Disclaimer: The following article was written by an American citizen about American citizens, this article does not necessarily express the views of Pattaya Unplugged.
Americans Are Everywhere
It doesn’t matter where you choose to go for your holiday, if it is a popular tourist resort, you can almost guarantee that you will find at least a few people that hail from the great USA.
You can typically spot us as we are somewhat goofy to the rest of the world in our actions and mannerisms. Even if you have never been around us before, you can pick us out of a crowd.
Pattaya is no different from any other tourist destination with regards to a mixed tourist population. Americans may not be here on as grand of a scale as we used to be, but we still have a pretty decent foothold in the Pattaya area.
If for whatever reason you happen to be on the hunt for a yank in the throngs of Pattaya visitors, here are a few surefire ways to spot us. Note: The more of the following attributes that fit, the higher the chances are they are American.
Baseball is America’s game. Way back in the day someone thought it would be a good idea to put a bill on the front of a baseball hat to help shield the player’s eyes from the sun (and also sneak in a little team advertising plug of course.
Baseball caps nearly comes standard issue when you are born in the USA. If there was one common item that everyone in America has in their house, it would be my most likely guess.
The surefire way to tell if they are American is not just them possessing a hat but it also must be worn in a fashion that the bill does not do anything to block the sunlight whatsoever. Straight to the back, to the sides and half-cocked to the right or left are all appropriate “American” ways of sporting a ball cap.
If the bill of the hat is facing the front, the possibility that they are American slightly diminishes.
White Socks? Even With Sandals?
Almost everyone in Thailand wears sandals or flip flops during some stage of their day. None of these people, however, walk around with socks on, let alone snow white socks.
There are numerous theories as to why Americans are the only ones that feel the need to ruin hundreds of pairs of socks per year but nobody is 100% certain as to the cause.
Some people believe that it is because America has such an athletic culture (they clearly don’t realize that we also have morbidly obese masses that love Gatorade and running shoes, you know, minus the running).
While the world may never know exactly what it is that drives Americans towards white socks like bees to flowers, it is almost a surefire way to spot them amongst the masses.
Not putting down the rest of the world by any stretch of the imagination, Americans are just extremely into dentistry and general mouth care.
Many of us schedule our next teeth cleaning like we do an oil change for our car. Many people set up the appointment for the next appointment before they leave their current appointment.
Oral hygiene is drilled into your head at a young age in America. You are expected to brush your fangs 2-3 times per day and visit the dentist every 6 months to get all the stuff that the 2-3 times per day happened to leave behind.
The current youth of America are the easiest people in the world to offend. You won’t often be able to offend the older generation Americans that have seen it all but the younger folks get hurt feelings by the slightest statement that they happen to find offensive (which could literally be a statement about anything).
If you should happen to offend one of the youths of America, they will be sure to let you know that you have offended them. Add the openness to express their feelings with the fact coming up that Americans aren’t the quietest people in the world and should one be offended in your general vicinity you will be sure to know about it.
Mixed-Up by the Metric System
Nothing confuses Americans more than trying to figure out Metric system conversions. They are not used to anything metric unless they happen to be a mechanic who uses Metric sockets.
Once you start talking about how many Kilometres it is to get to a destination or when they learn that nobody understands their measurements that they took in inches, they get completely lost in the sauce.
America is special and as such, they measure the world a little differently than like, every single other country. They also call football soccer (see next bullet point).
See The Guy Not Watching the Football Game?
When an American hears everyone getting excited about a football game on TV in Thailand their ears will perk up for all of about 10 to 15 seconds or up to the point where they find out its not actually football.
America has football sure, but we refer to it as soccer and American football is way higher on the popularity list than soccer is.
Americans may play soccer while they are young and wild and mom and dad need a way for them to burn off some energy. After that, not very many of us on the whole even pay it any mind.
Football, baseball, basketball and probably even golf is higher on the list of awesome sports than soccer is. Once we find out it isn’t a real football game, we lose interest.
Demanding Customer Acting Up?
Many Americans are not shy about being demanding and unintentionally demeaning towards people in service roles. The American ego sometimes comes off as extremely rude and overbearing.
We are also the first ones that will threaten to turn you into the Better Business Bureau or the employment agency over the slightest issues or concerns. We will turn in a business or give bad reviews about a place before we ever think about approaching an employee and explaining our grievance.
If an American is not satisfied with their experience, most will not hold their tongues, body languages or tones. If you are a simple service person and we are upset you can expect that we will be demanding the manager before trying to solve it with you.
Is there a customer at the cashier table with steam coming from their ears waiting to see a manager or the person in charge? They are probably of the American breed.
Ronald McDonald is a Close Friend
Americans love their McDonald’s, it is a simple fact. If it wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have more McDonald’s in America than gas stations (its probable neck and neck numbers there).
A traditional American breakfast is starting to look more and more like jumping in the car and sprinting to McDonald’s before 10:30 when they change to lunch hours.
