In my country, it’s different

Alex Polise
3 min readJan 16, 2021
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?

Living in a different country can feel really soothing. In a different country, you have a lot more patience and understanding for the people around you. After all, whatever they are doing is probably a cultural thing if it feels unfamiliar and foreign. And on top of that, they aren’t your people. They’re foreign. So, you glide through life, complacent about the bad things that are happening around you and intrigued by everything else.

After spending a month or two outside of your own country, it becomes abundantly clear that you have just gained access to one of the most privileged, extra special television channels on earth. It’s called In my country, it’s different and it’s a channel that constantly reviews and assesses how your home country differs from the country that you’re currently living in.

Because there are a lot of trivial differences between two countries, this channel can be on all day, every day and you never get bored. Some days, the channel tells you about how slightly differently people speak and the slightly different words people use. On other days, it focuses more on the slight differences in the sports that are popular and the slight differences in where people go on vacation. There are days dedicated to the slight differences in food and days dedicated to the slight differences in musical taste and days dedicated to the slight differences in what things cost and days dedicated to the slight differences between each country’s job market.

In case you were wondering, I watch this channel all the time. Why?

Because all of these slight differences are extremely addictive. They so easily make you feel like your life means something — like you were put on this earth to point out, like that girl on The Magic School Bus who was always pointing out how things were different at her old school, how your home country actually, unbelievably, has a completely different word for spring onion.

And then there is the fact that it is fascinating that every place on earth has come up with a slightly different but essentially identical solution for a lot of life’s problems and wants. Children’s television shows always feature puppet animals but the animals are different depending on where you go. Everyone has plug sockets and ketchup and frozen meals and sports and a…

Alex Polise

Writer, t-shirt designer, software engineer. Child. Canoe.