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S/o International people views on Americans


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11 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Do the tourists you meet from other countries yell when they don't get what they want? Do they tell you how much better their country is and how stupidly you do things? Do they expect everyone in the US to speak German/Chinese/French or whatever, or do they make an attempt to speak to you in your language?

 

Oh, my, Yes!!!  

As a teen I had jobs in a touristy place in USA. A lot of tourists from other countries were extremely unpleasant in a variety of ways.  

A lot of tourists from certain countries were rather arrogant about how much better they were.

The worst imo was people from other countries who left very soiled diapers dropped on ground for us to pick up. 

 

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The discussion isn't are all Americans like this or do the non-Americans on the board think this is what all Americans are like. The discussion is why do those who generalize think this way. Amer

I am not wasting time on disclaimers, since you all know that lumping people into a group doesn't account for the individual. But here's what comes to mind (and when I say "Americans", I obviously do

Don't shoot the messenger; these are not all my opinions: On a geopolitical level: interfering in the affairs of other countries (friend or foe) and generally throwing weight around.  Dominant co

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2 hours ago, annegables said:

I had to laugh at this. My ancestry is German. I am fairly certain that if I said I was on "German time", it would mean that, as usual, I showed up 15 minutes early to something. 🤣

My ancestry is also German, but for some weird unknown reason I run on some kind of "Latin" time.  When I lived for a while in Spain, it was like ... finally, a culture that runs on my time!

My mother, unfortunately, runs on German time.  We annoy each other.

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Oh my goodness better not get me started on some of the bad non-American guests I've had at my house or dorm.  I could go on for days.

Some of the behavior probably does deserve a stereotype, but most of it is immature behavior that would shock their own mothers.  😛  And a few of the people are actually jerks - as discussed, every country has them.

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I do "hear" myself modulating accents when I am around people with an accent I recognize as distinct from my own, such as British or Australian or Southern US. It's not a conscious process but my manner of speech starts to move towards the accent of those around me. I figure it must sound like intentional and doubtless very poor imitation and I try not to do it but that takes conscious effort.

I do this, too, and yeah, it's not intentional.  It even happened to me in German - when I lived in Germany for a year, I picked up a southern German (specifically Schwäbisch) accent, which utterly horrified my Rhineland German relatives.  It's like if you were a New Yorker and your foreign relative stayed for a while in the deep South and came to visit you with a full-on southern drawl.  Not that there's anything wrong with a southern drawl, per se, but you know how the New Yorkers would see that...  (I've lost my Schwäbisch accent now... unless I go visiting down there for a while...).  And I do fall into a bit of an East Tennessee accent myself when I go visit relatives there.  I try to quash it if I hear myself doing it, but no one ever seems to notice...  

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And just a funny story I keep thinking about ....

My immigrant friend's elderly dad was a retired police official who had held the highest rank in his home state.  Type of guy you don't cross, very strong personality.  When he visited, we took him to a favorite [homecountry] restaurant.  The (immigrant) owners' teen daughter or niece was our server.

The police dude made a comment about his food when he was served.  He said, "In [homecountry], they do xyz."  The teen responded tartly, "well this is America, not [homecountry]."

Everyone at the table about had a heart attack as police dude decided what to say.  He smiled sportingly and said, "oh, I see, well that is fine."  But you could tell he was majorly holding back.  😛

[PS I have never heard any other US person say to a customer "well, this is America."  I am not sure what gave this girl the idea that such talk was OK.  But, she was quite young, so she probably just didn't think.]

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5 hours ago, MEmama said:

We ❤️ the possums that live under our shed. They devour ticks, leave the cutest little footprints in the snow and keep to themselves. I think they are weirdly cute.

The squirrels on the other hand...we refer to them as yard rodents. I cannot stand them. They dig up my bulbs and veggie plants and make it almost impossible for me to keep bird seed and suet out for the birds. I just think they are gross. OTOH they do provide terrific entertainment for our (indoor!) kitties. One in particular likes to practice her hunting skills when they tease her. No squirrel would stand a chance if she could jump out a window (she can’t).

The squirrels near us are not particularly destructive.  Yeah, they have been known to get into the attic or walls of a not very well maintained house or two, or steal an occasional tomato from my vegetable garden (usually the one that I was "giving one more day")  They do love to taunt my dog with chatter and that waving of their fluffy tail ... it's like they're saying "nana nana boo boo.  You can't catch me."  Which gets my pup every single time.  


Rabbits ... those adorable little fluff balls ... they are the destructive ones.  We can't have ay decorative annuals because the rabbits eat them.  Bulbs?  The bunnies get them.  They managed to get through the rabbit fencing and eat all the foliage of my veggie plants.  Good thing having a dog keeps them at bay.  Chipmunks are very destructive IMHO.  They have ruined patio furniture and umbrellas.

Back to the topic at hand ... I appreciate this discussion very much.  Yeah, I got my feathers ruffled a tad, but I realize how valuable this information can be.  I love the variety of opinions on this board.  I have learned so much from people who are not like exactly like me and who have varied experiences.  I'm off to review some of the materials presented here so I don't come off like an Ugly American when I go to visit my daughter in Spain in 2 months.  

