor do I really know any particular part of the U.S. well enough to do a really good job at it (I could probably do New Orleans if given a bit of time to do some research first since I did live there for 5 years).

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    1. I tried to do Chicago, but I don’t know nearly enough about it. However, I rely on friends/family to do the touring here in central Indiana. You know, there is a lot to see in small-town Indiana if you have an open mind. Mario really enjoys seeing the typical American’s life.

      1. Yup, that’s exactly what I thought would be fun. Right now though there isn’t really anywhere I know enough about to give a proper tour of. I’d love to take someone from another country and show them what America is really like for the most part–it’s not NYC or L.A., those are outliers with only a fraction of the population, and it’s not what you see in movies.

        I actually think the small towns and their cultures are the most interesting aspects. I’ve been talking with a lot of native Spanish-speakers lately via Skype in places like Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, and Bolivia, and I’ve greatly enjoyed showing them this video of the 2010 Illinois State Fair Hog Calling Contest and watching their reactions. I’m always like “Yup! That’s America! I’m so proud.” :D

        Cheers,
        Andrew

  3. I love that picture of Mario and the mailbox! I don’t have one like that–it’s a box with a lid attached to the house (and coincidentally every spring the neighborhood birds seem to think it is the perfect place for them to build a nest. For weeks we are pulling out leaves and twigs among the various envelopes!). We don’t really have those mailboxes in my area. But yeah that kind of mailbox is very “typically American”! Did you explain to him about the flag? haha! :D

    Also it seems you have successfully Americanized your husband–learning about American football and walking around wearing college sweatshirt hoodies and baseball hats! It seems like he is enjoying himself so much!

    1. Yes, I did — back in 2010! That is an old picture :)

      He is willing to be “Americanized” in many ways. He loves the US, but I think one thing that will never change is his wearing of “house clothes” while inside the house. He always has to change.

  4. I completely LOVE Mario’s expressions in all of the photos! He looks so excited to be there! I’ve never really had a chance to show someone from out of town around but if my French friends came to Canada I would show them, friendly store clerks, starbucks coffee, Tim Hortons, slow train systems, squirrels (the French are so obsessed with them and we sure have a lot), racoons, big cars and people walking out of their house in track pants.

  5. Hello–I’ve been a longtime fan/stalker of your blog, and I’ve finally come out of lurking to comment!!!!…I just think it’s so funny how people from a culture foreign to us are fascinated by our own culture, which they view as “foreign”…Btw, how does Mario feel about American “football”???…

    1. Mario says that he “loves it,” and that it’s a very interesting and strategic game. He does object to the name “football,” however; he refers to it (jokingly) as “American rugby.”

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