UAUA
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Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:18 pm

I believe the majority of Americans are good at geography and are aware of what's going on around the globe. But a certain group no. I speak to Europeans and most of them are aware of these facts. They won't make such funny comments

I am in LAX awaiting to fly to LAS. Over the past few days I have heard something as below:

1) oh I didn't know that Hong Kong was British before?

2) I thought Singapore is part of China

3) oh you are from Australia????? You speak very good English

Speechless......

I love the US and I respect Americans a lot. Many Americans here on airliners and none of you will get these wrong

Both 3 places are so famous. Australia is a natural beauty while Hong Kong is the third largest business and financial centre on earth after New York and London. Singapore is a major world class major financial bub too

No offense to a certain US group but why is that? And it was Los Angeles which flies multiple flights to Australia and Hong Kong (it is on every US media like CNN, ABC, New York Times etc due to the protests) daily..... 1 has been to Hong Kong before.
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Aaron747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:36 pm

Were they under 25? :D And yes, definitely NOT airline employees.

Seriously though, none of this is surprising. Americans hardly travel overseas (outside of military service or business) compared to Brits and Aussies - the passport holding rate is something below 40% for Americans and over 70% for the latter. When I lived in Japan, I often met Americans who were surprised by the most basic things: a. 'konnichiwa' doesn't mean 'hello!', really?? b. Japanese eat fried chicken and white bread as often as sushi! (WTF, really?) c. Japanese supermarkets carry beef and Heineken, OMG! (wow, global economy much?)
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seb146
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:43 pm

Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.
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Aaron747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:53 pm

seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.


If you could afford it you’d be pleasantly surprised to find 60% or better of Finns speak at least conversational English, and many of those are basically fluent.
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anrec80
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Yes, I have seen this in LAX once when changing a plane there. I chatted in an airport bar with an older guy (in his 50s-60s) who was anxious and has never taken a flight before. He was traveling to Houston. Pretty much everyone around said - “nah, you’ll make it! It’s an easy one”.
 
UAUA
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:06 pm

Americans travel so often around the group.... Perhaps the largest group on earth

If you ask anyone in HKG they know pretty much about USA.

I thought most Americans watch CNN
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Redd
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:23 pm

I used to travel (in the mid naughties) to Ft. Myers once a month or so from YYZ to visit my girlfriend at the time who was studying at FGCU. People used to ask me where I was from, my answer, Toronto. How many funny questions I got after that I can't count, but the one that takes the cake was "oh really, wow, is that north or south of here?" ....and that was from a university student.....in Florida.... :rotfl:

The myriad of questions about our Igloo living situation in Toronto, if we have polar bears just walking around. Now mind you, that ignorance doesn't apply to Americans I meet abroad unless they're in tour groups. I met a nice older couple in the centre of Warsaw once asking for directions to a hotel as they had lost their tour group a short time earlier, a very conspicuous southern couple. When I asked them how they're enjoying Poland (they came part of some European WW2 tour and had just visited Auschwitz) they seemed confused. Not only did they not know they're in Poland but had never heard of Poland before. How they had managed to miss that while travelling through Poland is anyone's guess. They also complimented my English and said it's quite good.... (It's my native language... lol)

I have a bunch more but I feel like I'm taking a cheap shot at Americans...but it's so easy.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:44 pm

Overseas travel is expensive.

Another factor is that America has so many different kinds of places to visit where you dont need a passport and our highway systems are very expansive and well connected so they just take the family car and go to places like Colorado (snow/mountains/camping/weed), Florida or California (beaches), New York (megalopolis), Boston or Philly or DC (historical and DC is the capital), or Vegas, or a national park, and everywhere in between. Plus Americans make a trip out of the drive itself stopping by to see things like the Grand Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, the worlds largest ball of yarn, etc...

This is not to speak of *some* Americans ignorance of the rest of the world, just to show what America has to offer and help explain why the majority of Americans don't have passports or travel abroad.
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TSS
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:57 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
When I lived in Japan, I often met Americans who were surprised by the most basic things:


Basically, if it hasn't been in a Godzilla movie (the REAL ones with guys in rubber suits, not the CGI Hollywood ones) or on the nightly news, we don't know it about Japan. That being said...

