The United States of America is – as we all know from movies, books and from history as well – the land of opportunity. Just take a look at the sheer size of the country and its well picked nickname too. That’s why I chose to study in New York City.
As I touched down in New York City for the first time, immediately I got this feeling of freedom. The Big Apple is a huge city and I could clearly imagine how many people had risen from rags to riches. Normally, I don’t like such big places. But as I enjoyed the breathtaking views from the roof of the 381 m high, 102 floor skyscraper the Empire State Building, I slowly got the feeling: yes, anything is possible.
Exactly after 1 hour on the stuffy underground subway, plus a further hour on the bus – with an unengaged, very impolite bus driver who didn’t care about the passengers, or the fact that erveryone nearly broke their neck everytime he hit the brake pedal – I finally arrived at my English School in New York. I was angry and irritated. The land of opportunity? As if! Rather the land of limited opportunity where you can’t do anything. After school, I went to bed really frustrated.
The next day started, the sun raised and I got an early phone call. Soon as I put the phone down, the feeling of freedom was back. I had been asked to go to waterskiing. But not on just any lake. I was asked to go waterskiing on the Hudson River. I didn’t need permission. I just could go to any point on the Hudson River and jump in. With the wind in my hair and the water on my skin, the beautiful feeling of freedom was back. Forgotten was the horrible bus ride from day before. Forgotten was the horrible underground journey to come to the Hudson River. Life was just beautiful. But how could I feel this way? The founder of the U.S.A. wanted as few laws as possible to retain their dearly beloved freedom. But just as I wanted to thank the founders and call the U.S.A. my favorite country, I saw a man being find by a police officer. He had broken a law of New York City: He had visibly and purposely turned around on the street to look at a woman.
The United States of America, truly the land of opportunity.