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Anti American Experiences

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11. Posted by croner (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y

I'm an American living in Korea. I've been living here almost two years now, and I plan to live here for years to come. I can assure you that not all Americans live up to their evil personna.

I'm still dealing with some anti-American sentiment, and frankly I'm tired of talking about my country's policies and defending my countrymen. It's not that I don't care, it's just that I have to talk about it to people in bars and restaurants, people at work, my in-laws (my father-in-law blames me for splitting Korea into north and south, honestly...it wasn't my idea) and the guy standing at the urinal next to me (he's angry about Paul Hamm's gold medal, that was my fault too). If I tell people that I don't want to discuss it and that I want to enjoy my meal, entertain my company, take a piss, etc., I'm labelled as another "bigot" or a "rude pretentious small minded borish holier than thou fool" as some choose to put it. Well, I'm not. My Korean friends will vouch for me, they've taken the initiative to actually get to know me before deciding what kind of person I am. They know I'm just a tired American...tired the way that Neal Cassidy and Jack Kerouac were tired after the dust was settling from their generation's war; getting by on the support of a few close friends. I want to move on the same way that they did. I want to celebrate my being here and my friends' being here the way that they celebrated theirs.

I know my Australian friends are sick of talking about kangaroos, my South African friends are worn out talking about Apartheid and my Irish friends are sick of talking about the IRA. Yes, there are some real jerks from my country. Some of the US soldiers in Korea can be pretty obnoxious, but I at least give them a chance before labelling them as such. I've met the same kinds of people from lots of other countries. I'm not going to name any of these countries because I don't want to break open another can of worms in this discussion.

This is the last time I'll defend my compatriots here. If any of you should be in Korea and meet a tall American that doesn't want to discuss American politics and/or American people at the risk of alienating his guests or causing his beer to get warm, ask him, "Is your name Joey?" He'll buy you a drink and change the subject to baseball or books. He's a good man, you should get to know him...

12. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 12y

After reading the preceding posts, I realise that I need to state the obvious. I've travelled and lived with Americans abroad and none of them are the things some people have quoted in their replies. I had to learn to not stereotype Americans when I was travelling with them. They can be cheesy, touristy, a little loud, a little annoying, and ignorant of other cultures and their social systems. But, trust me, give them a chance and they will love wanting to learn about your culture and your country. The Americans that I have met have been some of the most warm people, and they really accept you with open arms. When you run across them, you need to do the same thing. It is a liberating experience and I mean that.

13. Posted by shez (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y

I have quite a few American friends, and have visited and stayed in America with an american friend, a much better way to see the country than doing the tourist thing.
I found that the majority of Americans are just the same of the rest of us, worried about their jobs, money, kids and the war in Iraq, unfortuantly due to the media coverage in America they dont see much international news.. and have little idea of what is going on outside of fortress America.. that will change, the fortress was breeched on 9/11 but its going to take a generation or two before the everyday American citizen knows more about the world than the rubbish fed to him by the media.

I have always found Americans kind, warm and friendly people 99% of the time, the oddballs, fanatics, and religiouse nuts just seem louder than those any other country produces.. which is a shame, because people see them and think all Americans are like them. they are not.
I have learned to accept Americans as distinct from their goverment which is dangeriouse unfriendly and war like. The average American dousnt want war any more than the rest of us.

14. Posted by notarealme (Full Member 49 posts) 11y

I have travelled to the US and all i got was people wanting to help me, i was in the airport at chicago and asked this person where the gate for American Airlines was, not only did he tell me, he offred to take me as well. Being from England, i find many Americans want to talk to you and ask "do you have tea and crumpets at 3pm" as my friends brother did, or if your know Prince william ect. Anyway, my friends mom shes a real nice person never met her before oct 2002 talked to her on the phone and arranged sending Christmas presents, but never met her, anyway when i got to Okla, and back the house, the first thing she did was give me a big hug, all the welcome stuff, and the "my house is your house" i was abit taken back by this, and my friend Angela said it was normal. Secondly, we went to the concert/barn dance thing with someone singing called tracey atkins, it was cool, not the normal stuff you get in the UK, but still really good, my friends sister Ann, came over and said they where talking to these people, just met them, as soon as i started talking, they where like "oh my god, your british" and we hit it off.

