An insulting foreigner

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    Aug 31, 2012 1:23 AM GMT
    He obviously hasn't traveled much if he's stuck on this idea that somehow only Americans are monoglots. Has he been to the UK? Most British people speak only English. Or France? Most speak only French. Or Spain? Only Spanish and perhaps their regional language (many don't even speak their regional language).
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9225

    Aug 31, 2012 1:29 AM GMT
    Every country produces a certain number of obnoxious snobs.
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    Aug 31, 2012 3:47 AM GMT
    A while ago i had a friend from Bonn germany who was here on a work permit for a software engineering firm.. I made every effort to ensure he had the best time while he stayed..and he complained and criticized everything American.
    ..He didn't take the time out to see that he was well paid, sheltered, fed,entertained and in the good company of my friends.
    ..He transfered to NY..we lost touch..and i really didn't mind.. icon_biggrin.gif
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11422

    Aug 31, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    He was expecting you to kiss his ass ...I would have just asked if everyone from his country was a belligerent as him in their views when they visited their neighbors
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    Aug 31, 2012 7:31 AM GMT
    Anyone who doesn't automatically kiss my ass for being American is a rude foreigner.
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    Aug 31, 2012 8:16 AM GMT
    Was in LA. a few years ago and went to a fantastic barbecue with family and friends of my Partner....
    A friends Aunt and Uncle were there a lovely older Cuban couple...they had left Cuba just before Castro came to power..Both were Republicans, both pro gay rights but also strong supporters of George Bush. With the Husband I had a great conversation.He was curious about Canada and wanted to know what I thought about America and its Politics,My answer to him was "I'm a guest in your country-it would be highly inappropriate for me to comment, but I love hearing what you think..." we talked all afternoon and got loaded on wine.Wonderful lovely man.
    I still get a Christmas card from him and his wife every year and he always mentions what I said...
    and yes I do feel vastly superior right now.
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    Aug 31, 2012 3:19 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThat would require that I CARE who you are.
    Everybody cares who I am, even if they don't like me.
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    Aug 31, 2012 4:34 PM GMT
    My favorite thing about HGTV are all those real estate shows filmed in Canada where you can see that Canadians are equally if not more douchey.
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    Aug 31, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    I hate when people do that ...
    I have been sharing my life between Australia and the U.S since the 90's , and i thankful for the job and the welcome Americans are providing with everyday passing . I have encountered in both countries , foreigners visiting or living and complaining about nothing and everything , and the first word coming out of my mouth is , why don't you go back from where you come from ?
    You are a foreigner to the country you are in , please be respectful to the inhabitants and stop complaining !
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    Aug 31, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidI woulda asked him if he's French. icon_lol.gif

    No, he said he was Belgian. He just speaks French.
    I wouldn've accused him of lying, or being a wannabe Frenchman. That's the only nationality of person I've encountered that was rude toward the US.
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    Sep 01, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    Yep people from everywhere always like to put down the country they just arrived in, be as a new arrival or as a tourist or working visa.
    I dont get it frankly, when i go to a new country I immerse myself in its culture, generally I have fallen in love with places by just being open and with the expectation that things will be different here than in Oz. Thats kind of the point of travelling.

    I have found that some Europeans like to put down newer nations (US, Canada, NZ and Oz) just to make themselves feel superior. They cant really get the ease of our societies and lack of social hierarchy .

    Not all Europeans, most are just awesome and great fun.
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    Sep 01, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
    I'm a foreigner in the US as well and I have to confess something: I was down on the US! icon_sad.gif

    I had just completed college and had finally found a job in the US, which enabled me to be with my boyfriend at that time. Just a little before that, I had also found out that I am gay.

    Growing up in Germany, there had been gay jokes, mostly among my teenage friends and classmates, which I did not think much about, not knowing at that time that I was gay. Yet, in my head I had never solidified the idea that society considered me as something abnormal. No, actually I was quite happy when I found out I'm gay and so was my family.

    In high school, we learnt about the US in English class. We were taught many good things, such as the ideals that the US constitution was built on, viz. equality, liberty, the right for the pursuit of happiness. I think most western countries do share those values, but having these spelled out as the fundamental building blocks of your country did sound inspiring to me.

    Seeing nothing wrong with me being gay, expecting a life-long and happy relationship with my boyfriend in my young naivety and coming to a country that we were told values equality that much, a not completely, but still largely unexpected picture presented itself to me. It did take Germany until 2009 to finally bestow the same rights upon domestic partnerships as she does on marriage, but the degree of homophobia spread throughout society that I found here was just not visible to me in Germany at that time (or I may not have been as aware of it) - which may largely be due to the lower degree of religious influence churches in Germany exert in that direction.

