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Old 11-23-2011, 09:24 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 2,457,310 times
Reputation: 1225

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedergras View Post
Yeah if you're oblivious to the environmental effects our way of thinking has. Use up all the world's resources, outsource dirty jobs to third world countries, consumer based economy with disposable goods. Who pollutes the most per capita? Who uses up energy the most per capita? It's not Europe. Americans are selfish immature brats, "don't tell me how to live, I don't care that my SUV pollutes more per year then a 50 fuel efficient vehicles combined, why should I recycle, why is it wrong for me to live alone in a large house that consumes as much energy as 5 typical European households, why should I use my money to educate kids if I don't have children, why should I pay money to educate inner city children, why should I pay for healthcare for poor people?"

It's a concept called "for the greater good" which is why America is in decline because people here don't get that concept, don't understand they have a responsibility to the rest of society and the rest of the world. It's all about us, **** the rest of the world and their problems, even if those problems were created by us.
This may be true from an environmental standpoint, however, I also think customs are created out of necessity. Europeans tend to lead a more environmentally protective lifestyle because they have a very crowded continent with little natural resources, and little room to grow. Americans on the other hand have huge resources at hand and a huge continent with relatively uncrowded spaces. I think this is exactly why Americans consume a lot more. It is very possible that if you put those Europeans on the American continent, that they would end up thinking and living like Americans.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,545 posts, read 54,942,987 times
Reputation: 67198
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacramento916 View Post
This may be true from an environmental standpoint, however, I also think customs are created out of necessity. Europeans tend to lead a more environmentally protective lifestyle because they have a very crowded continent with little natural resources, and little room to grow. Americans on the other hand have huge resources at hand and a huge continent with relatively uncrowded spaces. I think this is exactly why Americans consume a lot more. It is very possible that if you put those Europeans on the American continent, that they would end up thinking and living like Americans.
Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what happened!
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:01 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 2,457,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what happened!
The thought crossed my mind exactly when I was writing that.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:02 AM
 
Location: the dairyland
1,197 posts, read 1,933,693 times
Reputation: 1570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Maybe it's just our culture that we like things big and we have enough room to make things big. I love how Europeans always think they know everything and are so judgemental. They're taught that everything they do over there is the "correct" way of doing things. Don't dare bring up any of their shortcomings or you'll suddenly get an earfull about everything you do wrong. And this coming from someone who absolutely loves and respects Europe.
Too true and it is really annoying to hear America-bashing whenever I visit my family in Europe. My brother always tells me how he doesn't like the "Amis", but the only thing he knows about the US is what he saw on television. Nice to judge 300 Millionen people without knowing a single one of them.
But also true for Americans who think they are everything, and the rest of the world is nothing. I can't count how many times have I been called a socialist, communist, nazi, an f-ing liberal, a backwards stone-age monkey, you name it.
Many people are just ignorant and that is valid for both sides of the puddle.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:41 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,852 posts, read 12,381,921 times
Reputation: 4806
I have two friends from the Czech Republic who were here this past summer on a work and travel thing. I live in a suburban town outside Baltimore, MD and they've also been to Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Here are some of the things they mentioned (i know some are contradictory but that is how America is!!) I'm also not saying if any of this is good or bad its in the eye of the beholder

- the low density nature of most American communities

- car dependency / lack of public transportation (we actually became friends after I let them tag along with me when I went grocery shopping before that they had to walk a mile there is no bus service from the neighborhood to the local commercial strip).....they also noticed that outside of New York, only poor people take mass transit which is especially true of Baltimore since anyone who can afford a car drives

- the consumer culture with our massive shopping malls, fast food (though these things are increasingly common in their country too with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Czech Republic now being in the EU and NATO); the large serving size in American restaurants

- the generous use of air conditioning (apparently indoors temperatures not just in Maryland but in Florida and South Carolina are cooler in the summertime than it is in Prague)
- the lack of national health coverage in the U.S.

- the importance of religion in American life, the number of Americans who attend church every Sunday (vs only on holidays/special ocassions)
- open displays of patriotism and support for the military

- the low taxes especially low sales tax (can be up to 40% in Europe)
- the amount of people here who never go to college
- the early age at which many Americans get married and/or have kids (they were surprised to see many people married at age 20 or 21 with 2-3 kids)
- the amount of single mothers in the U.S.

