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What the HELL is it with American tourists?!?!?!?!

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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:50 PM
Original message
What the HELL is it with American tourists?!?!?!?!
No, not all of them, obviously....

But I'm standing in line at the Bureau de Change (money exchange) at Waterloo Station in London today.

This big, bearded, 60 year old guy stands behind me in the queue.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere I hear a bellow.....

"DO THEY TAKE EUROS IN HOLLAND?"

I turn around, and sure enough.......this American guy has simply shouted his question aloud at nobody in particular.

No "Excuse me" or "Pardon me, can you tell me..."....

Just a big SHOUT at the world at large, not to me or anyone else in the queue or the guy behind the counter, just a demand for answers without politeness of finesse.

I turned back and said, "Yes, they do take euros in Holland. It's their currency."

I don't think he even said "Thank you".

How come your tourists are so bad when my American friends are always so polite and kind?
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shoelace414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. sprechen zee english?
:)
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Pendrench Donating Member (729 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. Bedazzled??? n/t
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Are you really pert?
Just how pert are you?
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. On a scale from one to ten?
Seriously, Pert is my nickname, stemming from my surname rather than my buttocks.....

Sorry!
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:54 PM
Original message
I appreciate the confession.
My trousers feel less tight already.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. OK, that wins the award for most ignorant question of the day.
And seriously, my fellow American, look it up before you go, so you don't come across as a dolt.

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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Odd thing is........
The Eurostar wasn't going anywhere near Holland, and he got on the same train as me!

Curioser and curiouser!

P.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Dutch, French, it's all some foreign crap to us.
I doubt he would have even known one from the other.
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd be ashamed to show my head anywhere with Bush as my president
In fact if I ever make a pilgrimage back to Germany, I'm Canadian.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. Should have said "Yes, but they don't take Americans"
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. hehe, thought you might have been talkng about my husband
until I read the 60 yrs old part. :D
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. In all fairness to Americans,
far too many of us have never been to another country. This is a very, very large country, and we can do a lot of traveling before we cross a border. So too many of us think we have no need to learn about other countries, let alone learn other languages. (Of course, almost no matter where we go they speak English, so it allows us to be really lazy.)

But I'm sure that man is equally rude back home.

I've more than once talked to Americans who went overseas some where and really didn't like it because it just wasn't like home. They completely miss the point of going anywhere at all. Sigh.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Hey....
I wasn't objecting to him not knowing the Dutch currency, it was the way he asked that bothered me!

It took me a while to remember what the Dutch used to use...Gilders I think.

P.
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yvr girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. Canada is even larger, and we travel in droves
I think America has more poor people who don't have the opportunity to travel.

I also think your educational system contributes to the problem. I'm shocked how little you are taught about other countries.

Your media is also very much focused on American issues - and they don't even do a very good job reporting on those.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. Sure, and I deal with clueless and often rude Canadian tourists often
I work in retail and we get plenty of tourists in our place from all over the world. Before this job, I worked in restaurants for nigh on 20 years, many of those years in the Detroit area.

Canadians are not 100% kind and polite when they travel, nor are German, French, English, Irish, Argentinian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Ukranian, or any other nationality of tourist. To think otherwise is to not understand human nature.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. oh, I've met some Canadians who really take the cake
But certainly, I would never claim that all Canadians are like that.