Aaron747 wrote:
a. 'konnichiwa' doesn't mean 'hello!', really??


We've seen it used as a greeting in movies set in Japan, so we just assumed. What is the literal translation?

Aaron747 wrote:
b. Japanese eat fried chicken and white bread as often as sushi! (WTF, really?)


Blame mass media for that one totally. Every few months an article appears in the US about how much healthier the Japanese are and how much longer they live due to their diet of mostly rice and fish.

Aaron747 wrote:
c. Japanese supermarkets carry beef and Heineken, OMG! (wow, global economy much?)


Beef I'm not surprised by, I figured they raised cattle other than the Kobe ones, but the question about Heineken is "Why?". Everyone I know who has tried Japanese home-market beers has found them to range from "drinkable" to "quite good... different, but good".

Aaron747 wrote:
Seriously though, none of this is surprising. Americans hardly travel overseas (outside of military service or business) compared to Brits and Aussies - the passport holding rate is something below 40% for Americans and over 70% for the latter.


While I was formulating a reply, TWA772LR typed this:

TWA772LR wrote:
Overseas travel is expensive.

Another factor is that America has so many different kinds of places to visit where you dont need a passport and our highway systems are very expansive and well connected so they just take the family car and go to places like Colorado (snow/mountains/camping/weed), Florida or California (beaches), New York (megalopolis), Boston or Philly or DC (historical and DC is the capital), or Vegas, or a national park, and everywhere in between. Plus Americans make a trip out of the drive itself stopping by to see things like the Grand Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, the worlds largest ball of yarn, etc...

This is not to speak of *some* Americans ignorance of the rest of the world, just to show what America has to offer and help explain why the majority of Americans don't have passports or travel abroad.


I couldn't have said it better, or even nearly as well. Thanks for saving me a lot of typing, buddy! :thumbsup:
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BN747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:05 pm

UAUA wrote:
I believe the majority of Americans are good at geography and are aware of what's going on around the globe. But a certain group no. I speak to Europeans and most of them are aware of these facts. They won't make such funny comments

I am in LAX awaiting to fly to LAS. Over the past few days I have heard something as below:

1) oh I didn't know that Hong Kong was British before?

2) I thought Singapore is part of China

3) oh you are from Australia????? You speak very good English

Speechless......


Well first off, don't confuse Most Americans with the A.net demographic. MOST non-A.ner/non-aviation related Americans are horrible at geography. They don't care one bit.

The majority of people with aviation interest develop a second-sense about world geography by default due to the interest of where those jets fly off to. Even the ones who can not nor have ever traveled abroad, they are very keen on details beyond the grasp of the average American by leaps and bounds.

Don't even mention astronomy, most can't distinguish the difference between the Solar System and the Milky Way galaxy...but I digress.

Start with the american president, he couldn't find his home state on a map with each state clearly named.


UAUA wrote:
Americans travel so often around the group.... Perhaps the largest group on earth

If you ask anyone in HKG they know pretty much about USA.

I thought most Americans watch CNN


Most Americans do hold passports and of those that do..a small percentage are the most ardent users. That is a huge reason why so many are so ignorant on this subject. It also explains their lack of concern for places beyond our borders.


BN747
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MaverickM11
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:14 pm

Some? Try most.

Some Americans think having no idea what's going on is a virtue.
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DfwRevolution
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:32 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Another factor is that America has so many different kinds of places to visit where you dont need a passport and our highway systems are very expansive and well connected so they just take the family car and go to places like Colorado (snow/mountains/camping/weed), Florida or California (beaches), New York (megalopolis), Boston or Philly or DC (historical and DC is the capital), or Vegas, or a national park, and everywhere in between. Plus Americans make a trip out of the drive itself stopping by to see things like the Grand Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, the worlds largest ball of yarn, etc...


