Monday, June 22, 2009

Culture Shock: Self Hate

Whenever I travel I have huge reactions against my own "American culture." Just looked this up and apparently this culture shock coping method is entitled "utilizing the culture: totally adopting new culture and rejection own culture and identity." Idk if this is the right term. But basically I have consciously been trying to separate myself with all things that not only identify me as a gaijin, but also as an American.

I hate how bad this must sound, but most American's I've seen here are your typical otaku. Or at least at Sophia. Apparently Aoyama is different I have heard from Travis. I have seen the American stereotypes played out like no other here, lol in real people, in real situations. I can't help but think that many of the negative generalizations of Americans are not only possible, but seem to totally embody American tourists/exchange students.

I am usually really tolerant of people or at least not too judgmental, but here I have met a ton of people that I just cannot stand. The most obnoxious, spoiled, stupid, and just plain strange people I have ever met in my life I have talked to here. And sadly most came straight from the states.

Of course I know in my head this is just a mental exaggeration. And yes, there are normal people and actually really great people here too. I've met a number of them too. But that cannot hide the fact that I am despising the American part of my identity.

If I was here a few years ago, before Obama was elected, I might even be tempted to say I was from Canada or something, LOL.

This isn't to say that I love everything about Japan. But I am reacting in exactly the opposite way that I know a lot of the exchange students here are. Instead of resenting Japanese customs, practices, and expressing anger toward Japanese people and their subtleties (like I've seen a lot of people do), I look back to America and immediately see everything that is wrong with my home country.

What I hate about America (i guess these are the main ones)

*how much of an influence we have across the world (Americanization at its prime)
*how wasteful we are
*how ignorant Americans are
*how demanding, inflexible we are when we travel
*what a bad representation tourists are for the US

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