You Will Have A Better Love and Life Beyond
immigrants and foreigners say about
"The biggest culture shock that people experience in the US is not between their country and the US but between what they thought the US would be and what it actually is." – Ladislav, my Expat Advisor
reality, there are few redeeming
to CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and
network news stations, ALL immigrants in
their opinions and views,
which are quite
common and what you hear in real life when you travel and meet
not in the highly censored, agenda-driven, unintellectual
What’s interesting here (and tickles my funny bone) is that these views are totally “out of the box”, going against everything we have been taught and “supposed” to think and believe, yet they are so true nonetheless, confirmed by many laypeople who read them. It took courage and insight to put something like this together, which goes against the grain and against the propaganda of the establishment, as a beacon of light, so that others who feel the same way know that they are not the only ones, and are not crazy. Instead, they are given words they couldn’t find to express how they feel. Thus, it’s nice to know that many who read these quotes below exclaim in liberated delight, “Wow! I thought I was the only one who felt that way!”
might wonder why if so
many immigrants in the
Here now are the collection of quotes and comments from immigrants and foreigners sent to me directly or that I took off the web. I’ve kept them in their original form, correcting only spelling errors, leaving their grammar and informal style intact. They are sorted chronologically in descending order.
Russian girl from
“To be honest i don't like
Asian American reader of my ebook gave his
conclusion of life in
Interesting to read your writing on
And an African American man on my list observed:
“You can tell most
people in other parts
of the world are more cultured and morally more disciplined than most
Americans. Most Americans think possessing material wealth is being
and that they are socially more superior than other races…What
an ILLUSION in
their mind!!... They unfortunately so believe their illusions they fail
realize they are dead WRONG!
what a Ukrainian American lady in the
many things that can be said about main stream American culture (or
I should say), but the bottom line is that it is a paper plate consumer
culture ... All things are judged in value according to their "use"
or productivity, and then thrown aside when they are used up or no
producing ... Usually, the corporations decide what is to be valued,
people, with blind faith and obedience, look to the corporate
commercials and their commercial sponsored media for the answers to
There are no parents in America; there are only property owners. There are no children, spouses, partners, friends, or lovers; there is only property. Americans don't really have freedom or independence; they have dependence and to their cars and other properties.”
a Russian American male immigrant I know
had this to say in response to my observation that foreign women abroad
more relaxed, open, and sociable to strangers than in the
It is good you noticed the difference. But it is not only women it is all americans are very different. Americans have empty eyes. Even those people on TV. Because there is no soul in this country only money.“
It’s true as they say, that the “eyes are the window to the soul.” You can see empty, plastic eyes of money and illusion there. But you might not notice unless you have other populations to compare them to, such as those of another culture. And of course, if you are of the same kind as them, then you won’t see what I’m talking about either. Again, an “inner life” isn’t something that can be quantified or described with mere words. Those who have it know what it is. And those who don’t have one, can’t see one with a mere description.
Back in college, a Greek friend used to often tell me:
“Americans have no inner life. All they do is consume!”
He couldn’t be more right. Our lifestyle is one of perpetual consumption in excess. To see an obvious example of excess consumption in America, go to a typical home and look in the garage or basement, and notice the excess of things stored there that are never used, making moving a total pain in the ass. As ancient wisdom goes, too much of anything is never any good. But alas, there is little else to do in the routine of American life.
beautiful Lithuanian girl gave her honest
impression of the artificiality of the states, which is surprising
beautiful women tend to praise
nice to hear u like
talk to u later, got many things to do!
when I told her I was impressed that she
knew the abbreviations of so many
“here, abbreviations is not a big deal, i've been to those states + i never use a criterion of what an "average american would/would not know" to decide if a person is smart- would be too many smart people in the world:P.”
Lithuanian girl described the hell and
isolation she experienced when she stayed in the
longest period that I have spent abroad was like 6 months. I was in the
Unfortunately (as most Americans would put it), I was in NJ this very
girl I met in a park in
beautiful Russian girl selling souvenirs around
"I was in the states before. The difference between our girls and yours is that yours have no interests." (in comparison to the girls in her country)
cases, experiencing the
first of all, sorry that i'll be a bit distant for a while, because i have exam session and don't have any time to write mails. still, i do hope u're not gonna find me rude, cause i don't wanna be, but please, do NOT SEND me anymore ANYTHING ABOUT THE STATES. i really don't wanna hear what people say/think/feel etc. about it. i have been there, have my own opinion and my feelings to it are not positive at all, therefore i'm trying to forget all that and delete it from my memory and sorry, but ur mails don't help me too much with that. i had some really bad experiences there and everytime u make me relive those bad emotions, what i have no wish to do. if people in the states are proud to be americans and think it's the best country in the world (when their knowledge of the world reach maximum 5 miles around their farms)-let it be, cool, i'm telling them: live and be happy ever after. i'm out from there. for long. PERIOD.
I hope u understand that i'm
not saying "don't write me", i just don't wanna hear about
Perceptions like in the above are a lot more common than you might think. I’ve heard many such views from US immigrants, foreigners, and Europeans. In fact, I’d estimate that about 80 to 90 percent of Europeans feel that way about our lifestyle.
few quotes are in regard to US workplace
environments, where coworkers tend to politely tolerate each other
becoming real friends or bonding with each other. Not
always of course, but more so compared to
other countries. During lunch breaks,
for example, most office workers tend to go off alone and do their own
thing. If they go eat with someone,
usually with one or two coworkers to the exclusion of the rest. But in other countries, such as
One reader noted such an observation to me:
A late good friend of
And an East Indian friend of mine concurred, saying:
“Yes, very. I agree with your late
peruvian friend in that I've found
for the most part, most American's have a friendly manner that may or
reflect how they really feel.
So someone coming here from another country (say
In India, it is rather different - people aren't as quick to smile and say hi, but they are much more likely to invite you home, or do other things that help cement friendships quicker than I've seen happen here in the US. I know that's generalizing, and I'm not an expert on cultural phenomena by any means, but there definitely is a discernable difference.
