Comments: The "Ugly American"

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Canadians are indeed great. Judging by the ones I know, they seem to have a distinct laid-back attitude and wry sense of humor that is very fun.

It's been a while since I was in Europe, but here's what I remember: The Dutch are some of the nicest folks on the planet!

Dude, they're high all the time. What did you expect? :)

Posted by dan at April 21, 2006 12:00 PM

Most of my exposure in China has been to Australians, who are also quite nice.

Talking to other foreigners confirms the stereotype of the Ugly American, which was reinforced by a guy (working for another business) who was here before me. I think that my co-workers and I have reversed that image a little.

Posted by The Unabrewer at April 21, 2006 11:57 PM

It is a shame we have to remind people to take an interest in others and to "listen as much as they talk." First, one would think they were taught this a long time ago. Second, isn't the whole point of visiting another country to learn about other cultures? You really can't do that if you aren't interested and never shut up. As much as I would like to believe telling Americans this would change their ways, I doubt it will work.

Posted by Mark at April 22, 2006 12:28 PM

The only time I experienced a rude person in France - Paris, no less - was when I asked the person in front of me at the airport (in French) if he could move up a bit in line. He was leaving an enormous 10-foot gap in the line, and anyone who has been to France will tell you that the French don't queue. That gap would have been neatly filled by anyone else, so the guy needed to move up.

He was very huffy with me as he moved his cart, and in perfectly accented American English asked me "Is that better?"

In my own perfectly accented American English, I replied "Yeah, thanks a lot."

Jackass. He had the nerve to try to apologize to me after that.

I think in most countries, if you make the effort to speak the language, natives cut you a lot more slack. If you don't bother to learn some of the language before you go - and I'm not saying "be fluent" here - then you deserve just a bit of what you get.

I don't know about the guidebook. I think some people would read it, but the vast majority would resent being told to "behave" when they're abroad.

Posted by Bronwen at April 22, 2006 08:24 PM

All of the Canadians I met in Mexico were a-holes. Polite to me, they belittled Mexicans as poor, stupid and backward as if it is some kind of birthright.

Posted by jason at April 22, 2006 10:18 PM

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