Oh yeah, America!
The 4th of July is a time for all Americans to forget their differences and come together over vast quantities of poorly cooked meat and senseless explosions of colored sparkles. It's a time when every citizen stands up to say: "I am an American, and I demand to hear my anthem sung at deafening decibels while I tuck into this large slab of beef."It's the day we can shout without a bit of hesitation, "Yes, I did eat that jumbo-sized bag of cheese-flavored onion rings, and it made my forefathers proud."
But what happens when a patriotic American is trapped overseas for our treasured Independence Day? How does an American rise above the sophistication of his foreign friends and honor his beloved home country? Here are some tips to help the American-abroad celebrate the most important holiday of the year. Because if the 4th of July were to be quiet day of reflection--well, that would be worse than ordering a vegetarian meal at a steakhouse.
FIREWORKS GO BOOM!
Fireworks are the iconic expression of our national pride. They are a glittering indication of our badass-ness; and an explosive sign that says, "we are here, and we love loud noise". So it makes sense that while celebrating the 4th overseas, you may have a hankering for sudden and senseless exploding pyrotechnics. Depending on the country, it may be difficult to get your eager American hands on some decoratively wrapped gunpowder. Don't spill tears over your Big Mac just yet--finding ways to make loud flashes of light can't be too hard. Just turn your jumbo sized flat screen TV on full blast, because there is nothing more American than spending all your free time in front of the television.
I don't go to sleep on the 4th until I've increased my cholesterol levels by at least 15%.
BBQs: THE MORE FAT AND SAUCE THE BETTER!
Nothing says "I love America" more than a good ol' fashioned cookout. Flipping burgers, skewering hot dogs, and grilling chickens are essential to demonstrating your patriotism. What makes a cookout so American is the "Do It Yourself" attitude. You aren't about to let a "professional" cook your meat and steal all the fun. No, instead you will stand there, sweating over the grill, watching the burgers catch on fire and the chicken remain determinedly raw. Says Independence Day enthusiast Jason Wilkes, "I don't go to sleep on the 4th until I've increased my cholesterol levels by at least 15%." Well done Jason, well done.
The same "Do It Yourself" attitude doesn't disappear while traveling overseas. If you find yourself in abroad for July 4th, you may be able to scrounge up a decent barbecue. All you need is a hunting rifle and some creativity! Remember, nothing tastes more like America than undercooked meat slathered in dark brown sauce. Unfortunately, if you're in abroad and can't find any BBQ sauce, you may as well don your beret, grab a croissant and call it a day.
...You probably aren't going to work anything out, sorry. Celebrating the 4th of July (or the day we proclaimed our independence from those daft British gits) in England is going to be a bit of a challenge. I wouldn't expect British people to come up to you real friendly like and congratulate you on kicking their butts all those years ago. If you do have a hankering for some patriotic music, you can try singing the first few lines of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to yourself while you are alone in a bathroom stall, but I wouldn't suggest it.
Fireworks are awesome!
Nothing screams 4th of July like tackling your loved ones and watching in delight as they face-plant in the grass. Field games are not only an essential part of July 4th, but they encompass our American love for physical violence. Whether it be football, capture the flag, ultimate Frisbee, or even a simple game of catch, field sports remind us that there is still a reason to gloat about our limited athletic skill.
It is important while traveling overseas to be aware of the difference between American and foreign sports. On the 4th of July, you may be so intoxicated by your love for your country that you mistakenly tackle what you think is a "football" player. That's what happens in football, right? Everyone loves to be tackled by random Americans on the 4th of July, right? NO. WRONG. Soccer is the world's most followed sport, and just because they call it football doesn't mean that you can arbitrarily join in.
I hope that with these tips, the American abroad can stay true to his or her patriotic and culinary roots while traveling the globe. There is no better way to represent the United States than to do ridiculous and obnoxious things in public places, preferably while intoxicated. If you've followed my tips successfully, you can wake up on the 5th knowing that you maintained a reputation that we Americans have been trying to foster for years: one of obscenity and greasiness. All that's left to do is wait 364 days for July 4th to roll back around!