Just my .02”
East Indian reader described the spiritual
“I myself am heavily influenced by nondualist studies, such as Zen, Sufism, Advaita and Taoism, which focus heavily on interconnectedness with the universe, and getting away from the "I" (and understanding that our own perception of the self is generally false).
By the way,
I do also think, however, that good and bad exists everywhere, in different ways and different amounts, which I know you've addressed. And we can only fight the bad so much. So it's a matter of how well we take the good with the bad.
But yes, when it comes to this
particular problem of not being
able to control the ego, and being hopelessly caught in the traps of
rather than engaging in interconnectedness with all,
Czech girl I met on internet movie database
(imdb.com) wrote her impression of
“And about the states...well, when i was younger i thought it would be so cool to live there but then i grew up a little and i changed my mind. When somebody´s talking about americans i always imagine a fat man eating a BigMac, sitting in the cinema and laughing at the most stupid joke in the most stupid movie ever:-) I know americans are not this way but i just can´t help myself:-) I don´t want to judge usa until i can say i´ve been there cuz my view of usa is "made"(i don´t now better word:-) mostly of films and documents and of what i read (and that´s not very probative). I just hate it when americans bless their ´´amazing´´ country and they can hardly find it on a map:-) And I´m rather not talking about their knowledges of another countries...i just think americans should learn more about the world cuz they don´t know enough:-)”
An Italian related this joke about Americans to me:
“When the UN distributed this questionnaire:
‘What is your opinion on how to reduce food shortage to the rest of the world?’
The European replied: ‘What is shortage?’
The African replied: ‘What is food?’
The Chinese replied: ‘What is opinion?’
The American replied: ‘What is the rest of the world?’”
He then added:
“Over here in
to the international affairs of the
A Lithuanian immigrant named Valdas Anelauskas who came to the US to flee communism expressed his disappointment and how he underestimated how bad things were in the US. In one of his articles, he writes:
I see that in this cutthroat society, based on a "greed is good" philosophy, unlimited profit seeking, selfishness, fraud and greediness for money dominates everywhere. Money is absolutely the bottom line for everything. In America, the rich are truly rich and the poor are hopelessly poor. In my opinion, the United States today has the most advanced system of private tyranny. Private corporations have enormous power in this country and they take advantage of an apparently legal slave labor, terribly exploiting the working class people. Corporate bosses earn millions while workers struggle to survive without living wages. From my point of view, the majority of jobs here today are still extremely exploitative. The U.S. minimum wage is ridiculous. Working for $5 an hour is slavery and nothing else. Therefore, poor people and homeless people make up a significant portion of the population in this country. Millions of hard-working Americans live permanently at the edge of poverty. There is no doubt that economic injustice is the most important issue of today's America. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and all the people in the middle are just falling down. I see that people in this society are secondary to corporate power and profits. Freedom for market dominates over freedom for people. In fact, at least 80 percent of Americans are simply robbed by this exploiting system. I've noticed how American corporate propaganda always surely emphasizes that in European countries - "welfare states"- people have to pay a much higher taxes. In fact, taxes in most of Western Europe, even in Scandinavia, are just slightly higher than an average 34 percent of income Americans pay. The main thing is what people receive in return for their taxes. In European social- democracies everybody has a "cradle-to-grave" comfortable feeling of security and care. Question: What are citizens of this country getting for their tax dollars? Answer: Next to nothing! People's taxes support armament instead of basic human needs here.
Another Russian immigrant observed the effect that our consumerist culture has on people:
“One thing I notice is that Americans, in general, are very narrow-minded people, who are absolutely not interested or curious about anything more mind stimulating than stupid soap operas and some dumb idol/reality shows... that is why very often they come off as being too anti-social. It's not that they are stuck up or conceited, its just very hard to engage anyone in anything interesting. And most of them, i find, are the ones who actually have a low self esteem, so as a cover up, they may come off as arrogant and anti-social....
I thought, the Soviet people were brainwashed. Now I am convinced that every big empire brainwashes its people. There is no other way around.”
I receive fan letters from immigrants like the following on a regular basis:
“I came across your e-booklet
on Happier Abroad
I cannot express in words how impressed I am by your work and how accurate and true you are to yourself. I have lived in the
Anyhow, I am working of relocating out of the
Congratulations again on a job well done!!!!!”
this Russian immigrant wondered if there was
something wrong with him when he became disenchanted with
“Anyway, to cut a long
everything you wrote in your treatise is precisely to the point. I am a
who has lived in the States long enough to know. I came to the country
expecting to find some flavor, as I had been able to do in
It took me a while to realize that there was a chasm of difference between the media picture of
And as I
did, this Polish-American Cornell student
also grew up feeling disenchanted about the dysfunction of
I just read over the euro weekly digest and found you to be the only person who knows what he's talking about. I am a Polish-American that was born and has lived most of my life in the
So, when I read over your posts its just
what I've known for years. When I was younger I was a very average
teenager until I went to high school and saw the insanity of
Anyways, nowadays I attend
Well, just in conclusion, I am at Cornell so that I can get a better start in
Just wanted to say hi and say I know your right and the rest is either uneducated or refuses to think deeply enough about the overall situation in the world.”
A Dutch girl in the states who read this collection of quotes, wrote these observations about the deficiencies of this country:
I was referred to your webpage by a
friend of mine who is from
I, myself, am from
As I said before I'm
having a difficult time (still) adjusting to the American way of
are Americans PRUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't stand it.