Oh, and the white sneaker thing is very fashionable in Spain right now.  We have friends who recently moved from the Midwest to Barcelona and asked them for advice on helping dd pack for her study abroad experience - 1 suitcase, 1 backpack, and 1 carry on bag for 5 months.  They told her to get some Adidas white leather sneakers ... that for the bulk and weight, they would be a very versatile shoe.  So far they were spot on.  Everyone has them.  Now for me, if I want to walk more than a block, I need my motion-stabilizing running shoes with my custom orthotics.  Do I attempt to look more fashionable and be very limited in how much walking I do, or do I stand out and wear these?  I have experimented with dozens of shoes and really, no matter how good a "walking shoe" it is supposed to be, my underperforming posterior tibial tendon will be screaming in pain.  

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2 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I do this, too, and yeah, it's not intentional.  It even happened to me in German - when I lived in Germany for a year, I picked up a southern German (specifically Schwäbisch) accent, which utterly horrified my Rhineland German relatives.  It's like if you were a New Yorker and your foreign relative stayed for a while in the deep South and came to visit you with a full-on southern drawl.  Not that there's anything wrong with a southern drawl, per se, but you know how the New Yorkers would see that...  (I've lost my Schwäbisch accent now... unless I go visiting down there for a while...).  And I do fall into a bit of an East Tennessee accent myself when I go visit relatives there.  I try to quash it if I hear myself doing it, but no one ever seems to notice...  

 

I did the same when I lived in Buenos Aires one summer in college. When I arrived all of the Argentinean people were like, "You speak Spanish like a Mexican (very disdainfully)."

When I returned to the States six weeks later, my Hispanic friends said, "You speak Spanish like an Argentinean (very disdainfully)." 

I gave up, so there's no telling what my accent sounds like now. 😂

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7 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I do this, too, and yeah, it's not intentional.  It even happened to me in German - when I lived in Germany for a year, I picked up a southern German (specifically Schwäbisch) accent, which utterly horrified my Rhineland German relatives.  It's like if you were a New Yorker and your foreign relative stayed for a while in the deep South and came to visit you with a full-on southern drawl.  Not that there's anything wrong with a southern drawl, per se, but you know how the New Yorkers would see that...  (I've lost my Schwäbisch accent now... unless I go visiting down there for a while...).  And I do fall into a bit of an East Tennessee accent myself when I go visit relatives there.  I try to quash it if I hear myself doing it, but no one ever seems to notice...  

When we were kids, my cousin moved one state south for several years, and when she moved back, I literally could not understand her.  So I guess these things run in families.  😛

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42 minutes ago, wintermom said:

No one else opened the door on stereotypical physical features. Why start now?  I thought this thread was about behaviour.  And the stated behaviour of the poster in question was the fact that they said, "I could tell by your teeth."  That is coming right out and saying that because a person has xyz teeth (presumably straight with no gaps) they couldn't possibly be British.

 

Actually, this wasn't in the UK. 

I guess I wonder if this is something most americans don't notice but is a subtle reminder of our wealth and "privilege" so resented by non Americans.  Seems to have touched a nerve.

 I am a quiet person and very attentive to people and surroundings when traveling.  The broad generalizations of Americans as rude and obnoxious is annoying.

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5 minutes ago, Chelli said:

I did the same when I lived in Buenos Aires one summer in college. When I arrived all of the Argentinean people were like, "You speak Spanish like a Mexican (very disdainfully)."

When I returned to the States six weeks later, my Hispanic friends said, "You speak Spanish like an Argentinean (very disdainfully)." 

I gave up, so there's no telling what my accent sounds like now. 😂

I'm with you there too.  I've lived in both Mexico and Spain.  When I got to Spain, everyone told me I had a Mexican accent.  Then I absorbed the Spanish ceceo (for the non-Spanish - that's using 'th' to pronounce soft 'c' and 'z', but NOT 's').  Anyway, now I confuse people entirely.  In a youth hostel once I challenged some native speakers (don't remember from what Spanish speaking country) to guess where I was from, and they noticed the Mexican lilt and the Spanish ceceo, and finally guessed Uruguay. 😂  I never get pegged as a North American.

Edited by Matryoshka
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3 hours ago, Islandgal said:

I was going to let this go but it's been bugging me. I want to say this as gently as I possibly can, because you have been super receptive and supportive, and I thank you for it.  

I'd like to draw attention to the statement that I highlighted.

Can you see how saying this may be perceived that because a fellow American said it gives the point made validity, and may come across hurtful? In my opinion, using the term whitewashing suggests that the people were being dishonest. It all goes back to if you aren't sure of something, ask.

I don't mean to offend you or pick on you in any way at all. I just wanted to point out that sometimes innocent statements made can subliminally show or can be perceived as superiority on some level, even though I know that was not the intent.

Thank you.  I definitely didn't mean to offend.  I wish I had come up with a better word.  😟

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

I have a German cousin who's one of 'those' tourists, it seems.  One time she complained bitterly that she hated visiting Italy because they didn't have 'proper' food, like, y'know, schnitzel.  Who hates Italian food???!!!  I know for a fact there's spaghetti and pizza galore in Germany.  What the heck???  Nope, to her it was weird and she couldn't wait to get home.  Sigh. It's a mindset that can be found anywhere.  The solution is to get yourself out there with an open mind.  The open mind is key.  This same cousin visited us for two summers when she was a teen, and demanded cold cuts and cheese every morning for breakfast, because that's what you eat in Germany.  Wouldn't touch cereal or anything else we offered.  So even a good deal of exposure was no help for her.  Her way was Right, and everyone else is Wrong.  It's this thinking, which is often unconscious and unrealized in people who have never traveled and seen things done differently, that is the biggest problem.