All these 'oh, you terrible Americans!' threads are obnoxious. And the apparent expectation that we should all just nod and smile in response ("why yes, we Americans really are terrible!") is even more obnoxious.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. Almost ALL tourists are terrible
At least to the natives. Nature of the beast and all. ;-)
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
51. I am not sure that is true
either part. Canada is larger, but alot of that size is northern wilderness. Do Canadians go abroad that much more than Americans? I would like to see some stats. Where I live, many people have been abroad because they are military. I felt very privileged growing up because my family took long camping vacations. As far as I knew, most of my South Dakota classmates had not been to New York, where I went almost every summer because my mom was from there.
Do Canadians travel from Nova Scotia to Vancouver and vice versa as much as Americans go from either coast (or Texas) to the Black Hills or Yellowstone or (gag) Disneyland and Disneyworld and Vegas? My parents have been all over the US and are taking a 2nd trip to Alaska this summer, but they have never been overseas. Other than the Carribean, only myself, my brother-in-law and my oldest niece have been to Europe, and he only for business. My parents talk about going to Hawaii, although I try to tell them that they should goto London or Ireland first.
As far as the poverty goes, we are probably more likely to put our money into cars, clothes, and dining out before we spend it going overseas. What we are certainly poor in is vacation time to take a long trip.
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yvr girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. 90% of Canadians live within 200 miles of the US border
I don't think I know a single person who hasn't been to the States. Most people I know have also travelled to other places. I've been to 7 countries and a bunch of US states myself.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadians make more than 100 million trips abroad every year. Our total population is just over 30 million.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/travel/menu-en.asp
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. that sorta proves my point
if America is considered "abroad". If ten million people from Ontario can make a trip "abroad" simply by making a short trip to the American side of Niagara Falls then the stats are tilted in Canada's favor. Compared to the two hundred miles, I am about 350 miles south of my hometown, and yet I am still 750 miles from the Mexican border (and I have not even been to a state which borders on Mexico). My hometown is 300 miles from the Canadian border. I am guessing that less than 10% of US population lives within 200 miles of the Canadian border.
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yvr girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. The US isn't the only place Canadians travel
I've made plenty of border trips to buy cheese and gas but I've also been to Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

I've also been to a couple of states that border Mexico, not to mention much further inland.

I can't find hard data. I do know that I have met scads of Canadians overseas. Another poster said it, Canadians and Aussies litter the globe.
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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
26. Canada and Australia
Are huge countries with lot's of travelling to be done in - yet you see Aussies and Canadians all over the world like ants on a dropped scoop of ice cream.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
47. this guy is probably obnoxious everywhere
I bet you the folks in his hometown don't care for him much either. Probably doesn't flush in Public bathrooms either. I know the type.
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. It is an American Trait, exceptionally reliable
That the amount of noise a person produces and the etiquette with which the noise is produced are inversely related to the person's intelligence. So, you must have intelligent friends.....

This does not apply to musicians or the blessedly insane......
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL WE SAVED YOUR A** FROM THE JAPANESE!!!
And don't you forget it.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Yeah, but where were you when those Dutch took a piece of my ass?
/still can't sit down....

:evilgrin:

P.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Freakin' Wooden shoes
Hate the wooden shoes
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Yeah, but in Rotterdam you can get a crackpipe in McDonalds....
:-)

P.
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. well, if that's the worst behaviour you see...
Edited on Wed May-25-05 03:56 PM by Lerkfish
we refer to them as "ugly americans', those who travel and give our reputation a black eye by their condescending and rude behavior.

however, I also think the incident you refer to was very minor. I also knew a UK tourist that was very snotty and refused to address me with any respect, and he was asking ME for directions. I was dressed in a suit at the time, carrying a briefcase in NYC.

But I realize all travelers are individuals and not necessarily representing their country as a whole
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
32. There is something about being a tourist that makes
some people lose all sense.

In NYC, the tourist shops sell T-shirts that say things like "Fuck you you Fuckin' Fuck!" In Prague, plenty of shirts in English which were similarly rude and anti-social, eg. arrow toward face "The Man", arrow toward front of pants "The Legend" and lots with obscenity or just stupid stuff about being drunk.
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A-Schwarzenegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. We Mongo!
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Candygram for........n/t
P.
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A-Schwarzenegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Mongo like Candygram!
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Mongo only pawn in game.
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A-Schwarzenegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #33
45. Mongo like game!
Mongo win game! Mongo love foreign country!
Mongo win foreign country!
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soupkitchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
17. Read Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad
It's been going on forever.
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SouthoftheBorderPaul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. I really think a great number of Americans still think the world loves us.
Edited on Wed May-25-05 04:23 PM by SouthoftheBorderPaul
They don't think it's important we behave ourselves and they still refer to the "We bailed you out in WWII" rationale to justify their coarseness.