sex is a taboo, having sex is a taboo and oh boy... what if you see a
a butt crack on T.V., it better be blurred out before we realize that
have those, too. In the
I also, personally, do not like the
egotistic, and independent life style that exists here. For
the world is the
I also feel that we do not live to work,
but work to live and are not as materialistic as people are in the
Unfortunately I'm bounded to the U.S. because of family, how ever, I do hope to be back in Europa within the upcoming 5 years because there is no place like home ;-D
Thanks for being an outlet, and it is good to know that I'm not the only one. I feel a whole lot better already! hahahaha”
Here, an East Indian girl explained why she prefers living and working abroad, and summing up what her Israeli friend said as well:
“actually, i want to go to
, maybe work in london./ the rest of england outside of england is pretty slow. if london doesn't work out, me and vladimir will go to london or australia . What about you? new zealand
will you move? in
, all they do is tax you, work you so much, and no life for family. I don't want that. america
in fact, my israeli girlfriend said it's
very lonely here, and that everyone's afraid of each other here, and
prefers to return to
Another African American gave these enlightening observations:
“You really tell the truth the way it is about American society. Many people want to get in a bubble or comfort zone of a kind of fake reality with our mainstream media, superficial tv and music and it reflects
in the women of
and social networks. Americans are being socially engineered to live apart and not want "natural" contact with others but instead want superficial relationships and friendships. It is America
hard for free thinkers of different backgrounds in America to ever get truly comfortable in this kind of environment, which is why I want to either move to Europe or just travel from place to place instead of
staying in America. This country is terrible. I am a pianist who thinks that
Europewould be more open and accepting for a classical black musician as myself! The educational system is dumbing us down
as well in
, making us submissive to authority and never questioning things in our society. I could write a long essay about this but I agree with everything that you have said. Keep up the good work.” America
“When Filipino people move to
“I’ve heard from Filipinos in
My name is ****** and I am from
That's all for now! Thanks for your time and don't give up. There are 200 countries out there, America IS NOT the whole world, unlike many of your countrymen believe. I think if more americans had the opportunity to travel more and see different countries and different lifestyles it would be a very pleasant cultural shock to them and they would start realizing that they should change a lot of things about their lives. That way
married to a woman of Dutch descent related the
couple’s feelings about the
“We, like yourself, are just tired of the consumerist lifestyle here in the states. Corporate greed has reached all time highs here, and we are sick of it. We are also tired of the general ignorance of the people here. So many times when my wife tells someone she is Dutch, she gets responses about wooden shoes....and thats if we are lucky. Most people have no idea where it is on a map…….. Thank you so much for letting others see that they are not alone in their general disgust with American society and politics.”
A young Asian American female college student that I met while traveling wrote me later:
“I feel like I'm dying in the
On a website discussion forum about my site, a poster noted this revealing difference in the standard of “hot girls” as observed by a South American:
“glmory 10 points 8 days ago
He certainly can blame the shortage of
though. A friend from
On the same
discussion forum thread about my site, a German exchange student gave
following classic example of meeting people in the
“saprian 2 points 6 days ago
My experience here might be specific to the area were I'm staying (when I say US, I technically talk about the state I'm staying in), but I found for example that people in the US don't seem to make friends in classes; I found that pretty weird.
Let me give you an example that I found pretty striking. During my stay here I started to take dance classes. I found if I run into somebody from the class somewhere they would ignore me, not say hello, and in some cases even break eye-contact and all that, unless (!) we had officially been introduced, talked with each other or danced at the class. They treated me like a complete stranger.
went home to
An Asian American intellectual
out of the police academy in the
“Let's face it America is good for some things like making money, developing stable businesses, and enjoying the natural landscape however the standard of living is highly overrated and downright poor in many respects. People in America are stressed, sexless, annoyed, and angry most of the time. You can see it in mainstream American culture, the macho bullshit posturing, the elitism, and the feminist nonsense. I know some people will deny this and call us "pathetic" for our choices but I know too many American expats from all walks of life who are happily living abroad to discount this as mere coincidence. The english speaking western world has really pigeonholed itself as a moralistic, productive, and order based society but I feel the more you order and categorize people's lives the less happy they are. I’m not even going to get into all the racial discrimination, social politics, and other nonsense that pervades every aspect of American life either. Let’s just say that I’m sure you know about as much as I do how bad it can be as an asian minority in the U.S. Actually, it’s not even a race thing these days. I find a lot of my friends from ALL racial backgrounds to express how sick and tired they are of the bullshit they face in daily American life. However, the vast majority of these guys will never leave. They just don’t have the options on the table because they set down responsibilities and roots that will not allow them that mobility. I feel for them, if only they knew..
Once you go abroad
it’s difficult to go
back. My first extended experience living overseas opened my eyes in a
of ways. People will always be people but I believe that culture is the
biggest influence on people. There is definitely something wrong with
Asian intellectual who moved to
“The reason I left the
Anyhow, I've lived in many places during my life. And as we all know, each place has its good bits and its bad bits.
I've now learned to take the best bits of the
One of his
sentences above sums up
The colors seemed to have been drained out
life. Says Aparna, "The small pleasures of life I used to experience in
Here I would sit on the deck in the suburbs. All around me, there are beautiful trees, beautiful landscapes, and lovely cars. But there are no people. You might as well hang up a pretty picture in your living room and just keep on watching that. What's the difference?"
"My daughter is growing up here and I worry about her - that she will pick up the culture here and that constantly depresses me. I'm trying to blend in, but at times I still feel depressed and lonely. I think if I were 40 or 50, I would still prefer to go back. I cannot live here for good."
She adds: "I think each and every individual is here to make money. Personally if given a choice, each one of us would be there and not here. So I guess each one of us is compromising and trying to adjust."
"Everything seems to be artificial and formal and people seem to be pretending. You feel as if everyone has a mask on their face. They are not the same any more."
She feels in
She feels the financial rewards of
Well-wishers point out to her the
Even more grueling than the poverty was the loneliness. He says, "If you live in isolation, if you live in loneliness, that is the worst thing that can happen to an immigrant."
His life in Southern and Central
It's miserable. If you have no job, you are ill or have some health problem, then that's the time you feel more isolated, more lonely. And that's the time you wish that you hadn't come to this country."
Partha Banerjee who works with New Immigrant Community Empowerment: “There are so many stories of unhappy people.”
It is often a rude awakening for a new immigrant to find himself in a rundown seedy apartment crawling with roaches and rats, counting pennies and struggling to hold on to a miserable job that he hates, if only for survival.
The faces of indifferent strangers greet
him in the
corridors and on the streets. At that moment, the string bed in the
courtyard of his village home, surrounded by loved ones and a pot of
cooking on the family hearth, seems incredibly inviting.
This too is somebody's American Dream gone awry.
