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Monday, June 25, 2007

How Do You Like Our Freedom?

A funny question some Americans ask my husband, who is from Europe, when they meet him is "How do you like our freedom?" Apparently, some folks in the US are under the impression that people from say, Germany or France or Sweden have no freedom. (Friends from those countries have reported being asked the same question, as well)

Could I just ask a small favor, if perhaps you are tempted to ask this question of a foreigner?

Please don't. You make us look like complete idiots.

I am tired of explaining to my European friends why some Americans believe that we have some special sort of freedom here in the US that they don't have in Europe; (So I end up yakking for half an hour about how Americans don't travel much, the school system, the "freedom of the American press to report on Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton 24 hours a day...").

It is really getting old.

They don't understand what the heck you are talking about. OK? Ask them if they like the weather here, how fast they can drive on the freeway, or what they think of American beer. Just stay away from the "How do you like our freedom question".

Also, it would probably be better if you stayed away from any questions about health care or going to the just embarrasses them because they don't want to have to laugh in your face.

I know, I know it is hard to believe, but people here in the US actually think we have a better medical system here than they do in Europe. If you think that, please keep it to yourself.

If you had ever lived in a country with a national health care system you would understand that when somebody tries to justify the mess that we have here, it comes across a bit like you are explaining that pigs do have wings.

For some reason, Americans have accepted the notion that they do not deserve a decent health care system... and I am fine with that, because I have made other arrangements for myself and family should we ever fall into a health care pinch.

Just PLEASE, PLEASE keep it to yourself!



miss vintage love said...

I FEEL your pain!! I get asked some pretty ridiculous questions too.

Grace said...

I completely agree. Some of "us" Americans should just stay home and keep our mouths shut. It's like the American brain simply doesn't work right sometimes, isn't it? Gee whiz!

Embejo said...

Once when I was travelling in India, I met an American woman. She asked where I was from and I said: "Australia"
"Oh, the weather must get cold there in Europe"

I kid you not.

Melin said...

Wow, you must not know much about America then. What some of you Americans dont get is that we are truly free. Free to get off our bottoms and make anything of yourself. Europe sorry as much as you want to spin it is not free. I dont have to get into a history lesson im sure or how there govenment works. Stealing from others to pay for yourself (health care)Rofl free health care so where do you think the money comes from the trees? Oh and by the way people are just trying to learn so when they ask stupied questions remember there are no such thing as stupied questions. Ya real american of of you or is it eroupean get mad when people ask questions. I like our freedom. Yes we do have a special form of freedom that no other country has get your head out of the sand. We have people trying to take it from us with stupied laws and as long as you and your kind think the way you do your the cause of the problem we have here and not the solution. Please look up how the states were suppose to work and how we have checks and balances sorry hun no other country even gets close. Maybe your husband (all the friends)
should pick up some American history too he might learn how he likes the freedom here.

Maria Messina said...

great observation. I've been living in Europe for 7 years now - and I've forgotten how hard it was to get that American mentality out of me. I really did wonder growing up why they say "America is the land of the Free". "Free American Indians" that they all killed to go from coast to coast maybe. Anyway - sorry to go off like that - but it's frustrating sometimes. My folks still live in the US and they speak Italian. I've been hearing from my sister that they've been harassed for speaking Italian in the supermarket. Americans actual go up to them and say: Speak English! I'm scared about what's going on over there....

Anonymous said...

Wow Melin

Yes Americans are free to get killed and cost the taxpayers billions when they don't wear seat belts, ditto motorcycle helmets. Free to...
1.execute minors and the mentally retarded, or anyone for that matter, to carry guns and have wild west shootouts in the street,
3.And then there is freedom of speech as long as what you say isn't too left wing, political, anti-war, anti-American, pro-social welfare.
4.Are you free to teach Science in high school, is evolutionary theory on the curriculum yet? I think not.
I could go on and on....