All Around the World

I was looking at my WordPress analytics the other day and realized I’ve got readers from all over.  Yes, the USA is where you mostly reside, but according to this, my blog reaches all over the place, which is awesome.  So, here’s some little notes to my readers abroad.

The top ten countries, besides the USA, that read my blog are:  the UK, India, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Russia, Romania, Kenya, Japan, and Germany.

Dear UK,

I know tons about you because when I was five my best friend was from England.  I devoured books on the subject and dreamt of someday visiting London.  The United Kingdom is the first place I knew of as “elsewhere,” in the sense that there was a place outside of the world I grew up in, and this has always fascinated me.  Maybe someday I will get to visit your beautiful country.  It was my dream when I was five, and remains my dream today.

Dear India,

You surprise me-I don’t know why I thought a country of over a billion people wouldn’t have a couple reading my work, but I did.  I am captivated by your country, but you will never see me there.  Too many people, my anxiety would never allow it.  Though I am interested in Hinduism and think it’s awesome that you let cows wander the streets.  I love your clothing, your holidays, and your music.  There’s a certain flair to everything you do that I appreciate.  And all the dancing in the movies?  Priceless.

Dear Canada:

Oh, Canada!  My sister country!  I adore you so, I could write love letters for days.  Oh, your health care and your gun laws and your legal weed…if only you would let my husband in, we would be living in Ontario right this very second.  I drank my first drink with you.  I won my first jackpot with you.  I learned how to say “I am diabetic” in French, for you.  I miss you so, since the laws changed and I can’t just jump over the border anymore.  Someday we will be together again; until then we always have Montreal.  And Toronto.  And Quebec.  And Niagara Falls.  And damn, I really miss Canada.

Dear Ireland,

The motherland.  I have dreamed of you as long as I have known what a shamrock was, which has been forever, as I am very Irish and my family likes to show it off.   Not just my family; there’s some serious Irish pride in South Buffalo, where I live.  They even have their own Irish festival, apart from the one the whole city of Buffalo holds.  Flags line the streets.  There’s even a section of town where the street names are translated to Gaelic.  It delights me that people from Ireland are reading my words.  I very much hope you enjoy them, and I hope that someday I get to enjoy your beautiful country.

Dear Australia,

There is literally one thing in Australia that I’m not scared of and that is my friend Christina.  The rest of it is desert and spiders and weird animals and slang I don’t understand.  It looks beautiful and that’s one hell of an opera house, but I won’t be visiting.  To be fair, I know little to nothing about Australia.  I appreciate your attention, however, because you are on the literal other side of the world and that blows my mind. 

Dear Russia,

Hi, how are you?  I can only assume if you are reading my blog you are not the sort of Russian they like to talk about on US news-the distant, homophobic, communist stereotype.  Once, my friend Will went to Russia and he sent me a postcard from St. Petersburg, which was a big deal to me because as a child I was fascinated by the Romanovs.  I have no dreams of traveling to your country, though, as it is very cold and your leader is an asshat.  It’s ok.  Don’t be ashamed.  My leader is an asshat, too.

Dear Romania,

One time I read an article about Romania in Cosmopolitan, which is not really where you go for travel information, but alas, you had a good spa there.  I always wanted to go to Bran Castle, but until that article I had no idea it was in Romania.  So, Romania became top of my travel list for a while, and if I ever win the lottery I’m coming to see your awesome forests, castles, and apparently, spas.

Dear Kenya,

As my only African country on the list, I welcome you.  I don’t know much about your country though, outside of the beautiful pictures I had seen.  And once, I had a doll named Kenya, from Africa.  She was my favorite because she looked different from my other dolls, who were all blonde-haired and blue-eyed.  Kenya was tan and had curly brown hair and big brown eyes and I liked her instantly.  I remember someone questioning why I had a “black babydoll,” and that was the first time I encountered racism.  So yeah, that story kind of took a turn for the worse.  But thank you for reading my words. 

Dear Japan,

I’ll be honest, you kind of freak me out.  You have a lot of people and a lot going on and my anxiety won’t have it.  I do think you are some of the most creative folk out there, though.  Japan has brought us art and music and food.  The culture is beautiful.  The people are kind and welcoming.  I’ve never met a Japanese person I did not like.  Still, you’re a little close to North Korea for me, so no thanks.  I hope you enjoy reading my blog though, and know that I enjoy having you here.

Dear Germany,

I know some about Germany.  There’s what we were taught in history class, of course, but I also have a German friend who has taught me about food, culture, and such.  I would love to visit your country, because I’m pretty sure you guys know how to party, what with the beer gardens and Oktoberfests.  We try to replicate such things here, but I’m sure they can’t compare.  If I ever get to Europe, I’ll be sure to swing your way.

And an honorable mention:

Dear Mauritius,

You are last on my list.  You are likely one person who has been here a handful of times.  I had to look up where Mauritius is.  It’s an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa.  I have never heard of you before, and I learned something today because of it.  So, thank you.


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