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FGITD
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:33 pm

On the flip side, few things are as amusing as the foreign travelers who arrive in Boston, JFK, Washington etc who plan on renting a car and "Driving to Los Angeles for the weekend"

no excuse for ignorance, but I think the sheer scale and variety of the US explains a lot.

Find 2 citizens of England, and odds are their lifestyles and culture aren't drastically different. (Not to say there's no variety, don't get me wrong. Of course a city dweller vs farmer exists, etc)

But take 2 Americans from opposite coasts, and it's much different.

And add to that, as others have said, the cost/time to travel. Vacation time itself is a luxury, and there's no 60 minute flight or train across the border.
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:15 pm

I am a US national, live near all my life and worked in NYC for 40+ years. I have had enough interest, income over the years to travel in a number of places in the USA, Europe as well as parts of the Caribbean, Australia and NZ.

Indeed many in the USA are geographically uneducated or just not interested of outside the USA unless themselves are foreign born. Many Americans have no idea what Brexit is about or have very stereotypical, religious or ethnic prejudices.

Many in the USA who get a passport are new citizens, 1st generation foreign born, have relatives outside the USA or work in Mexico, Canada or Caribbean. There is also that unlike much of the developed world, in the USA there is no legal requirement for paid vacations or sick days, many don't have health care so need to spend flat or declining incomes for that. Persons of Hispanic or African heritage have on average lower incomes and levels of education than White persons, some are fearful of travel outside the USA due to racism, further lowering the numbers of USA nationals from travel.
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:30 pm

FGITD wrote:
On the flip side, few things are as amusing as the foreign travelers who arrive in Boston, JFK, Washington etc who plan on renting a car and "Driving to Los Angeles for the weekend"


And plan on visiting Florida along the way.

FGITD wrote:
no excuse for ignorance, but I think the sheer scale and variety of the US explains a lot.

Find 2 citizens of England, and odds are their lifestyles and culture aren't drastically different. (Not to say there's no variety, don't get me wrong. Of course a city dweller vs farmer exists, etc)


Ehhh... I get where you're going with that example, but I suspect our British friends might take issue with it. To an outsider Brits might appear somewhat homogenous in films and TV shows, but outside London the locals can spot someone who's not from their town from a block away by looks alone. If the outsider speaks, they can nail down where they're from by accent easily as accents in the UK vary dramatically over distances as little as 35 miles, e.g. Scouse and Mancunian (Liverpool and Manchester).

FGITD wrote:
But take 2 Americans from opposite coasts, and it's much different.


New York City versus Los Angeles, yes, absolutely. Medium-sized cities up and down either coast, maybe not so much.

FGITD wrote:
And add to that, as others have said, the cost/time to travel. Vacation time itself is a luxury, and there's no 60 minute flight or train across the border.


True.
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Cadet985
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:41 pm

Some have no idea about what’s going on in the United States, either. There are more than a few videos of people on the street being asked general knowledge and current events questions, and either not knowing the answers and/or being woefully ignorant.

One time I was at a communal dinner at a hostel in Jerusalem and was talking to one of the other guests at my table. In the course of the typical discussion, the question of where everyone is from cane up. After I said I was American, this particular guest said he was from Sweden and asked if I had any idea where that was. He was stunned when I did and was also able to ask if he was from anywhere near Stockholm. I explained that in college, I had to take a class on geography and world issues. As part of that class, we had to memorize continents, capitals, and major cities.... that the professor might randomly pass out maps, and we’d have a certain amount of time to identify that information (and everyone got a different map).

As others have said, I think that a major reason Americans don’t travel abroad is the cost. I had actually been planning as trip to Amsterdam this week that I had to cancel. I found a price that was amazing. But I also know how to research airfare, connections, hotels, etc. A lot of people don’t.

I wish more people would travel abroad. It is such an amazing experience.

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UAUA
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:53 pm

New Yorkers know everything around the globe
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:15 pm

MaverickM11 wrote:
Some? Try most.

Some Americans think having no idea what's going on is a virtue.

