About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Monday, June 28, 2021

Country Dropping

Most of us have probably met a few name-droppers. Much as I've tried avoiding it, I've succumbed to that obnoxious habit, although musical names I've infrequently dropped aren't worthy of even a muted "ooh", let alone a gasp. Consequently, when others name drop, I'm able to suppress my annoyance; a self-satisfied smirk at the offender is enough to maintain my superiority. But country-droppers? That's a bridge too far. 

Compare my experience to your own and weigh in with a comment about your reactions when faced with these situations or others of a similar flavor that you've encountered:

* You're on vacation or otherwise away from home. In your first conversation with a total stranger, any casual mention of a foreign country you've visited - for business or personal reasons - is met with a list of several countries that stranger has been to, some more than once, including the country mentioned in your innocent statement. Wait, was your initial mention casually innocent?

* You're discussing a book that takes place in a foreign country. Another participant in the discussion (not you, of course) cannot resist interjecting their experience in that locale. The country-dropper's first self-aggrandizing sentence invariably begins with something like "Well, when I was in .. (fill in the country from the book)." 

If you claim that either .. a.) you've never had an experience anything like the above or .. b.) you've never country-dropped yourself, then I'll look forward to either .. a.) seeing the decor of your cave or .. b.) watching you do that walk-on-water bit. Hey, did I ever tell you about my trip to Costa Rica? No? I've got pictures.  


5 comments:

  1. I've also experienced this with authors. You say you've read a book by a certain author and someone else has to let you know that they've read all 99 of their other, older works and they're soooo much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina; Good to see a comment from you. Oh yeah, I've also met my fair share of "author-droppers" as well. You reminding me of that annoying habit MAY help me avoid doing that in the future; thanks for that.

      Delete
  2. Here is my two cents: If you are around friends or like minded people, where else can one share interesting experiences we've had? If a well traveled person is enthusiastic about a cultural experience that is relevant to the conversation, why not share that (e.g., a conversation about communism can lead a traveled person to talk about her experience in Russia or Hungary or Germany.). If the listener to a "country dropping" story things the speaker is bragging, showing off, well that speaks to the relationship between the people. In my experience, I have never heard a friend/colleague share a travel story and thought "Oh, bragging." It has always been "Oh, that's interesting; good for him." Should a well traveled person "hide her light under a bushel" and pretend they are a hermit?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If someone who reads a book about a country then comments they have been there.. is that "self-aggrandizing"? Wow that is judgmental in the extreme. My reaction to "when I was in that country" is "COOL you've been there so you may have an interesting opinion." Why is sharing about travel a bad thing? Sorry, I just don't get the stigma of sharing adventure and opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown; With two comments under "unknown" just five minutes apart and, both unhappy with what was aimed to be a post with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I'm guessing both were written by the same person. So, to that unhappy commenter(s?), thanks for weighing in and upbraiding me for what you see as "..judgmental in the extreme.." It appears my use of "self-aggrandizing" was a bridge too far for you. Mea culpa. Under no circumstances was I suggesting a "well traveled person .. pretend they are a hermit". However, I do think there are natural, organic ways to interject our own experiences into any conversation or book discussion or interaction that avoid the one-upmanship I was attempting to skewer in my (apparently too caustic for you) reflection. Sharing about travel is never a bad thing. I was trying - and not succeeding with you, obviously - to shine a light on the "I can top that" kind of people that apparently have crossed my path more than they have yours. I'm curious about the experience other readers have had with country dropping, a neologism I'll be more circumspect about using next time.

      Delete