Yes, rigid thinking is another big factor.  That can be a personality thing or a cultural norm thing or both.  I refuse to travel with my FIL, even on an all expense paid vacation we were offered, because I can't stand the inflexible thinking that leads to his hissy fits and petty comments.  He can't just chalk it up to "life happening," it's always someone's fault that everything didn't go the way he expected it-even if his expectations were wildly unrealistic.  He regularly traveled for work around the US for decades, so he should've figured out the importance of flexibility a looooooooong time ago.  There is not only one right way to do everything.

When my brother and I hiked down to tribal land at Supai Falls on a tributary of the Colorado River, we had screened/auditioned the hikers for a year without them knowing that's what was happening for a while.   We would invite them on an easy hike and if all went well to increasingly difficult ones. If they seemed to have a mindset compatible with our ultimate goal, Supai, great! If not, we didn't invite them on more hikes.  Those who made the final rounds were invited to join us at Supai and we'd get the permits of their behalf, but they had to come to our orientation first.  We were very blunt and specific about being  respectful of the tribe, their customs, and their land, even if we vehemently disagreed with them on something.  None of us had to go there at all.  If they couldn't live with Supai norms, they should not go to Supai land. They were made aware of the  controversy about the mule trains and decide if they were comfortable using them, among other things-if not, they would have to carry their own gear or pay for the helicopter ride. They were told in detail about how laconic the people there are, how eye contact is considered aggressive and rude, the right of way for mule trains on narrow switchbacks, and that this would a rustic, potentially dangerous situation with little resources to help, etc. etc.  If they weren't going to be happy with that, they shouldn't go. A few opted not to go for various reasons.  Good call.  There are other places where they'll enjoy vacationing more, they should check those places out and plan accordingly. 

When we got to the village and processed our permits, there was an older retired couple standing outside the office complaining to my brother that the hotel didn't have a TV and the water tasted funny.  He said in a friendly tone, "Yea, they told us to bring a powered flavored mix for that but I don't mind the taste.  You didn't come all the down here to watch TV did you?" That shut them up, but probably not in a self-reflective way. It's so remote goods are either flown in by helicopter or carried by a mule train. One of the cringiest oblivious reviews online about it said the village "wasn't even charming." This is their home. They're not obligated to please your preferences. If you failed to do your due diligence in learning what you could about the place and whether it's a good match for your vacation, that's your problem, not theirs.

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13 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Opossums actually almost never get rabies.  Apparently their low body temperature makes it almost impossible for the virus to survive.  And they're a huge help in tick reduction.  They love to eat ticks.  In a Lyme-infested area, that's huge.  I don't feed them, except offering up all the ticks they can eat.  Certainly don't plan on chasing them away...

 My dog somehow found this little guy and brought him to me in the front yard. So proud. I had to stand outside in the freezing cold for almost half an hour before it woke back up and waddled away. 

Someone mentioned their squirrels were hibernating. Ground squirrrls, maybe, but I don’t think tree squirrels do. Our grey, red, and black ones don’t. It was 8 degrees this morning and I had at least 5 of them sitting under the feeder waiting for me. 

My brother found a young squirrel once and brought it indoors. He didn’t tell my mom it had been living in his bedroom for days, until she noticed that his windowsills had been almost gnawed away.

ECB4D9A4-0C60-4BE2-A0F0-D1C63449B8ED.jpeg

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14 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

 My dog somehow found this little guy and brought him to me in the front yard. So proud. I had to stand outside in the freezing cold for almost half an hour before it woke back up and waddled away. 

Someone mentioned their squirrels were hibernating. Ground squirrrls, maybe, but I don’t think tree squirrels do. Our grey, red, and black ones don’t. It was 8 degrees this morning and I had at least 5 of them sitting under the feeder waiting for me. 

My brother found a young squirrel once and brought it indoors. He didn’t tell my mom it had been living in his bedroom for days, until she noticed that his windowsills had been almost gnawed away.

ECB4D9A4-0C60-4BE2-A0F0-D1C63449B8ED.jpeg

So adorable!! I’m glad he was unharmed by doggo's escapades.

Our squirrels do not hibernate either. They are a year round nuisance. And not even cute like baby opossums! 

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3 hours ago, annegables said:

I had to laugh at this. My ancestry is German. I am fairly certain that if I said I was on "German time", it would mean that, as usual, I showed up 15 minutes early to something. 🤣

No. It would mean you were absolutely, unfailingly punctual. 🙂

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The only good pumpkin pie is the one my grandmother made. The filling was a no bake pumpkin chiffon and the crust was just melted Hersey bars pressed into a pie crust shape.  You eat it by subtly scooping out the filling and then eating just the "crust" the way God intended.

Being from the desert, I thought squirrels were charming little scamps who entertained campers in the mountains. Now I live near the woods and pay tribute to the Tyrant Squirrel King by grudgingly dumping seeds and nuts heavily around the bird feeders because one of the little rat bastards chewed through a plastic bird feeder then didn't even bother to eat the seeds. I hope it died painfully. That bought us a tense truce until recently a rogue devil, I think it's Ratatoskr himself, hangs upside down by his back feet on one of the feeders, doing crunches to grab seeds and nuts, mocking me. 

