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View Full Version : Some of my feelings, for what they are worth



Popcorn
02-18-2003, 12:25 PM
This is not meant to be food for debate and is only based on my own personal experience. If you have read many of my posts, I have mentioned a few times that my wife and myself often travel. Not much in the last few years though. We travel mostly in Europe because my wife has a sister who lives in Germany and it gives us a base to travel around. We have been to most of the European countries. This is not a 15 countries in 21 days tour. We rent cars and stay for months at a time traveling around where tourists never go. We like to stay in bed & breakfast type of places. You get a real sense of what people are like when you travel like this. I am seeing on the TV played up by the media the dislike for Americans. From my experience, this is just not true. Americans are often seen as boisterous and maybe arrogant and that may not be all that wrong. There are a lot of American attitudes that get on my nerves also, but it does not translate to hate. It is just the nature of people to be different, and that is good. When I have been in small towns in France, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, or where ever. When they find out you are an American, most of the time you can't pay for anything. They invite you into their homes. I was walking through a cemetery near Normandy and was standing there reading some of the stones, hundreds of stones with the same date on them. An older man came over to me and said "American," It was the only English he knew. I shook my head saying yes, and he hugged me and began to cry. He shook my hand and walked off. In many of those towns they live the second world war like it was yesterday and there are sill reminders around. Buildings that have never been rebuilt and still remain as they were. Regardless of what you may see in the Media, in their hearts they remember. I just felt I wanted to say this. It is easy to jump on the bandwagon when you listen to people like Jay Leno doing jokes but the truth is, they are just people like you and me. My wife and I almost froze to death in the Alps and were saved by a group Frenchmen. They spoke very good english and we had time to talk with them quite a bit while we were together. We still keep in touch with a few of them and all this going on now makes them unhappy. I recently got an email from one, and in it he asked me to tell my friends that he as a Frenchman loves the US and it's people and does not want people to think what they see on the TV represents all the French people. I invited him and his family to the US this summer and I think finally they are going to take me up on the offer. It is the least I can do he saved our lives. His email prompted me to write this post, so I have. Like I said, just read it for what it is worth, it is not for debate, just some of my feelings as well as the feelings of at least a few Frenchmen I know personally. Thanks for listening, now no more posts from me like this, I will go back to talking pool.

nAz
02-18-2003, 01:40 PM
Good story Pop.
i don't think most Euros hate us or dislike us, i do think that the younger generation has forgotten what the U.S. has done for them, but that's ok they have a right not to back us and to protest what we do. i just don't want them to stand in our way of global conquest.. oops /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
02-18-2003, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the perspective.

snipershot
02-18-2003, 11:14 PM
Popcorn, I think that an image has been created around the world that Americans are cocky, arrogrant, and even rude. From my experiences this most certainly isn't true, when I'm down in the states Americans are friendly 99% of the time, this 1% that is cocky, arrogant, and rude promote this universal view of Americans. In Euroupe, Americans are very well liked, people who dislike you guys usually haven't met or interacted with Americans at all so they assume something that is far from the truth, people have biased views based on no proof, it's unfortunate that some people dislike Americans but once you do meet them you usually are utterly surprised at how they really are, and impressed as well.

snipershot
02-18-2003, 11:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr>
but that's ok they have a right not to back us and to protest what we do. i just don't want them to stand in our way of global conquest.. oops /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif <hr /></blockquote>

As your economy starts to crumble and half the country can't find work. How many job offers have you received this week?

nAz
02-19-2003, 01:34 AM
Actually i had one i was asked to be a TD at local PH lol
but i know what you mean its so hard right now especialy in NYC wow.
i thinbk after the war people will start to spend some $$ maybe creating more jobs, atleast thats probably what Bush and Eg8r are planing on lol /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Rich R.
02-19-2003, 07:11 AM
Great story.
It is a reminder that the silent majority, of people in all countries, are very nice and respectful of all other people. Most people, whether American or European, do not live up to their reputations.
It is sad that many Europeans form their opinions, about Americans, based on the TV programs that are sent there. If I only watched those TV programs, I wouldn't like Americans either.

eg8r
02-19-2003, 01:38 PM
Popcorn, I agree wholeheartedly. While you probably have travelled more than I, I have noticed much the same. I spent two weeks in Germany with friends of the family. We stayed in a little village just outside of Mainz and a little ways from Frankfurt. While my wife and I walked around the little village the children were all running up to us and wanting to talk. They loved to hear English and wanted to try out their english on us. You should see the eyes of a 10 year old german girl light up when she was able to talk with us. I thought she was going explode. She was so excited that she ran and got her parents (they could hardly speak) and introduced us to them.

While there we went to Italy, Austria and Switzerland. We spent most of our time with younger kids, we were in our mid 20's and the kids were all in school (not college level). It did not matter what country, they all wanted to talk and hear English. Their parents all offered whatever they had. It was a great experience.

eg8r