Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Americans Abroad...

So, in my just over 2 weeks of being here in Australia, I have met people from MANY different nationalities... Swedish, Dutch, French, German, Canadian and many different Asian people... (Especially Canadian though... it's amazing, but I have met SO MANY more Canadians than others while I've been down here!)

So, in talking to people, I have realized more than ever what a bad name Americans and America have in most other countries. Everyone that I've talked to about the subject has told me that America is kind of a big joke in their country. Or, we're thought of as bullies, or ego-centric, or just not-too-bright when it comes to world news. In Canada, I'm told, they have a show where they go up to Americans and ask them questions that we should know, and of course generally the Americans don't know it. Like, 'are you smarter than an American'.

I also hear that many Americans who travel abroad tell everyone that they are from Canada, and they wear a Canadian flag on their backpack, so people don't know they are American and therefore don't harass them. I personally think that is silly, and I wouldn't do it, I'm not going to deny where I'm from. And I haven't really had anyone harass me for being American, but they have looked at me with pity or just said "Oh, America huh?" (I can't really say that Australians feel the same way because I haven't really befriended any Australians yet...)

So everyone... why do you think this is? Why does America have such a bad name? I guess I can see it, because we definitely do throw our weight around in the world, AND many Americans don't tend to know as much with what is going on in the world... I mean, even though I tried to stay in the know with world politics I still don't seem to be as informed as many people I meet.

I am proud to be an American, but I do feel like we need to work on our image in the world. I don't think Americans who travel abroad should have to be ashamed to tell people that they are from America.

Oh, and I've still only met 1 American since I've been here. Unless all the Canadians I met are lying :)

Cheryl, I saw this in a shop window and I wanted to share it with you. Suuuuure it could be the Jets, but am pretty sure it's the Giants ;)


PMH said...

I think you are right, Kaz. (:-)) I think that it is because our politicans do push their weight around too much trying to prove we are a "super" power. And, sorry to say, but our schools just are not on par with most other schools in the world. Our students (not all) just don't want to learn. All they care about is "partying." I think we have come to a sad, sad, state. Where once we were looked up to, now we are made fun of.

But, it's good to see that you are still having a good time and becoming more 'wordly.' At least you can give us (US) a better impression.

Jieuryli said...

It's all Morrissey's fault. Writing that "America Is Not the World" song from his comeback album "You Are the Quarry". Not a nice song about Americans. He does have that lyric:

"But where the president is never black, female, or gay... and until that day... you've got nothing to say to me to help me believe."

...which actually might be dated soon.

But seriously, in regards to what your mom wrote above - many years ago I migrated from a 3rd world country to the USA when I was 12 years old. And the thing that struck me the most was the educational system and the way the kids treated their teachers and elders; and the way it seemed that my fellow American students took education for granted. Where I came from we were lucky to be educated in things like Math and Science. Definitely a different vibe when I migrated here.

Dad said...

To start with, it's about darn time you guys down under apologized to the Aborigines. Now how about some reparations. Just kidding (I guess).
You're certainly right about Americans being looked down upon in the world today. I think some of it is because we are "haves" and some others are "have nots". A bit of jealousy I would say. But also there is the resentment of us (at least some of us) seeing ourselves as the world's police officers. I can understand they're problem with that. It could be worse though. We could be French and just put our heads in the sand. Just kidding again (I guess).
Anyway, I'm proud of you that you're not afraid to wear your origins out on your sleeve.

P.S. Great pictures

Lisah0822 said...

hahahaha!! i'm laughing at dad's comment, LOL. ill write more later, i'm sick as hell, and hurting, so i cant' think straight

stacy122982 said...

Come on...partying is MUCH better than learning! :-P

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