Americans: A Superlative People

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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:28 pm

LTO wrote:Yeah, I think also for me some of shock comes from being an expat so long and visiting the US so infrequently in the last couple/few decades that changes such as the great fattening and fittening of the US appears more stark. Nevertheless, at a local theme park the other day, the sight of vast herds of lardoes moving about on electric carts for no other apparent reason than their inability (and perhaps unwillingness) to carry their own weight does not bode well. (Where's Buffallo Bill when you really need him?) And their kids...my God, they're as fat or fatter than their parents. Strikes me as borderline child abuse.

Edit to add:
I'm also struck by the seeming parallel development of the greatly deepened political divide in America. Years ago, though people still fell to either side of the political divide, it seemed that the division was less extreme, with average Joe Right or Left hovering this way or that closer to the center. These days, like the fit and the fat, the shades of gray of the political center seem to have given way to the extremes of black and white. I wonder if their is any connection or relationship between these two great changes in the US.
When was the last time you were there LTO? Seeing so many fat kids (no, OBESE kids) is also disheartening. Compare that to the stick-legged kids you see in movies from the 70s and 80s and it's a big contrast.

The political divide is something my father has been raging about for a while now. It usually surfaces during elections or when major issues arise. It actually irritates him a lot the way people/parties have become so polarized. The Republican party was never that extreme and the way both parties can't seem to agree on anything, block themselves off and create political impasses is quite frustrating. The debt ceiling is a prime recent example of the inability of each side to reconcile their differences to find a solution to a huge problem. I forget which old-school politician said this during an interview, but apparently back in the day, behind closed doors both parties were able to reach a compromise on pressing issues when it was needed. They recognized that the good of the country came before their own political views or positions. It seems like voters and their respective parties have become so narrow-minded that they can't seem to agree to put their differences aside and act for the good of the country instead of for the good of the party.

Still, I agree that Americans are some of the most friendly people on the planet. It might seem a bit superficial at times, but the small-town feel of many places (even cities) makes one feel welcome. I also like the west's (also visible in Canada when I was there) very friendly nature. People waving at each other while driving past someone else (even if they don't know them). Cars stopping the moment to step off the curb (even if you're jaywalking)... Blows the mind. I sometimes get those moments in Cambodia, but they're quite rare... Especially in Phnom Penh. But I still remember coming to an intersection and being waved on by the guy in his SUV. I waved back and nodded my head and boy did it feel good... Rare in Cambodia but a daily occurrence in the US. I also did the same to a guy a few weeks ago in Kampot (I usually also cut off big cars). As we both slowed down I nodded him to go first and his face lit up as he waved back while driving off. Made me feel good for two weeks, lol. A change to the usual cut-throat nature of driving in Cambodia.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by LTO » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:When was the last time you were there LTO? Seeing so many fat kids (no, OBESE kids) is also disheartening. Compare that to the stick-legged kids you see in movies from the 70s and 80s and it's a big contrast.
I used to go years at a time without visiting, but these days I get to the US about about once a year for a short visit. I've noticed it before (and wrote about it on another forum [tho not that other forum]) but I think it was all the road travel this time that really put it in my face and inspired me to write about it again.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by flying chicken » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:50 pm

If you pushed the boring Bitterinbeet Smeuxus to the edge, he will be like I graduated from one of the top universities in the world (in the US) so I am superior than you..(French in disguise if you ask me.) Who the fuck ran over a countryside chicken during one's road trip and trying to repent online...when one could of compensate it for a mere 7 bucks...only the French do that.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by LTO » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:59 pm

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote: ...Cars stopping the moment to step off the curb (even if you're jaywalking)... Blows the mind. I sometimes get those moments in Cambodia, but they're quite rare... Especially in Phnom Penh. But I still remember coming to an intersection and being waved on by the guy in his SUV. I waved back and nodded my head and boy did it feel good... Rare in Cambodia but a daily occurrence in the US. I also did the same to a guy a few weeks ago in Kampot (I usually also cut off big cars). As we both slowed down I nodded him to go first and his face lit up as he waved back while driving off. Made me feel good for two weeks, lol. A change to the usual cut-throat nature of driving in Cambodia.
Yeah, really. You don't even have to step off the curb. Even if you just step toward the street in the US cars are stopping to let you cross. 

Interesting you mention it happening in Cambodia recently. I have noticed that as well, first time maybe a year and a half ago. I often cross Norodom on foot, (I walk the city a lot,) and in the past nobody ever even dreamed of slowing, let alone stopping to let me cross. Then last year I was crossing and got stuck in the middle by traffic and a big SUV stopped and waved me across. I was astonished at he time. Thought maybe I had been sucked into a parallel universe or something. Then over the next few months it not only happened again, but several times - cars in Phnom Penh stopping to let me cross the street safely. They even smile and wave at me, and I of course smile and wave back. It's not an everyday occurrence, but it's not a borderline miracle anymore either. I've wondered what has brought about this change. Has there been some media campaign or are times just changing?

