Stereotypical Stereotype Breaker

Author: Tomas Marcinkevicius

Late ingenious comic George Carlin once did a perfect rant, called „Modern Man“. In a bit more than 4 minutes he was able to name most of the overused fancy words that are bombarding our brain from the internet, TV, business meetings and intellectual talks in such a fun poetic manner, that his contemporary Allen Ginsberg would have been left standing in awe. I know you’ve heard this phrase before, but you simply must see this video on YouTube:

Carlin was for sure a raging tireless and wireless workaholic and a bloodhound for cynicism of this world, so he perfected his speech skills in years of performing and his observational talent over his whole life. I, for instance, being a native young Lithuanian, spent 7 and a half months as an EVS volunteer in the Republic of Macedonia. Nevertheless, this time was pretty much enough to hear all the words I’d need to make my own „Modern Young European in a Different Culture for a Relatively Short Time“ rant. The list includes exchange, project, activity, intercultural, European citizenship, tolerance, nationalism, community, traditional, disadvantaged, point of view, and many more.

I believe most of EVS volunteers, Erasmus students and international interns could relate to my list and expand it.

One of the main words in my rant would be stereotype. It worked out pretty simple: I had some stereotypes about Macedonia, such as inhabitants being lazy and overly-nice people from the South, all-embracing poverty and carelessness for the future, lonely shepherds taking care of mountain goats, trails of Yugoslavian socialist-realist culture etc. As I saw afterwards, some of them were complete nonsense and some were partly true.

So it happens in this cruel world that the one who kills the monster tends to take its place… Did you ever notice how the ones, who came to break their own and others’ stereotypes, tend to be or become quite stereotypical themselves? Let’s run through a few types of young Europeans in different cultures: volunteers, students and interns.

The Arbeit Macht Frei believers


They went abroad with a clear purpose and they will for sure not give up on it even for a few days. If there are children to be taken care of, children will be taken care of. Trees will be planted, lectures will be attended, libraries will be occupied and project deadlines will not pass: no pasaran! The AMFs can usually be noticed by dark bags below their eyes, annoying levels of enthusiasm, overall fatigue and irritability („I am the only one who’s doing any work here!“) and sincere hatred from all the more-relaxed colleagues.

workaholic.jpg photo by [email protected]

The Oh Yeah, Baby, Let‘s Exchange type


Their morning starts at 2 PM with a cup of freshly-ground delicious hangover from the crazy night before. Woo-hoo, it‘s a few months abroad and once you get here, why not enjoy it? The same three bars will be visited for their weekly dose of cultural exchange. No local or/and international girls/boys will be left unkissed and no traditional drugs/alcohols will be left untried. The opposites of AMFs, from the side they seem to be pretty much similar: dark bags below their eyes, annoying levels of enthusiasm in the evenings (and devastating lack of it in the mornings), overall fatigue and irritability („chill out, man“)… These „ships in a strange port“, by the way, are loathed the most by the locals, especially those whose liked ones they kiss.

The OMG I Love This Place people


„Why do fools fall in love?“ asked Frankie Lymon back in the ‘50s, and I can answer you, Frankie: because they’re fools. To contradict myself, all the best things in life are foolish. In Macedonia, I met a Spanish girl, who, after spending four months in the country, started to identify herself as Macedonian and slur against Greece. The OMG people lose the sense of reality, observe their new temporary home with large anime-styled eyes filled with tears of joy and can’t see a wrinkle on the face of a nice toothless 80 year-old lady next door. They love the country, they love the people, they love their colleagues and they’re so going to miss them afterwards… They are the ones in love, and all we, mere mortals, can do, is to despise and secretly envy them.

The WTF Is This S..t? crowd


„Why doesn’t this country produce proper beer?“ I used to ask sipping on „Skopsko“. My colleague once reminded me: you wanted perfect beer, you should have gone to Belgium, not Macedonia. That’s how I stopped worrying and started to love wine and rakija. The WTF crowd are usually the ones who traveled the least and find it hard to adapt. They are going through hard times, so for them everything seems to be dull, not interesting, completely different in a wrong way, depressing and purposeless. Homesickness and apathic laziness is haunting them like bad breath. Don’t worry for them too much: they will enjoy their moments when they lose them. Fake hatred and fake love both don’t last long.

