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Old 04-03-2013, 10:10 PM
 
203 posts, read 263,088 times
Reputation: 254

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I think the guy simply ran into culture shock. I ran into culture shock in London. No two countries are exactly the same. America has a unique culture in the world that has allowed us to have the success we have had.

He complains about waitresses being overly nice and attentive while the food comes quick and in large portions. This is something that Americans culturally enjoy. In Ireland, they may do it a different way and he has grown up accustomed to something different. I don't think that we should change this part of America. He implies that he criticizes because he wants us to change our ways. I don't go into London and tell them they need to start giving free re-fills on already overpriced soda products and that their built in gratuity in the bill is way too high for the poor service.

Americans smile a lot and try to make connections with people. Some do it through jokes and others through heritage. When an American jokes about him being Irish and not drinking, they aren't being serious. They are just trying to be funny. When an American tells him he is Irish, he is trying to make a personal connection with him. In American culture, each ethnic group is known for certain characteristics. I think Americans in trying to make a connection, don't realize that the other person may not feel the same way.

In America, driving is freedom. Driving is freedom everywhere. The difference is that we have found a way to make it affordable for most people to have a car and drive. With such a massive country, why should we make every city walkable? It works well in Europe because their countries have for centuries been built around the need to be in a densely packed town to survive economically. America is much younger and the pioneer spirit makes this country inherently more spread out. If money, environment and the availability of parking wasn't an issue, I am sure that more Europeans would be just like Americans with cars. Cars give people freedom. In London and through England, I was at the mercy of train schedules, taxi cabs, and busses. When you have a car, you can decide where to go whenever you want at your own pace. You can stop wherever you want whenever you want. A train and bus makes specific stops on a specific timetable.

When in Europe, I found the near complete absence of religion a bit of culture shock. I can see how coming from that environment, it would be a shock for him to hear people being religious. Most Americans aren't crazy religious stereotypes but even the average American will mention praying and God quite often. To a European, it can be just as alien as it is for an American to see the opposite.

Lastly, Americans think we are the best because well, we are the best. He can complain about our nationalism but we probably feel and act similar to the way the Romans did. Does North Korea threaten to nuke Ireland? They would be laughed at if they came out tomorrow and picked a fight with tiny Ireland. They try to pick a fight with the USA. We are the big man on campus. Despite all of our problems, we have a level of power and prosperity that is unrivaled in world history. China tries all it can to copy us because the Chinese know that to be the best, you need to learn and act like the best.

Just to make a point, it is our strong military that allows European nations to maintain their generous welfare. Without our military power and protection, they would need to spend more on their defense. It was our money that re-built Western Europe after WWII through the Marshall Plan. We are the ones that are responsible for their quick recovery from WWII. The difference between East Europe and West Europe is the difference between American money and Soviet money. American money bought a lot more.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Hollywood Hills
217 posts, read 294,155 times
Reputation: 267
I live in the US and i come from another country as well, but unlike you im not planning to leave anytime soon. BUT i do have to agree with the following...

1. Americans are way too sensitive

Yes, they are.

11. Religious Americans

This is the worst part of living in this country. Thank God i live in a very liberal and non-religious city but everyday you hear these pastors talking about God, the bible, making anti gay remarks in the name of God, etc. Its incredible.

17. Thinking America is the best

True. They think the world revolves around the US and that they are the best country in the world.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 3,164,714 times
Reputation: 2367
I'd say like....... 50% of this at least is just culture shock
There's some of it I definitely agree with and some of it that's very debatable or very very dependent on where you are, but at least half of it is just flat out culture shock.

Which is not surprising, given he's from Ireland. It's very easy for British Islanders, Australians, and Canadians/Americans to think our countries are more similar than they actually are, just because it's so easy for us to communicate.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:39 PM
 
1,069 posts, read 973,051 times
Reputation: 747
Quote:
Originally Posted by insane4madonna View Post
I live in the US and i come from another country as well, but unlike you im not planning to leave anytime soon. BUT i do have to agree with the following...

