I'm Canadian and Americans always appear crazy. Like they'll make anything out of nothing and they have weird idiosyncracies that are also funny.
I haven't met an European before but I heard they were really neat and tidy. I bet the Europeans think Americans are hooligans.
They're just about the silliest creatures, I did ever lay my spectacles upon! In fact, they're quite honestly REPULSIVE...
Whenever I'm in Europe, usually the first thing that strikes me is how thin the people are. Then I realize, of course, that it's not that they're thin, it's that Americans are so fat.
If many Europeans were to stereotype Americans it would be that we are fat, loud, and clueless.
Yeah it's a old cliche but it is the truth. One of the first things you notice returning from being overseas to America is how fat people are.
The other noticeable difference is just how open people are. Americans (outside of New England...) have this forwardness and with strangers that you don't tend to see in most European cultures.
Europeans may be thinner but they're generally not into fitness, not even the gay guys. If you see a guy with a hot body in Paris chances are he's a North American expat or originally from the Middle East.
Dumb. Mean. Fat.
By into fitness you mean spending countless hours in the gym to attain a (objectively) ridiculous gym rat body. Then yeah you are right, that isn't as popular in Europe.
They do normal physical activities and eat sensibly to maintain a fit natural body.
Sure I think six packs and pecs look sexy, but part of me also thinks how that is a result of just spending an unnecessary amount of time in the gym and eating a pretty ridiculous high protein diet. Not really how humans were meant to be.
Let us not forget those 50% of Americans who support Mitt Romneys Tea Party agenda of guns, homophobia and racism.
How typically American is that?
Oh, tiresome Canadian Insecurity Troll, always seeking to boost your sad self-esteem by shitting on Americans.
Your rage, impotency, and frustration are showing, dear. And it's not a good look on you.
You are the world's Jan Brady. You are the fat and plain girl, the wallflower at the school dance, but guess what? Turns out you DON'T have a great personality.
r12 Good summary.
[quote]I haven't met an European before
Then you're far too ignorant and sheltered to be blathering on about anyone outside of your particular corner of the North American prairie. Europeans are commonly encountered in North American business, academia, entertainment and the arts, let alone the thousands of migrant workers, visitors and students that come to North America from Europe. I also suspect (but, not being Canadian, I don't assume) that Canadians encounter more British visitors and immigrants than we do in the US because of the Commonwealth bond between the two nations.
I'm an American and my favorite bartender is from England, my favorite barista is a French woman and I can count at least 5 other acquaintances from various parts of Europe. I'm a middle-class American with a bachelor's degree and have only left North America once, not some cosmopolitan jet-setter.
Saying you've never met a European before reveals you as the sheltered, ignorant rube you are, and your stereotypical, knee-jerk reaction to Americans reveals your own insecurities about that fact.
Americans, when they travel seem very, very friendly...but if you look them up when you get to America...not so much.
They're much friendlier than Canadians who seem sort of dour in comparison.
The gun issue is always very troubling to foreigners when I travel abroad. In any lengthy conversation, it eventually comes up, when they feel they can raise it without seeming discourteous.
Some of you are no better than Paula Deen using the N word. Bigots all of you!
[quote]I haven't met an European before
The whole 'Europeans are the master race of perfection' argument that some people make on here is a bit creepy...
You do realize that not every European is a well educated, enlightened, beautiful, well dressed liberal, right?
And surprisingly, not every American is a fat, ignorant, ugly, religious gun freak who owns sweatpants in every color...
I've heard we appear on toast, snack foods, and reliquaries.
Americans are kind of like Mary H. Christ - we just swoop in on the wings of freedom to guilt people into having lots of FAS babies.
Canada has no right to make any claims after they elected that anti-gay Evangelical PM, Stephen Harper - TWICE now.
I am not trying to make Europeans seem perfect or Americans bad.
It is a simple fact that rates of obesity are higher in American than they are throughout Europe.
It's also a simple fact that American culture tends to be more open and friendly on the surface than most European cultures.
Just simple differences.
[quote]It is a simple fact that rates of obesity are higher in American than they are throughout Europe.
I blame the carrot cake and the fact they've had touch tone much longer than anyone else.