    Finally experiencing a country that I had learnt valued the above mentioned principles of equality, liberty and self-realization above all, it was the degree and intensity of homophobia I perceived that over the years made my mind shout: hypocrites! That voice grew over time and developed into a rage that was burning in my mind with an intensity that kept me up at nights and caused me pain that reached physical levels and bouts of depression.

    "How dare they deny me my rights?"
    "How dare they set anything in the way of my relationship with my boyfriend?"

    Who was they? Americans - my mind said. It was the first thing my mind found to concentrate its anger on and anything was good enough to unleash my rage upon. I was angry at society as a whole, the world, but in particular I was angry at America for failing to fulfill her promises.

    And what were these promises? Ideas and expectations of my mind. The idea that people in America are any different than any other people in the world and the idea that through some kind of higher power the ideals that this country was supposed to be built on would render its inhabitants immune to the injustice done to them on a daily basis by their own country and government.

    But rage is blind and it chose to ignore the many people that are out there fighting to truly uphold these ideals that America tells the world it represents. Out of these many, a few, rare gems have come into my life as my friends and, at that time, my boyfriend and I have come to realize how my anger that shut me off from society at large would prevent me from even seeing these "rare gems". I have gone down the road of hate for too long of a stretch and have seen where it leads. It is lined with horror and suffering - the road we must walk must lie in its opposite direction.

    So why do we criticize and hate? It is our mind telling us what reality should be like when it is not. We leash out, attack - to defend what is ultimately a fiction of our mind, an idea sustaining our ideology and ego. It disconnects us from humanity and life, which is love, and love is to recognize yourself in another.
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    Sep 01, 2012 2:46 PM GMT
    northoz saidI dont get it frankly, when i go to a new country I immerse myself in its culture, generally I have fallen in love with places by just being open and with the expectation that things will be different here than in Oz. Thats kind of the point of travelling.

    I have found that some Europeans like to put down newer nations (US, Canada, NZ and Oz) just to make themselves feel superior. They cant really get the ease of our societies and lack of social hierarchy .

    Not all Europeans, most are just awesome and great fun.

    That was me when I lived in Germany for a few years, courtesy of the US Army. I was polite, respectful & complimentary, and tried very hard to learn the language, not expecting them to accommodate me with English. Though once some Germans guessed I was an American (accent, military haircut, even my civilian clothing) they'd be all eager to demonstrate their English to me.

    They could be so cute, and so blunt, a German trait. "How ist mein English? Ist gut, ja?" "Ja, ist es, mein Herr, sehr gut." (No it isn't, it's dreadful, but thanks for making the effort, honestly, and probably better than my own German) I loved living in Germany, and you'd never have heard me badmouthing the people, their country or their culture, even in private, much less to their faces.

    As for you Australians, I haven't been there yet, though my partner has, and loved it. And I've never met a rude or ungracious Australian visiting here. On the contrary, fun company (I toured all over NYC with a couple from Sydney), and while I've only had a few encounters, they were good enough that I look forward to the opportunity again.

    In fact I perk up whenever I learn someone is from another country, wanting to know all about them and their homeland. I was very happy when this guy sitting next to me was Belgian, and glad I could do him a favor as our guest here. So you can imagine my disappointment when he turned out to be an ungrateful lout.
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    Sep 01, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    nicodegallo saidLOL I can tell you for sure that the British don't speak English any better than Americans do (or any of their other former colonies for that matter). They have plenty of their own nuances and oddities. Not to mention, English in the UK has changed drastically more over the centuries than English in the US has. We have preserved a lot of things they've lost.


    it's the accent. to americans any thing british sounds quite posh
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    Sep 01, 2012 4:34 PM GMT
    As a Canadian, I am surprised at the generalized vitrol spewed towards us.

    I love travelling to the U.S. to run marathons and explore different cities and great geography. I've also met some wonderful people along the way surmising that we are generally the same.

    I guess I should stick to travelling thoughout my own country again. Leave it to Red Vespa to bring out the racists amoung us.icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 01, 2012 5:56 PM GMT
    Blondizgd said
    nicodegallo saidLOL I can tell you for sure that the British don't speak English any better than Americans do (or any of their other former colonies for that matter). They have plenty of their own nuances and oddities. Not to mention, English in the UK has changed drastically more over the centuries than English in the US has. We have preserved a lot of things they've lost.


    it's the accent. to americans any thing british sounds quite posh


    Which is quite interesting and unusual, because other colonial languages have the reverse attitude. Latin Americans don't think Spaniards are posh at all. Same with Quebeckers toward the French and Brazilians toward the Portuguese. All of the colonial countries remain convinced that the mother countries speak their own language badly icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 01, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
    Haha.