My point, for any of you who have been to england, you will know we get our bad sorts as well, i remember even once, getting blaimed for the British Empire in India, and our actions around the world while i was at college, and how we are still evil because we made in a sence the US.

Apart from all that, i would still be friends with any American, they are people just as we are, you get bad and good, but i would never define someone by there country.

15. Posted by H_ (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

As an American, I'm quite worried about the response people will have to Americans after the November 2 election. My friends and I have been discussing our concern that anti-American sentiment across the globe will grow to a fever pitch now that George Bush has been re-elected. My only hope is that people will keep in mind that almost 50 percent of Americans who voted earlier this month DID NOT vote for him. And many more felt so hopeless about the mediocrity of both candidates that they did not vote at all, which is really sad.

Many of us, especially at the universities, are fed up with our government's attitudes about foreign policy as well as other issues like health care and education. I'm happy to see that several people have said they recognize each American as an individual with his or her own views. There are so many of us that it seems impossible to me to lump us all into one big group. We've definitely got our share of ignorant nuts and selfish people, and this is very troubling to me. But there are also a lot of us here who are extremely disconcerted by the path our government is taking.

16. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I've traveled to over 100 Countries and the only time I've ever experieced anti-Americanism was in Greece (that was a long time ago).

17. Posted by ChIqUiTtA (Respected Member 278 posts) 11y

Do not judge a man by his country, nor a country by a single man...
(anonymous quote by unknown writer)

i feel that the world is in a sad state if we can't overlook political issues of certain countries when we meet individual people.

i have friends that are american and i honestly feel sorry for them, because everywhere they go, they will be discriminated against, just because they were born in a certain land area on this planet. this, however, does not make them bad people.

i wonder if the world will ever get its act together?

Lauren.

18. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Quoting ChIqUiTtA

i wonder if the world will ever get its act together?

Lauren.

I wish with all my heart that were so. I am saddened after reading the posts here...and the thing is...there is so much animosity between americans (North-South, Black-White, rich-poor, Democrat-Republican...etc) We can't even agree to disagree in our own country! I can't say I am shocked by most peoples notions of Americans...we brought it on ourselves...But I have raised my children to not be judgemental of others....be it sex, race, relgion and I can only hope that things will get better.

19. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

Joz, just to add to your comments and without wanting to bring up the Iraq war debate, this is an example of why there is anti-American feelings. An American general (a commander of US ground forces in Iraq) recently said on TV "killing people is kind of fun". Obviously, as an individual he's an idiot, but people around the world saw those comments on tv, and see him as an ambassador for the US, and that is what they base their opinions on.

20. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Quoting ChIqUiTtA

Do not judge a man by his country, nor a country by a single man...
(anonymous quote by unknown writer)

I think Lauren's hit the nail on the head there. I'm as guilty of anyone of throwing my eyes up the heaven when I see a bunch of American tourists or saying things like "Who do they think they are, sticking their noses into other countries political affairs?", etc...

but when I think about any dealings that Ive had on a one-to-one basis with Americans in the past, I havent had any really bad impressions or experiences.

It's beyond me how the country re-elected George Bush, perhaps Kerry just wasnt strong enough competition. I'm not sure I'd want Kerry running the country either, but he's preferable to Bush in my opinion.

I think that it must be difficult to be an American outside of the U.S. at the moment. Bush appears to be making some efforts to pour some oil on the troubled waters between Europe and the U.S. but its jsut damage control.

He is bad news for America. Perhaps when a real Leader is elected again, America can look forward and not over it's shoulder all the time.

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