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After the torrents of abuse levelled at Americans in general by various Europeans (particularly from parts known for their charm and friendliness) I would like to balance the view with the opinions of two Australians.

After driving around the USA for 14 weeks on a couple of trips (next one 2012) we have met with nothing but good humour, friendly interest and helpfulness. The worst outrage was from a man who tooted his horn because I held up holiday weekend traffic to make an illegal left turn - quite wilfully - I missed the site on the way out. Good for him, I shouldn't have done it, so he was quite within his rights.

More usual incidents include the tractor trailer driver in South Dakota that rushed out to his truck and got presents for my grandsons; thankyou Darryl, they enjoyed the toy snakes as much as we enjoyed your company.

So thank you America for your tolerance, good humour and great manners; you remain our strongly preferred destination.

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