“1) Feedback added by Madhvi /
What you have written is quite true. I
also came here
two months back and really feel like I am trapped in a gold cage. I was
Yet another Russian visitor made these observations about Americans:
This is what I figured out about most of the Americans I have met after living in the States for over 8 years (note: most, but not all of them, there are definitely very smart people here who became my friends, I am talking about the biggest population percentage):
Fake.... that's the first thing that I noticed and continue to hate to this day. Famous American smile, everybody smiling at each other, in the stores, on the streets, restaurants, at work. And while smiling and pretending to like you and being your friend, they quitely stab a knife in your back (still smiling, of course).
Close-minded.... all those things
they say and
think about other cultures and countries, while having hard time
where Luxembourg is or asking if I
drive to Russia and back (yes,
driving... as in a car) while
visiting my family there. Or stating that French people are
and stink, literally, while never visting
Ignorant... thinking that their culture/religion/Constitution are the only right way to live, while never experiencing anything else, seeing other countries, or, for that matter, not even being able to name any constitutional rights exept for one... right to bear arms... for some reason, everybody knows this one.
Confused.... thinking that their country is the one that can rule the world, yet making fun of their president and displaying "Bush hater" stickers on their car bumpers.
Confused again... eating McDonalds five times a week and thinking that Diet Pepsi will save them from being overweight.
Umm... stupid??? for suing a fast-food place for becoming overweight... winning the case is something I am not even sure what to call...
Living in absolute ignorance about anything that concerns any other country besides their own... for example, actual questions and comments I've heard about Russia: "Must be nice to be away from all that snow, huh?", "Do you guys still have to stand two hours in line to buy toilet paper?", "Do you have polar bears walking around Moscow?", "Do Russian women ever shave their legs?".
Living in ignorance about their own
that matter... when asked what Americans were in
Should I go on???”
A Portuguese-American wrote these strong words:
If so many immigrants feel
this way about
Americans, why do they show us such a false, ingratiating face when
us, and pretend to love us so? There are some Americans, like
Portuguese-American, who feel exactly the same way many foreigners do
this dead, soulless country. When we meet non-Americans who share
feelings, we are never let know it. We have no one to talk to
views. It's as though all Americans are stereotyped as exactly
we're all dead inside, we all have dead eyes, we all march in lockstep
our belligerent, hate-filled, racist nation. "Therefore why
even talk to them? They're all subhumans and they're all
and in on it." But that's profoundly untrue. Not all of us
march in time to
As an American who noticed
strange dead eyes of most other Americans early in my life, as a
feel very bad that more non-Americans I have known did not simply
a conversation with me about how they felt. They would have been
to learn that some Americans also feel the way they do about
My sister and I are two of about perhaps ten people we know who can see through the fog of deadness hovering over this country. Life for us as native-born Americans has been a steady hell. From childhood it is as though "normal Americans" could perceive our differentness. We were hunted, bullied, tortured, lied about and betrayed for our perception. My suffering as an American outsider has lasted for decades. Again and again I find myself encountering Americans who find it routine and okay to lie to me, lie about me, steal from me, betray me, try to manipulate me, use me, and discard me. There is no soul behind their eyes; their eyes are empty and blank, and all they care about all their bellies, their wallets, and the next (must be wealthy, thin and attractive!) sex partner.
If I could, I would leave
You wonder why Americans don't know their own neighbors? They're more Americans - would YOU want to get to know them?
Portuguese-American longing to escape,
Here’s what my ex-friend’s Filipina wife wrote in her blog about why she was unhappy in the US and returned to the Philippines, dragging him back there as well:
Well, I prefer Philipines more than here. Maybe I love the people there more.more than the people here, this is the differnet. see in list..
1.) I like Philipines because they have Respect, Kind, and Happy people.
2.) My Family's there.
3.) I have alot something to do in Philipines more then here.
4.) Have people around who can help me.
5.) And maybe I grow up there.
1.) Because too far to Neighbor.
2.) Don't have stuff to do. Only (using Computer, Looking my Baby, Cooking, Cleaning, sleeping, Eating, hehehe!)
3.) It's hard to having Baby when you don't have people around can help you.
4.) I miss Filipino food.
5.) I miss going Mall. hahaha
As you can see, the other KID here in
Posted by "
A German immigrant related these critical observations to me, which are typical for Europeans:
“This country, no offense, is dead,
lifeless, prude in many ways, and completely uncivilized. I now
a german firm and spent the last six months working in
Now of course I cannot say that any country is perfect. All places have their pros and cons, but I simply cannot live with the fact of living in a country that thinks its the greatest piece of land on the planet, has the biggest ego about it, and has the mass propaganda on the media to make every american believe that they are god's gift to the world, while not knowing anything about the remaining countries on the planet. Most americans dont even know what the capital is of their neighbors,
A friend told me once that the american ego stems from from this country scoring an A, and all the others scoring a C or less the last few decades. I would have to say this country scores a big fat F in my book. 5% of the worlds population using 25% of the worlds energy and creating 40% of the worlds trash doesnt score high on my list.
And lets not forget that this country has had George W Bush as president for eight years... what madness... and then this place was dumb enough to not just vote him in the first time, but then to vote him in again... and lets not forget that John McCain and Palin made a serious run at the white house... again that is only possible here, where the population is kept ignorant to anything else in the world, and lead the lives that they do because they do not know anything different or better.
Being German I find it especially frustrating because this country has an obsession with everything WW2 and Adolf Hitler. One turns on the history channel (or as I call it the war channel) to view history that happened a very long time ago... not that is a bad thing to learn a little history, and we all know most americans are not very educated about anything that happens outside of this place, but I have had enough of nazi jokes, beer jokes, or the comments that we actually wear Lederhosen every day, drink 20 beers a day, and eat nothing but pretzels and sausages, and that all of us have a Porsche (would be nice though).
I am not saying that everyone should be a world expert, but the average american could not point out my country or the continent it is located in on a map. Sure, most people overseas are not expert either, but everyone can at least point on a map and knows the basic geography of the world.
A lady in her forties recently asked me how big
Another acquaintance of mine was actually firmly decided that he wanted to learn swiss. Anybody that knows anything about
Ohh, and here is a new concept, I am typing this email in my second language, and I speak and write better english than most americans do. Or as I heard once, here is a joke:
When one speaks three languages: they are trilingual
Wehn one speaks two languages: they are bilingual
When one speaks only one language: they are american
Do not get me wrong, I have met some great people here and have made some good friends, but these are usually individuals that feel the same way that I do, have traveled a little bit, and are certainly not representative of the average person here.
