This is the fourth year in a row that I applied for the American Visa Lottery. However, this year has been a little bit different. I have paused to think about the reasons why I want to move to the States. Here is my list:

1. money
2. opportunities
3. freedom
4. civil rights

But then I stopped and gave myself the opportunity of writing an honest list of reasons:

1. Scale
Everything is so overwhelmingly large in the States from Costco superstores to huge obese people.

2. Odor
Americans have managed to create an environment with no odor whatsoever, except those allowed by doughnut sellers and Sephora® stores.

3. Color
I love autumn. It is by far the best season ever. The quality of life is something too beautiful not to notice and the amount of green that Americans have is breathtaking.

4. Sale
Something is always on sale sometime somewhere. The tag prices are conceptual and directly linked to the individual human capacity of observation and abstraction.

5. Yard Sales
This is a unique cultural event that makes a person travel back to those hunting eras on greener greens.

6. USPS (by far the best reason)
I love getting mail, the uniforms, the little white carts with a lefty touch, the mailboxes on every corner, the postal offices, the logo by Saul Bass that I will tattoo on my body someday to show homage to this great one.

7. Times Square
The heart and soul of design.

I am confused by the fact that you fill out an application for a LOTTERY [littery?] implying you are attempting to WIN something. What is the prize? Is it still freedom and opportunity as it was stated in the past? How has the "American Dream" changed? Is there such a thing as the "American Dream" today? If you had to design a promotional campaign for your country, what would it say?

How about: Be free, always freer than yesterday?

mark, Dec 2 2005 12:46PM

it's interesting to see what a future immigrant is seeking (or finding) in the u.s. it's quite a departure from the religious freedom and abolishing of taxation without representation sought by the original settlers.

by the way, spend a little time in new york and you might rethink a 'lack of odor.' close quarters make for potent smells around every corner.

Gustavo Morejón, Dec 11 2005 5:18PM

Every man on Earth look at the neighborhood through its own window. I look through the window of a naturalist. I´ve been to many national parks and talked to many scientists in the US. I got amazed by the beautiful scenarios of the US national parks. But, I got amazed by the poor biodiversity of the country. So little ammount of species... so poor and artificial.

You have too much confort and artificial ways of making your life better. It is like living in an artificial world... all paved and clean (Or degraded... like the odors that mark describes from NY). How revitalizing is to come back to my country and walk for a few hours in the rainforests or the high paramos around. You fill your lungs with LIFE, energy and ... you finally get the REAL THING.

It´s like Matrix. I felt unpluged. I felt free. I felt home.

And... listen ... IT´S FREE and anyone can come here and enjoy it without a lottery. That´s freedom. It is not artificiall. It is pure and clean. Probably it is harder to make a living in here (We don´t have much artificial stuff here to make our lifes easier)... but it is true and plenty of life.

sandie, Dec 11 2005 6:17PM

I saw an interesting article in the New York Times today that seemed related to this post. Russia Tries PR to Brighten Its Dismal Image lists 4 things that Americans associate with the word, Russia.

KGB, communism, snow, mafia. And the only "brands" those polled could think of were Kalashnikov rifles and Molotov cocktails.

Of course most Americans have never been to Russia (this American included) so this list is different from Guido's list, which is perhaps a result of the time he spent here. What would be on a List of Things Associated with America compiled bysomone who has never been to the US?