On National Dreams (My 2015 InCoWriMo 2 of 28)


Dear E,

Greetings from Australia. Thank you for updating your address in California so that this letter will reach you sooner than taking a detour to Mexico. I assume you are doing research between the two countries, but please correct me if I am wrong. Usually I would assume it is a pleasure to constantly travel, but I would like to hear your views on the similarities and differences between the American and Mexican cultures.

I would also like to ask how you started InCoWriMo. It is a fascinating international event, and I am sure you find the experience rewarding. Throughout the years I have seen various campaigns online that promote a similar purpose, but many of them seem to attract only people in the United States. On the other hand, the Americans have plenty of national events that are now worldwide celebrations of writing and reading. For instance, are you a supporter of the International Book Giving Day on February 14?

Having experienced both American and Australian cultures, I find the American Dream being much more ambitious, competitive and even fierce than the Australian Dream. I often think of the 2000 Sydney Olympics whose opening ceremony showcased great Aussie icons such as the Hills Hoist (a height-adjustable rotary clothes line), the Victa lawn mower and a pair of gigantic thongs. (Not the UGG boots, thank you very much.) Many of my family members and friends are content with a mortgage-free house and a huge backyard where they can barbecue, swim and party whenever they like. In this sense, a plumber can be much richer and happier than a bank manager or leader of a huge business corporation.

It is even more eye-opening for me, who came from a Chinese background (not China but Taiwan), to experience a life that focuses more on well-earned leisure than desperate hard work. The Chinese are great survivors, in my view. They can and are willing to do anything and everything just to get ahead of the others. Such a sense of (sometimes blindly) dashing ahead is further boosted by the so-called “Chinese Dream” promoted by their government, whose aim is to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the West. This is despite the fact that the “West” is such a diverse environment with many different cultures, each featuring a unique ideology and lifestyle.

What do you think? I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,


P.S. Australia’s Succeroos recently won the 2015 Asian Cup football tournament. 🙂


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