Matthew Polly

“It is difficult for my fellow countrymen who have never lived abroad to understand that until a foreign man is about sixty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he'd like to punch an American in the face. Even people like the Chinese, who mostly like us, think of us--at least partly--as loud, fat, poorly dressed, overprivileged, hectoring, naive, arrogant, self-righteous bullies with little knowledge and no interest in any culture other than our own. I once had a conversation with a Japanese journalist who said to me, "You don't seem like an American." When I asked him, slightly hurt, why he said that, he replied, "Because you listen.”


Matthew Polly, American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China
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American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly
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