I have thought about giving up this cycling nonsense and moving to the USA. I would buy a Harley-Davidson instead, and eat burgers and donuts until fat.
I’ve not been to the US yet, but I think I’ve got almost the same experience in this part of Honduras. All along the road into San Pedro Sula, there are huge signs for fast food places. I’m now in the City Mall of San Pedro Sula, which has the same American junk food chains, many of which I have now tried for the first time over the last couple of days. Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Quiznos, PizzaHut, KFC, Burger King… Conspicuously missing are Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
I get the impression that people in Honduras want to be American. There are shops call things like “American Company”, the coffee places are called “Espresso Americano”, there was a huge billboard with a topless man on it that said “American” - maybe advertising that clothes shop, or selling American men. It seem the girls here like gringos, too. A giggling car full were shouting at me and taking photos when I was cycling into town.
Mostly it’s the food though, which is at American prices - way more than local food can cost. I think the idea is “you are what you eat”. If you are rich enough to afford Mcdonalds, you eat your way to America. I’ve tried several of these places, but suspect I won’t qualify for citizenship until my BMI gets up rather more.
Apart from the food, the USA has had a huge influence here, and is the reason why it’s not safe to go out, and why the place I am staying has a high wall topped with spikes, razor wire and an electric fence. This town, San Pedro Sula, is run by drugs cartels. They only have money and power because of the ridiculous policies of the US and its War on Drugs. If drugs were not illegal in the US, there would probably not be 3 people getting shot dead per day in just this town, and probably fewer people dying in the US too, if they can get pure substances of known dose.
So I’m in the mall eating junk, because it’s a relatively safe place, and giving money to companies who send it back to the US to pay for the violence outside. It’s a prison where I’m paying to cause the problem that keeps me here.
There is also a great US influence on Belize, although it seems much less destructive. There are many products imported from the US. There are brands I had heard of “in popular culture”, but some I had never seen. I drank the cool aid, for example. I didn’t buy the Lucky Charms, but I did have some pop tarts. The poptarts where in honour of nyancat though, so I couldn’t miss those.