While staying in an Amsterdam B&B, we met two women from Venice. Over breakfast, we mentioned that we had been there recently and had experienced the flooding of the city. One woman said that, while it is a beautiful place to live, many residents are leaving Venice because of the high cost of living, lack of jobs outside of tourism and the constant water problems. At this point, our host jumped into the conversation and enthusiastically offered that the Dutch could build dykes and dams to control the water and save the city; after all, they're the only reason the Netherlands isn't under water. To this offer, the other woman replied that the Italian government has been discussing many possible solutions over the last several years but still has not made any decisions. Our host worried that when they finally finished talking things over, Venice would already be sunk. "But at least we'll have had a good discussion," countered the Italian woman.
After breakfast we really laughed about this exchange. Then we wondered- what character traits are Americans known for? Good ones? Bad ones? Quirky ones?