My biggest problem besides the ego, is the distinct lack of culture. If country music, loaded six shooters, and cowboy hats are culture, then so be it. I am proud of my country, have an over D sticker on the back of my Audi, and a flag on my aviator jacket along with a european union one, but I would never do that in germany. Is it really necessary here to fly the american flag in front of every apartment complex, house, mcdonalds, shopping mall, business, etc...? Is it really right to instill the american ego from day one in children, making them at a young age recite the pledge of allegiance in classrooms, and breed ignorance and egos.
And lets not forget the silly sports that are played... baseball and especially football are so bloody boring.... ohh yea... there a have to be different sports, so this way an american team can be world champion every year.
And lets not forget the blatant stupidity of the american units of measurements.... its 2009, and everybody else is on the metric system which actually makes sense.
The distinct lack of identity is rather strange as well. A now ex friend told me that he was Irish. I asked if he was either born in
Not to go on too long, but lets not forget that people here have no health insurance, no way to help them in times of need, no infrastructure with constant dependence on automobiles, but this place can justify a nice large military and bases around the world to protect the american interests of consumption... give me a break
And last but not least, there is no freedom here. There are laws and regulations about everything. There are certain financial freedoms here, but what good is it if you can not enjoy it. One can have guns, which by the way causes extreme crime and violence here compared to the rest of he west, but once can be arrested from drinking a beer in public, of showing as much as a buttcheek.... nice freedom!!”
“I left Europe when i was 14 to go to Texas and spend 5 years in america i also went to Georgia and New Jersey...the first time i arrived in america since i was 14 the first thing on my mind was to go chat up some beautiful american girls in the hopes of meeting some for the first time in my life...as some friends introduced me to some girls they knew , we started hanging ot a bit and talking etc...then when it was time to say goodbye and go our separate ways i kiss the girl on the cheek since this is how we culturally say goodbye or greet each other in Europe...my friends rushed back to me and asked me "Why did you kiss her on the cheek!!??? now she thinks you are in love with her !!! " i was surprised that we were not able to have such body contacts...but from that day i knew i wasn’t going to have as much fun...another thing that struck me the most is the social behaviors that hot white american girls have acting like they are better than guys buy trying to achieve ultimate independence driving cars at 16 yers old etc... what i also hated was when they ignore you when you wlk in the hallway even know they see you but act like you are not there...girls in america dont seem to be ok with letting you go out with them and always put you in what they call the "friend zone" which basically everybody in america is in or at least the majority of them...and america also has so many virgins , not to forget the 40 years old virgin movie they made in trying to give hope to american citizens...and what about that show called the pick up artist with that guru guy called Mystery....his clients look depressed...its just scary to live like that and it sure is not healthy ...humans need one another in america not only is it hard to have sex...but to americans romantic behaviors are considered either weak or weird or needy...you name it...and what baffles me the most is no one talks about it and when you bring it up you sound crazy or something...they are just hypocrites...i couldnt bare the nasty food they give at lunch compared to the food in Europe...and we have no room to breath at school for example not enough time to socially feel one another... back in Europe we have 2 breaks one of 15 or 60 minutes at 10.30 and lunch break of almost 2 hours so we can do activities etc...in america you have to stay stuck inside and just have one lunch then keep ignoring each other if you ever run into each other in the hallways....everything you say id true Winston i could go on....anyway, what pains me the most is that even tough i am back in europe i still find it hard to go up to a hot girl because of how the hot girls treated me in america ...but i recently found the courage back and it worked i am slowly getting better like i used to be before i went to america....keep up the good work Winston because its a disgrace what is happening in America right now...lol they even have this to catch a predator show because women are too hard to be with apparently....its such a sick country....we are definitely happier abroad....thanks alot Bro....CIAO....”
“It’s funny how Americans are friendly and helpful to you while camping, but when you live next to them in a neighborhood they just ignore you.”
Later when I remarked about how American adults rarely see their parents after they grow up, they replied:
Russian immigrant who felt disenfranchised
with the programming and conformity of
“It is sometimes difficult for me to articulate my thoughts into words regarding the way I feel about my situation. Usually, it's easier to explain it orally -- but here I'll try my best.
I've been living in the
The other problem I have is my projection of
I also have some questions
for you. Have you
encountered the following in the American character?
1. Cowardice -- from experience I have not noticed that Americans, especially the men, tend to only act "tough" or "macho" when in groups or in a "gang" -- they seem to gang up on others and overflow with confidence when in a group, acting alone they rarely utter a word. Could this also be related to the fact that they attack ONLY countries which have absolutely no means of defending themselves?
Also, on the subject of cowardice, I have noticed that if an American, also especially an American male, who holds pretenses about being someone's "friend" - almost never stands up or speaks up for his fellow "friend" - he just has this blank, empty look on his face. Often, they will try to act innocent and ignorant, and always claim they don't know. In theRussian culture, most men will stand up or speak up for their friends, even if the friend happens to be just an acquaintance. I truly admire that in the Russian character -- the manliness and courage of the Russian.
2. Denial -- also from experience I have noticed that if someone points out the obvious in another person, that person will instantly deny or repress this fact, usually for fear of losing his or her job. Also, an exchange between an American and myself:
Me: What gives the
American: We're not occupying
This denial is very common, I think, in the American character. They will act inappropriately or in a juvenile, infantile manner and the very next day act like absolutely nothing occurred.
3. Political correctness to the point of benign totalitarianism. This one really takes the cake. From experience, working with Americans is sometimes like trying to swallow a dead rat. They are so politically correct about everything that it becomes tedious and painful to the soul. The society is so totalitarian in my opinion, that it probably borders on the insane. I have been reprimanded so many times on the job for saying things slightly one centimeter to the left or to the right (not in the political sense) of conventionality that I just have to bite my tongue and not say a damn word for fear of upsetting or angering them.
One example I can give you is from my job at a Marriott hotel.