I went to Italy a few years back and my friend and I were very conscious of making a positive impression on the Italians. We kept our voices down in the bars, didn't stay too late, did our best to learn what Italian we could. On the flight back to the states, we sat next to a younger guy (early 20s) who said he and his buddies had been kicked out of 4 or 5 bars for being loud and rowdy. Unbelievable.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. Maybe it was his idea of a joke
Randomly shouting nonsense at the world.

I've been known to do it, myself.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. Different customs.
Depending on the circumstances, that wouldn't really be all that rude here. It would be indoors, but outside, he'd probably get a chuckle for being brash. That's about all.

One of my best friends was from Japan, and it was funny to watch her horrified by things I took for granted. I haggled with a guy at a garage sale once, got a great deal on a ladder, then got taken because I had to buy bungie straps to tie the ladder down to get it home. We both laughed at this. My friend was horrified that this man had seemingly ripped me off and laughed in my face. It was hard to explain to her why it was amusing and not rude to me.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. Eh. I'd consider it rude, personally.
But then if I want to ask something of a stranger I generally walk up to them and say something like "Pardon me, I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you might be able to tell me..."

Perhaps the problem is that a lot of Americans are simply ill-mannered louts?
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Maybe. But look at the posts, there aren't many who seem horrified by this
I mean, I'd ask politely, too, but that's me. Most of the posts here seem to think the guy was a bit of a dolt, but aren't as upset as the OP about it.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Yes...
but mightn't that just be evidence that I'm right?

You have to admit that American social interactions, by and large, are much more familiar in nature, even with total strangers. Which, in the eyes of most of the rest of the world that I can think of, constitutes bad manners...
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Yes, exactly my point
We don't consider things bad manners that others would. Big dude just thought he was being efficient and figured people would forgive him because he was tired, maybe had a rough time finding this answer, whatever.

Americans would just shrug at it. I don't act like that when i'm overseas (been awhile), but not everyone is aware that our customs aren't the same as everywhere else.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
25. Why is it that
Europeans come to America and feel free to criticize everything about it to the natives? The big cars, the lack of railroads, the food, the politics, our manners? Don't they teach manners in Europe, either?
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. damn good question...
... and I thank you for asking it!


:thumbsup:
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. That wasn't an American, that was a Murkin.
Murkins are a completely different breed than Americans - loud, arrogant, and with an odd sense of entitlement.

Your American friends are your friends because, well, they don't possess such qualities.

Check their voting records: you'll notice the Americans voted Democrat last November. The Murkin, well, just take a guess.

Writer.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
30. My favorite Ugly American incident occurred in the 1980s
in the departure area of Narita Airport (before the shopping complex was built), when who should turn up but the Chicago Board of Aldermen, on their way back from some junket.

I saw that there was an argument going on between the Board of Aldermen and two counter clerks at the snack bar, who were waving their hands back and forth in the gesture that means "no" in Japan, so I went up to ask what was happening.

It turned out that the Aldermen wanted to buy soft drinks and sandwiches with U.S. dollars, and the counter clerks were trying to explain that they took only yen.

The Aldermen were saying, "But these are U.S. dollars!" and "This is the airport! You'd think they'd accept dollars at the airport!"

I spoke up and said, "Do they accept yen at the snack bars at O'Hare?"

Well, they had foolishly changed all their money before leaving their hotel that morning. I still had a few thousand yen on me, so I conducted an informal currency exchange, taking their dollars in exchange for an appropriate amount of yen.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
31. as sins go, this does not seem exceptionally grave
Sorry you were so dreadfully discomfitted.