Interestingly, and some may want to pillory me for saying this, but every single one of the vehicles that has stopped for me in Phnom Penh has been either a nice car or an SUV, never a tuktuk or a moto. A couple of them big fat super expensive SUVs. 
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by OrangeDragon » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:08 pm

i've repeatedly said that the moto's are the biggest problem with traffic in phnom penh. they're much less concerned with the damage they'll take since its significantly cheaper to fix and they pack in traffic gaps so tight it's like sand in bearings and no one can move.

PP's only hope for traffic salvation (no where to build new/bigger/wider roads and the population of motos just keeps growing) would be to heavily road tax motos in PP in conjunction with providing a reliable and useful public transit system. they would have to be simultaneous to really work well. the tax would push people onto the transit system, making it immediately profitable, and would clear out the roads to the busses could move much more freely and arrive at their scheduled times.

it's that or start buying up and knocking down houses to widen the roads...
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by flying chicken » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:25 pm

OrangeDragon wrote:i've repeatedly said that the moto's are the biggest problem with traffic in phnom penh. they're much less concerned with the damage they'll take since its significantly cheaper to fix and they pack in traffic gaps so tight it's like sand in bearings and no one can move.

PP's only hope for traffic salvation (no where to build new/bigger/wider roads and the population of motos just keeps growing) would be to heavily road tax motos in PP in conjunction with providing a reliable and useful public transit system. they would have to be simultaneous to really work well. the tax would push people onto the transit system, making it immediately profitable, and would clear out the roads to the busses could move much more freely and arrive at their scheduled times.

it's that or start buying up and knocking down houses to widen the roads...
Good in theory. But until those governing the country put their greed behind and share concerns on their fellow citizens....until then.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by OrangeDragon » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:29 pm

but eventually the current plan (well, lack of) is going to even bite them in the ass. an imploding city sucks for everyone.

and you'd think an increased tax would appeal to them... more money in their pockets.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by vladimir » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:32 pm

OrangeDragon wrote:i've repeatedly said that the moto's are the biggest problem with traffic in phnom penh. they're much less concerned with the damage they'll take since its significantly cheaper to fix and they pack in traffic gaps so tight it's like sand in bearings and no one can move.
Seriously? :lol:

If a moto gets hit, the owner usually gets injured, expensive, often fatal. You may be talking about at very low speeds near traffic lights, (you didn't specify, I'm guessing) but they have just as much right on the road as you do. if there were no cars, no problem with the sand, no bearings.

I think since you bought that SUV, you're going okhna on us.

The biggest problem is idiots in SUV's parking wherever they like and people totally disregarding traffic laws, motos and cars alike. Take a drive round Russian/Central/Deumkor Market sometime, guess who's clogging up the lanes? The guy on the Scoopy or the prick in the Lexus?

Who's drunkenly hooting and driving at 70km/h as he goes through a red light in the CBD?

I know...the old aunty in the wheelchair!

The biggest problem is that almost everyone disregards the traffic laws and is totally inconsiderate, regardless of what they are driving.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by flying chicken » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:44 pm

Fuck man, the tax that I paid with my teaching gig alone is enough to buy a second hand Scoopy...I paid 50 times more than that since I was working at 10 back in NZ. What pissed me off is the paid taxes I (we) paid in Cambodia goto the pockets of the elites.

Here is what you should grasp, the Cambodian government often talk about development; its called up pi wout in Khmer....there is a stark difference; they used this term to manipulate the poor and hurray their clans. The millions of Khmers who earn $100 a month if not less, can they afford to eat fried chickens at the air-conditioned at Lucky shopping mall for example. If anything, they getting push further and further away from town for 'development'.
Last edited by flying chicken on Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Americans: A Superlative People

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:44 pm

LTO wrote: Has there been some media campaign or are times just changing?
Maybe those fake Cambodian scouts have made an impact. They've been around on Saturday mornings for a while, but I always find it funny how people react. That little red flag held by a 14-year-old works wonders. I've seen little girls walking up with the flag to hardcore ex-KR type motodops and making them backup behind the crosswalk... A funny sight indeed. Seems everyone is intimidated/embarrassed at being told off by kids. Even I feel bad and avoid burning red lights. Only problem is that they're out on weekend mornings, when there's the least amount of traffic.

I think the biggest difference in in the realization that the current free-for-al can't last forever. People fight selfishness with selfishness but locals realize that gridlocks are a very real problem (which they deal with on a daily basis) so are becoming more open to the whole traffic rules thing.
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