Horrible dress sense: white sneakers and white socks, pleated trousers, phones on belts, shorts in inappropriate places, always too casual.
Overfamiliar too soon, too quick to tu or du. Overshare about themselves, family, ailments, life in general. We don't care.
Smile too much. It's creepy.
Not just too loud (and they are quite loud); have to talk about every single thing that pops into their head as if anyone else is interested. "Please notice me!" How can we not?
Culturally closed-minded, "why can't they _____ like we do at home?"
Difficult in restaurants: demand substitutions, sauces on side, ingredient changes.
Know-it-alls the moment they arrive in a new country for the first time, because of what they read in their travel book. Yet slow to catch on in real time once they're there.
Shallow, superficial, no real desire to know or experience more of the place or people they are experiencing.
In a rush, trying to cram 10 cities into their 8 day holiday with completely unreasonable travel logistics. Fearful of 'normal' transportation: trams, metro, buses, trains, low-cost airlines.
All this, there is a very small group of Americans with a lot of experience living overseas who are very fun and open, not as negative as we can be, considerate and good-hearted. But you have to get through a lot of the other ones to find them.
Yeah, Americans as a group appear to be getting more self-centered and more unbalanced as time goes on. When the US was a more balanced country, I guess in the 70's and early 80's, other countries were more sanguine about it being the world's most influential nation. But the changes that have taken place since then make it seem increasingly alien to the rest of us, and its influence is increasingly seen as baleful. Picking a few examples at random of things that chafe with the rest of us:
- profligacy with energy resources and willful blindness about climate change
- over-the-top gun-toting reaction to terrorism, as if it is the only country that has ever been targeted
- sense of entitlement to interfere in other countries' affairs (eg PRISM)
- extreme materialism and endorsement of unfettered laissez-faire capitalism and vast inequalities of wealth
- anti-intellectualism and promotion of sterile 'celebrity' culture
- Machiavellian businesses like Monsanto, Goldman Sachs
Europe: Netherlands, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark....very much different places with a right to claim superiority over Americans.
Europe: Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland etc.... no, not even close. The Poles make Texans look intelligent and worldly by comparison.
Okay, let the Europeans run the U.S. for a few years and then we'll do a compare and contrast. However, they may not strip our resources while fucking us over.
I've never been to America, but all the American tourists I've met throughout Europe were very nice and cool to talk to. But then again, I think only educated people travel abroad, so I have yet to meet one of those fat, trailer park trash Americans from the Jerry Springer show.
But the fact remains that there is a significant rise of anti-american sentiments here in Europe. People seem to blame America for everything that is wrong with the modern world. And pretty much everyone believes that America is secretly influencing the internal politics of European countries.
Well if there's anybody who would be an expert on crazy, it's a Canada Man!
Lots of Europeans are desperate to immigrate to the US especially NYC and la. The economic opportunities in Europe are sparse.
Not true R32. In fact many Poles are leaving the US and headed home or for Europe.
But the Obese people of Northern Europe don't hate gays like they do in the USA.
They certainly do in Poland and Russia.
Poland is like the Jamaica of Europe.
We must appear pretty extraordinary considering Europeans are always desperate to move to the US as soon as they get the chance and the fact that they frequently copy American culture (especially in Western Europe).
Anti-gay attacks still happen regularly in Europe. Sometimes the perpetrators are Muslim gangs but more often they're white fascists, as we've seen in France.
Europe is certainly a much better place to be gay than a lot of US states, but it's no paradise.
I've travelled extensively throughout the US and the only odd things I've noticed are the bad hair, overpriced vegetables and reluctance to wear belts. Nothing else stands out. Americans certainly don't own fat, stupid, loud or ignorant.
Yanks tend to be tops, Europeans tend to be bottoms.
Who gives a fuck what Yurps think?
When they get their shit together maybe they can instruct us in peaceably settling a continent with a diverse array of inhabitants.
Just the opposite. Americans have a monopoly on good hairdressers.
And American vegetables are cheaper than anywhere in Europe. Also tasteless, however.
Mot sure what they think of us, but in my travels to Europe, most of the conversation starts about how cool it is that we elected Obama.
"Smile too much. It's creepy."
This is meant to be a criticism? Bizarre.
R45, serious people dislike unconscious smiles.
