That ended when I visited China and saw what they accepted as normal. Most people who travel stay in hotels, which are pretty much the same all over the world. Instead of going to a hotel, I opted for the cheap route and stayed in the apartment of the person I was visiting. The building was made entirely out of steel, concrete, and tile--nothing more. There were baseball-sized holes in the walls leading outside in case someone wanted to mount an air conditioner or heater. You could stick your hand through the hole, and it would be outside. The door frame to the bedroom had a crack going all the way around it. You could see into the hallway. The second time I went back, it was February and a record winter with freezing subzero temperatures. My breath was visible in the air. The water heater needed to be turned on to heat for 30 minutes for a 5 minute warm shower. Then to prevent from freezing to death, I had to dry immediately.
I started to wonder. Where was the regular shower, the insulation, the carpet, basic heating? I knew not all of China was like this, but it wasn't like the person I was staying with was jobless or what they consider poor. She had a full time job sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. Many days she would work overtime and leave work at 7:00pm. Would even people on welfare in the US stand for these living conditions? How could it be that what I took for granted my whole life could be missing? I started to search for the answer and found out the world is not what I thought it was, government is the problem, and America is indeed the shining city on a hill.