I approached the manager at the front desk as I was ready to go on my lunch break and I asked her,
"I'm going to lunch now, do you need any help?" She replied, "No, I'm fine."
About twenty minutes later she approached me in total hysteria and scolded me for saying the word "lunch" at the front desk, because there was a customer in front of us!!! This is something that you might find only in an insane asylum.
I apologize for the length and breadth of this letter, but I think that if fully encapsulates my position regarding these freaks.”
He later added:
question -- why are
so many Americans scared of each other? I live here in the
Or maybe I'm just intimidating, for some reason?
The total lack of genuine human interest amongst them is what really irks me. Being completely enveloped in a shell, like you write in your many observations, and always in a hurry to get rid of me. They have developed a whole array of phrases to get people out of their lives. The easiest way for them to perform this maneuver is just to tell you, "Alright, have a nice day" or "Oh, ok!" or "It was nice meeting you." The killer is "I have to let you go." The person cannot respond in any way but to just nod his head and just leave, otherwise, he is perceived as a stalker or harasser. Almost never have they ever asked me about my origins or the meaning or root of my name, Dimitri, which is quite uncommon in the West.
On the subject of freedom, which Russians regard in a completely different dimension, dissident author and speaker Ward Churchill perfectly conveys my emotions when he writes:
"As things stand, persons
residing in the
Russians have the concept of
which translates literally as "will". In essence, it is the
absence of the "overarching authority" of political correctness which
has developed to an advanced level in the
Ukrainian woman who moved to
I just read your story in "about me". I really enjoyed it! I'm a young woman from
What you wrote is mostly what I thought American guys must feel... As soon as I acclimated and learned the language (when I moved i went to middle school), I started seeing the tremendous differences between
At first, the only people nice to me were black girls. And in
Anyway, i don't wanna get into the details too much, I'm not sure if you will get this email.
My point i that i felt that most people here were "under a fog" with a few heads sticking out. Those that stuck out were really different, more intelligent, open minded... it's hard to describe, but they seemed more "russian" or whatever. More present.
So i definitely felt what you are describing, but the other way around (i came from a country of openness and connections to this country). so anyway, thank you for describing your experiences in such intimate details, not everyone could've done that.
In russia/ukraine, men and women are treated by their actions, thoughts, how interesting they are, if they are good at parties, etc... not just looks and stigma. Women want guys like you, guys who really want a relationship and treat their girlfriends/wives with love and attention (unlike many russian men, spoiled by attractive women all around, many are cold and distant as husbands, and expect their wives to slave away in the kitchen). You appreciate beauty and what you've got. that's what men are supposed to be like. always wanting their wife, happy to walk around with her.. etc.
although i have some feminist tendencies (probably a rebellion to how I was brought up, my beautiful mom working at work , with children and in the kitchen, and my dad only working and expecting mom to take care of everything).
but I do agree with your view of "that's how women should be". Even by nature, they are supposed to need men, be vulnerable... it's great to be strong in many fields of life.. but in the man-woman relationship the man should be the strong one.
Anyway, write me back if you want to chat, I have to go back to work.
thanks again, your website was very informative, open and true to life.
speaking student lamented in my forum about
the horrific dating scene in
“Hello folks sorry my accent I
primarily speak French (24 y guy )... I am a
finance student and I have
been studying here since 2006. I just want to say hello and join the club and make a short
First off I'd say British and Americans are miles apart, really. Any Brit will surely tell you they are nothing like Americans. Here, Americans are viewed as a bit loud, obnoxious, arrogant and over-the-top (they like everything to be BIG and SHINY with a brass band!). I don't want to give the impression we don't like Americans as that's not the case, but I'd say in general we are glad to not live there, particularly due to healthcare costs, and the way the country is run like a big corporation. I'd say the average British person would believe himself to be more educated, better-mannered and, I suppose, 'classy' than his stereotypical view of Americans (wouldn't say this is true however!). We also see Americans as overweight, which is a bit hypocritical as we are struggling with an obesity problem ourselves here.
My partner (from
About my aunts. They recently visited from
I've heard American girls walk around with their pyjama trousers on outside, which sounds crazy. The closest thing you'd find here is university students walking around with carefully tousled messy hair, Uggs and nothing on but an oversized uni hoodie, to make themselves look like their life is too cool to have the time to get dressed properly. I heard of a supermarket in
I also keep hearing, again not sure if it is true, that American women count money as an important factor when finding a man. Not a single girl I have known, my whole life, would seriously think this would be important. Recently on the Jonathan Ross show there was a black American comedian on there who mentioned this. He said unless you have money American women are not interested in you. He found that the British put importance on your personality and didn't care about your earning power. Personally, I don't see a man's earning potential as important, I'd feel like a whore if I did!
I can't comment on how educated Americans are as a comparison, but I have quite in-depth conversations with my friends. I like talking about politics in particular, I suppose. Some Brits would only talk about reality TV and the nearest kebab shop.
As an aside: I recently saw a clip on Youtube about an American show called Doctors. There was music, flashing lights and these very young, model-looking doctors with impossibly white teeth and fake tans came bounding down the stairs waving at the screaming studio audience. It turned out this was meant to be a show that gives medical advice. In
woman who moved to
I by chance (looking actually at a completely different forum) encountered your site, and decided I simply HAVE to add my story/point of view...have to say it is all within the lines of what I've read (how immigrants view America/Americans...
I moved here 13 years ago, never planned, but that man met me in my home city, and couldn't leave alone for 2 years, which eventually ended up in marriage (me being very young, unaware of life, without life's wisdom)...we first lived in Texas...boondocks. I ma from Russia, country of soul, of mystics, of rich inner world, of great culture, literature, etc....What striked me to the point of not possible to put in words there: IGNORANCE (enough was said in your page there. same things, ppl not knowing the map of the world, geography, their own culture not talking about other cultures...back in Russia I did not even KNOW such things, this level of ignorance, is possible in the world...
2. Fakeness...again, ppl are not real, all wear masks, all pretend, a huge fake hypocritical, cold, indifferent, spiritless world. I felt I was communicating with lunatics or imbeciles. In
Anyway, then arn 9 years ago we moved to
Coldness, indifference, hypocrisy, lack of refinement, of culture, of common sense, of spirituality, of compassion are the most horrible characteristics of this country and its ppl. I would agree also to call it "insane asylum". This inner emptiness drives them to horde malls on the weekends, to look for their "bargains" and "specials", and to pass by others of their own kind that are in need.
