American Diners are like European Cafes

When I was in 
Europe
I wondered how 
Americans
could tolerate having to drive when going to even the most essential places like the cafe or the grocery store.

In Europe I thought it was good that cafes were essential by acting as a place for people of all ages to spend time rather than just the college laptop and creative professionals to try to do work and take loud phone calls.

But today, on this particular day, I found enjoyment driving my car, listening to
Pinkerton
by
Weezer
taking the longest route possible to meet up with Hari. The two of us were visiting our parents, he for two weeks, me for just one. But we had a two day overlap and this day was the final one. Tomorrow Hari would be back off to New York.

I don't know if it was him or me, but we both came to a resounding agreement that it would be a good idea to meet at a diner instead of a cafe.

"The closest thing America has to European cafe is the diner," Hari said.

We smiled and took a swig together of coffee, our brains swimming in dopamine surge from meeting of old friends, coffee, and the sharing of this little shitting-on of our own country.

"Why do people say they love this country? Or any country for that matter?"

"They like their life there."

"Right, but there's so many lives in one given country. As in not every American lives the same life of another American. So when they say they love America--"

"They're saying they love something that is shared between these different American lives that's different from other countries."

"-- ah yes. Good way to put it. Nail on the head. And another funny thing is that more than loving one's country, we love it when someone from another country tells us why they love theirs' and we find out that they love theirs for the same reason we love ours!"

"You know. I never really like being a part of all the college fanfare and all that stuff. You know that. But when I was in Dresden for the weekend a group of Big Ten university students were walking by and they yelled at us because one of us had on Michigan State gear. I don't think I ever felt so connected to someone from the
midwest
than right then."

After our meal we had a few beers at a local dive talking about our lives until we ran out of material. Then we spent an hour remarking just how lucky we had it. Fun lives. Bright futures. We hugged and said goodbye. Then I drove home listening to Weezer. It sounded like the soundtrack to a past life. If I knew the right song for today I would put it on, but I didn't.


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