In many ways, I'm as much of a tourist to ideas about America and Americans as people who have never stepped across the pond. While I am generating design concepts for the photo responses, I find I'm pulling from stereotyped images. What do I know about Hollywood? I've had a few friends who work out there, but even their anecdotal information is eclipsed by pictures I've seen in books and on the TV. You can see this knowledge-based-on-stereotype reflected in the photographs as well.
So maybe, what I'm finding, even at this early stage, is that I'm no expert of Americans. But who would be--who can be? I've held for a long time that I am "the quintessential American." Don't get me wrong--I was not raised on a diet of meatloaf and apple pie. And there was such a time that the comment "OH, you're SOOOO American" would have sent shivers down my spine. But the more time I've spent abroad, and the less company I keep with other people from my country, the more I've seen how some basic beliefs and ways of keeping values are dependent on my national origins.