Edited by: Sufi Swarup
One of the values of the American society that newcomers must know is “Work Hard & Play Hard.”
Americans have tightly packed schedules, day in and day out. Many times things get ‘checked off’ on a to-do list. These include activities and events typically known as ‘fun and relaxing’. Time off work, whether it’s a typical workday, a weekend, or a longer vacation is of process, procedure, and the time is broken into small blocks of scheduled activities. Some of these activities are scheduled based on the family’s organizational and planning skills, while the others are planned and purchased fun activities. These activities may be scenic train rides, group tours, zip line rides, amusement park rides, or other planned and paid vacation activities.
This incessant, almost obsessive need to have things prepackaged, planned, and prepared (ready-to-use) was highlighted in an episode of Phineas and Ferb. I like this cartoon as it often portrays the humor or absurdity in ordinary American activities. In this episode, the family takes a vacation to Hawaii. In the video below at 5 minute 24 second mark, Candace, the teenage daughter is relaxing poolside while a hotel employee announces ‘yoga classes’ that are supposed to help one relax in a controlled environment. Candace replies, “Pathetic, isn’t it? Some people don’t have the discipline to relax on their own. They need to take a… Who are you kidding? You’re takin’ a class!” But like most Americans, she is relieved to actually partake in a relaxing activity with parameters and goes to join the crowd.