:eyes:


Funny how an American who dares to disapprove -- even mildly -- of anything that a foreigner might do or say in the US is just an intolerant xenophobe.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. You know, I was SO dreadfully "discomfitted"...that's not a word,you know
Edited on Wed May-25-05 04:41 PM by Pert_UK
Light hearted criticism of a brash, ignorant bloke.

Sorry that you were discomfitted by it.

I will try to de-encouragise myself from doing it again.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. oh, it's a real word, sure enough...
... I just shouldn't have doubled the t when I typed it.

Discomfit: what the dictionary says.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #31
49. Pert UK was right
it is not about Americans being assholes---it was about a particular american being an ass---and believe me, I know some Americans who I consider among the finest specimens of humanity---I know others who are ignorant fucknobs
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Dastard Stepchild Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
39. I will agree... to a point.....
In this case, this guy was clearly a fool. However, I have been innocently accused of "American Pig"ism on one or two occasions - and these were really due to misunderstandings. I can remember in particular having a drink at a bar with an acquaintance in Manchester. These two gentlemen came up to us and we began to chat. We talked about traveling and how long we had been in the country. The conversation paused slightly, and one gentleman asked where we had been. I mentioned that I enjoyed having a few days in Ireland and Scotland as well. His barked reply was something to the effect of "You Americans are always bragging. I meant what other pubs have you been to?" Now granted, this was, to some extent, in jest, but I do think there is this overriding expectation that many Americans abroad are just stars n' stripes fools.
It's kind of a tired cultural cliche that never seems to go away. I am sure that there are many American fools traveling to the U.K. Mind you, I met a fair number of British fools while overseas, so I am sure that it all balances out quite nicely in the end. ;)
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
43. For what it's worth.....
there are very few things in this world worse than an English tourist!

P.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. there are very few things worse than a loudmouthed prick
and you just happened to encounter an American one. I have no idea why people are giving you trouble. Everyone here has met an obnoxious prick over here. This dick just happened to have gone overseas.

It was a stupid fucking question anyways---He could have gotten his answer by asking a homeless guy on the street!
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tjwmason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #43
61. I support the 'Room with a view' idea
Eleanor Lavish sees an English tourist in Florence being somewhat borish, and states that she would have an exam set at Dover and that only those who passed would be allowed to represent the country by travelling abroad.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
46. Some people are just assholes
and are dense too, obviously Holland would take Euros, as it is in the EU.

But again, some people are just inconsiderate assholes. :shrug:
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
52. One thing I loved about travelling overseas
Fitting in, and Hollnad was one of those places where it's easy for me.

You couldn't tell that I was an American until I opened my mouth while I was in Holland and Brussels. The Luxembourgers loved me.

Black Germans are pretty rare compared to Black Dutch or Belgians, so go figure.

The last thing I wasnted to be was be a typical loud mouth American.

I was all cool about it, and believe you me, the Europeans were cool about it too.
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SOteric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
53. We only let the obnoxious ones go traveling.
Kind of like you lot and letting the Puritans go off to settle other countries, and by the way thank you for that.

:7

:hi:
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
54. Sounds to me like a quick
and efficient way to get an answer. Central London's full of foreign tourists anyway so he was more likely to get a quick answer (from someone who spoke english) by asking the whole queue.
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-25-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
55. The average American is Rude and Dumb.
I'm not the least bit surprised at this.
Duckie
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-05 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
59. Geez, don't you get it?
America is the world superpower! Everyone else need do nothing but bow and acquiese to us. When one of us speaks all in our presence should automatically jump to respond.

Didn't they teach you that in your school? If not you obviously need to go to re-education kamp! :sarcasm:

I'm sure Commmander Cuckoobananas can set something up post haste.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-05 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
60. Oh, BTW
I'm visiting Holland later this year. Do they take Euros? :rofl:



Seriously, sorry for your lousy experience. I assure you not all of us are tight-arsed jagoffs. Some of us are actually quite nice. O8)
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-05 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
62. when was the last time you were in america...
:shrug:
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