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Anti-American sentiment during travel overseas

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SkepticalMetal Posted: Thu, Oct 25 2012 1:06 PM

Anyone who knows me also knows that I really have a desire to travel around the world and see all the sites. What I worry about however is the treatment I will get for being an American.

I was wondering if anyone here knows what I'm talking about. I certainly don't blame people for despising the imperialistic foreign policy of the United States, but I see numerous comments all over places like YouTube that state that somehow, the citizens of the United States are responsible for the mess that the USA has caused, like, "because my President is a dickhead, that means I must be a dickhead too!"

I was wondering if people on here could relate to this. I'm pretty sure that the USA is the most hated country in the world right now, but I hate to have to get the blame for that when I go to a place like, say, South America or Europe.

 

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gotlucky replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 1:16 PM

I can't speak as to how it is in South America, but I've travelled to Europe 3 times, and never has anyone given me crap for being an American. The countries I have travelled to are: Ireland, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Rebuplic. I don't count Heathrow Airport as counting for England, but my sister has travelled to England to visit cousins, and she had no problem there either.

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That's great. I guess it's more of an online thing, and it makes you think that there's this big collective contempt for people who happen to be of a particular nationality.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 3:31 PM

No one's really even asked me about such things overseas. Anyone gives you crap just say you're Canadian. Everyone loves Canadians :P

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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lol except in the United States.

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You don't have anything to worry about. As an American, I've been traveling Europe and the Middle East for the last couple of years. Never been treated any differently than any other tourist. I've made many friends in both those regions. Most people I've met are upset about American foreign policy, but they don't confuse the politicians for their citizens.

Another thing I've observed. I've found the vast majority of Americans I've met overseas open minded and highly disagreeing with the US foreign policy as well.

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I'm not an American, so here's my perspective:  American tourists are known for being loud, annoying, bossy, and wearing typical tourist clothes (shorts etc.).  If there is any anti-American sentiment, it has very little if anything to do with politics.

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That's great. When I was 12, I visited Japan, and I had a great time. I was just wondering if it was different in other places in the world.

As you already know, I'd like to go to Cuba. Heck, I'd like to go to all Latin American countries.

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@ Aristippus

Wow.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:37 PM
Everytime I went overseas I got the distinct impression that some foreigners were in favor of imperialism and the rest strongly opposed. But none of the opposers would say anything. That might be because me and all of my friends were there with our guns and armor, but I'm not a mind reader.
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You were in the Military?

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:39 PM
Thanks for blowing my cover, ass.
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Wow.

Well, just try to not be any of those things (not that you necessarily are those things).  Be quiet and polite, and wear clothes appropriate to the country you're in.  That would go for all tourists though.

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What the heck did I do?

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:43 PM
It was just a poorly delivered joke. Yes I have served as an agent of the state, a minister of death, praying for war.
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Ah. So kind of like Adam Kokesh?

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Marko replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:46 PM

Everytime I went overseas I got the distinct impression that some foreigners were in favor of imperialism and the rest strongly opposed. But none of the opposers would say anything. That might be because me and all of my friends were there with our guns and armor, but I'm not a mind reader.

Though I'm sure a few managed to register their opposition without saying anything.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:49 PM
Actually a lot more like John Rambo. I spent four years with a radio in my hand waiting for someone to say "who are you" so I could hoarsely utter "your worst nightmare" and it basically never happened. One time they were like "unidentified station, identify yourself" and I said it and they said "Malachi quit screwing around on the radio"
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Uh huh.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 4:57 PM
@Marko;

and how!

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gotlucky replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 5:02 PM

SkepticalMetal:

That's great. I guess it's more of an online thing, and it makes you think that there's this big collective contempt for people who happen to be of a particular nationality.

Yeah, I think most people just go about their business. I think most people have other things on their mind instead of judging American tourists.

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By the way, Aristippus, are you a hedonist?

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In the popular meaning of the word, no.  In the Cyrenaic or Epicurean sense, yes.

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Wasn't the Cyrenaic school ultra-hedonistic and the Epicurean school mildly hedonistic?

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gotlucky replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 5:36 PM

Aristippus:

I'm not an American, so here's my perspective:  American tourists are known for being loud, annoying, bossy, and wearing typical tourist clothes (shorts etc.).  If there is any anti-American sentiment, it has very little if anything to do with politics.

I'm not an ancient Greek, so here's my perspective: Ancient Greeks known for being hedonists.

BOOM!

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They were both hedonistic in that they identified pleasure (Greek: hedone) as the ultimate good (as opposed, e.g. to simply being 'virtuous' somehow), and pain as the ultimate evil.  To Cyrenaics, pleasure means the absence of pain, plus something pleasurable (initially the emphasis was on bodily pleasures, but others emphasised mental pleasures).  To Epicureans, it is theoretically just the absence of pain.  In practice they are pretty much the same, really.

I'm not an ancient Greek, so here's my perspective: Ancient Greeks known for being hedonists.

Really?  I thought they were known for being Spartan.

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I think I prefer the Cyrenaics.

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I think I prefer the Cyrenaics.

Yeah, they were pretty cool guys.  They philosophized and worked out all day, and generally did as they pleased.

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I would just be worried that living a hedonistic lifestyle, even in the traditional sense as you said, might lead to the disappearence of things considered pleasurable due to those exact things becoming the norm. Kind of like in Tao De Ching, when Laozi says "all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness."

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All it really means is not making pointless sacrifices, but rather doing what you understand to contribute to your actual happiness rather than just blindly doing whatever.  Anyway, in regard to specific 'pleasures', I tend to find fairly simple things most enjoyable (probably because they also come at the least cost, i.e. sacrifice with little reward).

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I see. But you said yourself that the Cyrenaics did what they pleased. Correct me if I'm putting what you said in the wrong context.

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How is that contradictory?  They did what they pleased - what they thought would bring them happiness - rather than making conventional sacrifices for little or no gain.

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What are these "conventional sacrifices" that you speak of?

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 6:30 PM

In my experience as a non-American, Americans are treated very well in Europe.

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Various duties to the state, society and gods, duties implied by traditional virtues, engaging in an unfulfilling cycle of work and consumption for reasons of social status.

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@ Wheylous

So THAT'S why you had German on your shirt.

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@ Aristippus

Ah, I see. Thank you very much for the information.

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I agree that young Americans, particulary students, can typically get loud, drunk, and obnoxious. This is common in the touristy Europeans cities.  I find the Americans (though few) I meet in the off-the-beaten countries such as Ukraine, Tunisia, and Morocco far more mature.

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