While some people default to a blank expression, some of us default to a smile.
Unfortunately, they think you're stupid, stoned, or planning something evil.
The Europeans (British, French and Holland) are having more problems because they have way too many Muslims running around, Muslims being the worst at "fitting in" because they think their anti-women, anti-gay SHIT is just "normal." Muslim men just need to get their butts fucked! (And/or killed.)
The women have hair pits and the men are uncut. Which means they both don't wash properly and thus have hygiene problems.
What gawd-forsaken part of the the country do you live in that you haven't met "an" European?
The whole country is crawling with Europeans. They're everywhere along with people from every other place on the planet.
Even Lufthansa flies direct to Whitehorse these days.
You'll run into some 17 year old Swedish co-ed on a bike with a packsack on her back in the middle of nowhere any day of the week.
Americans are disgusting pieces of revolting shit that encapsulate EVERYTHING that is wrong with modern humanity.
Just revolting, the lot of you.
When I and my countrymen think of Americans, we think of really big fat people with enormous asses and the kind of belly that rolls over. And we are right. Someone here said 2/3rds of Americans are obese, not just fat or overweight, obese.
It is true that lots of Americans are grossly overweight, but on the other hand, I have never been terribly impressed with the half-naked Western European bodies I've seen (and that includes Brits, French, Italians, Germans, Dutch). Thin, yes --- but still flabby, pale and under-toned.
Americans who ARE in shape are in better, more attractive shape than most Europeans (if that makes sense).
Americans have customized their own society and understand the desire to customize one's surroundings as a basic human drive. They embrace change as growth and progress. Europeans are slow to accept change, and truthfully are not convinced that change = good. This distinction is at the heart of many if not most differences between the cultures.
I'll have another bucket of fried chicken and a glass of gravy to drink.
Brits and Germans, especially, are not so trim either.
My toned, physically-fit California friends use the perfect term to describe European-style bodies: smoker-thin.
Well. your "toned, physically-fit California friends" are stupid then. They probably don't understand what a normal diet and normal daily activity are. For them the "norm" must be the typical fat junk-food eating sedentary American, and people are only "thin" if they smoke or do California workouts.
R53 is an idiot too. Is that why you have whole cities built around the car? Must be why so many Americans are fat.
Americans appear as Canadians to Europeans. On their travels through Europe, you often see Americans wearing Canadian lapel badges or sewing Canadian flag patches onto their backpacks. Canadians probably do it a lot too.
You don't "often" see that. You never saw that. Americans are too lazy.
[quote]One of the first things you notice returning from being overseas to America is how fat people are.
The gays in the area where I live seem to be in better shape that those in other areas of the U.S. I was on a trip with two gay friends and we were surprised to see so many fat gays in the clubs and bars. Since I don't want to start a regional war between gays, I won't mention where we saw all the fatties.
Brits have taken the crown as the world's fattest people in middle age, and if you've traveled to the UK consistently over the years, you'll notice that right away. Americans are much fatter than they were 30 or 40 years ago, but Brits have gone from emaciated twigs to flabby tubs in a way that is shocking.
As other nations get out more, you realize that Americans are hardly alone in being assholes. Canadians are pompous know-it-alls, and yet incredibly naive and provincial. They are like the worst Americans in complaining how nothing is up to their standards, but most of Canada is nothing to write home about. Germans are fun, but loud and condescending. Young French people move in packs like locusts, and seem absolutely devoid of manners. As for "hooligans," if you've ever been surrounded by UK soccer fans, you know they are the absolute scourge.
Americans have long had more money to travel and more interest in doing so than other people. That's changed, and it's very obvious that assholes live everywhere.
R59 - " Americans have long had more money to travel and more interest in doing so than other people" - that's just a big fat outright lie right there.
Americans don't get the vacation days that every other country offers so they don't have the time to travel. They also don't seem to have much interest in any other culture but their own so tend to vacation within the US.
Every European nation travels, whether for a few days in Prague or Lisbon or maybe 3 weeks in Tuscany or Nice or 3 months in Thailand, but everyone travels because it'd just what you do. It would be very unusual for anyone to have never traveled outside their own country, but in the US that's the norm.