Between the quick food and the “Play Places” where you can let your crotch goblins run around and burn off some energy so they will sleep, everyone in America loves McDonald’s.
While it is growing in popularity around the world (10 in Pattaya now alone), chances are that if they are having a Big Mac and they have a few of the other trademarks on this list, they are American.
Why do Americans tip so much to service people when the rest of the world thinks tips are odd for the most part?
It may have something to do with the fact that American restaurant servers make a minimum wage paycheck that, after taxes, makes them sometimes absolutely nothing.
Without tips, America would not be able to employ service people. Here is a fun fact, the people that bag your groceries at the military commissaries in America do not receive an hourly wage at all, they get paid 100% from tips.
The average American will leave behind 20% gratuity of whatever their bill is in a restaurant. Some will only leave 10% to 15% if the service is lacking but they always leave something.
So if you see someone at the end of the bar with his ball cap on backwards get his bill and yank out a calculator to figure out the tip, he is almost guaranteed to be an American.
If It Walks Like a Yank and Talks Like a Yank…
The one attribute that is a dead giveaway is our accent. Americans sound like…well, we sound like Americans and nobody else sounds quite like us when we talk.
People around the world who hear an American speak are able to immediately point out that the person is American. It’s odd really, considering we Americans sound a hell of a lot different to each other depending upon what part of the states we come from.
The Loudest Person in the Room
Americans don’t exactly use their library voices anywhere they go, even in the Library. You can almost guarantee if there is a loud ruckus somewhere, they are probably from the states.
We tend to drown out everyone else in the room. It is uncertain if we do it because we are American and we believe that we are from the greatest country in the world or if it is a matter of needing to be the centre of attention, whatever the reason for us needing to be loud, we always go above and beyond and accomplish the task for sure.
The Land of the Heffalump
Forget what you have seen on the television. Americans, on the whole, do not look like their Hollywood counterparts at all. We have become far too reliant on fast food places during our chaotic workdays and are far too lazy when we aren’t working for our metabolism to keep up (or something like that).
Let’s just spit the truth, Americans are fat for the most part. We may not like the truth, we may be in denial about it all the way to the quadruple bypass, but it’s true. It often takes travelling to some of the skinnier countries to actually realize it sometimes.
If you happen to be glancing down the VIP at some fat schlub being extremely noisy and sporting his pair of Jesus sandals with dreadful white socks, you are at nearly an 85% chance of him being from the states.
It’s All in the Slang Dude!
You don’t even have to catch an American speaking a full sentence sometimes to know that they come from the USA. In many instances, a single clue of a word will give it away. Here are a few common American words and phrases that nobody but Americans use:
- Bro – Short for “brother” but used to refer to just about every other male we come across.
- Dude – A laid back and casual way to express ones-self (typically overused if the person has been consuming Marijuana). Dude is also a greeting amongst males that means “guy” or “man”.
- Soccer – What Americans call the sport known to the rest of the world as football.
- Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior – Most other countries of the world refer to their different years of schooling as 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year etc.. Americans have a special name for each of their stages.
- College – Americans use the word “college” to refer to post-high school education, or what the rest of the world refers to as going to “university”.
- “Zee” – We pronounce the final letter of the alphabet as “zee” while the rest of the world pronounces it as “zed”.
- Sneakers / Tennis Shoes – Athletic shoes are commonly referred to as sneakers in America whereas the rest of the world generally calls them runners or trainers.
- Touch Base – This is a term meaning to get in contact with someone. It originated from America’s favourite pastime, the game of baseball when a runner would touch the bases as he ran around the diamond.
- A Piece of Cake – When you hear someone from the states saying something is a piece of cake, it literally just means that whatever it is is easy to do.
- Shotgun! – If someone says they are riding shotgun it means that they are riding in the front passenger seat next to the driver.
Unable to Look a Nude Gogo Girl in the Eye
Americans come from the land of the prudes. Unless we are browsing on our home computers for things that could potentially make us go blind, we aren’t really exposed to a massive amount of nudity.
About the sexiest thing for Americans to do is visit a local strip club where they will essentially make it rain dollar bills to see a pair of breasts.
Even if you get a lap dance at the strip club, there is a strict “no touching” rule and you are typically watched by the glaring eyes of a giant bouncer in the darkest corner of the room, just waiting for you to get out of line so he can rough you up a bit.
Americans are not as open when it comes to the matter of sex as the rest of the world is. Hell, some of us can’t even discuss sex in our own personal relationship, so when we see a nude girl, we tend to not be able to maintain eye contact with her (unless there is a bit of “shady lurker” in us).
And There You Go…
Congratulations, you now know all you need to know to be able to point out an American in a crowd of people.
While every country has tiny things that set them apart from each other, America is the only country that feels the need to be unique about some things.
For the most part, you don’t have to worry about Americans, we may be a loud and rambunctious bunch who talk a little funny, but for the most part, we are genuinely peaceful travellers.