If you want to confirm all your prejudices adverse to the USA, you can do so travelling the rural part of the country and the peripherical areas of bigger towns: oversized cars, bodies, cups, shopping malls...... proposal of food intake from the morning to the evening, hotels directly at the side of the highway- USA today as breakfast companion. But there is no need to stop at such observations. One might also register the 250 million Dollars, Cornell University raised from private donors or the new zero energy building of the Cornell Administration. Yes, Us citizens still have the right to possess guns and to create mayhem with them, but they are not licensed to kill each other on the highways as in Europe without speed limits. Admittedly, food in most simple eateries is dreadful, but in the right places you have the same quality as in Europe and you will find a big curiosity of the people to discover good food - as at the farmers market in Ithaca. Nature is stunningly beautiful and the endeavors of the public authorities to protect nature are impressive. Still more impressive is that private initiative was able to buy all the land to create the National Park of the Great Smoky Mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina. In closure a pic from my last dinner in Itaca: Shrimps, clams and scallops in a light coco nut sauce with Thai basil for 18 USD. Excellent, find this in Rome: See the entire Photoset at http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanneskeizer/sets/72157600380321684/
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