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NON-AMERICANS- What shocked you most about America?

NON-AMERICANS- What shocked you most about America?

Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 10:51 AM
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NON-AMERICANS- What shocked you most about America?

Curious to get a foreign insight into the strange antics of the USA.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:17 AM
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I am Canadian, which means that many parts of Canada are very much like parts of the US.
However, what shocked me was the shopping mall security guards (in Washington D.C.) armed with very large guns.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:18 AM
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These types of questions get a lot more play on the Euro board.
If you really want a discussion (not just the type of irritability that troll posts elicit) I'd post there.
If you aren't interested in the opinions of people at other boards (since >90% of respondents at this site are Americans), I'll assume this is a troll post.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:42 AM
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borealis, I didn't know that Canada was a foreighn country. 90% of Canadian live within 60 miles of the US boarder oout and aboout! LOL
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:45 AM
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gplimpton - it may be a troll post but it is an interesting question. I think that even though the majority of responders to this site are American (I mean - who would know the most about the US but Americans???), I am sure that a lot of the readers of this site are like me - not American.
I would post a similar question about Canada on the "Canada forum", except that not very many people seem to read that one - it's the dullest of all the Fodors forums.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Hey jor - you mean that you've taken our country over already?? Oh well, come on over for a brew !!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 12:04 PM
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To answer the original question:
How exotic I found it (Being Canadian I really thought I would find the USA to be quite similar to Canada). It's hard to define but I really found the USA (been to New York state and California and Hawaii) "felt" very different - not unpleasant but different.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 12:20 PM
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" I didn't know that Canada was a foreign country." HUH??
jor, I don't get what you're saying. Because Canadians live near the US they're not "foreigners". Does this mean that people who live in Trieste, Italy are really Slovenians? And people who live in Nice are really Italians? I bet those people in Calais will be thrilled to know they're really British.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Patrick, why did you avoid the obvious example? People who live in Cuba? (Or Miami--same thing, literally).
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 12:29 PM
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Oh, well, I'll wait till you guys cool down.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 03:10 PM
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Actually, Nice does have a considerable Italian heritage. In Italian it is Nizza, and it was part of the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. France got Nice and the surrounding area in the mid 1800's when Count Cavour agreed to cede it as part of the deal to get Napoleon III's support for a united Italy under the king of Sardinia-Piedmont.
Nice/Nizza has been the object of Italian irredentismo at various times in history and for a while during World War II was actually annexed to Italy.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 04:11 PM
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That's nice about Nice, thanks djkbooks. About our friends up north: they are NORTH Americans, so they can't answer this post, and anyway they must be bombarded by USA broadcast media.

Imagining for a second that I was not American, my imaginary answer would be that I was shocked (shocked, I say) to learn how big the country was. mine got
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 05:18 PM
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Being a US citizen, what shocks me most is when I'm out of the country how much Americans stick out. It is like we have these giant neon signs over our heads screaming "American Tourist"!

Wonder why? Our [over] weight? Our inability to go logoless and Nikeless?
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 07:17 PM
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GoTravel, Some of those tourists are Canadians. I have made the wrong assumption myself. Borealis, I have been in Canada several times and would love to have a brew with you! Maybe it doesn't sound like it but I find Canadians to be pretty cool people, and I have made several Canadian friends in my travels.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 08:30 PM
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mrwunrfl you certainly are NOT [-(
Since I have to show some proof of identity and/or a passport when I enter the US from Canada, I must be a non-American. Since SteveJudd was asking for non-American opinions, I really do qualify - even though we do get a lot of American TV. Besides - do you believe everything that you see on TV??

Patrick - I think that there is less difference between Canada and the US then between France and Italy, or Slovenia and Italy. For one thing - Canada and the US share the same language, and secondly - have very similar cultural roots and values.
Family members from Europe and friends from Asia tell me that they cannot see any difference between Canadians and Americans. However, I think that Americans and Canadians are more sensitive to our "cultural differences".

The question in this thread was "what shocked you most about America?". I interpreted "shocked" to mean "disturbed", and not just to mean "surprised". So JMM - I agree that the "feel" may be different (as is the "feel" in Quebec and in Newfoundland if you are not from there), but I'm wondering if that was what SteveJudd was after???

The extremely aggressive panhandling - threats of violence - (in Georgetown) also shocked me (as well as the guns on the shopping malls that I mentioned earlier in this thread).
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 04:42 AM
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omigod, that must mean that I am NOT American because I also would have to show ID or (USA) passport when coming into the USA from Canada. I believe most of what's on TV (some of it is actually fiction), and everything in the newspaper and at fodors.com.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 05:47 AM
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Mrwunrfl, people from Mexico are also North Americans. Would you agree that they would be regarded as "non-American" in the context of the original question?
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 06:00 AM
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My boyfriend is from Moldova and he always laughs about how we say "How are You?" when we really don't care 90% of the time. He also gets a kick out of bye bye. How are you as a standard greeting is very much American.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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I think that the term "Americans" is generally accepted to be citizens of the United States of America while Canadians and Mexicans are not.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 06:06 AM
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gplimton, this wouldn't necessarily get more attention on the European board--there are LOTS of foreigners who live here now!
 

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