Almost all of the whole wide world hate the Americans right now. In Iran, the anti-American sentiment is going excessively high. Iraq, as always is disgusted by how the word United States of America sounds. I myself have a reservation toward the Americans.
Let me rephrase that. I don’t like the American’s ways of running the government but that does not mean I hate the Americans.
After being more than half a year here, I found myself quite pleased with the Americans’ attitude. They are friendly, helpful, cheerful and full of “what’s up?” I like them a lot.
The Malaysians are proud of their friendliness but I feel that the Americans are friendlier. They opened the door for you, they greet you ‘morning’, they say hi, they say what’s up.
Unlike us, they do not laugh at mistake committed by somebody openly. Unlike us, they are very sincere and won’t be mad when you just criticize them sincerely. I like them a lot.
I found myself right now making a lot of American friends.
First there’s Matt, my Calculus II mate. I thought once the class is over, he’ll just forget me. I’ll be nothing more than another stranger who walks randomly in the street of Ann Arbor. However, I found out that whenever he meets me, the word “what’s up” is audible. Delighted, I usually spend a few minutes talking to him, catching up things. Right now, I found out that he is in my Physics class. We usually sit together for the past days and discuss about physics. I had also visited his room which is just across the beautiful West Quad’s courtyard. That’s Rumsey House for those of you who live in Ann Arbor.
Another one of my friends that I’m close with is Jacob. Well, I can’t really say that we are close but frequently, we talk a few things that aren’t related to academic stuffs. I guess Americans are not that stuck up after all, in contrast with the current view in Malaysia. To add thing further, they aren’t stupid either. Of course some of the Malaysians say that the Americans are ignorant of the world. Unfortunately, all of us are ignorant. The Americans are ignorant in certain things, I agree but everybody is an ignorant in their on way.
I like the Americans but still, when I’m playing Civilization 3, I’ll whack the American.
Here is a letter I sent to the GreenPlanet’s discussion group. In it, is one of the reasons that make me love The States. It’s an edited version:
By the way, do you know what I like about The States?
Well, they are not as clean as Singapore but at least the term recycle does exist here, unlike Malaysia. In our country, when it’s time to dump something, they just dump but here, they say, “don’t worry about the excess papers. We’ll recycle it”.
When I first arrived, I was a little bit disoriented with their usage of the term “recycle”. They don’t “dump”. They recycle and they really do what they say.
Back home, there a lot of differentiated bins for people to recycle but in the US, there are almost none. Here, they recycle even without those red-green-blue-yellow colored bins. I guess what makes these two countries different is the awareness towards the dying environment. Most Malaysians are unenlightened about recycling and they need to be educated.
By this, I am not admiring the US culture but their public practice on recycling is real, again, unlike Malaysia. They are so aware of the dying environment; they don’t use the word “dump”, “throw away” etc. They use the word recycle. (Of course, the term is usually limited to recycling papers.)
If we can somehow educate our fellow Malaysians to this level where the public use the word “kitar semula” instead of “buang sahaja”, then we’ll have something to be proud of.
Are you seeing what I am trying to say?
Recycling is already becoming parts of the American’s culture. We Malaysians must achieve the same level too. Of course, Malaysia Boleh, right?
Everything starts with recycling. It’s useless to fight the on major problem like some of us had said. It’s useless to take action on the fumbling Kyoto Pact or the depleting ozone layer or anything else that is big when you are nothing but a normal citizen (unless you a manager of a factory, maybe you can fight these biggie problems on a small scale). But recycling is something that everybody can do.
If it is hard to educate the public, at least educate the children. Scold them when they waste needlessly, warn them when they are not recycling, do anything to encourage them to recycle because only through these children can we engrave recycling into our culture. Our nation achieves nothing until this is done. We can boast of having the best environmental-friendly incinerator in the region but that is nothing until the recycling culture is ours.
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Here is a newsflash, one of the reasons that make me hate the US’ administration.