“Superiority syndrome” was a phrase that my professors in St. Petersburg liked to use to describe foreigners who come into Russia and decide to “teach” them how to live, do business, etc. According to them, that is a very, very bad thing. Then some random person who apparently is very bitter commented “I’ve read a few of your blogs. You seem like the typical spoiled American. You’ll make a perfect middle manager at Starbucks.” Which lead me to ask myself: “Hmm, am I a spoiled American with a superiority complex?” Damn right I am. And I (obviously) don’t think it’s a bad thing.
As far as being spoiled: is it my fault I was born and raised in a first world country where hygeine, security, and freedom are considered necessities, not luxuries? Where people generally make enough money to have comfortable lives? Where we can drink tap water, have one stop shopping, and live in relatively clean areas with a government that doesn’t blatantly try to control every aspect of our lives?
And the superiority complex thing: is it really a “complex” if your standard of living really is better, and the way you do business benefits more than just a few oligarchs? I don’t think so.
One thing this trip to Russia has made me realize is just how lucky I am to be an American. If non-Americans think that makes me automatically spoiled and a know-it-all, well, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.