I live in The National Park Bohemian Switzerland in Czech Republic. In the last few years of my life I had spent almost one of it in USA. My relationship to this country where nearly everybody wants to live went through several stages:
1st visit "Superb nature, superb country, however those Americans are really a bit crazy."
2nd visit "I want to live here!"
3rd visit "Everything has its pluses and minuses."
I had seen more of USA than most of the Americans, I had visited Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming but most of my time I had spent in California, therefore I will relate all my conclusions to it. It is my own opinion formed from my own experience and conversations with locals. Sure enough the situation will be different in other states and you also will have different point of view.
What is my relationship to the United States then? Would I live there? What is great about it and what kind of things I don't like?
Everything which supposed to work, works to perfection here. Great. Are you not satisfied? You will receive some sort of discount or won't pay at all. Shopping, public transport, restaurants, accommodation, anything you like, you choose. Here the saying "Our customer is our boss" really works. In the Czech Republic we can only envy this. Or you are waiting in KFC more than 5 minutes for your food? Pay half price. You write to a manufacturer and he will send you a new bike, for example.
Roads and traffic
Even local side roads look like our highways. All other roads are in great condition. Traffic is fluent, drivers are more respectful and chilled out. Traffic rules are mostly complied with. You can turn right on red light and traffic lights are placed past crossroads - you can see them much better this way. I like to drive here.
America is the best. Everything which is American is the best. We can do everything best. Little bit of this patriotism would not hurt in the Czech Republic either however does every house have to have a national flag displayed? Having the Statue of Liberty instead of a lamp on the porch? That's a little bit too much... We could learn something from it but not everything...
Everybody talks to everybody, people are very friendly to each other, help each other when needed, wish you success. If somebody feels low, nobody has to know. Sometimes it is very affected however it is nicer than watching grumpy people around you at home.
Nature and natural parks
Magnificent. High mountains, glaciers, hot desert, jungles, wild coast, animals... America has it all. Parks are well maintained and open to entry, park guards serve the nature and public, not bureaucracy like at home.
A football stadium has capacity of 70 000 people, tickets are sold long before the season starts, hockey stadium, football, basketball, etc. People are everywhere. It is a big show, perfectly prepared. They know how to entertain themselves well here.
Steaks are just great. Meat tastes fantastic even without spices.
I am convinced about the weather effect on society here. It is almost always sunny. You don't need any forecast, it will be sunny and between 20-25 degrees Celsius. Every day. Great!
I have driven 20000 miles in American cars and I quickly understood why European cars are so popular here. Even our Skoda Fabia is better made than most of US cars. Pretty to look at but inside...
Even in Silicon Valley there are places where I rather would not go. I am not used to existence of such places from home... I am able to accept that there might be wolves in woods but not that I will be robed on street.
Can somebody explain to me why most of the houses are almost glued together so that I can reach my neighbour's wall? There is so much free space, it is not Holland. And lets not talk about quality of local houses, trying to look nice but they are still just wooden sheds.
When I ask for cutlery, I mean cutlery, not just a fork.
I have to drink my beer from a paper bag, so there is nothing to be seen. What do you think everybody drinks from their paper bags? Coca-cola?
It had happened to me so many times: somebody talking to you (shop assistant, petrol station worker) and using his phone at the same time. I consider this rude.
Can somebody explain the locals that beer has to have its head?
Nike trainers with Nike socks are really not the best combination with a suit. But who cares, that’s nice.
Morning to evening at work. A week of holiday a year. At weekends visits to shopping malls or BBQ.
I go for walk and in the middle of some forest I see a sign "GOD IS". I drive and by the road stand people with signs saying "Jesus loves you". No, according to me God does not exist and if so, I would trust Hank Moody’s "God hates us all".
Sometimes love springs out of everywhere here. Especially when McDonald staff members sing for sixth time "Happy birthday to you..." and everybody looks like it is very sincere.
If I could choose where to do business, I would definitely do it in USA. I can't think of a single reason why not. If you are competent, you will be succesful.
And my conclusion? Always when I am at home I look forward to go to USA again and vice versa. At this moment I can't picture myself living pernamently in USA raising my kids. But maybe, afther my next visit having a small house in a national park...;-)
Anyway - If I needed the best country for my business I move there straight away.
How about you? What is your opinion about USA? What do you like and what not?
There is a great discussion about this on ycombinator.