A Tale of Two Cities


I have been back in Texas for a month now, and my perspective on the world has changed. I now know the benefits of building a future life and career in a industrialized country, and I can appreciate the differences in lifestyles I have experienced while living abroad. In Eastern Europe I studied cultural trends from an in-depth perspective and have come to a couple of conclusions about the similarities and differences between the two societies.


Eastern Europe (which I deem all former Soviet states) is a communal society. People live in high rise apartments in, or around the center of town, along with many other tenants. They ride public transportation which include: buses, taxis, trolleys, trains, and everything in-between – including walking. I have a theory which takes into account the day to day interactions of an average citizen in Eastern Europe; and the percentage rate they have of coming across a person in close proximity with similar interests and ideas – As a result of living in a communal society, the proximity to meet like minded people will be higher. Here is my thought process: everyone thinks, many people think of the same idea, if all people live close to each other (input Soviet Union here), then the higher the chances of two like minded people actually meeting. It’s more complex then that, but it is the basic premise. Propinquity in ideas and society produces and implements ideas.


Texas, and other places in America, stand for proud symbols of independence. Personal cars are the norm and owning a house is a right of passage. Open spaces and bigger is better is what comes to mind. Independence is what the founders of America strived for, and what the average citizen still aspires to. A contrast in the engineering of society – in regards to Eastern Europe and America. The outcome produces different amounts of social interaction.  If a city is very spread out over a vast track of land, you lose out on the number of connections people can make with each other, and America is big! The chances are therefore lower for two like minded people to meet.


I enjoy working on projects and sharing my time with like minded people. It provides a chance to work together towards a common goal. The opportunity is present for this type of social interaction, both in communal and independent societies. From experience living in both, I cocluded it easier to find and coordinate with people, and plan and implement projects in a communal society.


~ by Joseph Garza on October 6, 2009.

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