I have been to tons of countries and never really affected by the concept that people outside the US hate Americans.  Yes, people might crack a joke, say something silly about George W Bush, or call me a Yank, but it seemed to be all in jest and I would still be treated with respect.  I could tell that individuals were smarter than to judge someone based solely on the country they come from.  I was starting to think that maybe the world does not hate Americans as much as everyone says.  Until my 3-day trip to Munich.

Our experience in Germany was substantially different than in all the other countries.  What I noticed first was that the wait staff/bartenders seemed to be extremely moody, as if asking them to do their job was a huge favor that they were begrudgingly granting.  Maybe just having a bad day and pure coincidence?  Maybe not.

I realized we were being “targeted” when we tried to get into a number of clubs/bars last night.

The first asked us for our identification.  We showed them our California drivers licenses, they gave them a look, and then requested to see our passports.  The wouldn’t accept a color copy I take with me instead of carrying the real thing around.  I figured it was just their policy and we didn’t think much of it.

For the next one, we waited in line, and when it was our turn, they asked for IDs.  Again, we pull out the California drivers licenses.  This time, the club immediately became full.

“Sorry, we are full”.

“Thats fine, we can wait.”

“No you leave now.”

We assumed they didn’t want two single guys coming in with no chicks.  Totally understandable.  We befriend a group of 3 German girls and head to the final bar.  Being gentlemen, we let the girls go in first.  When it is our turn, they again ask for our IDs, and when they take a look at them, they instantly become full again.

“Hey, you just let all our friends in but not us?”

“We are full, sorry”

“Really?  Then why are you letting all these other dudes in that were behind us?”

“Please leave now”

Finally it all makes sense.

Its not that we were inappropriately dressed; we were probably dressed better than most guys there.  Its not that we weren’t with girls – we had 3.  Its not that we were underage or too old.  Its not that we had been over-served at a previous establishment.  Its not as if we were being rowdy or obnoxious.  Its not because we spoke English, not German.  We were treated different immediately when they discovered our country of origin.

This was a great learning experience.

It does not feel good to be stereotyped.  We only experienced this a little; it didn’t become more than a mild inconvenience, it was outside our own country, and it was still extremely upsetting.  I can’t imagine how it feels for US citizens to be stereotyped in their own country.  How it feels for immigrants trying to lead a better life.  This has inspired me to be even more accepting of people with different ethnic or racial backgrounds.  More intolerant of intolerance.


7 Responses to “Hatred of Americans is Exemplified in Munich”

  1. Therese Noonan says:

    That’s discouraging and disappointing. But you learned from it. Did you tell them that you are 1/4 German and have a grandfather, uncle and cousin with the first name Hermann? They probably wouldn’t have believed you anyway.

  2. Joseph Noonan says:

    Germans are super Xenophobic. They are always getting in fights with the immigrants that come into your country. Please don’t tell me you yelled at the bouncer “we could have crushed you in World War II” or something like that.

  3. Tommy says:

    We were a bit more classy than that. Saved the WWII comments for private.

  4. Patrick says:

    Maybe it was because you were drunk, belligerent and sending way too much heat than is legally allowed in Germany.

  5. Tommy says:

    Impossible! We had just headed out for the night. Sending way too much heat is always a possibility though.

  6. Tommy says:

    The two problems with OR is that it tends to be quite liberal (the affiliate nexus is more likely to be enacted in a liberal state) and they have a much higher state income tax. However they do not have state sales tax, so they would never enact the affiliate nexus because they don’t collect sales tax anyway.

  7. Arthur says:

    I don’t blame them. What the fuck an American is doing going to a civilized place (Europe) anyway?

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