Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Annoying American

I realize I post a lot of blogs that point out all of the things about Singapore that annoy, frustrate or baffle me. I've been feeling like perhaps I should step outside of that mind set for a quick minute. So today I turned the tables on myself and asked my Singaporean coworkers to tell me three things about Americans that annoy them.

Yes, I put on my thick skin before asking the question and promised them I would not be offended (to their face.)

Their responses weren't that surprising, but they made me do some thinking.

First response: American arrogance. We are constantly talking about how everything in the States is better than anywhere else. We claim to have the best athletes, the best music and the best movies. We also have the best houses, best food, best stores and so on. In my mind I was thinking, "But we do. How do they not realize this?" Then I stopped myself and realized that I am such the American that they speak of. Dang it!

Second response: Boastfulness about material things/Complaining about the lack thereof. In this response, the Singaporeans said that Americans are very quick to brag about anything expensive, nice or new that they own in order to show everyone else how above them they are. On the flip side, if things are not up to our perfect standards, we are the first to pitch a fit about it. I attribute this response to the fact that they work with mostly middle-aged men who were previously military members. 'Nuff said.

Although I guess I do a lot of bitching about things...interesting...

Third response: Loudness. This one made me laugh out loud. (Ha. Hence the problem.) Anyway, it made me laugh because Aaron and I think that the Singaporeans are unnecessarily loud. I told the girls at work this and they just started cracking up. Then we all composed ourselves and decided that every culture must think that the others are loud.

After our little chat, I realized that I am the epitome of the "Annoying American". Well crap.

So now I'm on a mission to be a little more accepting and a little more open-minded. Also, I'm going to stop trying to make Singapore into my own "little America". I'm going to appreciate it for what it is and not dwell on what it's not. We'll have all the time in the world to enjoy our American pleasures when we live in America again. I'm going to be a good pseudo-Singaporean citizen from now on.

That is, right after we go out to eat at the new Chili's. :)

I know, I'm a frustrating work in progress.

1 comment:

Cori said...

I am an ugly American, too. How disappointing.
But I live in Basehor, so I can get away with it. ;)