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Old 06-06-2012, 06:33 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,438,578 times
Reputation: 11862

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Well, it's a rich country with a lot of space and money to go around, even in these tougher economic times. That's why people tend to have and get bigger things. That would be true in any other country as well. Most people everywhere dream of living in a big place, driving big cars, having big things or lots of little things. Why wouldn't they if they could afford it?

But plenty of people live in smaller apartments and homes too. It's purely a lifestyle choice.
I live in the suburbs in Australia. Everything is big here too. I don't know if I could deal with the lack of space in Europe, but bigger isn't always better. There are definitely pluses to living in 'cramped' Europe. It's all about the individual lifestyle preference.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:18 PM
 
Location: under a rock
1,494 posts, read 1,452,446 times
Reputation: 1019
[writing this using a faux-frenchman's accent] The Americans are sloppy, non-beret wearing, non-mime loving, bad wine drinking cretins. They don't know how to make love to life like we frenchmen do! Also, they are stupid...I spit on them! Sacrebleu!
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,196,266 times
Reputation: 9489
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromEverywhere View Post
I was wondering how the rest of the world views Americans. What comes to mind? Also what have been your experiences? Do they reinforce the stereotype or do the opposite?

I'm a well-traveled, open-minded and cultured American, so I won't be offended by what anyone says.
Generally, I've found that the stereotypes are very negative. However, I've seldom met the loud, obnoxious, fat, ignorant, gun-toting, bible-thumping American that they all talk about.

I'm not from those regions of the U.S. either, so I've never met those types in the U.S. either.

As you're a "well-traveled, open-minded and cultured American", you'll probably fall into the camp of perpetuating the stereotype that those other Americans are all over America, but you're an exception to them. Which is basically what about 99% of the Americans I meet abroad seem to do.

Personally I wish there was more recognition that all these Americans walking around who don't embody the negative stereotypes, had a bit more recognition however. And not in the 'but you don't seem American' way.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,930 posts, read 7,746,530 times
Reputation: 4490
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Well, it's a rich country with a lot of space and money to go around, even in these tougher economic times. That's why people tend to have and get bigger things. That would be true in any other country as well. Most people everywhere dream of living in a big place, driving big cars, having big things or lots of little things. Why wouldn't they if they could afford it?

But plenty of people live in smaller apartments and homes too. It's purely a lifestyle choice.
No, I disagree. America is a super wealthy and poor country with many people in the middle trying to look like they're super wealthy and not struggling. Full of debt. Americans are consumer driven and want the appearance of having the "good life" to those around them.

In Ireland, (although there was a time during the "Celtic Tiger" where many sure wanted to APPEAR wealthy) the majority of people from my experience are far more subdued and not ostentatious about wealth...almost embarrassed to be noticed for external adornments.

I actually knew a woman that owned her own company and happened to drive a pricy luxury car. A child approached her while I had been speaking to her, because he was "wowed" by her car. She looked/acted completely embarrassed, and told him that it was just a car..has four wheels and moves when the accelerator is pushed. Same as all cars.

Homes and cars are generally made smaller...it's not a "lifestyle choice" so much as a cultural norm. Sure, there's the few large houses spotting the landscape(which are typically owned by real estate speculators from the housing bubble).

I have relatives with kids and are still doing quite alright (i.e. still have good jobs) during the current European troubles...They still own a small semi-detached 1000 sq ft property and drive little teeny tiny cars (by American standards). It's not embarrassing to them like it might be in the US. The image of having money or appearing "well to do" doesn't matter one iota. They, like most of their friends don't place so much emphasis on $ or what you own like it is in the States.

I obviously cannot speak for the culture anywhere else, but it's definitely not prevalent in Ireland at all comparing it to America. From my experiences in traveling around Europe, it's surprisingly similar. They aren't dreaming of material wealth in the same way as Americans do. Again, I am an American and do love it here, but this particular aspect of our culture is a little shameful.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,196,266 times
Reputation: 9489
Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
No, I disagree. America is a super wealthy and poor country with many people in the middle trying to look like they're super wealthy and not struggling. Full of debt. Americans are consumer driven and want the appearance of having the "good life" to those around them.

In Ireland, (although there was a time during the "Celtic Tiger" where many sure wanted to APPEAR wealthy) the majority of people from my experience are far more subdued and not ostentatious about wealth...almost embarrassed to be noticed for external adornments.

I actually knew a woman that owned her own company and happened to drive a pricy luxury car. A child approached her while I had been speaking to her, because he was "wowed" by her car. She looked/acted completely embarrassed, and told him that it was just a car..has four wheels and moves when the accelerator is pushed. Same as all cars.

Homes and cars are generally made smaller...it's not a "lifestyle choice" so much as a cultural norm. Sure, there's the few large houses spotting the landscape(which are typically owned by real estate speculators from the housing bubble).

I have relatives with kids and are still doing quite alright (i.e. still have good jobs) during the current European troubles...They still own a small semi-detached 1000 sq ft property and drive little teeny tiny cars (by American standards). It's not embarrassing to them like it might be in the US. The image of having money or appearing "well to do" doesn't matter one iota. They, like most of their friends don't place so much emphasis on $ or what you own like it is in the States.