<check>
They also think that they have a "pro active" solution to every problem globally.
( usually involving shooting, spraying poisons, or other methods of killing abroad.)
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mham001
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:17 pm

I think this is overblown. There are people like this everywhere in the world - for whatever reason - disinterest, stupidity, education, brain fart at that instant, whatever. I once met a nice young German couple at a German bar in San Jose, California. He worked for IBM but had no idea he was sitting in Silicon Valley. Completely dumbfounded.
I don't see not knowing Hong Kong was an ex British colony as something noteworthy, plenty of people have been born after that ended. I also personally know Asians who know little to nothing about the countries surrounding them. I married one.
The person who said the Australian English? thing probably confused it with Austria, not hard to do if you don't have that subject on your mind often. I figure the people who like to make this claim about dumb Americans aren't well travelled themselves, if they were, they'd know people are about the same all over the world.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:40 pm

Seems like a thread similar to this one pops up every year or so.

I think you'll find this type of demographic everywhere. Coupled with the other examples given - particularly the fact that the US has just about every type of vacation destination available, and theres no real reason to travel.
 
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seb146
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:11 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.


If you could afford it you’d be pleasantly surprised to find 60% or better of Finns speak at least conversational English, and many of those are basically fluent.


But where is the fun in that? I have gotten better advice and direction when I follow local customs, including the language.
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Aaron747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:58 pm

TSS wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
When I lived in Japan, I often met Americans who were surprised by the most basic things:


Basically, if it hasn't been in a Godzilla movie (the REAL ones with guys in rubber suits, not the CGI Hollywood ones) or on the nightly news, we don't know it about Japan. That being said...

Aaron747 wrote:
a. 'konnichiwa' doesn't mean 'hello!', really??


We've seen it used as a greeting in movies set in Japan, so we just assumed. What is the literal translation?

Aaron747 wrote:
b. Japanese eat fried chicken and white bread as often as sushi! (WTF, really?)


Blame mass media for that one totally. Every few months an article appears in the US about how much healthier the Japanese are and how much longer they live due to their diet of mostly rice and fish.

Aaron747 wrote:
c. Japanese supermarkets carry beef and Heineken, OMG! (wow, global economy much?)


Beef I'm not surprised by, I figured they raised cattle other than the Kobe ones, but the question about Heineken is "Why?". Everyone I know who has tried Japanese home-market beers has found them to range from "drinkable" to "quite good... different, but good".

Aaron747 wrote:
Seriously though, none of this is surprising. Americans hardly travel overseas (outside of military service or business) compared to Brits and Aussies - the passport holding rate is something below 40% for Americans and over 70% for the latter.


While I was formulating a reply, TWA772LR typed this:

TWA772LR wrote:
Overseas travel is expensive.

Another factor is that America has so many different kinds of places to visit where you dont need a passport and our highway systems are very expansive and well connected so they just take the family car and go to places like Colorado (snow/mountains/camping/weed), Florida or California (beaches), New York (megalopolis), Boston or Philly or DC (historical and DC is the capital), or Vegas, or a national park, and everywhere in between. Plus Americans make a trip out of the drive itself stopping by to see things like the Grand Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, the worlds largest ball of yarn, etc...

This is not to speak of *some* Americans ignorance of the rest of the world, just to show what America has to offer and help explain why the majority of Americans don't have passports or travel abroad.


I couldn't have said it better, or even nearly as well. Thanks for saving me a lot of typing, buddy! :thumbsup:


‘Konnichiwa’ is ‘good afternoon’. As for Heineken, it’s in supermarkets there because it’s a large import economy and middle class Japanese like variety, and not just things domestically-produced.

As for the US being large and having a lot of variety that is one reason, yes, but that should apply to Australians as well, yet they travel a lot. They have everything from rain forest to mountains rivaling the Great Smokies to deserts, pasturelands, wine country and tropical beaches. As others hinted, I suspect the real reasons so few Americans travel abroad is lack of disposable income and PTO.
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Kent350787
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:43 am

Aaron747 wrote:
As for the US being large and having a lot of variety that is one reason, yes, but that should apply to Australians as well, yet they travel a lot. They have everything from rain forest to mountains rivaling the Great Smokies to deserts, pasturelands, wine country and tropical beaches. As others hinted, I suspect the real reasons so few Americans travel abroad is lack of disposable income and PTO.


