So you are American and you have a visitor from Australia. You want to be a good host, and you’re thinking of places you could take your guest. Local historical monuments, national parks, a local restaurant to try the specialities of your area….
You fool. What are you even thinking?! Give them what they want. There is one place you simply MUST take them, and you can mostly blame a certain website for having made it a US tourist attraction.
When friends found out I was going to the US for 2 years, they didn’t say “wow, you’ll get to go to the grand canyon!” or “so lucky, I want to visit Dollywood one day!”. Pretty much all of my friends said “You get to go to Walmart! PEOPLE OF WALMART!!!!” or words to that effect. One asked me to take a selfie in front of a Walmart sign as soon as I could (and obviously I obliged). Australians I know who have been to visit the US recently have posted pics of Walmart storefronts and commentary regarding what they’re looking at, what they have bought, how cheap certain items such as wine are etc. One of my confused US based relatives asked “Why does everyone want to go to Walmart?!” after recounting her experience with an Australian guest who asked for a Walmart visit shortly after arrival, while she was probably still jet lagged.
Why the fascination with this store? You can buy most of the things there in Australia anyway. Is it just the chance to see poor fashion choices on fellow shoppers such as those featured on that infamous website? The gun section, which certainly doesn’t exist in Australian department stores? The chance to buy some cheap shit? I suspect shopping at Walmart is also considered the stereotypical American thing to do, and dammit, when in Rome. In spite of the fact that I know plenty of Americans who seldom or never darken its doors. But as there is no “People of Kroger”, “People of Publix” or “People of Trader Joe’s” that I’ve heard of, for now you’ll just have to put up with us all thinking that Walmart is the place you all shop.
When your stupid guest has had their giddy Walmart fix……then you can take them to see some of the zillion other things in your country that are actually good. But humor them with the Walmart trip first.
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