I think that this blog is turning into more of a web journal, since I only update it when I have the time, but this post is inspired by a recent column written for the China Daily Metro section by my friend Will Axford. It can be viewed here at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/metro/2010-07/30/content_11073081.htm
I’ve been in Beijing for about 5 weeks now, as I arrived on June 24th. I think I can say this experience if making me into a better person than I was before because of all the things I get to experience and also getting to see how people in other countries live their lives from day to day. What I didn’t expect was my thoughts of some of the people from my own country here in Beijing. In Will’s column, he talks about this briefly, as I was one of the friends with him at this pizza shop and I’m going to go into this deeper.
Every week my friends and I have been going to this chain-restaurant pizza shop in Beijing called the Kros Nest since the pizza is amazing and also if you go on Wednesday night they have free beer from 8 – 10 p.m. Basically all you can drink Tsingtao drafts. For three recent college graduate American expats, this is an opportunity you just can’t let pass by to relax after a long day working in the newsroom at China Daily, but every week we see these same American college students. They’re loud and obnoxious and the restaurant staff are annoyed by the very sight of them. I understand that they’re college students, but it doesn’t mean they need to be disrespectful by drunkenly shouting profanities and chanting “USA! USA! USA!” at the top of their lungs, or even singing the theme song from Team America known as “America F*** Yeah!”, as well.
Being around these people makes me want to pretend I’m from Canada and not feel proud to think that we all come from the same melting pot. Just because we’re in a country where people don’t speak the same language, doesn’t mean people here don’t deserve the same amount of respect.
While I may not be a perfect person in all aspects, I still have the piece of mind to be respectful in a place that is only my temporary home and also to the many traditions and cultural aspects I may not completely agree with. To me, these people I’m meeting and observing don’t follow the definition of an American in my dictionary.
For now all I can say is that of the title of this blog post: “America F*** NO!”. Some of the Americans I’ve seen in Beijing need to grow up and watch how they handle themselves. Why would we want even more people in the world to hate us and think Americans are obnoxious when much of the world already thinks that? We stereotype people in America and many of these people seem to be serving as the American stereotype for the Chinese people.