The Keep It Real guys


They’ve been there, they’ve done that. They understand the absurd of temporality way better than anyone else, so they will never attach to anything or anyone too much: neither to the country, nor to the experience, neither to the work, nor to new friends. The music can stop any second, and they don’t want to be the only ones left dancing. Their months or years abroad will have ended one day, and they will be brave: get drunk, tell a sad speech to co-travelers through this period of life about how it was good, but it ended, take their experiences, go without turning back to look and try to re-integrate in their native society. The realists are usually right and deserve to be respected, but wait a second… Were not the right and respected ones exactly those who nailed some guy to a cross a few thousand years ago?

These are but five of all the stereotypes you can find between – and in every one of – young people who have gone to live and study/work in a different country. I am pretty sure you’ve or you will notice more, so share your observations in the comment section. And if you ask for advice (I assume you will do), I can tell you: don’t be afraid of stereotypes. I think in those 7 and a half months I spent some time in tens or even hundreds of them. Just don’t stay in them for too long and bite your coins to see what’s real gold and what’s just shimmering.

This is one of the winning articles of the Mladiinfo Article Writing Contest. The content of the articles does not necessarily represent the view or the position of Mladiinfo.

15 thoughts on “Stereotypical Stereotype Breaker

  1. Nicely written!

    I feel like the last years I`ve gone trough all these different `stereotypes`, just wondering in which one I`m at the moment 🙂

    I am still a OMG I love Macedonia who Keeps it Real and from nine to five is a AMF volunteer who transforms in a Oh Yeah, Baby, let`s exchange after working hours 🙂

    You don`t have some stereotypes left for the period after EVS? I`m curious to see how I`ll develop 😉

    1. Of course there are some for period after. There are some for every day of your life, doesn't matter who you are, where you live or what you do 🙂 Human brain, to my mind, think in categories and tendencies, so there are always stereotypes, even for an individual.

  2. The word ‘navy’ is derived from the Sanskrit word nou.
    When it waas first introduced Morgan didn’t call his game volleyball,
    he chose the name “Mintonette” since their were aspects of his game including the court and the net were actually not very much different than badminton. In this case,
    that dimension is the presence and activity of government officials.
    Given that those who joi Ebaay become members, this fact demonstrates how powerful a mmbership related website cann really be.
    If he can continue to play hockey at this level, he wilkl someday be elected to the Hockey Hall
    of Fame. Forr me, Nat Kingg Cole is the most listenable snger
    of all time. The spirit of a researcher is happiest and at
    its best, wgen exploring a subject close to her heart.
    To this elegant tool for writing we owe tto Lewis Watterman who found
    a practical way to write with a pen whre the ink literally flows on to
    the paper.

    Hope you enjoyed the fun facts. Poor investing in a poor economy doomed
    the bank to closure. By taking these little details into consideration while
    caring for an iguana, you would assure the
    continued health of the iguana. However, therre are
    some who belieeve the name has been derived from the Spanish language in which the
    word ‘California’means ‘wide bay’. Hedy Lamarr, who starred in the
    1949 film Samson and Delilah, wwon the Least Cooperative Actress award.
    You can fiknd several music teqchers who are willing to teach witfh their
    ownn instruments. Chronic bronchitis is
    a form of bronchitis that generatess less intense symptoms,
    but the illness can lead tto serjous complications
    in time.

    Beavers have poor sight but a stfong sense of smell and good hearing.

    This is because of the soft padding or cushion that covers the sole of their
    feet. The Oscar winner learned how to ballroom dance from the help of choreographer Mandy Moore
    Along wth her costar Bradley Cooper, Lawrence spent several weeks practicing balllroom dancing for her role in Silvr Linings Playbook.
    Other Places They Caan Be Found Although a Snowy Owl primarily lives in the Arctic, they can be found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Europe, Asia,
    and in locations north of the Arctic Circle. People eagrly wait for the interesting current news that
    takes place every day. However, patients witth acute bronchitis can sometimes experience aan aggravaation of their symptoms
    in time or they can develop chronic bronchitis. Due to the lenmgth of the
    operation, the famous ator started smoking filtered cigarettes, which he
    ended up smoking for the rest of his life.

