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This isn't an anti-American post, but I am increasingly relieved that I am not in the USA anymore. I chat with my friends back in Atlanta, and most of them are having a tough time of it. The unemployment rate is over 10%, and that doesn't include people who have given up looking for work. They are having to take anything they can find, or work 3 jobs, and in some cases have lost their homes. The ones who have homes are trapped. They can't sell them and sometimes they owe more than the house is worth. They are screwed, mostly. People who are working have no choice but to take any sort of poor treatment from their bosses.
I live in China, but if I get tired of it, I can find a job in another country. I am glad I took this unorthodox path. I once owned 2 houses and worked to pay off mortgages, car payments, absurd health care costs, etc. Actually, I didn't own anything; the bank owned it all. I just paid them interest and worked like a dog to keep it all. I'm not getting rich, but I have everything I need, no debt and save a modest sum of money each month. Mostly I am not stressed out and have time to relax a little.
Being overseas gives me a detached perspective on the American dream, and I want no part of it. It's a trap.
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Wow tjh14, how is it in China right now? Must be exciting to be in a place that is booming economically and where the people are optimistic about their future than America is right now. I'm thinking about moving overseas myself. I'm set to travel to Asia next month and scour around for a possible permanent move eventually. As someone that has traveled to all over the world, I can honestly say that I prefer being in other countries than in America. I used to be one of those patriotic American types but after I joined the military and was stationed in Europe, it really opened my eyes about the limitations and absurdity about life in the States.
I saw September 11 happen when I was home from leave from the military and I live in NYC, so you can imagine the chaos that was going around here and the fear people had after the attacks. It also made me realize that living in the States was a dangerous proposition and how much people in the world hated this country for our imperialism and war mongering over the years. The invasion of Iraq was the last straw for me. I no longer have any trust in this country or the government whether its Bush, Obama or any other politician in Washington. America is in real peril right now and I fear it is like Rome in its final days. I know I shouldn't bail on this country but when the country collapses and the dollar is going to be worth less than Zimbabwe dollars, than what choice to I have?
Back in the Middle East, Sultanate of Oman. Was back home in CA now, not a pretty picture either.
My mom has just lost almost 400K in equity. Years of thrift and following the American dream of buying a house, building up equity, not wasting money, etc. Poof all gone in smoke. So many people kept advising me- put money in your folk's equity, help them pay off the mortgage. Good thing I did not. Good thing I took 24K and spent it in 4 months doing what I wanted to do- travel, meet lots of cute girls and have a good time with them. Otherwise, my money would have gone down the tubes. Think about how many wise, thrifty, practical, all American people have lost everything! And the impractical, wasteful me, who likes extravagance, good food and good hotels and good women in mutiples is now better off. Hmmm, something to think about!
One thing to keep in mind is this: it is not good to be in the US now, but it is always good to be FROM the US in many places. A US passport allows you a good life ....out of the US!!! So the American dream is best to be lived by an American OUTSIDE of America. Amazing! Actually, it is how you can attain it now. Happier abroad is for Americans and other 1st World national, not necessarily for someone from Djibouti.
An American attracts respect in many places and girls want to meet him. Excellent!
Now, if you were now going through tough times as a Bangladeshi, you could not easily move to China and live a good life.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I am inclined to agree that whereas americans tend to be consumerist idiots who buy shit they do not need on credit, but then there are those who go nuts to save every penny and hold off on enjoying life waiting for a future date to do so, and then we see crisis like this, loss of equity and it was all for nothing.
Life has to be experienced and money is the means to do this. Everything in moderation -- both when one is saving money as well as spending it.
Thats an excellent point and a good way to see things. America is about freedom in life, including walking away when one is tried of what they are selling Stateside. The American dream takes on a different tune when you can look outside the american box.
I am not sure if I agree with this statement though. You said it best a while back when you stated that foriegn women who are looking for an American is bad news, which I agree. Plus the fact is, when one spends more time outside the usa you can see now why so many people outside the states see us as morons. Our TV shows, the shit we put importance on because retard programs like Oprah and Dr. Phil are also syndicated outside the anglosphere for the rest of the world to see.
This plus the fact that the USA has been waging geopolotical wars for many years and the American people.. that is to say the majority of American people do not see this and or are not willing to take action does not make us look all that good. I used to be proud to say I am from the states, but I prefer to downplay where I am originally from. It is no longer 1945 where America and americans were highly respected people and nation. Those times unfortunately are long gone.
Now to get a handle on the current American zeitgeist, just go rent on of the Jackass movies, or youtube it for a taste of todays america.
