Posted by: Moon | August 5, 2008

Continuing on …………..

I wouldn’t normally post a second thing so soon after another post, however I got some interesting comments follow my post below about travelling. So I have been thinking and talking to Mrs M discussing these things …

Firstly, I want to make it really clear that I am not anti-American, or bashing America. I love being here, and every one we have met has been nothing but kind, friendly and helpful. So please understand that.

Travel, and in my opinion as to why Americans don’t travel that much .. here’s a few more thoughts coming from a discussion with Mrs M this morning.

Most English youngsters travel once they have finished their study, take a ‘gap’ year, and head off into the unknown …. before they find a career, children, etc … I think (and I may well be wrong here, I often am) that most American kids have to start to pay off school debt. I don’t just mean  a small student loan, I am talking huge debts to pay for their college … Maybe that is why they start work rather than go backing around the world ??

 

Another reason as to why, is the fact that you do not get much Vacation time here in the USA. To go to Australia, Far East, Thailand, you must have at least 2 weeks, preferably 3 weeks. The average American does not get that kind of holiday time. When I worked in London, after being there for 7 years, I had 28 days holiday a year. That is a decent time to take off. Here, I believe, you would be lucky to get 15 days. So, it is not fault of Joe American that he/she can’t travel, but society that dictates that 15 days holiday is sufficient…..

 

The thought that Americans are hated around the world, and will be victum to Terrorism as soon as they leave these shores. Where does that come from ???? I can tell you.. the gov’t and the press…. no where else. I don’t think your President is the most loved man in the world, but again, The average ‘Joe’ American is most welcome everywhere they go. The is no terror on an individual travelling ……. don’t believe what you are being told !

 

Another thing, and this will be another post, but American news coverage and sport … I am biased towards the BBC and the coverage they give news and sport. I watch CNN here, and try to watch the ‘world’ news coverage… but unless it has a American input/theme, then it’s not shown. The Olympics will be very interesting to see how the TV and press cover it. I fear, unless an American is winning a gold medal… nothing will be shown. I learnt many countries and names of foreign athletes by watch the BBC cover ALL of the sports……..Did I know where different states are around the USA, no, I didn’t… but being here, flying around a bit, and having an American map behind my desk means I am learning where they are.

 

So, I kinda conclude that it is not the individuals fault about this insular view on the world, but society, brainwashing of News coverage, education….. and there is no real answer to that ….. Such a shame, as it’s a wonderful, good and bad world out there. I now have experience of living in different countries, and I have an valid opinion of such places as I have that experience myself, not been told about it by a news company. I know how generous, friendly, funny, hard working American individuals are, I just worry about what they are being told.

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Responses

  1. Quite true Moon. People around the world, by and large, do not dislike Americans. They dislike their government, which is curious because if the shit ever hit the fan in Canada or England, we both know that the USA would be standing right beside us, right? The same holds true for many countries.

    In reality, I have always found individual Americans to be the same as everyone else I have met in my travels. Some are a bit too outspoken, but most are just like you and me (They may not appreciate that comparison). They do have some funny accents though. Come to think of it, so do you!

  2. Mrs M has a funny accent, I don’t … mine is the Queens English thank you very much !

  3. Good points Moon. ClareBear’s comment on Americans was that she largely feels sorry for them because they are ignorant, not stupid. Again a product of their one sided education system and the biased media . . .although I wouldn’t mind betting that all we get to see via Olympic TV is the Aussie Swim team! (we are more American than English these days). And whilst I don’t ‘know’ many Americans, the ones with whom I correspond are fine people who tend to step outside the square and are more worldly than I was led to believe. Aussies do the gap year thing too but we get 20 days annual leave and kids tend to have a part time job as soon as they turn 15. My two have had numerous OS holidays, cars etc. thanks for working through school and Uni.

  4. With all due respect my friend, I have watched the Queen’s address on TV, and there is a noticeable difference between her accent and yours. Eh?

  5. Cortes ; She does say fuck as much, thats true !

    Biano : The aussies are great travellers, well, they seem to be in every london pub behind the bar !, also, at our cricket club we have two overseas players most years, and 90% of them have come from Oz, it seems much more common to get a 6-12 sabatical from Australia, or maybe thats just the teaching trade ?

  6. My sons and i are news junkies.I am astounded how many people do NOT watch any news or read a newspaper.With the Internet you can read any newspaper any where in the world.Tv news is a little more difficult,CNN some,we have Dish and BBC does not come with our package.BUT we have the Internet.

  7. Well, I get most of my news from the bbc website, I look everyday, and watch CNN in the morning at home …. but maybe I am daft in putting my belief so strongly in the BBC …..

  8. Uh, no Moon, as I Canadian, even I know that the BBC has fantastic and thorough world coverage. We have the CBC, which isn’t bad, but it still doesn’t compare to the BBC. Mind you, the BBC has tons more government funding, which allows for more opportunities for reporting. It goes to show that the British government considers it important, however, to education its people with news from around the world. We’re lucky here to get some BBC World News coverage, plus, we have BBC Canada.
    Good media is one area where I find is extremely lacking in the U.S. But like June said, the Internet is there for most people.

  9. I have to agree, Moon. Americans are being fed lies by their government on this issue, sadly. Americans are not hated, though their government is. Americans are welcome here – as those of my friends who’ve flown over for a visit would tell you. They’ve all had a wonderful time.

    US news coverage is very poor. Fox news is particularly bad, and has a lot to answer for.

    Also, yes, the point about the shorter holidays they have is a very valid one. I have friends who not only have much shorter holidays, but their sick leave is taken out of it too! I think that’s just appalling, but it’s the way it is. So, if you’re chronically sick in the US, you can end up with no annual holiday leave at all. Particularly sad for those suffering from depression who need lengthy sick leave, but also need the rest due to them as ‘holiday’.

  10. There was a wonderful interview today on CBC Radio with two women who produced a show in Saudi Arabia. They talked about their experience there, their expectations and what they came away with. Those echoed what you said Moon, that generally, Americans don’t travel because they feel that other people hate them, etc… They also mention how S.A. is very different that what is presented in U.S. media. Such a great interview, you can listen to it here. Just load it, and there are 3 topics on “The Q”, you want the second one called “No Reservations. Bring the little ball thing-a-ma-jig about halfway across the line. Enjoy! Worth listening to.

  11. Oh I will.. thanks CB….. x

  12. Moon,

    Part of the reason that it’s difficult to travel is the lack of vacation time. My husband is in his 4th year of his job and gets 2 weeks vacation. No sick days, and no personal days. It makes it truly difficult. We were military stationed overseas for 4 years in Iceland and loved every single moment. We made lifelong friends and visit as we can afford to and actually made a side trip to Germany as well last year. There were a LOT of folks though that seldom left the base. I suppose that new experiences frighten some. We also saw quite a bit of “this is not like home”. Hello, Dorothy, you are NOT in Kansas anymore!!! Adjust!!!! Wizard of Oz references aside, I think that there are a lot of those in the US that feel that travelling abroad is like Disney land. Why ever aren’t things the same as home???? Aren’t we still in the theme park??? And why for heaven’s sake would you eat mustard instead of ketchup on your fries???? *SIGH* You are visiting in someone else’s home, be courteous, kind and respectful and you just might learn to enjoy yourself as well as learn something and make new friends.


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