    I think you're onto a loser criticising a country to one of it's inhabitants while a visitor in that country.

    Most people feel justified in criticising their own country,but think it's rude when outsiders do.

    I do not however think Americans have a better grasp of the English language than the English do, I do not see why you have to pronoun words differently just to be awkward.

    Lozx

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    Sep 01, 2012 6:34 PM GMT
    Generalization is not good for you, no matter it's about Americans or about Belgians.

    Honesty is good. I would tell the guy that I disagree with him instead of writing about him in a forum.
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    Sep 01, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
    I have no idea, but seriously that was not sensible at all! Such a pity, his boyfriend must be unsatisfying.

    There's a problem being approachable, we fall prey to this kind of rogues! and im not new to this creatures.icon_evil.gif

    God bless you and your country on your deeds Mr.Artdeco
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    Sep 01, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    morningsmile saidHonesty is good. I would tell the guy that I disagree with him instead of writing about him in a forum.

    I'm not sure an anonymous reference does him any harm. As for telling him, I was in fact pushing back as much as I felt I could, smiling the whole time while gently disagreeing with him on some points. I'm known for having cat fights online here, but in person in a circumstance like this I'm just the opposite and non-confrontational.

    If you remember, I mentioned above that the reason we were in that gay bar at that time was to coordinate some fundraising efforts with the owner. It would not have been in our best interests to start a loud disagreement with another customer, no matter how boorish he was.

    Plus I do feel an obligation to present Americans in the best light to foreign visitors, even when their own behavior is less than commendable. He may not have admitted it at the time, but perhaps afterwards in reflection he might have thought "Maybe Americans aren't so bad after all." I did him a favor, I was courteous and attentive to him, and I hope that made a good impression.
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    Sep 01, 2012 9:16 PM GMT
    While the gentlemen in question was rude, he is entitled to his opinion, even though it is quite wrong. I think it's pretty bad to assume all Europeans, Canadians, Americans or whatever act a certain way. I think there are some patterns that may arise, and I've dealt with many very nasty Americans and Canadians, but most of them are very kind and friendly people. I've always found Canadians to be very cold and unfriendly, but I think its just because I have not met enough of them, and surely there has to be some nice ones hiding out in PEI! Also, from time to time I do lash out at American culture, because im very chronically homesick. And it hurts a lot to be away from home, and sometimes you get a day when you've had a few people call you "Groundskeeper Willie" or screamed at you to get out of your country and it really hurts. So I guess just try and show some love and consideration to those of us who are "rude foreigners" because we're human too.
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    Sep 01, 2012 10:05 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said[...]
    He then proceeded to tell me how awful American art is, basically non-existent, compared to Europe. And how awful we speak English, a real challenge for him, because we don't speak proper English like the British. Plus he added a whole litany of our other US shortcomings.

    I tried to remain civil & friendly to a visitor, but I was losing my patience, and we actually left a little quicker than I wanted, just to get away from him.[...]

    Do you guys ever encounter rude & insulting foreigners visiting the US? [...]


    I'm not surprised. It's seems to be partially encouraged too by lots of Americans who are so blindly liberal as to badmouth their own country ('cutting off the nose to spite the face' kind of attitude). Venomously and blindly/stupidly destructive, not constructively critical.

    The Old World feels it's superior probably just because they're older and more established countries and systems. They also have the need to project negatively on the US, probably distracting their own people from their own problems and messes. It helps always helps to unite - having a common someone to mock and vilify.

    I had the misfortune of knowing a gay man of European birth. He was uber obnoxious, thinking that he was an ideal blend of European and American, and wonderfully liberal and cultured. He must have been awesome in sex otherwise I don't see how his American partner could have stood him all those decades.
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    Sep 17, 2012 11:13 PM GMT
    this is for the guys who complain about foreigners, WE LIVE IN A CAPITALIZED WORLD and countries need inmigration and commerce in order to survive... For some Americans, I love your mother tongue (English) but hate when some of you come here Mexico and get angry because a person cannot speak English.
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    Sep 17, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    Winkler saidthis is for the guys who complain about foreigners, WE LIVE IN A CAPITALIZED WORLD and countries need inmigration and commerce in order to survive... For some Americans, I love your mother tongue (English) but hate when some of you come here Mexico and get angry because a person cannot speak English.
    First of all, you're a dick for necroing this thread.
    Secondly, English is not America's native language.
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    Sep 17, 2012 11:31 PM GMT
    I would have looked him straight in the eye and said "Well, you don't have to be so mean about it."