Wo ist das Eis?

The New Yorker asked writers to describe something that “distinctly captures the American spirit.” It could be a person, an object, or an experience. This is what one writer chose: ice.

“American Exceptionalism on Ice”

The article begins with the writer’s recollection of trying to find ice to make margaritas when she was in Germany. She follows with a brief history of ice in America and how Americans see ice “as an antidote to death.” And she concludes by noting that in our warming world, free ice is one more thing that is disappearing in nature.

Many Japanese hotels provide free ice, as do many larger supermarkets (though that ice is not for drinks but to keep your ice cream cold). So perhaps this is not so distinctively American after all? Have you been to another country where free ice was ubiquitous or nonexistent?

Now it’s your turn. What person, object, or experience would you choose as something that captures the Japanese spirit? Try to think of something unexpected (not Mt. Fuji or cherry blossoms, for example).


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