I obviously cannot speak for the culture anywhere else, but it's definitely not prevalent in Ireland at all comparing it to America. From my experiences in traveling around Europe, it's surprisingly similar. They aren't dreaming of material wealth in the same way as Americans do. Again, I am an American and do love it here, but this particular aspect of our culture is a little shameful.
This varies significantly compared to where you live in the U.S.

California, in general, is super consumer-charged oriented, albeit a bit less in the Bay Area than Southern California. But both are way up there in the consuming departments relative to the rest of the country and the world.

But the Ireland that you mentioned, that exact same attitude exists throughout the Midwest of the U.S. and the New England areas. People who are quick to dismiss any displays of wealth. Values of modesty, being seen as down-to-earth, etc.

Actually I have Irish blood and from Michigan...your descriptions of Ireland and their thinking, pretty much mimics my experience growing up in Michigan, and it hasn't changed there whatsoever. Maybe some exceptions there with the wealthy elite in the Detroit suburbs, but not for the typical Michigander.

In short, while I 100% agree with you, that a lot of what you say exists in America....I personally see it more regional however, with a large swaths of fairly unpopular parts of the country, that are nothing like that.

Unfortunately most people, Americans and immigrants from other countries, are generally attracted to the wealthier areas of America, where more people are like that, and so they see more of that.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,956 posts, read 27,383,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Joshua View Post
Canadian tourists are just as lacking in style as American tourists are.
I never said they weren't. Did I?
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,438,578 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Generally, I've found that the stereotypes are very negative. However, I've seldom met the loud, obnoxious, fat, ignorant, gun-toting, bible-thumping American that they all talk about.

I'm not from those regions of the U.S. either, so I've never met those types in the U.S. either.

As you're a "well-traveled, open-minded and cultured American", you'll probably fall into the camp of perpetuating the stereotype that those other Americans are all over America, but you're an exception to them. Which is basically what about 99% of the Americans I meet abroad seem to do.

Personally I wish there was more recognition that all these Americans walking around who don't embody the negative stereotypes, had a bit more recognition however. And not in the 'but you don't seem American' way.
Having lived all over the world, and currently living in Asia, would you agree with my observation/assessment that Asians on the whole hold the most positive views on America? Or at least the least negative views?

Young Vietnamese for instance seem quite enamoured with American culture (although now they have Korean etc culture to compete with it). I didn't meet many who said they hated Americans or Australians for that matter. Then again most Vietnamese are young so it's not something they directly experienced, but I'm sure it left a legacy through their family.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,898,680 times
Reputation: 7441
I think it's odd that anyone can say Americans want to look like their rich and well off while saying their lifestyle consist of eating burgers fries and hot dogs in sweat pants.

Funny mix I must say. I would think each of you is capable of our slobby, selfish lifestyle with little money. You might actually save a bit on clothing and food.

The size of our homes simply reflects the land we have in America. Our outlying towns out number are big cities. It's the same elsewhere, except for size. You can get more for your money outside of London, France, Germany, Tokyo, Seoul, most other places. Same as we can, it's just we have fewer hubs that are expensive and crowded. Mostly on the east coast of America.

The funniest part is most Americans view most other countries in good light. They travel often and claim their heritage from where their ancestors came from in other parts of the world. We spend a lot of time admiring other countries and mimicking their cultures.

Right now the youth are mimicking Asian styles, they love Asia. The youth don't usually care about these other things, which is nice.

Most Americans have a good sense of humor about names we get called around the world, we make jokes about ourselves being fat, dumb and lazy all the time. Besides, you have to have something to grip about sometimes , might as well be us. But, don't take yourselves too seriously, most of it isn't true.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,438,578 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
This varies significantly compared to where you live in the U.S.

California, in general, is super consumer-charged oriented, albeit a bit less in the Bay Area than Southern California. But both are way up there in the consuming departments relative to the rest of the country and the world.

But the Ireland that you mentioned, that exact same attitude exists throughout the Midwest of the U.S. and the New England areas. People who are quick to dismiss any displays of wealth. Values of modesty, being seen as down-to-earth, etc.

Actually I have Irish blood and from Michigan...your descriptions of Ireland and their thinking, pretty much mimics my experience growing up in Michigan, and it hasn't changed there whatsoever. Maybe some exceptions there with the wealthy elite in the Detroit suburbs, but not for the typical Michigander.

In short, while I 100% agree with you, that a lot of what you say exists in America....I personally see it more regional however, with a large swaths of fairly unpopular parts of the country, that are nothing like that.

Unfortunately most people, Americans and immigrants from other countries, are generally attracted to the wealthier areas of America, where more people are like that, and so they see more of that.
Yes I think I'd feel more embarrassed being rich and driving a Ferrari, to be honest.

I've always been like that. I'd prefer to identify with the working class but unfortunately I can't really claim that lol. Maybe I should actually start working first, haha.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:02 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,729,874 times
Reputation: 9029
Is fashion and appearance really that serious in Europe? Where i live we don't really care what somebody is wearing unless if its really strange, we dont judge people by there weight we are all human lol for me its sad when people can't just wear what they want and not be judged.
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