Traveling always reminds me of just how much I love America. Now I don't want to be a traitor to my generation; I know it's hip to talk about how ignorant Americans are, etc. etc.--and I do! I'm not saying that we're less ignorant but I'm saying we should get a little more credit than we're given.
As my friend Leah pointed out, America acts like it has contributed all sorts of stuff to the world and guess what? IT HAS! America is responsible for a lot of great crap like the Snuggie, the KFC Double Down and the iPad.
Americans are always seen as being loud and confused in foreign countries. This is partially because in many foreign countries they don't observe the basic rules of society like we do in America.
- Take, for example, the line. I've traveled to my share of countries and not once have I seen the line properly executed. Some of us wait in line while others just waltz in like they're the most important person on God's green earth. If this happened in America, the line would rally together to correct that person and the cashier or whomever would help. In other countries everyone just looks at each other helplessly. The system breaks down, and then my friend you've got anarchy on your hands.
- Let's talk about proper signage for a minute. I was in the Buenos Aires post office, utterly lost due to a lack of signage. I'm not demanding that the signs be in English--I just need something to go on (instructions in some recognizable language, IKEA style picture instructions, PA announcements, SOMETHING). I wasn't the only one who was confused--people from Argentina were looking around like "WTF is this place?" In America, we operate from the mindest that everyone is a moron and that is working out great. We put instructions on anything that will hold still long enough. We take the time to remind you not to use your hairdryer in the bathtub or hold a chainsaw too close to your genitals. It's called caring.