Friday, May 10, 2013

Do Americans Hate Americans in Europe?

Picture yourself for a moment, in a outdoor cafe in Europe, sipping a cappuccino, watching the world go by..then you hear it.  You recognize it immediately but at the same time you try to close your ears to it because it's like nails on a chalk board.  It's English, and no, not the Queen's English (and definitely not Irish English)'s American English.  Whether it's in that cafe, on public transport, or in a restaurant, hearing "American English" in Europe has made me ponder this question:

Do Americans hate other Americans while traveling through Europe? 

Okay, let me first say that having the very fortunate opportunity to live and travel through Europe for the past year has NOT made me anti-American.  I love the red, white & blue through and through but this past year has really opened my eyes to how freggin' big this world is and why Americans are sometimes negatively perceived by Europeans.  But wait, am I allowed to negatively perceive Americans while I'm in Europe?

It also seems, other Americans don't want to be bothered with Americans while they are in Europe?  There have been multiple times where Vicki and I have been talking in our non broken American English in ear shot of other Americans and not even so much of a hello, head nod or fist bump?  What gives? But then, I'm guilty of the same.  Instead of striking up a conversation, I've found myself eyerolling and shaking my head when I hear the boisterous almost obnoxious tones of my fellow Americans.

Before you begin to think, great, Dan's gone all European on us, let's not let him back in the country.  I'll have you know, I stayed true to my "American roots" by sporting running pants, a t-shirt and bright white Adidas sneakers; all while rolling a refrigerator sized suitcase through the town of Como.  I did want to punch myself for my American tourist ensemble, but I figured, so what I am and always will be 'Merican.

I'm hoping this is my most controversial post yet.  I've been blogging for almost 5 months and am yet to see any "hater" comments after a post.  I'm counting on you "US Americans" and non "US Americans" to let me hear it.

What are your perceptions of Americans traveling in Europe?  

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about Europe Dan, but I have had experience here in the USA where people are not as friendly sometimes. I think a lot depends on how you approach the situation also. I note that Michael, who has been in Europe also, has no issue with talking to strangers whether American or other. I hope you find your last week in Europe friendly as can be. We miss you.