Four years of July 4ths

Yesterday marked the first 4th of July that I have celebrated in America since 2007. Ergo, I thought I’d take a look back at where I’ve been during my last few fourths. (and try saying “few fourths” several times fast)

July 4, 2008 (Mt. Lykaion, Arcadia, Greece): Hey, at least there were sparklers. And a crop of Americans. And a balloon toss the following weekend. And nothing says Independence Day like a balloon toss! Same, same. Just a little different.

July 4, 2009 (Accra, Ghana): Two fellow Americans and I were treated to a nice lunch at a beachfront restaurant in the capital by our French NGO director (I’d unfortunately be gone before I could return the favor on Bastille Day). Obama was visiting in a few days, so there were unusually high numbers of American flags and pro-USA sentiments flying around the city. And lots of unnecessary road painting in the name of Barry O. So much unnecessary road painting. A bit less of an American 4th of July than the previous year.

July 4, 2010 (Kamakura and Tokyo, Japan): Though I had spent the previous few days with American friends, Independence Day itself marked my independence; I spent the day alone wandering the temples and shrines of Kamakura as a day trip from nearby Tokyo. On the return train, I was hit on by an American military man stationed in Tokyo, which was probably the most “American” part of my day. Definitely my least patriotic 4th of July to date.

July 4, 2011 (Washington, DC, USA): And then there was flag cake. Spending the holiday in the nation’s capital, surrounded by friends and food, is definitely the best way to make up for lost time.

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