Endangered Species (Culture)
There is a rare animal that is about to disappear from the face of the earth, sooner than we think. In most places, it is already gone. The 'animal' that I refer to is local culture. It is almost a memory most places.
If you are ever in doubt about who is winning the culture war, fear not, America has that well in hand. In all my travels, it is hard to escape. Cultural tourism is a thing, because it has to be. You actually have to search it out when you travel. You would think that just the act of traveling would immerse you in local color, foods, etc. But alas, it is not so. Yes, some, but not to the extent that you might think.
For instance, in Kuwait you might picture camels, middle eastern restaurants, Turkish foods, and oil fields. There are some of those, but they are hard to find. It seems that anywhere you look, you could close your eyes, throw a cat, and hit an American restaurant chain. Every half mile down their coast, on the beach, is either a three story Chilis, Burger King, McDonalds, KFC, Red Lobster, Texas Roadhouse, and the list goes on ... and on ...
Their mall looks like the Green Hills Mall writ large, and has all the same stores (but two of each, so you don't have to walk the whole length of the mall to find another). Styles are current, but they don't have hipsters yet, so there's that ;)
As an American, it feels familiar, yet wrong. I, at least, have this feeling that there should be something else here, and that a lot is missing. This feeling is becoming more familiar, the more of the world that I see. It is tough knowing that this feeling will never become a stranger, unless I venture into the wilds to find culture. Fortunately, I like adventure, walking, and try to find the hidden traces of what is no longer here. It is like tracking an animal in the wild. Culture leaves a trail, impressions, footprints, and where you find those, look harder, and you can see what used to be.