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-   -   AMERICANS...yikes! #2 (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/americans-yikes-2-a-49042/)

Kittie Jul 29th, 1999 03:26 PM

I work in a dental office in Florida. <BR>I have had many English patients through the years. Some are residents and some are visitors. <BR>I would not consider any of them "reserved" in the ways described previously. They speak in an average tone and complain when the DDS is running late. They tell me their entire life sotries just like the Americans do. Dental Hygienists are kind of like bartenders in that respect. One in particular is a very loud, boistrous, friendly man who makes it very well known that he is in the office due to the volume of his voice. In fact, he is married to a very quiet American woman. <BR>Kittie

Neal Sanders Jul 30th, 1999 05:35 AM

May I join this discussion? <BR> <BR>First, Tracy, if that joke is original, you have a career in humor. I wasn't ready for it, it was side-splittingly funny. <BR> <BR>Second, we seem to be comparing apples and oranges. The British are born with a special gene sequence for "reserved." There is no English-speaking people in the world who can match them for that trait (and an admirable quality it is). So, the question isn't whether Americans are loud compared to the British - that's a given. The question is whether Americans are loud compared to Australians, Canadians, etc. <BR> <BR>Third, if you are an American abroad, you ears are attuned to the sound of an American accent. You will hear it above every other sound around you because your brain and your ears search for the familiar. That also has the effect of magnifying voices. <BR> <BR>Fourth, unless you are conversant in French, German, Spanish or Russian, you don't know what kind of rude comments are passing between the gaggle of tourists standing next to you at the elevator in Rome. My Spanish is pretty good. And so I can eavesdrop on the conversations around me, and the comments about the tour guides and whom you can and cannot trust are the same as those about whom Catherine wrote. Let's just say that nationalism and ethnocentricism are not exclusively American traits. <BR> <BR>Fifth and finally, Americans who travel are louder than other nationalities that travel. Why? Put nicely, because international travel is available to a broader cross-section of Americans. Put less nicely, because cheap air fares and package tours have put the world within functional reach of a far greater percentage of the U.S. population than the percentage of Americans who know how to behave themselves. Put bluntly, because the kind of people who kick elevator doors can get to Rome on an $800 per person package tour, and $800 is beer money to many Americans. <BR> <BR>Thanks for letting me chime in.

cherie Jul 30th, 1999 09:12 AM

Oh, what the hey, I've been fried here before. This string went from Loudness of Americans on the tube to HMOs and sheeted radicals(?) and back to etiquette before I could file my nails. What seems loud to one group may seem "fun" to another. Usually-reserved Asians, for example, sometimes have friends or kids that are more boisterous. It takes all kinds to make up a world. I ought to know...my office deals with the public. (By referal, of course.) The world is definately getting smaller, though and I agree that the recent ability for the masses to travel throughout the world has shown us that there are simply all kinds of personalities and etiquettes in this world. Rather nice, I think.

dan woodlief Jul 30th, 1999 10:57 AM

While I am not ready to say that Americans don't tend to be louder than a lot of other nationalities, I think Neal and others have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. In fact, I answered in the same way on the Rick Steves forum some time ago. As a person who works with statistics all the time, I truly believe that a big part of it is that there are simply so many Americans traveling. Put this together with the slightly more outgoing nature of Americans in general, and you get a lot of less-than-well-behaving individuals. Put these together in large groups, and the noise tends to amplify. It also means though that you get a lot of well-behaved Americans traveling. So once again you can't paint all with the same brush. The problem is that the well-behaved ones have to overcome the impressions the loud ones have created, just as friendly Parisians have to overcome the stereotype of the rude Parisian.

Kerri Aug 2nd, 1999 03:18 PM

Gee Wiz. I will be traveling to Europe to be with a friend next week. Her husband is in the military (oops! I hope that doesn't offend anyone.) She told me to visit this forum for tips on European traveling. WOW!!! <BR>Before, the only thing I was afraid of was flying. So much for that, flying sounds like a piece of cake. Now, I have to wonder how much fun this trip will actually be. I would like to here from the Europeans...I am an American. Does that mean that I need to be someone else while traveling? I don't mean offense or anything. I really want to know. I want to get along with everyone and don't want to be treated poorly just because I have a different ure. <BR>Could someone please, give me tips on how to be a pleasant American tourist? <BR>Thank You in advance for your responses. <BR> <BR>Kerri

Kittie Aug 2nd, 1999 05:24 PM

Kerri, <BR>Please don't be alarmed. You will have a great time, I am sure. <BR>I travelled to Germany and London in 1995. I found the people very freindly towards Americans. One man at a gas station in Munich talked with us for quite a time about his visits to Florida. We spoke Spanish to a man at Oktoberfest because we spoke better spanish than German and he spoke better spanish than english. I will be going to Scotland and Iceland this year. I love Europe and it's people. <BR>You didn't say what coutry(ies) you would be visiting but here's <BR>My advice: <BR>Be kind to others. Smile. Learn some of the language of the country (countries) you will be visiting and try to speak that language. Bring a language dictionary for that country. Learn to say "please" and "thank you" in the appropriate language and use them often. Don't expect everyone to know English. They don't care how we do it "at home" (kind of like the south-north, east-west thing in the US). <BR>Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it? It got me through Bavaria...we stayed in a little town where very few people spoke English. <BR>It is nice that you are visiting this couple. Visitors from home is always nice. <BR>I hope this helps. <BR>Kittie

ray seva Aug 2nd, 1999 10:05 PM

Greetings- <BR> It's not just the Americans...it's EVERYBODY on your little blue marble. <BR> Keep up your loud/abnoxious/clueless travel ways, earthlings. It's pretty funny. <BR> <BR>Signed, <BR> <BR>Zork <BR>Deep Space, The Universe 10101 <BR>

Sheila Aug 2nd, 1999 11:50 PM

<BR>Kerri; fear not we all love you. <BR> <BR>Seriously, just be yourself, so long as yourself is not "obnoxious" and you'll have a great time. As a rule of thumb, no-one with the sense to participate in this Forum could possible be a "bad" traveller.

Fagin Aug 4th, 1999 08:56 PM

Message: Emperor Nero: <BR>I know who JFK, Jr. is, and O.J.Simpson, but who are Ricky Martin and Britney Spears? Are they related to Princess Di? <BR>Careful how you respond, be polite, say please and thank you. Remember I own an assault rifle!

kay Aug 5th, 1999 07:09 AM

Regarding travel as an American, I share this experience. Once I lived in Canada, for a very long time. It was the habit of Canadians back then, in the 80s, when they traveled to Europe to wear little maple leaves, to distinguish themselves from you know who! The thought behind that was that once in Europe you would be treated better if the natives thought you were Canadians. Since I have dual US/Canadian citizenship, I could have done that, legitimately, and, for one trip to Europe, my mother begged me to do it, since it was during a period when Americans were being targeted by terrorists. I refused to do it since I am pleased and proud I am an American and didn't want to hide it (although the terrorism reason did tempt me briefly). Anyway, I am treated well in Europe as an American, even without a maple leaf, and that is because I am polite and, I hope, not too loud. I smile a lot and try to use bits of the language, which is fun and thoughtful. Duh, these are no brainers. I think the Canadians on this forum who go to Europe wearing maple leaves for this reason have just been too polite to mention that they do this. That's my conclusion, anyway.


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