I wish I could put an opossum condo near my property so they could eat the ticks.  I wish I had the right conditions and the extra cash for a bat house to eat the mosquitoes.

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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19 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The only good pumpkin pie is the one my grandmother made. The filling was a no bake pumpkin chiffon and the crust was just melted Hersey bars pressed into a pie crust shape.  You eat it by subtly scooping out the filling and then eating just the "crust" the way God intended.

Being from the desert, I thought squirrels were charming little scamps who entertained campers in the mountains. Now I live near the woods and pay tribute to the Tyrant Squirrel King by grudgingly dumping seeds and nuts heavily around the bird feeders because one of the little rat bastards chewed through a plastic bird feeder then didn't even bother to eat the seeds. I hope it died painfully. That bought us a tense truce until recently a rogue devil, I think it's Ratatoskr himself, hangs upside down by his back feet on one of the feeders, doing crunches to grab seeds and nuts, mocking me. 

I have a 'squirrel proof' feeder. It has a bar that closes the opening when anything heavier than a small songbird sits on it (so, also attempts to thwart jays). Here is one of the red stinkers laughing at this 'squirrel proof' nonsense. ..

(Okay, the pic is at the end. Don't seem to be able to move it...)

 

Quote

I wish I could put an opossum condo near my property so they could eat the ticks.  I wish I had the right conditions and the extra cash for a bat house to eat the mosquitoes.

Sigh. I'd love it if our bats could be convinced to move to a bat house, but they seem to be too happy in our attic.

20150506_124729_000.jpg

Edited by Matryoshka
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33 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

 



I wish I could put an opossum condo near my property so they could eat the ticks.  I wish I had the right conditions and the extra cash for a bat house to eat the mosquitoes.

 

 

Sounds like great homeschool projects!!!

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3 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I can spot a fellow American from 10 feet away without them speaking.  Most of us do seem to stand out.  Like literally.  The way we walk and sit and stand is just... identifiable

This is true, but it is ALSO true of other peoples of other nationalities.   When I'm walking through the capital city of Montenegro with my local friends, they can readily point out various people walking by (so not by language) from Russia (in particular) as well as Italy.....  I ask them HOW they can tell, as they look like normal pedestrians to me, and they just shrug and say it is so obvious. 🙂

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1 minute ago, vmsurbat1 said:

This is true, but it is ALSO true of other peoples of other nationalities.   When I'm walking through the capital city of Montenegro with my local friends, they can readily point out various people walking by (so not by language) from Russia (in particular) as well as Italy.....  I ask them HOW they can tell, as they look like normal pedestrians to me, and they just shrug and say it is so obvious. 🙂


Yes. I can’t pinpoint that they all sit just like so. It’s something my brain is picking up on and I don’t have to think about it bc to me it’s just obvious.  

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2 hours ago, maize said:

Re: accents

When I moved back to the Rocky Mountain West for college people would often ask me where I was from after talking for a few minutes, in that "you sound like you are from somewhere else" manner. I was, in fact, in my own birth state--but apparently in the years I had spent overseas I had picked up verbal inflections that stood out as different. I couldn't hear myself how I was sounding different from everyone around me but evidently I was. People stopped asking after a couple of years so presumably my speech had adjusted back to normal for the area; it couldn't have ever been very far off, my parents both have pretty standard middle America accents and were my primary models.

It has always interested me though that I personally couldn't hear the difference that others could.

I do "hear" myself modulating accents when I am around people with an accent I recognize as distinct from my own, such as British or Australian or Southern US. It's not a conscious process but my manner of speech starts to move towards the accent of those around me. I figure it must sound like intentional and doubtless very poor imitation and I try not to do it but that takes conscious effort.

When I'm not around many English speakers, like when I was teaching English overseas, I was told repeatedly that my English had no real accent to it. It was very plain and very understandable to those who were trying to learn how to understand native speakers. And thanks to the Spalding I had as a kid, I could easily describe to non-native speakers how to position their mouth and tongue to elicit sounds that were difficult for them. Many of the students I taught said that it was really helpful that I could describe to them how to make the sound successfully. I believe that some of them may have described my speech as neutral English or a neutral accent. *shrug*

I do tend to pick up accents where ever I go too. It is not intentional and I'm not usually not aware of the fact that I am doing it. Right now, I have a bit of a southern accent but those who have lived here all their lives say they can tell I'm not from here because I don't have an accent like them and my friends that knew me before I lived here tease that I've picked up a southern accent. 

The ultimate compliment that I think I have ever gotten was from a Japanese friend when we were living in Japan. I often asked her or her husband when I needed help with learning and understanding Japanese. I were having dinner with them one night not long before we left Japan so I had lived there for almost 5 years by then and the friend told me my Japanese had gotten so good that she wouldn't have guess I was American anymore if she wasn't looking at me. I asked her why, what had changed and she said I didn't speak "Japanese with an American accent" and that my pronunciation was very clean and that is was good when we met but still had very much improved over the years. Arigatou waga tomoyo!

 

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1 hour ago, parent said:

 

Actually, this wasn't in the UK. 

I guess I wonder if this is something most americans don't notice but is a subtle reminder of our wealth and "privilege" so resented by non Americans.  Seems to have touched a nerve.