Of course the above is a generalisation, but true nevertheless. Americans just don't travel as much. Europeans think nothing of popping into another country for a couple of days.
The main difference I've seen between Americans and Europeans however is that Americans have a very different education system which encourages American exceptionalism. That can be quite offputting for a lot of people. The reality is that America isn't at the forefront of philosophical debate or technological advances and this won't change while Americans think that they are. If you keep telling the locals how you invented everything (you didn't) and that they should be grateful (fuck you) then you won't make many friends.
Americans aren't any dumber than anyone else, they aren't bad people, they aren't devoid of style or culture, it's just that those who are obnoxious make the most noise when abroad and those are the ones that are remembered.
[quote]Americans have long had more money to travel and more interest in doing so than other people.
Americans hardly travel at all.
NASCAR - Country Music - Guns - Jesus
[quote]Americans just don't travel as much. Europeans think nothing of popping into another country for a couple of days.
While Americans, driving the same distance, go popping into another state for a couple of days. When I was working in Stuttgart, I'd pop over to Austria, Switzerland or France and it was the same distance as popping off into another state in the USA. Of course, I could drive a lot faster on the Autobahn than on an Interstate.
It depends on the types of people, I think. I have noticed that the wealthier types are often quite civilized and polite and usually fairly knowledgeable of the atmosphere around them and well-spoken.
Generally, however, most Americans appear to me as very childish (adolescent?), unsophisticated, uneducated, poorly dressed and ill-mannered. Note, this is a generalization; I have met a few who did not fit into that category. But even those are very provincial and inclined to act, speak or dress inappropriately for many occasions.
R63 True. However it's a big thing for Germans to travel. However they have a bad rep when it comes to spending.People in Europe are happy to hear you are American because they know that you'll splurge on everything. A German will be much tighter with his wallet.
When overseas, I generally wear dark trousers and dark dress shirt, open collar, in the daytime and a charcoal suit at night. The only time I wore shorts in Europe and South America was while hiking in the Alps and Andes. Even carrying a camera, I blended in with the locals. In west African nations I always wore shorts and t-shirts. It's too damn hot to even care what you look like.
Blame the reality tv and lack of ideas in Europeans countries tv. Those reality tv-series from Cops to whatever came to European tvs and the results: Americans seem to be uneducated, over-weight and full of problems. Europeans probably won't believe all Americans are alike (I surely don't!), but people started to see Americans differently.
Canadians are either ultra PC to the point of being absurd, silly, and making a huge deal or take offense about everything and some will even apologize-this mostly happens in very large cities, or if they are from small towns or the middle of nowhere they're just like rednecks and white trash from the deep South across the border.
Either way Canada is the United States' bitch and has been for a very long time.
No matter how pretty they are, when they open their mouths and the accent comes out it's a definite dick wilter. You know you have a 99.9% chance of having to be polite to someone who wants to tell you all about them, all about the world (even though their knowledge of it is frighteningly limited), and even all about your own country even if you're not interested in hearing it. This is not to say your average european is Erasmus, but they don't have the same infinite assumption they know all and come from the Land Of Infinite Wisdom and Moral Right.
That is EXACTLY my response R69. As soon as I hear than American accent, I don't want to hear their opinion on ANYTHING.
[quote]No matter how pretty they are, when they open their mouths and the accent comes out it's a definite dick wilter.
What is the "American accent?"
"This is not to say your average European is Erasmus"
That's the understatement of the thread. Go to Eastern Europe to witness some incredibly scintillating wit.
R65, I know we're talking about stereotypes, but my German relatives travel more than any people I know, both around Europe and to North America. My elderly cousin just got back from two weeks in Berlin (she lives west) but in the meantime she went to Poland and Czechoslovakia. And recently she and her sisters have been to Scandinavia, Russia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Las Vegas and L.A. in the States. Her daughter in the last six months has been in Austria, Italy, Spain, and various Mediterranean and Atlantic islands, and she often is in New York.
Tedious to read, yes, but they all claim that Germans travel a lot. The Germans who go to the bordering countries are the worst, they say, because they're just day trippers and bargain hunters. And it is generally acknowledged in Europe from my own experience that the British are the absolute worst - rude, cutting, pushy, drunken and haughty all at once. And cheap.
