Grandpa says that in America, the streets are paved with gold and the water is made of milk and honey. The trees bear cotton candy and the grass is sewn from satin and silk. Every house has a car in its garage and every car has an apple pie in its massive cupholders. The winters are survivable if you are not too old.
Cowboys roam the earth and baseball players slide about in the dust. Watch out—you just might run into a “Hollywood star” on your way to work! Work is eighteen hours a day, whistling at the old fishing hole.
Everyone knows your name and what you want for dinner today. Every couch is a fold-out bed. Every door is a fire escape. Every fire is a warm embrace. Every apartment is required to have a window facing the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty smiles all the time, except during national tragedies.
In America, the President writes you a letter every Sunday and you have to write him one back by the end of the week. He listens to everything you say, and if he doesn’t understand something, he will call you to clarify. Toll-free.
The mailman always delivers, even when it rains, which it never does. The sun is closer and bigger than in the old country. Clothes dry in five minutes, tops. The chocolate chip cookies on the windowsill never cool.