I remember when Bush Light was President and my friends went on holiday to SE Asia. They told everyone they were Canadians. And I remember, seeing the Canadian flag sewed on to backpacks, bouncing on sweaty backs whenever I was in touristic quarters. Yes, Canadians are proud, and they also don’t want to be mistaken for “Americans”.
I remember being surprised to learn that many of my Thai students had no desire to go to the United States. They’d rather go to Western Europe. I wondered. I mean, I thought the US was a coveted country. Our culture is EVERYWHERE. Later I learned that some Thais believe the US is dangerous, after watching Hollywood movies that is…
It’s funny because what Americans think what the world thinks of them is wrong. Maybe this too can be said about the Chinese or the Germans, etc. We know we are hated or disliked but we figure it’s because we be uneducated and rotund. But the real reason is: Americans are LOUD.
Hanging out with expats from other countries, you get to hear what’s annoying about other cultures. You hear the stereotypes, and you smirk, and maybe add in your own observations. And if you’ve ever been traveling outside of your passport country, just chilaxing in a cafe or restaurant, you will notice the loudest group of people are from these United States.
My friend Pierre vented over his last trip to Paris, on how Americans were completely unaware of how loud they were, how they were the only voices in an otherwise quiet train, and lastly how embarrassed he was for them as more Frenchies understand English than these people probably realized.
This timeless discussion came after a disruption at the Irish Pub on Quiz Night. Yeah, it gets loudish but generally folks upstairs are enjoying the game, and folks are respectful. But that night some kids were being particularly obnoxious, and then one of them announced, “Hey, what do you expect? I’m an American.”
I groaned and sunk low in my chair. I might have uttered, “Shut up.” Hey, I’m not a flag waver but I’m not ashamed either, but when an American abroad acts up, I really feel slithery and sorry and sad.
“Why are Americans so loud?” Pierre asked.
My fellow countryman and I looked at one another. “I don’t know,” I said. “I really don’t know.” It’s a big country? We’re raised to be independent, so that makes us speak at a higher volume? We like to be heard? I mean, it’s no Cairo Egypt, it’s not necessarily a loud place, and so we don’t have to shout all the time in order to be heard.
So I decided to google this and lo and behold it’s a hot topic! The best answer yet at yahoo.
Which led me to this video by comedian Lewis Black, and so Pierre, I give you your answer: