Movies and reality through 4th of July

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World Citizen, Ninja

Growing up in Eastern Europe in the 80s-90s gave me a unique perception of the US. The TV was showing mostly movies from the US, yet no one among my friends have been there, or no one seems to have the chance to ever get to the US. It seemed like a far away, vastly different world from the screen. Police actually chasing bad guys, skyscrapers in every city, homeless people pushing shopping carts, everyone seem to have a gun and lived in huge houses with a pool.

Movies and reality

Fast forward two decades, and I have been offered a position in San Francisco. This is the chance to check out the American dream, what’s true from the movies? As an adult you would think everything is an exaggeration in the movies, real life must be completely different! To my surprise, there are key Clichés which ARE true! I did see the homeless pushing a shopping cart with all their belongings, I did see way more police on the roads and streets as it would seem necessary. Topping up coffee(or what they call coffee) in diners, US flags everywhere. Just like in the movies. Movies and reality may not be that different?

How to get the true 4th of July experience?

As the world citizen got a bit more immersed in the American culture, made friends, things did not seem that crazy anymore, things start making sense. 4th of July, Independence day is THE true American holiday besides Thanksgiving. The best way to understand the 4th of July is to get invited to the Utah countryside, where you are the only non-American on the 4th of July celebrations! Our friends bought a ranch, moved there and started to collect everything you need for the Ranch lifestyle. Ford F150, chicken coop, a motorhome the F150 truck can tow, (giving you a decent 8 mpg when fully loaded, which is around 30 litres on 100km), a zillion square foot house with a barn and lawn. And the Gator, which is basically a glorified, tuned up golf-cart, just to move around the property. Movies and reality are coming closer and closer, right?

Farm ranch utah 4th of july movies and reality

Let 4th of July begin

For starters, we went out to the hills for a bit of target practice. Our friend’s friend is a member of the National Guard, therefore he owns an armoury, as they call him, he is a firearm enthusiast. We were amazed by the amount and size of guns they can handle freely! Again, the movies are true! It was an amazing experience to try everything from small pistols to shotguns, semi-automatic assault rifles (is there such a rifle not for assault?) and sniper rifles with scopes. He even had thick steel plates with mounts as targets, you can’t just shoot anything you see. It’s an awesome feeling to hit the small target from a 300 feet (91 meters) distance with zero experience with a sniper rifle.

sniper rifle movies and reality utah 4th of July

Let’s fire up the rockets

Early afternoon we had to get probably the most important accessory for 4th of July: Fireworks. And more Fireworks. Not just a few tiny rockets and small colourful flares, no. Those are for little kids. Real Americans buy an insane amount of rockets going up real high, giving you real explosions. My favourite item at the Firework stall was the $500 mega pack, that had probably everything inside! I am not sure how much we spent there, it seemed rather a lot to me. Oh, come on, silly me. Around 9 pm, when everyone started to shoot up most of their explosives, our party’s fireworks was nothing compared to most neighbour’s! Movies and reality are getting extremely close, I am sure you have seen 4th of July fireworks being a big deal, and it is! People spend a fortune on colourful explosions, bringing daylight to the night sky! I wonder how it looks from the air!

movies and reality 4th of July utah fireworks

So 4th of July, conclusion

We had an awesome time in Utah, and we can’t thank our friends enough for the invitation! 4th of July is not complicated at all! If you have enough guns, fireworks, and you like grilling dead animals, you will love it! It turns out, what you see in the movies is mostly true, or inspired by real events! Movies and reality are almost the same things 🙂

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