1. Americans are way too sensitive

Yes, they are.

11. Religious Americans

This is the worst part of living in this country. Thank God i live in a very liberal and non-religious city but everyday you hear these pastors talking about God, the bible, making anti gay remarks in the name of God, etc. Its incredible.

17. Thinking America is the best

True. They think the world revolves around the US and that they are the best country in the world.
Again, none of those things are "norms" they're just stereotypes. My good friend went to school in Madrid for a year and he said he couldn't believe how sensitive and touchy people were, not only that by everyone I associate with is completely relaxed. Never in one situation in recent memory of the past few years have I encountered so much as an argument with the people I know. As for those nutty hateful pastors, sure you hear about them but they're not the norm whatsoever, that's just like "stereotypical americans" saying all Muslims are terrorists, it's not the norm but the exception. Finally the thinking America is the best, I almost never run into this (at least in an obnoxious sense), all people are ethnocentric to an extent and if you think your country is the best then good, that's why you live there, as long as you never bring it up or suggest it to people from another country I don't see a problem with this. And even with that said I don't know a single person who doesn't find other countries, cultures, etc extremely fascinating, interesting, and amazing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
11,676 posts, read 16,526,465 times
Reputation: 8174
Although I believe that America needs more rail transit options, I actually like how the automobile dominates transportation in America. Driving is fun. That's the way the country was designed and that's what makes it unique from the rest of the world. More people can afford a car in America than in other countries. The automobile allows for a variety of lifestyles, from urban to suburban to exurban to rural. Despite what people say, there are MANY people who prefer suburban living to urban living, especially if raising a family. There is nothing wrong with suburbs. Also, public transit is a socialist thing and should be limited.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
12,001 posts, read 11,953,227 times
Reputation: 8305
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post
What I agree with:

- Marketing
- Corporations
- Cars over Humans

What I disagree with:

- A problem with the word "awesome".
- Americans stereotyping foreigners (as if the reverse isn't true).
- Smiling for no reason?! Jesus everywhere!?! I'm guessing this guy never came to Boston. Or maybe I'm just missing something
Haha, I thought the same thing about Philadelphia reading most of his points.
Too sensitive? Smile too much? Designed for cars, not humans? Too religious?

Did this guy come to The East Coast cities at all?

I do agree with his points on marketing, wasteful consumerism, corporations, unhealthy portions and obsession with money but a lot of these are sadly becoming global trends.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Waterworld
1,031 posts, read 1,355,623 times
Reputation: 995
He sounds like he enjoys complaining a lot. But live and let live!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
4,771 posts, read 4,860,197 times
Reputation: 4990
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
Did this guy come to The East Coast cities at all?
Nope, the guy didn't visit any of the Northeast cities. The closest he came was visiting upstate New York I believe. (My guess is Buffalo/Niagara Falls area???)
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:03 AM
 
520 posts, read 971,902 times
Reputation: 927
Home is home. Some of the most basic standards by which we will just quality of life, consciously or unconsciously, are ingrained in us by the time we leave childhood. While some people have the explorer bug and will transplant themselves to a region and life completely unlike where they came from, most of us will always have a preference for home. Its natural. I love visiting Europe, but would never be able to live there permanently. Which is fine, it would be boring if the whole world was the same.

I'm also conscious of the fact that politically, the Western Europe I'm visiting only exists due to the sacrifices and efforts of the United States. There really isn't any viable alternate reality to imagine where anything but a highly industrialized and motivated liberal state with a massive land army could halt Soviet control of Europe, considering what a comically huge presence the Red Army had on the ground by the fall of Berlin. I think the author would have a more fully-rounded world view by keeping in mind that the cultural aspects he loves of his homeland only exist because of the cultural aspects of the US.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Middletown, CT
993 posts, read 1,636,469 times
Reputation: 1091
That article is awesome!

See what I did there
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