I think your last comment is pretty right - with minimum 4 weeks paid leave a year and a (mostly) living minimum wage Australians are more able to travel than those in the US. And ,even though the land mass is roughly the same size as the lower 48, there is a hell of a lot of open landscape with little to grab you. And a flipside of the "living" minimum wage and a population clustered in a few large centres is that domestic travel is expensive.
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:40 am

Lots of Americans think that Norway is like the Soviet Union or that Norway and Sweden is the same country ... :-)
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:40 am

I think this is due to the fact that there is so much going on in the US that there is not even time to find out what is happening outside
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:48 am

"Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?"


Indeed, some Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world, or indeed are ignorant about their own country. but then again, so are so many people on earth. I do not know the statistics, but I can imagine it is better or worse than in many other countries.

The vast majority of people live their lives within 50kilometers from were they were born. Most peoples lives are quite boring, and they are content with that. Be careful with that kind of statement, implied question, because it can easily be construed as American bashing - which it isn't, but still -.

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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:08 am

seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas.


I'm honestly surprised. Given what I saw when I visited the US I would think the middle class would be affluent enough to afford to travel.

Are travel costs really high for Americans?
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Kiwirob
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:41 am

UAUA wrote:
I believe the majority of Americans are good at geography and are aware of what's going on around the globe. But a certain group no.


If you believe this you are giving them far far too much credit.
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:44 am

seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.


Hmm where to start, you don't need to speak Finnish to go to Finland, and Estonia has it's on language, Estonian, in both countries most people speak English. TV is also in English with local subtitles.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:50 am

TSS wrote:
[

Ehhh... I get where you're going with that example, but I suspect our British friends might take issue with it. To an outsider Brits might appear somewhat homogenous in films and TV shows, but outside London the locals can spot someone who's not from their town from a block away by looks alone. If the outsider speaks, they can nail down where they're from by accent easily as accents in the UK vary dramatically over distances as little as 35 miles, e.g. Scouse and Mancunian (Liverpool and Manchester).


It gets even worse in Norway, 500m away from my house the dialect changes from the local one where I live to the one in the bigger town down the road, the border from my house to the next kommune is 500m away. My wife, her mother and siblings all now speak different dialects, it's nuts.
 
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:26 am

it's not only geography - sadly the "american way of life" (capitalsm) creates big differences between the ones who have and the ones who do not have. and it is about education, too.
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Kiwirob
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:58 am

Mortyman wrote:
Lots of Americans think that Norway is like the Soviet Union ... :-)


When you look at some of the communal housing projects in some Norwegian cities it would be easy to make that mistake.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:11 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas.


I'm honestly surprised. Given what I saw when I visited the US I would think the middle class would be affluent enough to afford to travel.

Are travel costs really high for Americans?


Simply put, yes. At least for those not near a major International Hub.

With about 6 weeks of planning, I can get from RDU to LAX(~3600 KM) or SEA(~3800 KM ) for around 250. The same time to LHR (6200 kM) witch is Not twice as far still is going to cost 1300 non stop and 900 direct. SIN is 1000 which is much further away . Cancun mexico costs only about 300-400 bucks.

NYC to LHR , AMS or CDG or FCO can get flights for 300-400 dollars.

So you will find many American's stay local unless they have the time and funds to pay for a big trip, or they live near a major international hub.

Another item not pointed out, is that with the US being so large, families are very spread out, and many use the limited vacation time to travel to see family within the US.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
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DaProf
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:51 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas.


I'm honestly surprised. Given what I saw when I visited the US I would think the middle class would be affluent enough to afford to travel.

Are travel costs really high for Americans?


I would say that's a consideration, but perhaps a more important distinction would be the lack of vacation days themselves. After a few sick days and a few days to pad Christmas and Thanksgiving) , most Americans would be pressed to find more than a week off for actual vacation. Mentally this makes traveling overseas a lot harder to justify.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:07 pm

DaProf wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas.