The good thing about China is that there is tons of work for a foreigner. I turn down work, and I am not God's gift to English teachers. China isn't perfect, but I have no problem earning a decent living. Things are cheap here. I bought a cool pair of Italian shoes(at least they look Italian) for $30. There are markets where they sell all sorts of western goods cheaper than in the west. I guess it is because they make so much of our clothing here. The Chinese are mostly kind and decent, and foreigners are treated with some respect which they may aor may not deserve. Beijing is clean and modern, but it is different in the provinces, or so I hear. The problem with just coming over here is getting a visa. You have to find an employer who will sponsor you, then you get a residence visa. You can get a Business visa by yourself, but you have to make periodic runs across the border. You usually need a college degree to get a job with a residence visa, but I know guys who don't have a degree with a business visa, and they do fine. I have a problem with the Chinese language, as it seems like martian to me.
Chinese women are not as promiscuous as say Russian women, and they seem to want to get married. It is harder to find a friend with benefits here. Sex is for sale everywhere here, just go and get a haircut! The "beauty salon girls" cut your hair and then you are offered a "massagee", and it is not a lot of money, about $50. Not that I have ever participated in such activities!
My life is easy here, compared to how I had to bust my ass in America. I can save money.
Women who specifically look for foreigners/Americans to date /marry and who purposely seek them out for being Americans/foreigners is bad news because these people have an agenda. It is the same with women who actively seek out a doctor/lawyer only for that.
OTOH, an American who is in a foreign country trying to integrate and make friends/learn the language is often attractive to local women. They become interested in him.
There is a difference between:
1) A woman who is actively trying to meet you only because you are an American.
2) You being an interestiing person to meet and talk to because you are an American in their country who is working/living there and who is trying to meet local people the local way in their language on their terms ( something very uncommon with Americans as almost none want to do it, and then they complain that foreigners in the US do not want to integrate. Ha!)
Also, it all depends where. In the Philippines huge numbers of the population see an American as a highly desirable boyfriend/husband. I think it is the same in VN. But again in those countries there is a difference between a) people who actively pursue the dream of emigrating to the USA and will use you as a means to do so, and b) people who will think you are a very cute/unusual person because you are an American in their country.
For example, my knowledge of Tagalog in the Philippines ( it is now some 90% fluent) does not attract women who want to emigrate to the US and who are actively on the prowl for foreigners. It does, though, make me a very unusual item to many a young lady there and they want to talk to me and make friends with me in Tagalog. I get dates very quickly there because of that. And I hardly ever talk in English in the PI.
Some countries do and some countries do not. You go to those where people do not see us as morons. Africa, many SE Asian countries, many E Euro countries do not think so. Some Brits /French and Aussies do, but they would still not discriminate against individual Americans trying to get a date and will not reject you if you ask them to dinner only because you are an American and; therefore, a moron. Unless you behave like one.
But most of the so called developing world just laps it up and loves it. It is very appealing to them. The ones that reject those are intellectuals or those who are highly educated. But they will not reject you because you are an American and; therefore, are Dr. Phil's lackey and Opra's secret agent.
This factor will hardly affect an individual civilian American who is looking for a date and learning a foreign language / is trying to live a good life in a foreign country. Political grumblings about the US foreign policy does not affect dating much unless you are in some actively anti American nation at war with the USA and are trying to date a general's daughter there.
Not among the huddled masses of so many countries or just the common people there. You may not get people to line up the streets waving US flags when you come, but normal , average Brazilians, Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Filipinos, Colombians, VNese, etc will love having you around as long as you try to integrate and respect their ways. And be modest. Unless there is a war between them and the US and you are in a zone of conflict, those political things will not affect you much.
Generally, I do not think it is a good thing to go to any country and keep stressing "I am an American, I am an American" thinking you will impress people. Think of how angry Americans would be if anyone went to the US and started saying- I am Australian, I am an Australian! He will get his ass kicked. Why shoudl it be different for us there?
Common decency dictates that you should try and do as Romans do and be humble since you are a new guy in a foreign land. The ones who are doing the "I am an American!" mantra are the a-holes. And they get the lowest crap women or just plain unfortunate ones who are trying to latch on to them just because of that. These stubbornly refuse to follow the local rules, culture or even laws and give the rest of Yanks a bad name. You can always prove yourself to be otherwise.
But the working masses of the world LOVE those. To them, it is democracy. Their countries are so snobbish and class-oriented and languid, that the fresh, energetic and agressive US films are a breath of fresh air.
You have not been to the Philppines yet. Come and see how pro American the country is. Can't get more pro American than that.