    Popcorn has a scientific name – Zea Mays Everta. Amale elephant
    matfes wioth a female elephant at ardound 20 years of age.
    Kids will especial love playing in the “Cowboy Corral” where they can pretend to be cowboys oon the trail.
    Visit them this month. Equiano utilizes organizatikonal strategies tto
    further his assertions, which create his tone because the audience can see what
    information Equiano regards as important. The most popular products
    thazt are native to thee island are potatoes, dairy products,
    turnips, and seafood, such as mussels. 6) Unfortunately, political friction between the Jews and Arabs
    in Palestine continued to increase undsr British administration.

    It is said that sshe let an Egyptian cobra (asp) bite her.
    Obviously, these people have learnt that choosing an ultra-low cost headphone could necessarily mean low quality stuff and a sheer waste of money
    than anything else. Takung up a hobby, would surely reduce the stress and wipl also give
    a sense of satisfaction. Fromm a young tomboy who loved to rrun and shoot arrows to a
    kidnapped teen wwho learned a new languyage and culture to a travelinng ambassador who met thee English royal family,
    the biography of Pocahontas iis fascinating. I thought about finding
    other colleagues for help. So, “Nat King Cole” was not just a nickname, bbut an apt stage name he deliberately chose as a play onn
    his birth name. Pip says that he sill thinks of her, and what she did
    to him. This is a great way to develop a following.

    Groups of males have even been observed following and ‘herding off’
    females, waiting for them to come into estrus. Websites are also a reliable source for getting present report from share market, exchange rate
    of currencies and international golpd price. It is believed
    to have bwen a port for over 4,000 years. The following is a brief explanation about elephant facts and
    information. A healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels a day.
    One: they want tto shhow affection. They caan out-swim most predators aand even use complicated evasive techniques thanks to their
    higher intelligence, but dolphin pods can also become
    extremely aggressive in self-defense.

    King currentlly resijdes inn Bangor, Maine. Reptiles are
    amoong the longest-lived species on the planet. The coat of pqint
    on a Mercedes car iis smooth and glossy as a result of amount of effort placed into it.
    However, what you need to know is that iguanas need sunlight not just for the visible light.
    Here are ten interesting facts about Arabian horses that you mmay not know.

    This shortens the iguana’s life. But you must aim high.

    Whaat you need to do instead is to ask her questions that will givve you a better insight into the type
    oof person she is. One of the best examples is the influencee and massive use of the English language
    in international markets and education. Bottlenose dolphins use the method of echolocation to track thir prey.
    You can also post any number of blogs. The trend toward a
    loiwer population growth has begun to reverse. However, iin the course of their wanderings,
    Gypsies have occasionally mixed with non-Gypsies,
    so that some aare even blond-haired and light-skinned. Since the
    early 1900s, popcorn has been sold in theaters.

    True or not, the Indians were evidently listless whenn shortly
    after midnight Hannah, Mary, andd Samuel seized the Indian weapons and killed 10Indians; 2 escaped.
    Equiano segues to the concluding paragraph with the aside to draw a close on the horrifying description of the Middle passagve and highlight the importance of the next component of
    the disgusting slave trade. Tourists can head ovr to Willow Creek
    at Highway 299, to take a look at the world’s largest colllection of artifacts related to the legendary Bigfoot.
    Bronchitis causes inflammation, irritation and obstruction with
    mucus oof the respiratory tract. One of the world’s highest motorable
    road is Khardung La, in Ladakh. However,
    learning Korea is complex; it has a phonetic system, but is
    based on the formation of the syllabic units. Much can be learned from animals, including gorillas.
    Eight interesting facts about acne: Several household products serve as acne cures.

    Here’s hoping that bottlenoses will continue to thrive and populate the vast oceans of thee blue planet!
    It is also mentioned in the Bible, in the book oof Jonah, and when referring to Solomon’s Temple aand the Tribe of Dan. Alsoo known as Arctic
    Owls, Gret White Owls, Ghost Owls and Ermine Owls, Snowy Owls are native tto the Arctic Circle.

    When he passed away at the age of 59, he weighed only 80 pounds.

  3. What i do not understood is in reality how you are now not really much more neatly-appreciated than you
    may be right now. You’re so intelligent. You realize thus considerably relating
    to this topic, made me in my opinion believe it from
    numerous varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem
    to be involved until it is one thing to do with Girl gaga!

    Your individual stuffs nice. All the time
    deal with it up!

Leave a Reply