 I am a quiet person and very attentive to people and surroundings when traveling.  The broad generalizations of Americans as rude and obnoxious is annoying.

This comment you replied to was not directed to you, it was directed at Murphy. 

Yes, I resent Americans because of your perfect teeth, how did you guess?

Oh I know how, because I'm such a shallow, stupid non American I must not be able to see beyond some pearly whites.

To be frank, you've been touching a nerve with your closed minded comments. So incredibly hypocritical.

 

Edited by Islandgal
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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

No. It would mean you were absolutely, unfailingly punctual. 🙂

Perhaps the earliness is my "Dutch people time".   The waiting in the car until 1 minute prior to on time is my "German time" 🤣

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On 1/14/2020 at 8:26 PM, fairfarmhand said:

 

I did ask. And I believe our boardies are realistic enough to know that Americans as a GROUP may not reflect the actions of individuals. 
 

what if find ironic in what you internationals posted is the “Americans do it better” arrogance. Because goodness knows we spend a LOT of time complaining about the state of things in our nation!!!!

 

I have to say that I have encountered this quite a bit.  Many people I've talked to have an "America is the best" attitude, and if you suggest ways that we could improve they are likely to tell you to move to another country.  I was born and raised here, and find it obnoxious!

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18 hours ago, Amy in NH said:

 

As an American, these are things I dislike about other Americans: There seems to be no awareness-of and consideration-for others, either culturally or just in a mundane way.  And the crass commercialism and militarism - ugh. 

I figured it was just human nature for those with no self-awareness.  Do you not find these traits in people from other countries?


The Chinese has a term for Chinese people (regardless of nationality) who behave that way (minus the militarism). They are called “the newly rich” (爆发富,Nouveau riche).

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45 minutes ago, Islandgal said:

This comment you replied to was not directed to you, it was directed at Murphy. 

Yes, I resent Americans because of your perfect teeth, how did you guess?

Oh I know how, because I'm such a shallow, stupid non American I must not be able to see beyond some pearly whites.

To be frank, you've been touching a nerve with your closed minded comments. So incredibly hypocritical.

 

 

Hypocritical how?  I didn't think frankness was hypocritical.

I do think people portraying themselves as progressive minded then bashing an entire country based on a few bad eggs, while ignoring the good ones is very hypocritical...

I am actually pretty open minded... except toward squirrels 😁

 

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Well I dunno about others, but I've traveled by cruise and by non-cruise.  Being on a cruise didn't change how I acted on land.  A cruise is just a convenient way to get around in some situations.  We considered doing Australia by cruise, but decided it wasn't the best use of our time.

I hear you saying "if this isn't you, then you're good," but the generalizations continue.  Maybe Americans aren't the only ones who could benefit from hearing, open-mindedly, how they come across.

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50 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

 

I have to say that I have encountered this quite a bit.  Many people I've talked to have an "America is the best" attitude, and if you suggest ways that we could improve they are likely to tell you to move to another country.  I was born and raised here, and find it obnoxious!


Me too.  In one breath they (my fellow countrymen) are all the healthcare, the education, the taxes suck and the government is out to screw us all - but yay, ‘merica is the best!

If I ask them what we are the best at, they can’t even answer, but I’m unpatriotic for asking.

Edited by Murphy101
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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

As you (general you) have specifically been invited to do so!

If you have issues with Australian tourists when they visit the US, which inform your general feelings overall FEEL FREE TO SHARE WE DONT MIND.

I'll even start it off for you:

bad tippers

There you go, a list for you to fill to your heart's content.

You don't seem to understand.  I have no desire to insult Australian travelers.  I have an issue with boardies who insult others via broad generalizations and then call the insulted folks thin-skinned when they don't enjoy it.

Yes I know the OP asked a question and you feel like you are just answering it.  However, there are other ways to get points across.  Prefacing an insult with "I might probably like you but" doesn't cut it IMO.

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It’s probably late in the thread for me to pipe up, but I know many Americans who fit, to a greater or lesser degree, that stereotype of “American tourists” that I purposefully attempt to avoid. Someone I know was just telling me about his trip to Ireland, where he rented a car, and he kept saying “...the WRONG side of the road...” So obnoxious! It’s the OPPOSITE side, you dope! Not the wrong! And he complained that the road signs were so hard to understand...dude, that’s on YOU. You plan to rent a car in another country that has different driving rules? Read up before you go, dumbass. 

When I was on a tour in Normandy, there was a family whose grown son was on study abroad, just like my dd. But the family all got familiar, American-like food for lunch. I thought it was a shame and didn’t reflect well on them. Should have had the jambon et fromage. 

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3 hours ago, parent said:

 

Hypocritical how?  I didn't think frankness was hypocritical.

I do think people portraying themselves as progressive minded then bashing an entire country based on a few bad eggs, while ignoring the good ones is very hypocritical...

I am actually pretty open minded... except toward squirrels 😁

 

Frankness is not implying that non Americans must be resentful towards Americans because they are "privileged" enough to afford braces. You have absolutely no clue if my children have braces or not. If you would have asked, I would have gladly answered you. Your comments are based on nothing but what came to your head at the moment. It's utter nonsense and contributes nothing productive to this discussion. That is what makes it hypocritical.