I'm honestly surprised. Given what I saw when I visited the US I would think the middle class would be affluent enough to afford to travel.

Are travel costs really high for Americans?


I would say that's a consideration, but perhaps a more important distinction would be the lack of vacation days themselves. After a few sick days and a few days to pad Christmas and Thanksgiving) , most Americans would be pressed to find more than a week off for actual vacation. Mentally this makes traveling overseas a lot harder to justify.


It’s also a reason Americans deservedly rank lower on the freedom index than other developed countries - outside of being a public servant, independently wealthy or successful doctor/attorney, there are few people who can actually take 10-14 days off at a stretch.
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seb146
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:43 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas.


I'm honestly surprised. Given what I saw when I visited the US I would think the middle class would be affluent enough to afford to travel.

Are travel costs really high for Americans?


Not travel costs, but day-to-day expenses. Auto insurance and repair and gas, all this "but I just HAVE to have it!" stuff on credit, health care costs, education costs.... Many of can not afford to just be. There are Americans who do not want to travel.
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trpmb6
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:45 pm

Only reason I travel is for historical and cultural reasons. Why spend the money to fly and stay on a beach when I can do that here in the states. If there isn't a historical or cultural reason to visit, to learn, to appreciate, to explore, why go? Our most recent trip was simply to cancun, and while we did take advantage of all inclusive resorts, we spent most of our time exploring various historical locations away from the beach.

As an aside, since this popped up on my facebook news feed today. 16.4 million americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Nuff said.
 
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seb146
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:46 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.


Hmm where to start, you don't need to speak Finnish to go to Finland, and Estonia has it's on language, Estonian, in both countries most people speak English. TV is also in English with local subtitles.


Right. I did not have to speak Spanish when I went to Mexico, either. But I did and I feel I we were treated better for it. I suspect they were just being polite and gave me props for making an effort. I don't want to learn every word and grammar rule in Finnish. Just enough to start a conversation.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
UAUA
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:32 pm

Again I have spoken to Americans who know a lot about the globe. Not kniwing Australia is an English speaking country, Hong Kong was British before= certain people of all age. Airliners know a lot

Most people in HKG read the news a lot.

I thought most Americans watch CNN which is very detailed?
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flyguy89
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:43 pm

*Shrugs* I'm from Cincinnati originally...a not inconsequentially-sized city. When I lived in France, about 99% of the time when people would ask me where in the US I was from I'd have to say "5 hours south of Chicago." Americans have a tendency to be insular for a variety of reasons: the vastness of the US; the fact that the US is basically the cultural and financial epicenter of the Western World (I know London and Hong Kong are also massive but the point here is essentially that the world comes to us); its geography. Some other contributing factors to consider: it's $145 for a new passport...for a family of four that adds up. Secondly, the lack of mandated PTO in the US has been misconstrued here. The average American worker has between 10-15 days of PTO per year...the problem is that more than half don't even use all their PTO. This suggests a more cultural implication to me in the perceived cultural connotations of working versus vacation.
 
TSS
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:26 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
UAUA wrote:
I believe the majority of Americans are good at geography and are aware of what's going on around the globe. But a certain group no.


If you believe this you are giving them far far too much credit.


God, I hate it when you say stuff like that and you're right. :irked:

Seriously though, in grades 1-8 about every other year we were issued very nice, modern Geography books at the beginning of the school year yet not once did we ever crack them open in class. Not once. On the other hand hand we never missed a single day's boring time-suck known as a Spelling Lesson, which the number of adults I know who got straight "A"s in school but who can barely spell their own name correctly suggests that beyond grade 3 or 4 Spelling lessons are an abject waste of time and one either gets it and can remember how to spell words or they can't and no amount of mindless copying of words from a list in a book or on a blackboard will change that... but I digress. Rant about the skewed priorities of the US education system over.

I only gained an interest in geography when I went online and began speaking to people from all over the world, some from countries that I had heard of as countries but genuinely had no idea where they were located.

