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S/o International people views on Americans


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14 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

Since tourists have come up so often in this thread, let me just take this moment to say....

Want to be a tourist and not worry what the locals think of you? Come visit Austin, Texas! Be one of the 27 million people from the US and other countries to visit our lovely city each year! We don't mind your cultural quirks. Be loud, have fun, enjoy the nightlife, eat at the restaurants and food trucks, hike the trails, sail the lakes, spend freely! South By Southwest is in March, Austin City Limits is in October! 

We like to meet people from other places and cultures, no matter how weirdly you behave. Weird is (literally) our motto! 

Because those millions of dollars each year from the (clean) tourist industry have a way of making us happy and very forgiving.

 

A friend of mine recently stayed at Miraval. She thoroughly enjoyed her stay there and the city itself! 🙂

In fact, she is still raving about it!

Edited by Islandgal
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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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30 minutes ago, Islandgal said:

A friend of mine just stayed at Miraval. She throughly enjoyed her stay there and the city itself! 🙂

In fact, she is still raving about it!

Great to hear! The hill country there is so beautiful. And only ten minutes' drive from Hippie Hollow, for those who like to experience the full diversity of Austin Weirdness. ;)

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3 hours ago, wintermom said:

Sure, the making a mess behaviour would not be appreciated no matter where the people come from. The language issue seems to be an ignorance of the country and province New Hampshire boarders. 

Ummmm...you do realize that northern New England was heavily populated by Québécois and Acadians? Maine has many communities where French reigns, as I’m sure do New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the second most spoken language in Maine and Vermont and third in NH.  
There’s no ignorance about the province or country to our north. Seriously?

Edited by MEmama
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58 minutes ago, SKL said:

As for the stereotype about French-speaking bilingual people acting angry about English, I hate to support a stereotype, but I did get that feeling with a number of individuals in France.  They spoke excellent English but were still angry (or looked angry) that they needed to use it.  FTR I do know some French, but for a bilingual person, conversing with me in French would be much more excruciating for them than English.  And based on their general demeanor, I didn't get the feeling they would appreciate my effort.  😛

I get that most of it is they just don't like the USA.  But I have to say that it is kind of sad to feel the hatred just for walking down their streets (regardless of whether I'm walking the culturally appropriate way or not).  I still prefer to travel than not, though.  (And yes I know others have probably felt that here - particularly people who wear Muslim or Sikh garb in certain conservative parts of the USA.  That is awful too.)

I have never seen this. First, French don't hate Americans. ATM most feel sorry for them and are perplexed by their acceptance of things the French find unacceptable. 

If you've had unpleasant experiences, it's likely on you. Do you say "Bonjour" when you enter a shop or interact with someone? Do you speak quietly? Americans are loud and it is considered impolite. You know how it's said one should put on perfume so no one but a person who is really, really close to you can tell you're wearing it? Think of your voice that way. Do you eat or drink  walking down the street? Don't, or be prepared for people to have a certain opinion of you that might affect your interaction with them. 

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

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9 minutes ago, bibiche said:

I have never seen this. First, French don't hate Americans. ATM most feel sorry for them and are perplexed by their acceptance of things the French find unacceptable. 

If you've had unpleasant experiences, it's likely on you. Do you say "Bonjour" when you enter a shop or interact with someone? Do you speak quietly? Americans are loud and it is considered impolite. You know how it's said one should put on perfume so no one but a person who is really, really close to you can tell you're wearing it? Think of your voice that way. Do you eat or drink  walking down the street? Don't, or be prepared for people to have a certain opinion of you that might affect your interaction with them. 

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

Believe me, I am not loud, not by any country's standards.  I do not eat on the roads.  I do not wear perfume, stand in the way, or tell people the US is best.  That said, I did have on white shoes ....

I should note that my co-travelers, who are Americans of Indian and Ukrainian origin, got the same vibe I did in France.

I should also note that this was back in 2014.

 

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

As for the stereotype about French-speaking bilingual people acting angry about English, I hate to support a stereotype, but I did get that feeling with a number of individuals in France.  They spoke excellent English but were still angry (or looked angry) that they needed to use it.  FTR I do know some French, but for a bilingual person, conversing with me in French would be much more excruciating for them than English.  And based on their general demeanor, I didn't get the feeling they would appreciate my effort.  😛

I get that most of it is they just don't like the USA.  But I have to say that it is kind of sad to feel the hatred just for walking down their streets (regardless of whether I'm walking the culturally appropriate way or not).  I still prefer to travel than not, though.  (And yes I know others have probably felt that here - particularly people who wear Muslim or Sikh garb in certain conservative parts of the USA.  That is awful too.)

This is interesting because it's so different from what we experienced. We lived in a French city that was not a typical tourist locale for 4 months and people fell over themselves apologizing for not speaking better English (some were essentially fluent, some knew very, very little). We had to reassure them that we were to blame.

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3 hours ago, MEmama said:

Ummmm...you do realize that northern New England was heavily populated by Québécois and Acadians? Maine has many communities where French reigns, as I’m sure do New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the second most spoken language in Maine and Vermont and third in NH.  
There’s no ignorance about the province or country to our north. Seriously?

It can't be both ways, can it? Either they are Canadian and bloody annoying, as the PP stated, or they are American and annoying. I guess going into a shop and speaking a language different than English is enough to be annoying, though.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Believe me, I am not loud, not by any country's standards.  I do not eat on the roads.  I do not wear perfume, stand in the way, or tell people the US is best.  That said, I did have on white shoes ....

I should note that my co-travelers, who are Americans of Indian and Ukrainian origin, got the same vibe I did in France.

I should also note that this was back in 2014.

 

Sure, maybe it was your white shoes. More likely, they didn't care enough to hate you (why would they?), and you mistook non-effusiveness for something it wasn't. Maybe your expectations were that French people are rude and so you read into actions things that weren't there. Of course, it's always possible they hated you on sight. 😋

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4 hours ago, xahm said:

This is interesting because it's so different from what we experienced. We lived in a French city that was not a typical tourist locale for 4 months and people fell over themselves apologizing for not speaking better English (some were essentially fluent, some knew very, very little). We had to reassure them that we were to blame.

Paris has come by its reputation for looking down on non-francophones honestly.

Other parts of France do tend to be friendlier.

 

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5 hours ago, bibiche said:

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

One of my big takeaways from this whole thread is that what may be considered "polite and refined" or socially acceptable isn't the same across cultures. So if you mean that tourists should do their best to adopt the social norms of the place they are visiting, sure. But I also think we could all be better at giving people the benefit of the doubt, having some patience, and trying to accept others for who they are and not who we think they should be.

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