The Frau’s first Fourth of July on American soil in about a decade began with hot dog buns and Nutella, a surprisingly good combination.
Another good combination? Being in the U.S. when celebrating an American holiday. Because despite her attempts over the last decade to celebrate the Fourth by wearing her “America” t-shirt and having a Happy Meal at a Swiss McDonald’s, it’s not always the happiest thing to celebrate an American holiday when the country you are living in is having a workday.
Nevertheless, The Frau will never be 100% American ever again. She realized this several times on the Fourth of July.
|Attempted 4th of July Party at The Frau's old |
office in Zurich, Switzerland
The first time was when she was waiting in line with Toddler M to ride the red and blue blow up slide in Hinsdale. There was a guard in front of the slide, and he only let two kids on it at a time. Which meant the line was really, really long. The situation felt overcautious and American, and it brought The Frau back to Switzerland, when, during SlowUp events, there was a similar blow up slide and kids of all ages were on it, pushing and shoving their way up it. The Frau wishes there was a happy cultural medium, but when it comes to blow up slides, the level of cautiousness appears to be all or nothing.
The second time The Frau realized she was a little different now was at Centennial Beach in Naperville. She walked into the changing room and it was crowded with women and kids just standing there. She was confused as to why they were all standing around. Then she realized they were in line—for the five changing rooms with doors. Well. The Frau, having been trained European style, had no shame and just changed into her bathing suit right in front of them all, stuck her stuff in a locker, and went out to enjoy the beach instead of her privacy.
Anyhow, if The Frau was a little different this year, the American fireworks were the same. They were big and wonderful. And spending the entire weekend celebrating with various friends and family was too.