"Speaking from a European point of view, it is no exaggeration to say that it had got to the point where many in Europe regarded America as the enemy — and Americans were people we didn't even want to look at. It was almost as if the Europeans were simply against America and Americans. This was wrong, of course, and a result of the fact that there was confusion in our minds between the American people and the American administration." - Donatella Versace
R56, you are a moron with serious reading comprehension issues. And sorry, a pack of Marlboro Reds is not a part of any of my California friend's diet, as seems par for the course in certain European circles, where toking up to look "sophisticated" still seems common.
Whoever upthread said Americans are not as well-traveled as Europeans is correct, though. It is difficult for any full-time-working American adult to travel as extensively, when most jobs offer, like, two weeks of paid vacation at most? I do appreciate the European approach/mentality regarding travel.
"And sorry, a pack of Marlboro Reds is not a part of any of my California friend's diet, as seems par for the course in certain European circles, where toking up to look "sophisticated" still seems common."
In which certain European circles is this? Do you even know what you're talking about? Marlboro is an American brand, by the way.
Oh, and if you want people to comprehend your writing, try using possessive apostrophes correctly (how many Californian friends do you have? And, really, if someone going on about their "toned, physically-fit California friends" isn't trying desperately hard to look "sophisticated", I don't know what is).
R74, Donatella is talking about the Bush years, especially the days when so many Americans were supportive of invading Iraq.
[quote]Donatella is talking about the Bush years, especially the days when so many Americans were supportive of invading Iraq.
DV has become a spokesperson for the EU.
Well, I guess we've got Rush Limbaugh.
They appear to them as perfect, OP.
Europeans want nothing more than to be like Americans. Any European who tells you to the contrary is just overcompensating because their envy of us is so intense.
R73 The Germans are cheaper than the British! They are very cheap when they go abroad...to a fault.An American will go to a country and be a spendthrift whereas the German is conscious of every single penny they spend. I'm part German and it's a very negative German trait.
R74 Dontella's ex husband was American and her two kids are half American... what the fuck is she babbling on about?!
No, you hygienically-challenged, yellow-toothed European tampon-rag at R76, I didn't differentiate between American v. European brands of cigarettes, simply because I (nor anybody I know, nor most Americans) don't smoke, so I could give two shits what brand they were smoking. And FWIW, smoking still seems to be in favor amongst many of the Spaniards, Germans, French and Brits (among others) that I have met. Are you somehow doubting that, in general, Europeans smoke more than Americans now? Many Europeans smoke and have "smoker's bodies" --- thin, yes, but still gross and flabby!
Europeans view Americans the way New Yorkers view Americans.
Hey bleached teeth at r80, I don't have any comparative figures to hand for European/American smoking habits, so I can't say whether Americans or Europeans smoke more. Do you have the figures? What I was asking, however, is where these "European circles" that you claim think smoking is "sophisticated" are. I can also add, who are these Europeans who supposedly smoke as diet control.
FWIW, I've met a number of American smokers.
Malboros are actually sold worldwide, not just in the US. It is the #1 brand of cigarette in the world and overwhelmingly popular in Europe.
Europeans think Americans are much prettier than they are.
Europeans think that Americans are fat.The obese type of fat not just a little overweight.
[quote]Culturally closed-minded, "why can't they _____ like we do at home?"
Oh boy, I've heard lots of ex-pats here saying that. A bunch Europeans meet in a local coffee shop here and bemoan the US and discuss everything wrong with it, how much better their country is but do nothing except bitch, drink coffee and smoke like fiends.
R86 I heard about that this morning and immediately thought about Clark Griswald and European Vacation.
Most Europeans still hate Jews. Sooner or later, the old mythology comes up -- Jews run the banks, Jews discriminate against non-Jews, America is Israel's plaything, etc.
[quote]Europeans think that Americans are fat.The obese type of fat not just a little overweight.
They say that, to save face; but really they think Americans are much prettier than they are.
Fat, lazy, stupid, ignorant, uneducated, Jesus freaks.
I was visiting a Danish friend in Copenhagen a few years ago, and he said the Danes are becoming more and more like the Americans. I thought he meant politically or something. When I asked him to explain, he said, "We are getting fat."