Last edited by ladislav on Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I have to disagree with you Ladislav. When I traveled to many countries I often find the people are fascinated with America but not all admire or respect the country as you say. When I talk to the locals from other countries I often hear a lot of Anti-American sentiments and anger towards our foreign and economic policies. When I was in stationed in Europe there would constantly be fights between the American soldiers and the locals. I heard from a soldier in Germany that he was spat on by a German couple because they were American. In Korea and Japan and in some Asian countries, Americans are not always viewed as positively as you make it out to be. You are right about the Philippines and some of the Eastern European countries though. I think this is because they were so oppressed and poor that they see America in a more positive light. Although, with the way America is currently headed towards--I'm not sure this will last in the future.
Ah, precisely. Japan, Korea, Germany. Areas aroud the bases. Drunk, moronic GIs making trouble, beating up locals. In their relatively rich countries,too. Think about the circumstances; the places. Those are the areas or even countries you should try to avoid.
Did you see Americans getting beat up in Bratislava? In Lviv, in Cebu? In Bandung, Indonesia?
You see where you are welcome and go there. Plenty of such places.
But again, do keep in mind that we were talking about dating/meeting women. There are enormous swaths of land where American men are welcome. Provided they behave and do not sing "Born in the USA!" too loud and too often as a mating call to attract local females.
I got spat upon in Kuwait and thrown things at in Saudi Arabia. But am I trying to get a date there? In those rich countries they prefer their own, but even there, an American can find a wife provided he converts to Islam.
I could never understand why Americans could not just get a bloody book, read about the country they go to, buy language software, study the language for some six months and make inroads into the local society the way a normal person in a new place should. That works most of the time and gives excellent results. Why does one have to go to a place on agressive terms, be in a foreign country and do the USA USA!!! thing when one is a stranger in a strange land?
Such behavior is not apprecaited anywhere.
Americans usually go ballistic when foreigners act foreign in America. "Go back to your country! This is America, you don't like it, get out! Love it or leave it! Speak English you motherf--er, this is America! " And then they act exactly the same way abroad.
An example is Mexico, Meeting an American resident there who has taken his time to learn Spanish is like meeting a unicorn or the Lochness Monster. A rare sighting. Some mental block, some atrophied part of the brain keeps many Americans in a state of unassimiliability. Pathetic. And it is so simple. Prepare, buy a book, read, respect, try to integrate, do things on local terms, eat local food, go native. Because you are the stranger!
I was in Ukraine this spring and I am not a Ukranian national. But I had to act LOCAL. . No one was impressed that I was from the US. They were not hostile or anything, either. They just felt that " this is Ukraine, so you should act like a Ukranian here" meaning- "be humble,calm, respect women, do and mind your own thing. When talking to other people, take your time trying to make friends because it is, by nature, a mistrustful nation. When trying to meet ladies, take your time again. They do not get friendly too soon there". Their country, their rules.
A simple thing like that that an average American traveler/resident simply fails abide by.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
This is interesting because I have lived in Germany and I find the Krouts to be quite reserved people, even if they have a problem with you usually in manifests itself in obnoxious comments only. The fight between your soldier buddy and the Germans -- it would be interesting to know the circumstances; was a bar brawl and the beer was talking, so to speak?
what I highlighted in red is very true. Depending on what happens. Like i said, at the end of WWII in 1945 we, that is to say, the usa was tops. We saved europe. Thing are different now. It is a wait and see for the moment. Personally I think (and hope) the States simply implodes, and we see another Boston Tea party. IMHO we need one if we are to ever become a better nation again.
Back in '98 a man from the USA or Canada or GB could not walk 10 meters without a Ukraine chick approaching him for his phone number. Back then the city was poor and the chicks were looking for a way out.
Now that things have improved in that city the women there have their noses pointed firmly in the air, so its no wonder they are no longer impressed that one is an American. They are only nice when they want something. I have spoken to many american expats who live there (young, normal, non-loser type guys too) and tell me how the whole beauty factor wears off very quickly once you experience their obnoxious attitudes.
I'll leave the women in Ukraine and Russia to their stupidity, rude ruthless behavior, and their back alley coat hanger abortions.
Great point Ladislav, I have been in all of those country and about 90% of the time I was around US military bases â€“ having a bunch of drunk Americans banging local whores and pissing on the street tends to bend the locals opinions of Americans towards a negative perspective.
Imagine if you were a non-US person and you ONLY visited trailer parks in America, what would your opinion of the US be?
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Sorry, couldn't resist.
There are so many films now about America's decline and fall. Have a look.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... type=&aq=f
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