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Seeing Ourselves As Others See Us

It Hurts, It Rankles, It Smarts, It Annoys, But... To see ourselves as others see us is still one of the most soul-cleansing and brain-sobering exercises we can indulge in and profit by. National stereotypes, like clichés, often have something to them. This view of Portugal, written by a Canadian called Ray Vogensen is full of gross mistakes, infelicities, oddities and even lacks of perception and yet... and yet I immediately, definitely recognized my own country in his careful, almost clinical dissection. Which is high praise in my book. Most of it, unfortunately, is spot on. I hate to say it but it's the most truthful assessment of the real Portugal I've ever seen outside a book. Are there any foreigners' views of your own country that you find yourself grudgingly agreeing with? Here's 911 Things To Hate About America to start off the American contingent.
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 18, 2003 - 63 comments

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