I feel it is a Devil's place, a Devil's Kingdom on Earth par excellence. This world sucks on the whole, but in other places of this dark planet there is some soul lives on, some Spirit dwells in people's hearts still, and that soothes the trials of our every day existence. Here, in the
Thank you for creating and bringing to the world your site, for the honesty and sincerity. Blessings “
certainly relate to how she feels. I spent a lot
of time in
thank you for your prompt reply; I don't know where do you find time to do the site maintenance and the correspondence:-) Yes, if you think it is best to put my observation/opinion on your Forum and on the Website, that is OK. I wrote basically on an impulse, I never write to a public space as am very private. But what got me in your site that it is very deep; it looks at a problem of insanity (again, stated by those who are from abroad, or Americans who tasted life/cultures abroad; Americans themselves are in a delirious oblivion about themselves and their "culture") of Americans, their life style and "culture" at every angle, in depth, diagnosing the insanity, looking at the possible causes of it, and offering suggestions to cure. It was by far the most comprehensive and cumulative work I've ever encountered on the subject. Big thanks to you for that, for devoting your life to this cancerous world's problem. At first I thought that emphasis on dating is a bit shallow and might repel some thinking, deep people, but the more I looked at it, I came to think that it might just do the opposite...tell the guy/person who is love/sex/normalcy starved in this country, dying inside and craving for life and love that he should go read some philosophy he'd send you on a familiar route...however, if the same love/sex/normalcy starved individual is told he should look at this site to find love, he'd go, but later, he'll maybe look at philosophical, spiritual pages, and, hopefully, will be on the road to enlightenment. So, it might actually work to attract more readers who otherwise wouldn't bother to look. )
But the site on the whole is very profound. I believe you should collage all the material and publish it, public just needs to know all that.
I could write volumes on the subject of
II. About your adviser and just HOW (in his opinion - is he a male?) Russian women (and rest of Slavic for that matter) are HAPPY here...ooofff, what a British Encyclopedia we could just write. You know, your site for for guys (as primary, level 1st target audience), and you speak form guys' experiences...well, we could just say the same of American men, just the same...we cannot find happiness with them...they are too shallow, ignorant, controlling, empty, materialistic, and all within the lines. Slavic women suffer in their relationship with American guys. I have Serbian, Polish, Bulgarian (girl)friends, and it is like we all say just the same things, and have same emotions in our American circumstances. To put it short, it is like having this creature (in a female form), that is so alive, and spirited, and lovely, and smart, and with common sense, and with good taste, culture, education, etc., and here is her American guy...did you read J. Fowles novel, the "Collector"? Well, if you did, that's the picture, nothing more to add to this. It's a murder, slow, painful, and torturous murder, a crucifixion of a creature in a Slavic human form. There were times when I almost died from depression (I read thru
...attraction...all Slavic women are beautiful...but...what to say...? you know, from my experience, the men who looked at me, or payed attn to me here (in a "normal", European way), are Europeans themselves!!!! American guys just don't see it! ( I have access to European community here, and so, that is where I find normal men!)..they are not Americans!! I maybe got attn 2 or 3 - not more, times from American guys..agn, what do you define attention..? a glassy look? Or an intelligent interest? well, glassy looks I got, and maybe desire to sleep, but those 2 or 3 American guys were again studying languages and so a bit more animated than "normal" American guys. I am not really sure yet...it looks like American guys/ppl are so dead inside they are incapable of discerning beauty, because only spirit can do that. I stopped dressing well here, make-up, etc....it takes so much effort and imagination, and they are not even able to discern the beautiful things in front of their eyes...
I have few friends here, Russian, other Slavic. We gather together sometime, for tea, pies, etc...every time inevitable the conversation turns to "imbeciles" (our term for Americans)...we give resolutions to stop it, to try to be happy, and it doesn;t work, because every time you go out, to a job, to a grocery store, simply driving in traffic here you here stressed and have to deal with imbeciles in every corner. So, depression, depression, depression for Rus women. So, in terms of attention - they are not capable to give real, intelligent, with good sense of humor and sensitivity, attention. I stopped having anything to do with American guys, period. I am going thru a divorce now, and my soon to be ex-husband is a cult member also (Christian, conservative), and I suffered unimaginable shallow mindedness, control, imbecility, and total, killing lack of spirit. The more religious a person is, the less spiritual he is, that is it.
Let me see where I found a link for your site...let me check my bookmarks...I believe it was this one: http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php no..?
I have to go now from work, and will write more later on, thanks for reply, and again, for tremendous work on enlightening crowds on the "American" issues. Tatiana”
I came across your site today and I have to agree with all that you say.
I am a 26 yr old White South African woman married to an American man. I have been in
I will give you my perspective as a non-western woman.
The first thing I found was the jealousy and competition among everybody. Every time I go out I get dirty, mean looks from other women/girls - and my husband has noticed that.
Women are so jealous of each other - and the jealousy is even among the men!
American women are very feminist. They are very masculine and loud, and refer to me as a "girly-girl" instead of seeing that a they should also be "girly-girls"
I get tired of being told that I need to gain weight, when it is they who need to lose weight, but of course it is not "ok" to say so - yet it is "ok" for them to critisize me for being thin.
They are very anti-men and don't understand that men and women have different roles.
I am amazed to find that women go out in their pajamas! I won't even check my mail-box in my pajamas let alone go shopping in them!
Americans constantly ask me silly questions such as "So, if you are from
And "So do you have lions roaming around?"
"So - you have computors over there?"
They also seem to find it difficult to understand any accent other than their own.
Before coming to
They have no concept of what goes on in the rest of the world and nor do they have any interest.
They are very insecure people who think that if they own enough it will somehow make them a success.
I did not expect
Thank you Winston, I am glad that you have discovered how much better foreign women are, and I wish you all the happiness in the world.”
