What We Talk About When We Talk About Americans

What We Talk About When We Talk About Americans

Published September 8, 2016

Listen up, fellow Americans. We need to talk about how you talk. Or we, rather, because I (often reluctantly) am one of you. The problem is that y’all tend to be obnoxious and it’s making us all look bad. I know this because I first visited Iceland as a tourist in 2013 and I was probably obnoxious too. But I’ve lived here since 2014 and after a summer of working in the tourist industry, listening to my coworkers’ complaints and experiencing them for myself firsthand, I have some pro-tips on how not to be obnoxious when visiting Iceland.

Unsurprisingly, they all begin with “stop talking.” 1. Stop talking so loudly. I’m very guilty of this myself, but I’m learning to literally tone it down. So should you. 2. Stop talking about the US, unless you are asked or it is directly relevant to a conversation you are already having. Did you really fly all the way to another country to start every conversation with “Well, I’m from America and…” to people as if they don’t already know what you’re about to say? Sadly, they probably do. 3. Stop complaining about the cold. If you paid hundreds of dollars to fly to a country with the word “ice” in its name to tell everyone who lives there how much colder it is than Florida, you shouldn’t have left Florida. 4. Stop talking about how “confusing” the money is. It’s money. It functions the exact same way in every country. Don’t even start with the “so many zeros” because guess what? If you can figure out how to pay $23.00 when you get a bill for $22.50, you can figure out how to pay 2.300 ISK for something that costs 2.250 ISK.

Lastly, most importantly: Stop talking about your dietary restrictions and order off the menu. Nobody in any country cares about what you can or cannot eat. Nobody.


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