America: What They Think of Us:
Some insights on how the world views America
By Danielle Aihini
Author René Zografos’ latest book, Attractive Unattractive Americans, releasing August 3 is a collection of thoughts, opinions and observations on America from over 1,000 people around the world.
Through personal experience and interviews, Zografos has comprised an extensive account of how other countries view America from fashion to work to discipline and much more.
Zografos is an award winning Norwegian author of fiction- and non-fiction books. His other work includes organic recipe book, Helt Naturlig Mat, Hvor I All Verden?, Stink and the Stench, Guess What Animal, and Sannheten om Norge og nordmenn, a book about what people think of the Norwegian culture.
After years of education in Journalism and Photography, he started to work in the largest women’s fashion and feature magazine in Norway. Since then he has worked for several magazines and newspapers, as well as for artist, designers, publishing houses and many other customers around the world. René has also invented family-boardgames.
Excerpt from the book
“I like a lot about the United States and why shouldn’t I? The people are polite, service-minded and friendly, and we all have a chance to make it over there. The American nature is just magnificent.
When I first visited the U.S. I was a bit surprised because the culture was so different. By culture, I mean the sports culture. I didn’t meet a single person who didn’t talk about anything but sports.
And the topic was almost always basketball, American football or baseball. For a foreigner, it was kind The book Attractive Unattractive Americans.of difficult to join in, especially if you didn’t know the rules of the game and the name of the players. It was almost impossible to escape from sports talk because I think that every bar and restaurant in America has at least five or six televisions with sports news on them.
I still don’t understand why they can’t show something else or just play some music. But things like that don’t irritate me anymore; it’s a part of the American culture and when I visit the country now, I quite like it. It gives you an atmosphere of being in America.
The love for traditions and holidays in America is also very admirable, and it seems like everyone is preparing and participating for whatever celebration is next.
On the Fourth of July I can see how proud Americans are of their country.There is not a doubt in my mind that the people in America are different and more outgoing than others in the world, and I mean that everyone can and should learn something from them.
While many people in many other countries are shy and afraid to stand out from a crowd, Americans step out and scream, “Hey! Here I am! Choose me!” That is admirable!
But there must be a balance and sometimes American drama can be too over-the-top. I don’t think I have ever seen an American reality-TV show without a huge theater scene.
It’s always someone who is ill, or who recently lost a family member or something else sad, and they always seem to mention that the reason they are on that particular TV show is because of them — that they want to honor their loved one or hardship.
Then everyone cries and feels so sad. For people outside of America that is a rather strange behavior — all these dramatic scenes on everyday television.
When it comes to good service, Americans are world champions. Many that I have talked to in my travels bring that up in their description of what they like about America.
Additionally, in my personal experiences, it is highly unlikely not to get top-level service in America. The customer always comes first, no matter who you are and how you behave.
And the workers I meet in America seem really proud of what they do! They appear to genuinely enjoy what they do for a living. That is unusual where I come from, where people often keep their job just to have an income every month, even if they do not enjoy the work.
In general, I would recommend people visit America. Stay there for a while, feel the energy in the country and talk to the people. But I must also recommend that Americans explore their own country much more.
Many have rarely ever traveled around, and that is so sad because each and every state is so different that it’s like visiting another country, but with the benefits of having the same language. No country in the world has all of these advantages and varied experiences right outside one’s front door. Go out and experience your own country – America is full of beauty and adventure, so it would be foolish to have such possibilities outside your doorstep and not benefit from them.
‘American guys are way more ‘men’ than the guys we have back home.’ -Maria, Mexico
‘I have always wondered why so many folks say that they don’t like America but still keep traveling back there year after year.’ -Derek, England”
Visit the René Zografos website for more information.
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