Re: Conditioned Assumptions

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Mon, 6 May 1996 09:26:14 +0000

On 6 May 96 at 20:22, wrote:

> How about:
> They assume that everyone (in the other country) is envious of them
> because they're American, wants to know all about America, looks up
> to America, and has, as their ultimate goal, American citizenship.

Whew. Hi Carolyn,

You'd be surprised how many non-Americans, south of the border
anyway, do look up to, if not Americans themselves, their
institutions. It is why what sometimes transpires on the internet
can be so disappointing: especially the censorship bill.

> Their basic attitude is that they are doing the other country (and
> everyone who crosses their path) a favor by spending money there.

That's not quite the case. While Americans expect value for their
money, and they should, they are more often so over-generous with it,
that people think them foolish --not knowing the value of a dollar.

North Americans are, by the way, far better travellers than Europeans
for example, who, expecting sombrero clad peons basking in the
shadows of burros, are visibly disappointed, while packing cans of
sardines and teabags, in the so-called Americanization of such
countries as Mexico --as if having smart cars, t.v.s and such were
anything that they themselves would give up to return to flowery
carts, sock suspenders and wooden shoes. While teaching the backward
the virtues of turning the country into a nudist camp, they complain
about finding McDonald's that no one patronizes, because of their
inexpensive fare, more than they do --that is, when not taking tables
in regular restaurants to order hot cups of water for their tea.

Living in tourist destinations can be very enlightening. When people
are on vacation, they are out for a good time and are on their best
behavior so to speak. Half of them may be total s.o.b.s when they
get back home, but while they're here, they're pretty nice.

Dealing with various nationalities in such a milieu really does help
one begin to learn alot about the differing peoples in the world. The
English are exceptionally polite, considerate and always broke. The
French, after the course of how many years of being a cultured
civilization, have yet to learn that the customs of other countries
may not include tips in restaurant checks. The Germans spend almost
the entirety of their vacations writing about what they are supposed
to be doing in little diaries. Italian men love a good time but have
lost some smarts. While the men carouse the restaurants looking for
Mexican women, they really think their wifes are just staying
poolside exchanging meatball recipes. Japanese men, when travelling
with their woman, are the most respectful people in the world, when
not --well they're still respectful. It costs Australians so much
money to just get anywhere, that they never have enough to keep

I can go on, but I've been around tourist destinations to know at
least one thing: earning a living in such places should be both
accredited and required for any degree in Antrhopology.

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")