- the amount and level of poverty in the U.S.
- the amount of violent crime (300 murders in Baltimore City last year)
- Americans' lack of knowledge about their country (just about nobody knows that Czechoslovakia no longer exists, and many think it was a former Soviet republic, and that they are Russians.....and nearly every time we went out around Baltimore they would be hit on by guys who think they are Russians and therefore are here to find an American man to marry)

- country music and Christian radio are new to them as are authentic barbecue ribs (though there are knock offs back home)
- they were surprised we eat a light lunch and a heavy dinner (the opposite of where they're from....this was VERY shocking to me i though dinner was the large meal throughout all cultures)
- They liked how friendly and hospitable most Americans are since back home the only Americans they see are rich tourists

They actually never said anything negative or critical of the U.S. just observations. And were very understanding given that our first conversation involved me asking where their accent was from!
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:51 AM
 
34,530 posts, read 41,688,432 times
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Usually when relatives come for a visit from Europe the first thing they comment on is the large size of everything from houses to vehicles to people to distances.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Niflheim
1,302 posts, read 1,680,057 times
Reputation: 1065
From Sweden.

Positive: the size of cities, things to do, places to go.
Negative: all the bible thumpers. People can't drive.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,545 posts, read 54,942,987 times
Reputation: 67198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
I have two friends from the Czech Republic who were here this past summer on a work and travel thing. I live in a suburban town outside Baltimore, MD and they've also been to Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Here are some of the things they mentioned (i know some are contradictory but that is how America is!!) I'm also not saying if any of this is good or bad its in the eye of the beholder

- the low density nature of most American communities

- car dependency / lack of public transportation (we actually became friends after I let them tag along with me when I went grocery shopping before that they had to walk a mile there is no bus service from the neighborhood to the local commercial strip).....they also noticed that outside of New York, only poor people take mass transit which is especially true of Baltimore since anyone who can afford a car drives

- the consumer culture with our massive shopping malls, fast food (though these things are increasingly common in their country too with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Czech Republic now being in the EU and NATO); the large serving size in American restaurants

- the generous use of air conditioning (apparently indoors temperatures not just in Maryland but in Florida and South Carolina are cooler in the summertime than it is in Prague)
- the lack of national health coverage in the U.S.

- the importance of religion in American life, the number of Americans who attend church every Sunday (vs only on holidays/special ocassions)
- open displays of patriotism and support for the military

- the low taxes especially low sales tax (can be up to 40% in Europe)
- the amount of people here who never go to college
- the early age at which many Americans get married and/or have kids (they were surprised to see many people married at age 20 or 21 with 2-3 kids)
- the amount of single mothers in the U.S.

- the amount and level of poverty in the U.S.
- the amount of violent crime (300 murders in Baltimore City last year)
- Americans' lack of knowledge about their country (just about nobody knows that Czechoslovakia no longer exists, and many think it was a former Soviet republic, and that they are Russians.....and nearly every time we went out around Baltimore they would be hit on by guys who think they are Russians and therefore are here to find an American man to marry)

- country music and Christian radio are new to them as are authentic barbecue ribs (though there are knock offs back home)
- they were surprised we eat a light lunch and a heavy dinner (the opposite of where they're from....this was VERY shocking to me i though dinner was the large meal throughout all cultures)
- They liked how friendly and hospitable most Americans are since back home the only Americans they see are rich tourists

They actually never said anything negative or critical of the U.S. just observations. And were very understanding given that our first conversation involved me asking where their accent was from!
The part I bolded made me wince. I believe them. It's sad how little Americans know of other countries, but not knowing that Czechoslovakia no longer exists? It's been a while.

Regarding the heavier meal at noonday--that was once the norm in this country also, especially in agricultural areas. Think about the fact that the word "supper" is related to the word "soup", which was what was often served at the lighter meal in the evening.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:51 PM
 
285 posts, read 612,468 times
Reputation: 266
What surprises Canadians about the States is how little even people who live close to the border know about Canada. My younger brother was visiting from Hamilton, Ontario and somebody asked him how often he saw polar bears.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,852 posts, read 12,381,921 times
Reputation: 4806
With geography that can be quite common. My parents came here from Taiwan and people regularly confuse it with Thailand and ask if Taiwan means Thailand in the Thai language. Many people are also not good even with U.S. geography, people would confuse Baltimore with Philadelphia or Norfolk which are in completely different states (the Norfolk waterfront has a resemblance to Baltimore's Inner Harbor with Philly they also have rowhouses and even more crime).

But this is the worst, on my cross country roadtrip one of my friends from Maryland was using the GPS in our rented car to find different to the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas (the "fabulous" Vegas) and asked if it was the Las Vegas in Nevada or New Mexico I guess Vegas was just Vegas. There are also some who think Las Vegas is in Arizona or California (the Grand Theft Auto San Andreas game places it in California.) There are also people who know about Chicago but don't know what state is in.

Also someone had mentioned the different measuring systems and temperature here in America. When I travel outside the U.S. I always check weather.com to get my weather in Fahrenhait.
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