Everything I have said in this thread, I have experienced myself. I can not say that enough. I have NEVER made broad generalizations either, I have always prefaced everything I said with some, not all, etc. I listed the traits I admire about Americans when you specifically asked, so how you have that impression that I am ignoring the good in America is beyond me.

 I have gone out of my way to be polite and kind. What bothers me the most about this, is after all of these pages of discussion, this really is your take away, non Americans may be resentful because of braces? 

Edited by Islandgal
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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

When I was on a tour in Normandy, there was a family whose grown son was on study abroad, just like my dd. But the family all got familiar, American-like food for lunch. I thought it was a shame and didn’t reflect well on them. Should have had the jambon et fromage. 

Now see this I don't understand.  What is wrong with eating what you like if it's on the menu?  When folks come here from other countries, do they avoid restaurants that serve familiar-to-them food?  Why should they?  Not everyone is adventurous with food, and not everyone can stomach all kinds of food.  Also, how do you know they haven't been eating local food for the past week and now want a change?  Why be so judgmental of people when you don't even know their story?

When we were in Dublin, we ate at their Burger King.  It was the last day of our 3 week trip (from Athens to Dublin with 13 stops), and it the first "American food" we had eaten in Europe.  My kids wanted some burgers.  Who cares anyway?

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4 hours ago, wintermom said:

Holy cow.  Way to sling the mud and sound "perfect and entitled" by stereotyping other countries who don't have the money or resources to buy into the perfect, white teeth game. 

I guess it is considered a "nicer" way to pick on people than pointing out their body size or colour of skin.

I'm not seeing how "I identified you by your artificially perfect teeth" is an insult to anyone who doesn't buy into that.

4 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

 

I have paid a fortune to make sure my kids have the beautiful teeth my parents never invested in me.  So that probably is part of it, though I have to say I rarely meet people with bad teeth.  It's not that everyone else has bad teeth, it's that Americans and the monied of other places tend to not just have healthy good teeth - they have damn near perfect dazzling teeth.  Not even a slight overbite, not a single tooth even slightly off center, and supernaturally white.  *sigh* I always look at them and think their smile has more money put into it than my entire mortgage.

 

3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

As much as I've enjoyed this thread, I'm kinda regretting starting it. I really didn't mean to cause problems or hurt feelings. It was true genuine curiosity. 

Sigh.

 

No, don't regret it.  A LOT of people found it interesting enough to follow and comment.  It's why it's gone on so long.  People have chosen to participate.

3 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

 

If you are going to go there then I'll just pull up my soapbox on this little rabbit trail over here...

Most modern countries usually do prioritize orthodontic care, but the perfect dazzling white American or monied teeth are not about prioritizing healthy orthodontic care.  That's like saying Dolly Pardon's boobs are about prioritizing breast health.  Um.  No.  It isn't.  It's purely about cosmetics.  I don't resent anyone a healthy mouth.  But it is noticeable that so many are obviously spending on very expensive dental cosmetics.  I wouldn't say I resent it.  I don't think most other countries resent it either.  So much as think it's quite the flaunting luxury to afford that so commonly.  Because it is.  And it is an obvious class feature as well.  That's why Americans feel a LOT of pressure to pay literally thousands of dollars and spend a couple years in appointments to get their children braces and retainers.  They don't want their kid to feel the stigma of a job interview or college with bad teeth for very valid reasons.

 

To me there is a big difference between "bad" teeth, good teeth and "perfect" teeth.  Maybe it's a sign that I'm a geezer and don't get it, but the artificially white, cosmetic surgery smile can look a bit extreme.  We call them plasti-teeth when they're whitened beyond anything nature can provide and just glowing at you.  I think of the episode of Friend's where Ross over-whitened and glowed under a black light, or of the Hunger Games where they described the enhanced characteristics of the Capital dwellers.  

I don't think it's an insult to any other culture to peg THAT look as American.  I'm not sure that going in so hard with cosmetic facial alterations is all that admirable and there are orthodontists getting wealthy by perpetuating this image. If my children had crooked teeth, I would probably pay to have them look like they were naturally straight, but natural looking straight teeth aren't going to get you noticed as American overseas.  Other people HAVE nice, natural teeth.  That's not the same thing. 

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20 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

As you (general you) have specifically been invited to do so!

If you have issues with Australian tourists when they visit the US, which inform your general feelings overall FEEL FREE TO SHARE WE DONT MIND.

I'll even start it off for you:

bad tippers

There you go, a list for you to fill to your heart's content.

They make me laugh too hard and i spit out my drink.  Get a little more serious, eh. 😉

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38 minutes ago, SKL said:

Well I dunno about others, but I've traveled by cruise and by non-cruise.  Being on a cruise didn't change how I acted on land.  A cruise is just a convenient way to get around in some situations.  We considered doing Australia by cruise, but decided it wasn't the best use of our time.

 

Quite true. Australia is meant to be road tripped.

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7 hours ago, Mbelle said:

I know it's common and I've heard it, 

However, this just doesn't happen in dh family.   My MIL is super conscientious and it would crush her if she thought she hurt someones feelings.  I'm sitting here thinking of larger gatherings and there are a couple of people who do this, but by and large I would say they do not.  I usally sit on the sideline listening and maybe talking to other inlaws while the family catches up.  (Many live on the mainland now).  The sarcasm is more prevelant than where I live though. They are farming community type people so I dont' know if that makes a difference.  Not everyone is a farmer, but the whole area is based around agriculture so it influences everything. 

