Coming to America…

There is really nothing all that remarkable about me leaving my native Germany and coming to America. Twenty-two years ago I boarded a plane with a duffel bag, $20 and a dream. Not all that different from those that immigrated to the New World before me.

Well, there was one difference. I decided to buy a pair of shorts in the duty-free shop on the way over.

See, I was headed to Florida to vacation with my brother in the Keys. I was only 17 years old and had never been to the United States, but I knew Americans didn’t wear Speedos like we did in Germany; they wore swim trunks. I wanted to blend in, so I bought this rather nice pair of shorts.

I went swimming in my new shorts on the beaches of Key West, and then I wore them all over the place. Including all over New York City.

Unfortunately, no one ever pointed out to me that my fine new shorts were boxer shorts, which weren’t common in Germany back then. I had no idea that they weren’t regular shorts, clearly. Also, they were white. And they had big red lettering with the airline’s name. You guessed it: Virgin Atlantic. I had no idea what “virgin” meant in English, either.

Nope, no one ever said anything. In fact, people were quite friendly. And for that reason, I love America. You can express yourself whichever way you like, you can believe in anything you like. And if you’re smart and work hard, you really can make your dreams come true. Or just run around the Statue of Liberty in your undies… that’s where my journey started!








3 Responses to “Coming to America…”

  1. Matt says:

    This may be my favorite blog post. EVER. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Jason says:

    AWESOME dude. Those shorts are pulled up mighty high too. I’m guessing the 3 of you never ventured too close to a school because on dress alone you would still be in jail!!