UAUA wrote:
I thought most Americans watch CNN


Most of the ones I know watch their local nightly news and only tune in to CNN, etc. if there has been a major news event that is still unfolding and they want continuous updates. A corruption scandal in the local city council or road closings in the immediate area due to construction will directly affect the lives of most people much more than anything covered on CNN would.

seb146 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Many of us can not afford to travel overseas. Even still, it does not take much to open the internet or even go to a library and crack open a book.

I would love to travel to Finland and Estonia. I do not because I can not afford it and I do not speak Finnish. Not speaking Finnish would not stop me if I could afford to go. Sadly, many Americans simply do not care to travel. The food is weird, no one speaks English, TV shows are strange, no real (read: American) beer, etc.


Hmm where to start, you don't need to speak Finnish to go to Finland, and Estonia has it's on language, Estonian, in both countries most people speak English. TV is also in English with local subtitles.


Right. I did not have to speak Spanish when I went to Mexico, either. But I did and I feel I we were treated better for it. I suspect they were just being polite and gave me props for making an effort. I don't want to learn every word and grammar rule in Finnish. Just enough to start a conversation.


I admire your intent, but Finnish is widely considered to be one of if not the hardest languages in the world to learn as a second language. Finns are quite aware of this and seem to take it in stride, and as Kiwirob pointed out most of them speak English as well as if not better than many native English speakers. I'd imagine that for an American, trying to speak beginner Finnish in Finland would be like trying to speak beginner German in Germany- Unless you're way out in the boondocks, the instant the locals hear your US accent they'll insist that the conversation be held in English so they can show off their own far superior language skills.
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mham001
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:03 pm

UAUA wrote:
Again I have spoken to Americans who know a lot about the globe. Not kniwing Australia is an English speaking country, Hong Kong was British before= certain people of all age. Airliners know a lot

Most people in HKG read the news a lot.

I thought most Americans watch CNN which is very detailed?


IDK, going by popular myth in this forum, they all watch FOX. Truth is, only a tiny fraction watch either.

I don't know what is the significance of Hong Kong, it does after all sit in CHINA and is full of CHINESE people. It was seceded to Britain only after the Brits got them hooked on opium and went to war to continue pushing their drugs. The British might prefer everybody forget about that whole colonial thing.
 
WIederling
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:56 pm

mham001 wrote:
IDK, going by popular myth in this forum, they all watch FOX. Truth is, only a tiny fraction watch either.


One third of the adult population watches Fox.
https://pos.org/whos-watching-a-look-at ... -watchers/

Then news channels in the US apparently aren't really about News.

They are about preaching.
I've yet to see some single facet of fact presented without inuendo and/or strong polarizing.
Murphy is an optimist
 
UAUA
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:27 pm

Hong Kong is the world's number 3 business and financial centre. A pity it is now the most expensive place on earth for properties with the highest ratio/lots of super rich but the poor are getting poorer. It is very international with world class infrastructures. It has a unique post protected by UN law? The only city in China with freedom and its own government/governor

Incredible wealth too

We are still closely tie to the UK in many ways
Last edited by UAUA on Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UAUA
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:31 pm

WIederling wrote:
mham001 wrote:
IDK, going by popular myth in this forum, they all watch FOX. Truth is, only a tiny fraction watch either.


One third of the adult population watches Fox.
https://pos.org/whos-watching-a-look-at ... -watchers/

Then news channels in the US apparently aren't really about News.

They are about preaching.
I've yet to see some single facet of fact presented without inuendo and/or strong polarizing.


I still find CNN trustworthy and neutral in many ways. Also high quality
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910A
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:05 pm

UAUA wrote:
Again I have spoken to Americans who know a lot about the globe. Not kniwing Australia is an English speaking country, Hong Kong was British before= certain people of all age. Airliners know a lot

Most people in HKG read the news a lot.

I thought most Americans watch CNN which is very detailed?