A young Ukrainian guy passionately stated in my forum:
agree!!! I am a Ukrainian who moved to the
I can go on and on about family, relationship, food, meetings etc. Even European cities are planned differently - in France there are many HUGE squares in any city center (downtown) where they have literally HUNDREDS of cafe's right out on the streets, people walk and stroll down the streets during weekends, socialize, talk, hang out, sit in the parks, meet and greet etc. There are virtually NO FAT PEOPLE in
Everything is retarded in
We have to organize a movement, publish brochures, open people's eyes, tell them that they live in the matrix! Winston, you are doing a great thing by helping other people understand the truth behind their miserable lives. At this point I see no benefit of living in the
My friend and cultural advisor, a former US immigrant who speaks 10 languages, has been to over 30 countries and is an expert in cultural analyses, describes the biggest culture shock that immigrants face in America:
"I think generally, the biggest culture shock that people experience in the US is not between their country and the US but between what they thought the US would be and what it actually is. Books and movies about America make the place appear very free and exciting and happening and the people are so interesting and emotional. There is sex and fun and romance going on. When they arrive, the place looks very conservative and the people appear robotic and quiet. Sex is subdued and hard to come by. The people are not open at all, they look closed and mistrustful. Everybody is just working and looking tired and apathetic. Talking to strangers is taboo. There are thousands of little rules and laws and social mores that seem as dogmatic and strict as those in a Muslim society. And every time you are at risk of breaking yet another law and facing very dire consequences. That is the biggest culture shock of all."
A Korean American, after reading my ebook, had this to add to the collection of comments on this page:
I recently finished your ebook "Happier Abroad" and just couldn't help but write you to contribute some of my experiences and ideas about how immigrants feel when they come to the U.S.
I am a Korean who lived in the U.S. for 12 years already. I moved to Utah when I was 13 and I am now 25. I was forced to move to the U.S. in a sense due to my father's job at the local university. When I first came here as a middle school student, people at school were so interested in me because I was the only Asian there and made a lot of friends. But as time passed, I realized the fakeness and emptiness that you talked well about in your ebook. I thought there was something wrong with during the times that I could not resonate with people but as time progressed I realized the problem was not me but from the U.S. society.
I used to be Mormon and when I was a missionary, I had a companion (Mormon missionaries always have companions of the same sex that go together 24/7) from Chile.
We were in Southern California where there were a lot of Mexicans. The difference I say between these Mexicans living in Southern California and other parts of the U.S. is that they are still non americanized Mexicans. I believe it is because there are so many Mexicans living together that they don't have to interact with the local white people there. So most of them have not adopted American life style.
Anyway, while we were serving there, I noticed how more sociable latinos are compared to the whites in the area. Some latinos were shy that it seemed like they don't want to talk to us but more than 90% of the population when we knock on their door or on the street had no problem talking to us and we actually had a nice, long meaningful conversation whether it be cultural or religious. Whereas if we were to talk to the Whites walking around or knock on their door, they either passby without even looking at us as if they were scared or yell at us.
My companion coming from Chile always said that white americans are so weird and anti-social compared with the Chilenos. He commented that people are so much more open to talk to in Chile. He also said given the wealth in the U.S. people are not happy at all compared to the more poorer chilenos.
Sad thing is that many other countries around the world are becoming like the U.S.
My home country, South Korea, with it's fastest economic growth in the world, has become so much Americanized nowadays that people are almost same as Americans. If I were to talk to a stranger even with perfect Korean, they would probably think that I have some psycological problem because no one talks to the strangers and strangers are thought to impose danger.
I can't wait to get out of this country and go somewhere like South America or Eastern Europe because I know from my experience that those countries have more social life than here or in Korea.
Good thing is that I have two more years that I have to live here then I can go abroad. (I'm actaully coming up with a plan).
Well, hope you continue with this exciting and eye-opening enlightment that everyone needs.
A commentator from Panama had this to say about a post on a blog about Latin America:
“Americans” are funny; you think the US is the best place
and complain about every single place you visit but living in the US is
of the worst experiences someone could suffer…here everything is
regulated and nothing works the way its supposed to. Police brutality
exceeds even soviet times police repression; there’s no freedom
against anything as people who decide to protest publicly is brutally
by police and national guard; politics are among the most corrupt in
as you can see almost everyday in the news; social security it works to
elders expenses, contrary to real social security in latin american
where social security means public assistance to the people; FEMA is a
gives money away to later realize they gave money to people hey were
supposed to; H1N1 vaccine doesn’t exist and when created,
didn’t supply to one
tenth of the population; policemen are paid to be taking care of
fixing a street and they shoot people without any fear nor remorse
substantial reason; there’s more racism here in the US than
and federal government spent money on stupid things like financing a
stadium for the losers Miami Dolphins or sending more money and troops
Afghanistan and Irak while poverty increases everyday in the
US…you can see a
lot of homeless living under the bridges in Miami and begging to
money while police cars just are standing by to the American Airlines
messing up the traffic…USCIS rises their fees about 200% and
still are “short
on employees” and cases taking over 4 years to be done, when in
the most of the
cases shouldn’t take more than one or two…The US
isn’t a country to be proud
of…it is a country of lobbyists and this country is base only on
marketability…no real values, no real history…a country
build up by immigrants
and that discriminate any immigrant even being that most brilliant
this country are foreigners, immigrants
Now, you say that living in Panama, or any other country but the US is beyond patience limits…you complain but love to live out of the US…the same as I do, about this country in decadence.
Just enjoy our countries and adapt yourself to our uses and costumes…or leave and go back to your country of origin…
An Irish blogger and language learning buff wrote up these revealing 17 cultural reasons why he would not want to live in the USA in his blog here:
Submissions Welcome: If you are a US immigrant or foreigner and would like to contribute an observation about America like the ones above, feel free to send it to me for consideration at [email protected] or post it in my discussion forum at www.happierabroad.com/forum/index.php
10 Surprises for foreigners
If any foreigner you know is under the impression that America is a very open, expressive, extroverted and wild place (perhaps due to Hollywood’s portrayal), send them the link to this blog post of mine, in addition to the page you’re viewing now of foreigner/immigrant opinions. It contains videos, news reports and testimonials about America that will shock them with doses of reality.
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