#26: Don’t judge a culture by its covers

(Edmond’s First Public Swimming Pool)

Here’s nonsense at work.

Americans are truly strange. So I thought many years ago on my first Memorial Day in the USA.

I had forgotten something very basic about culture. Simplistically, culture is simply the way we do things here.

I had forgotten that there tend to be reasons for the way we do things.

As an outsider, I thought it completely weird that swimming pool covers come off on Memorial Day and go back on after Labor Day.

“What about other hot days of the year?” I asked an American friend.

She politely pointed at polluting pollen. “See all that yellow stuff? Gone by Memorial Day. See those leaves on the trees? They fall after Labor Day. Swimming pools don’t like them.”

It’s easy to pass judgment on unfamiliar behavior without bothering to understand it. It’s also incredibly stupid to do so.

I should have known better than to judge a culture by its covers.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.