 

I think the culture has changed a great deal in this regard over the past few generations.

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

Now see this I don't understand.  What is wrong with eating what you like if it's on the menu?  When folks come here from other countries, do they avoid restaurants that serve familiar-to-them food?  Why should they?  Not everyone is adventurous with food, and not everyone can stomach all kinds of food.  Also, how do you know they haven't been eating local food for the past week and now want a change?  Why be so judgmental of people when you don't even know their story?

When we were in Dublin, we ate at their Burger King.  It was the last day of our 3 week trip (from Athens to Dublin with 13 stops), and it the first "American food" we had eaten in Europe.  My kids wanted some burgers.  Who cares anyway?

I don’t. Of course I know nothing beyond what I observed over a few hours with that family. But I did get a vibe from them that I didn’t like, and their choices of lunch went with it. It totally did not surprise me they chose things like a hamburger and a hot dog. 

We all make judgments of people based on what we see. I do that too, yes. 

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  6 hours ago, Shellydon said:

Absolutely they gripe, scoff, complain, throw their hands in the air. I've been chewed out in Chinese a few times.  They crowd the sidewalks in such a way that is impossible to move around them causing people to be late to work. 

But it's perfectly fine. Travel is stressful even if it's fun and it is hard to adjust to a completely different culture. I would never ever call a group of people from another country ugly. Ever. I never fuss and complain of them or go on message boards and be little a group from another country.  I never hear anyone doing the same. 

 We have been considering an international trip with another group of homeschoolers but I have now nixed the idea. 

 

Quoting @Shellydon (I dont want to go back and find this quote). Darn, now I cannot unbold...

I assumed by her statement she meant that she nixed the idea of going as a group, not going entirely. I must say, that groups of tourists from most places are far more noticeable (and often irritating) than just a few people.

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2 hours ago, vmsurbat1 said:

This is true, but it is ALSO true of other peoples of other nationalities.   When I'm walking through the capital city of Montenegro with my local friends, they can readily point out various people walking by (so not by language) from Russia (in particular) as well as Italy.....  I ask them HOW they can tell, as they look like normal pedestrians to me, and they just shrug and say it is so obvious. 🙂

I'm willing to bet they're wrong more than they know.  In grad school my Dh had a funny conversation with two of his classmates.  He spoke with them separately and it came out that each was sure that the other one was Japanese.  Nobody was Japanese.  They were both Chinese, but they "just knew."  He didn't tell them for a while and this went on for a couple of weeks before they bothered to have a conversation with each other.  

Sometimes people are wrong and just don't know it.

  

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35 minutes ago, Islandgal said:

Frankness is not implying that non Americans must be resentful because they are "privileged" enough to afford braces. You have absolutely no clue if my children have braces or not. If you would have asked, I would have glad answered you. That is based on nothing but what came to your head at the moment. It's utter nonsense and contributes nothing productive to this discussion. That is what makes it hypocritical. Everything I have said in this thread, I have experienced myself. I can not say that enough. I have NEVER made broad generalizations either, I have always prefaced everything I said with some, not all, etc. I listed the traits I admire about Americans when you specifically asked, so how you have that impression that I am ignoring the good in America is beyond me.

 I have gone out of my way to be polite and kind. What bothers me the most about this, is after all of these pages of discussion, this really is your take away, non Americans may be resentful because of braces? 

 

No, not my takeaway.. wasn't even a story about nonAmericans.  It was an expat American pretending to be nonAmerican in response to a post about American identifiers...   I didn't pay attention to notice "bad teeth" in the population but yes there was a marked difference when after a month of travel there, I saw perfect teeth (not bonded or altered but perfectly straight and well maintained).   I don't care if others have dental or ortho work or straight teeth, not my concern.

These are general comments, as I realize this was not all from you.  But I guess I do not see how it is productive to list the lengthy story about adoptive parents rudeness, or complaints about a drunk on a cruise ship, or a tour group of old people and by those define the general population of the US.  These are isolated situations displaying atypical manners.  Truly, come visit if you haven't... see a bigger cross section.  I think the statements slamming all Americans for the actions of a few is quite small minded.

So yes, my takeaway is that there is much more prejudice from other Western countries toward Americans than I expected.  It is not what I have experienced but maybe because people are generally nicer face to face.  And due to some earlier comments in this thread maybe it is due to our wealth... and things associated with it that we do not even notice, like teeth.

 

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59 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:


Me too.  In one breath they’re all the healthcare, the education, the taxes and the government is out to screw us all - but yay, ‘merica is the best!

If I ask them what we are the best at, they can’t even answer, but I’m unpatriotic for asking.

This.  Soooooooo this.    
 

 

Also.... while I was catching up on this thread today, it dawned on me that we stereotype the people in our own state.   Here in Georgia, you’re either from Atlanta or not-Atlanta.  And just about nobody in not-Atlanta wants to see any Atlanta peeps come visit their neck o’ the woods.     There’s certain stereotypes for Atlanta residents...and there’s a reason the Atlanta stereotypes exist.  Are they all like that?  Nope.  But enough are to get the reputation.   

