Amerikos žmonės

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“The American people”

American Friendliness

Christina Ruffini is a 23-year-old woman from Bologna, Italy , who spent a year in San Diego as a governess and taking flying lessons toward her pilot’s license. She remember the time she hitchhiked up the California coast and what this experience taught her about Americans:

Americans can be very generous. Once a girlfriend and I hitchhiked from Los Angeles to San Francisco. What I liked was that the people who picked up were very worried about us. They allways wanted to help us. One couple asked us if we wanted money so that we could take a bus instead of hitchhiking. And they wanted nothing back. Later we hitched a ride to Salinas with a truck driver. He was also worried about our safety and tried over his CB radio to fix us up with a ride with another trucker from Salinas to San Francisco. When he could not, he told us, “I do not want to leave yoou on the street, so I will take you up myself to make sure you get there safely.” And then he drove us to San Francisco and dropped us off on Market Street where we were going to stay. And he

e didin’t want anything back. He would not let pay him. That trip was a highlight of my stay in America.

From an interview with the author, June 17, 1988

Richard Ingrams, a reporter for the Illustrated London News, enjoyed a memorable encounter with a street beggar near Watington:

On our way down the hill from Monticello, Alexander remarked on another curios fact about Americans: “If you look at them, they always smile. I find that rather disconcerting.” Personally, I said I found it rather nice, and a pleasant change from the dour and suspicious looks one gets from one’s fellow countrymen.

In fact what is nice about America is not the scenery or the skyscrapers.. It is the smiling, open attitude of the American peeople. On my last morning in Georgetown I found myself confronted in the main street by a large, beaming, bearded man. “Good morning, sir,” he cried. “I’m a bum! Would you give me some money?”

No cringing. No pretence about cups of tea. A frank, straightforward approach to the situation. I immediately fished in my pocket for all available change – something I would never do in England – and decided I would probably be back quite soon.

From “Stars and Gripes,” in the Il

llustrated London News, September 1987

The Violent American

“The best thing about Americans their violence-oriented country is the fact the Atlantic is between us,” insist a retired British journalist. “American foreign policy pervers the advance of humanity and culture by creating a weapon-oriented life for all of us.”

One aspect of American behavior which provokes numerous hostile comments from foreign observers is what they perceive as our tendency toward aggressive and violent actions. Dr. Hugo Molteni, a Buenos Aires physician, has n

. . .

American Provincialism

Christina Ruffini had complaint about the Americans she met during her stay in Southern California:

Many Americans are much too provincial. They have no sense of what my Italy is like. I have had Americans ask me if we have freeways in Italy. This is crazy! I think this ignorance of a world beyond their borders is a big problem for many Americans.

From an interview with the author, June 17, 1988

Anita Mandrekar, who lives in Bombay, alsofound the ignorance ofmost Americans regarding her native India appalling on her recent trip to the United States.

Americans are generally ignorant on international matters. People there do not know much of the world outside. Even upper income

groups st

till think that we in India live in jungles and have wild animals and snakes crawling all over.

From a letter to the author, dated August 7, 1988

Literature:

James C. Simmons “AMERICANS. The view from abroad” Harmony books New York 1990

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