Probably the same people that think the US state of New Mexico is in Mexico. :white:

Only 42% of Americans hold a passport. Back in 1990 it was only 4% but since the Patriot Act and other measures after 9/11 the percent as gone up. Back in 1994 70% of the newly elected US Congress didn't have a passport and never had left the US in their life.
 
Ken777
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:40 pm

I joined the Navy in '66 because of a long term interest in "Join the Navy and see the World". Sadly that was in the Vietnam War era so everything I saw was in the Pacific, but it was the experience of a lifetime. In addition to obvious serving in the war zone the ships had R&R visits to Hong Kong (3 times) Sydney (where we had a young Aussie Lass stow away overnight in the Admirals bedroom), Perth (where I met my a marvelous wife of 50 years), Manila, Pearl Harbor including being transferred to a DDG there 10 weeks before the 3rd deployment ent. Toss in smaller stops like Midway as well as longer stays in Subic Bay and 2 bases in Japan. That enlistment was one of the best decisions I have made in my 75 years.

I came from Tulsa (half way between NY City and LA) and there is a small contagious town called Sand Springs. Some people living there have never been to Tulsa (or any place else) because they can get everything they want right there in town. No desire to see the Big City, let alone another state. When you mention Australia to women there the odds are they will tell you that they LOVED the Sound of Music.

I compare that to friends and associates in Perth who were very aware of international event. A good indication of the scope of news followed is in a Sydney newspaper. SMH.com.au is a prime Sydney paper, You can learn about issues around the world by Googling English newspapers. Want to follow the protests Google English language newspapers in Hong Kong.

For DFW: " When you already live in the best place in the world, why leave it?"

If mass shootings get too close you might start looking at places like Australia or New Zealand. There are a lot of places that are "the best place in the world".
 
mham001
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:19 pm

WIederling wrote:
mham001 wrote:
IDK, going by popular myth in this forum, they all watch FOX. Truth is, only a tiny fraction watch either.


One third of the adult population watches Fox.
https://pos.org/whos-watching-a-look-at ... -watchers/


I don't believe that. Devil is in the details and there is no link. Interestingly, WSJ does not list that poll at all. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-wall-s ... 1378786510

Last I looked, Fox News does not get more than 5% of TV viewers at any point during the day.

UAUA wrote:

I still find CNN trustworthy and neutral in many ways. Also high quality


The CNN you see around the world is very different than the CNN in the US. No better than FOX as far as bias in not only how the news is reported but more importantly, WHAT is reported.
 
BN747
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:04 am

WIederling wrote:
MaverickM11 wrote:
Some? Try most.

Some Americans think having no idea what's going on is a virtue.

<check>
They also think that they have a "pro active" solution to every problem globally.
( usually involving shooting, spraying poisons, or other methods of killing abroad.)


...and they know Jesus better than the people living where he was 'born'...but terrified to visit!

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
Ken777
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Re: Some Americans have no idea what's going on outside the US?

Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:24 am

mham001 wrote:
The CNN you see around the world is very different than the CNN in the US. No better than FOX as far as bias in not only how the news is reported but more importantly, WHAT is reported.


CNN has been pretty good over the years in bringing in both sides of a discussion - and those "discussions" have become pretty aggressive at time. Both right and left going after each other to the degree that I often thought I should go to a sporting goods stores and bought a few Ref's Whistles for the compare sitting between them.

MSNBC has also shown some surprising balance during the day. Deadline White House brings in traditional conservative Republicans (as opposed to Trump lap dogs) like Michael Steele (ex RNC Chairman who ran the RNC to 2 Presidential Election victories) and Ex Representative DAVID Jolly, a pretty astute EX Republican who delivers balanced, well thought out comments. Jolly, like George Will, left the GOP because of Trump. That's a good sign

Madow was on today and had Michael McFaul, for Ambassador to Russia and a Prof at Stanford, discussing Trump's extortion of the Ukraine. His comments were sobering, as has been a lot of other respected guests from the right and left.

Both CNN and MSNBC pull current news from large international networks. When major events hit the news CNN relies on their international network and MSNBC relies on NBC. which is no slouch. I have no idea of how extensive FOX is with their International network as I really don't watch them.

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