Some of my American College Friends’ Views on Developing Countries

Luckily, these kinds of people are not majority. But these are really the comments of some of my American friends I met in college. It would be hard to believe if I did not hear them saying. And I found them very hilarious.

My Friend (whom I shared the dorm): “Wai, did you communicate with your family often? How do you communicate with your parents?”

Me: My parents and sisters come and use internet often at the nearby town. So, we talk on gtalk like skype often.”

Friend: How far it is from your village to that nearby town?

Me: 8 miles.

Friend: So, did they walk (to the town)?

I was like – “what?” I repeated – EIGHT MILESSS. And, she did not get and repeated her question. In this 21st century, if it was not the person aiming to claim the record up to the top of Mt. Everest or it was not for New York marathon, no body ever needs to go simply on foot for that distance. I did answer to her question though – “Yeah. We DID walk. But, actually, my great great great….. GREAT ancestors did walk. And, it was in the stones age.”

(Obviously, she did not do her primary school level reading assignments – to learn since when people knew ‘how to use ‘wheels’.)

Another friend has another perspective but similar.

We were in the school ban on the way back to the campus from our shopping trip. We saw one decent SUV passing by and with a sign “For Sale, $ 3,500.” I responsed it – “Wow, How cool!!! Just $3,500 for that car. In my country, car prices are super high.”

My friend responded my comment while driving – “But it did not matter how high the prices are because you guys do not need cars” My mouth was widely open and I just could not find any words. And she continues – “You know I am just saying because over there, you guys not need cars, because (there are) no roads/ like paved roads over there. huh?”

However, most of them say that they are lucky being in the United States. They can learn and know better everything about all different perspectives of the world in their own backyard. In my mind, I was like – “Wake up, girls. Note lessons from the past. You did not find the rest of the world until Columbus found you. And, you should not have thought you knew better about others while you sitting in front of TV in your living room. That two feet black box has its own limits.”

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About Wai Phyo Myint

Wai Phyo Myint is a senior at Green Mountain College, majoring in Political Journalism. She is now in Cambodia doing her senior studies and volunteering as an Communications/Advocacy strategy intern with International Labour Organiations in Phnom Penh.
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2 Responses to Some of my American College Friends’ Views on Developing Countries

  1. Orlane says:

    It was so funny! lol hahaahaha
    I like the comments!

  2. Phyo says:

    Ha Ha.. No wonder with their comments, Wai Phyo.
    Sometime I found out that a trishaw driver from Burma, (forget about taxi driver at this point) had more knowledge of world politic and current affairs than the one from well developed western countries.

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