So I’ve been super busy recently, thus I’m not meeting my weekly posting, sorry about that! Recently, I’ve run around like a chicken with its head cut off- I’ve been working, cleaning, going to meetings for work and outside commitments (when did I get so busy? I used to call sitting in front of the TV watching Gilmore Girls a productive day). Not to mention cooking and planning our trip back to my home country in two months. Phew.
But I did get to go see Girl With A Dragon Tattoo which I thought rocked. However, while I was there and watching it in English, I couldn’t help but notice that nearly everyone else in the movie theater besides my G-Man was American. At first I was delighted to be surrounded by fellow Americans, but then I get this weird feeling. Now this post is not meant to offend my American friends, but when I’m around Americans in a foreign country, I always kinda get anxious that they are going to do something stupid that amplifies our bad reputation. And sometimes it’s unfounded and unnecessary, they can be just as normal as I am. Alright well I’m not that normal but in public I am. If I weren’t of the darker persuasion maybe they wouldn’t pinpoint me automatically as an American, and of course when I start talking I’m a dead giveaway. Regardless, I get this slight anxiety about big groups of Americans abroad. They are stereotypically the people with big cameras, loud voices, American flag or sports t-shirts or sweaters, and overly jovial. I don’t mind these things, I mean these are my fellow countrymen.
Yet, there I was in the lobby outside the theater and there they were talking and I thought oh how nice! They were talking about not knowing where our particular theater was and I overheard and said, hey I think our theater is right down those stairs. They looked at me dumbfounded and then went back to ignoring me. So much for the niceness. So eventually we went downstairs and they followed suit, and of course they sat in our row. Right as we found our seats, the movie theater guy came in to tell us (in German) that we have to leave the theater for the staff to clean. G-Man translates this automatically for me and the Americans just sit there ignoring the guy and slurping from their oversized drinks and talking loudly about I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT. So I told them the news and they got all complain-y about how they just got comfortable. They got up and no they didn’t say thank you. They spoke loudly through all the trailers, and on the way out, the girls left their gloves in the bathroom. I looked at the gloves and went to say hey, you left these, but then I thought, nahhh I’ve told them stuff all night.
I was once on a train with the G-Man to his family’s house and there was a group of American teenagers that were talking loudly, insulting people, had their iPods on so that you could hear the music without having them in their ears, and took over 8 seats for only 4 of them. I could barely read or listen to my music because they were so damn loud. And then I could see that the Germans were upset by this as well, but what could they do. I was disgusted. I mean come on! Try to be respectful not only and especially abroad but in general. I now realize that if you meet fellow Americans, they are not necessarily going to be friendly to you, regardless if you grew up a town away from them, but I’d like to believe that our similarities should make us at least respect each other. Has anyone else ran across this, or does anyone else feel anxious about your countrymen abroad?