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Along the lines of food, we toured Germany when I was in my late teens. We were with my grandparents, my Grandma being a native Hungarian who grew up in Germany and my grandpa met her over there as a GI. They had both traveled extensively in Germany before this.  Yet everytime we went to a restaurant, my grandpa ordered weinerschnitzel thinking it was a hot dog. He was surprised every time to get a breaded pork cutlet. I think in Berlin we finally came across a place that sold bratwurst.

After this thread I will take is as a compliment that some years later when we were in port on a cruise in the med, a waiter mistook my husband and I for Spanish. I could understand everything he was saying and could read the menu, and didn't betray my awful spanish speaking skills until I had to order. Then he apologized all over himself and gave us English menus and said, "You are not from here!" I'm not sure why he assumed we were, but I guess we didn't have the American vibe to us for whatever reason, lol.

Edited by EmseB
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3 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

Thank you.  I definitely didn't mean to offend.  I wish I had come up with a better word.  😟

You didn't offend me in the slightest, I knew what you meant and what your intent was. It was bugging me because I felt that it was a good opportunity to convey what I have been trying to get across this whole time, but hesitated because I wasn't sure how you'd respond.🙂

I should have made that clearer, sorry about that. 

 

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17 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, I'm not sure what squirrels outdoors in yards are doing that is bothering people so much.  I only object to home-invader squirrels.  I even enjoy the red squirrels when they are outdoors where they belong - even without tufty ears they are adorable.  And those flying squirrels are totally cute - I really only had a problem when one was sailing around my bedroom.  No.flying.things.in.house.  Even semi-flying.  Nothing airborne.

ETA: Are you squirrels are pests in the yard objecters talking about ground squirrels, maybe?  We don't have those here.  We only have the kind that live in trees.  And chipmunks, but they don't bother me either - they are cat entertainment (through the window).

Eating everything you plant.  Taking produce like tomatoes- eating a chunk out of it and throwing it on the ground.  Eating the birds' foods.   Digging up your bulbs. 

And no, I do not like chipmunks either very much.  Well let's say that I do not mind chipmunks and squirrels that much because they do provide food for the snakes and hawks.

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6 hours ago, parent said:

 

Mine isn't. 

This thread at least did something productive for me.  I recently got a fantastic natural maple extract and I have been thinking of ways to use it. So far, awesome maple cookies and glaze, then the glaze was so good that it inspired me to fry cake donuts on Sunday.  Pumpkin has never been my favorite but this is a good pumpkin pie, albeit messy crust crimping.  I think you need to take a broader sample of pies.  Like Americans, don't judge us all by the obnoxious one you notice.  Don't judge the pie when you've only tried one... 😂

20200116_215804.thumb.jpg.93c1fd118340f841d0b199863c6c0f1b.jpg

 

The look lovely, but I can't get past the texture of pumpkin pie. I have a lot of texture hang ups with food! There are a lot of foods that I would really like to enjoy, but the texture gives me the willies and that ends that. 

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23 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

At first I thought people were whitewashing things for us or something.  I wasn't sure what that meant. 


I don’t think people are whitewashing, more of mentally filtering their speech, more in the way of “know thy audience”. 

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1 hour ago, Thatboyofmine said:

This.  Soooooooo this.    
 

 

Also.... while I was catching up on this thread today, it dawned on me that we stereotype the people in our own state.   Here in Georgia, you’re either from Atlanta or not-Atlanta.  And just about nobody in not-Atlanta wants to see any Atlanta peeps come visit their neck o’ the woods.     There’s certain stereotypes for Atlanta residents...and there’s a reason the Atlanta stereotypes exist.  Are they all like that?  Nope.  But enough are to get the reputation.   

Of course we stereotype our own state. This one is perfect about upstate NY, with just the right amount of truth.

ETA: can we put up skits from television?? I remember the ban on celebrity pics... anyway, just google SNL upstate apple picking. It infuriated lots of people, according to our local news. But sometimes the truth hurts.

 

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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2 hours ago, Amy in NH said:

 

I have to say that I have encountered this quite a bit.  Many people I've talked to have an "America is the best" attitude, and if you suggest ways that we could improve they are likely to tell you to move to another country.  I was born and raised here, and find it obnoxious!

I think this American exceptionalism was taught in schools for a long time. I know I was taught this and even now you find some who get upset if teachers want to present a more balanced picture of American history. I probably would have been an obnoxious child because I had no clue anyone would not prefer to be American because I was indoctrinated into thinking we were the best. At everything.

I'm embarrassed now...I'm not sure when I realized this was wrong but it was probably sometime around late high school/college age. I'm sure that attitude is still somewhat common and no surprise it grates. 

OT- I love squirrels. I love opossums and chipmunks and all the little furry funny creatures. I think opossums are cute! A raccoon once stole my DS's backpack! He was able to get it back but the raccoon had tossed all his stuff and taken what he wanted. He's not fond of raccoons anymore but I still like them. They aren't as cute as you would expect in person, though. 

We have a bird feeder that I've just given over to the squirrels and buy what they like. I tried to get a squirrel proof one and they mocked me. Do Australians have similarly cute and funny backyard animals to watch or is it just scary snakes and spiders?

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42 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

Of course we stereotype our own state. This one is perfect about upstate NY, with just the right amount of truth.

ETA: can we put up skits from television?? I remember the ban on celebrity pics... anyway, just google SNL upstate apple picking. It infuriated lots of people, according to our local news. But sometimes the truth hurts.

 

“Cosplay ‘outdoorsy’ with us.”  🤣

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