Ugly Americans?

Old May 29th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Ugly Americans?

The term 'Ugly American' is bandied about a lot about how some Americans behave in Europe that locals find disconcerting.

I'd like to know if you've seen any cases of Ugly Americanism on your travels - things that would fall under that description.

A main thing to me are the Americans who just blurt out to a stranger 'Do you speak English" - often very loudly - yup Americans also have the reputation of being loud - rather than politely saying 'excuse me, do you speak English,' etc.

But for me one blatant case stands out in particular - last year when I was walking thru the Louvre courtyard a Yank comes up to me his hands waving like crazy - blurting out "Louvre, Louvre, Louvre" - frantically repeating the word.

Then he yells out "speak English, speak English?"

I was flummoxed about why he was so so animated and discombobulated - so I say "yes I'm an American I speak English - what do you want?"

"The Louvre - where is the Louvre he says, I need to find the Louvre"

I point to the glass pyramid entrance and say "there that is the entrance"

He calms down - and tells me he is only in Paris a few days on business and wanted to be sure to see the Louvre - turns out he was from a town only a few miles from where I live. Yeh it's a small world.

Well I really don't know his urgency at finding the Louvre and if I had been a Parisian this would have been a case of running into an Ugly American.

ANY STORIES OF UGLY AMERICANS BEHAVING LIKE THE STEREOTYPE UGLY AMERICANS?
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Yes. Ask anyone who wants to visit the States and they'll raise their eyes to the skies and complain about the bureacracy of entering the US. The US requires a biometric passport, an on-line form called ESTAS that must be paid for by credit card before the flight, fingerprinting, eye scans and no one is quite sure what other obstacles may occur at US customs. I've seen people turned away at the flight counter because their valid passport wasn't valid for entering the US. Even travel agencies have a hard time keeping up with US entry requirements.

That's what truly makes America ugly (besides their gun politics) and keeps people from visiting the country.

Bet you didn't expect this post, Pal?
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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I hate threads like this. I see ugly tourists of every nationality. Americans are no better or worse these days. I think the stereotype is a holdover when few could travel. Now kids in HS and college begin their travel experiences.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Bet you didn't expect this post, Pal?>

No but fine - I'd like to solicit Europeans on this forum about their impressions of typical American tourists!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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<I'd like to solicit Europeans on this forum about their impressions of typical American tourists!>

Oh so this is only for our friends posting from Europe to answer? You did not specify that requirement in your post.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:44 PM
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Despite the fact I am a tourist, I do my best to avoid all tourists of all nationalities.

They're generally boring, haven't got a clue about where they are or why they're there, other than it's a tick in the box and they are thus a Destination Expert!

I spoke to an American woman at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) in Phnom Penh last year.

She asked me where we were going to next. I said "Battambang". She said "Is that a Pagoda or something?"
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Oh so this is only for our friends posting from Europe to answer? You did not specify that requirement in your post.>

No not at all - I just thought it would be fun to hear of rather hilarious things witnessed that give credence to the Ugly American syndrome - meant to be light hearted and in fun but I see that it may be taken differently as yestravel says.

I solicit any travelers witnessed over the top Ugly American incidents from anyone.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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I don't predict a post about "Ugly Americans" is going to turn out light hearted and fun.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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kleeblatt, several countries have strict and/or involved entry requirements. Try going to the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, Israel, India, Brazil, to name a few with strict and/or involved entry requirements.

If you can't see the value of visiting a place beyond the effort to get there, then I guess you should just stay home.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Seriously Pal? Americans are no worse than most other nationalities as tourists, and a whole lot better than some (Chinese and Russian leap to mind).
Yes they can be loud, but so can the Dutch. Yes they tend to speak some strange version of English, very loudly, when asking for help - but then, so do the British.

Do they spit on the pavement? no. Do they jump queues? Not normally? Do they get paralytically drunk? Only occasionally. DO they carve their names into ancient monuments? No Do they stand on a toilet? No. So are they ugly? Hardly.
Most Americans I have ever met, on either side of teh Atlantic are open and friendly and curious and helpful.
TSA and Immigration officers excluded .

It would be nice not to have to jump through the hoops we do to visit the US, especially paying for ESTA, which effectively makes it a visa, even for so called visa-waiver countries. The prospect of standing for an hour in the queue for passport control, and then being treated as a criminal, after a ten hour flight is never pleasant, and enough to put many potential tourists off. It has put me of for a few years, but I'm biting the bullet and going again this year.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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"That's what truly makes America ugly (besides their gun politics) and keeps people from visiting the country."

Yep, only about 67 million international travelers come to the U.S. (2012 stats) in a 12 month period. They're staying away in droves kleebatt.

As for the OPs question...sadly, over the years, I have seen it on more than one occasion, but Americans don't have the corner on bad behavior. There's a lot of jerks from every country. That said, in my numerous travels, bad behavior moments by tourists have (fortunately) been few and far between.

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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Let's turn this around and ask the OP.

Have you ever been an Ugly American?

I can tell you, my wife and I have never been an UA.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:11 PM
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"The Arc de Triomphe is a famous monument in Paris that honours those who fought for France, in particular, during the Napoleonic Wars ...
...Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Interred here on Armistice Day 1920,[14] it has the first eternal flame lit in Western and Eastern Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the fourth century.
... Quite incredibly, the eternal flame has only ever been extinguished once, which was back in the June of 1998 when a drunken fan of the Mexican national football team urinated on the flame, and he was subsequently arrested and charged with public intoxication."
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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<<Seriously Pal? Americans are no worse than most other nationalities as tourists, and a whole lot better than some (Chinese and Russian leap to mind).
Yes they can be loud, but so can the Dutch. Yes they tend to speak some strange version of English, very loudly, when asking for help - but then, so do the British.

Do they spit on the pavement? no. Do they jump queues? Not normally? Do they get paralytically drunk? Only occasionally. DO they carve their names into ancient monuments? No Do they stand on a toilet? No. So are they ugly? Hardly.
Most Americans I have ever met, on either side of teh Atlantic are open and friendly and curious and helpful.>>

Yup.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:17 PM
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"Have you ever been an Ugly American?"

Sadly...yes, and it is even documented in my trip report (9th photo down from the top). I hope Italy has gotten over my momentary lapse in judgement and will allow me to return.

http://www.travelswithmaitaitom.com/...Vineyards.html

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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Sure - lots, like the gadflies who start silly threads just to be provocative . . . .
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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Oh, I can tell you hilarious stories about the clueless German and French tourists wandering around Philadelphia looking for the Liberty Bell.

Or I can tell you stories of the so-called French fashion cognoscenti showing up at 5* Manhattan restaurants in flip flops and dirty feet.

Stop calling Americans Yank.

You are from Detroit, not Hounslow.


Thin
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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My last trip to Hawaii I ended up in a hotel (unknowingly) that was also being used as a dorm for Danish college students. Now THAT was ugly!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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This is a strange thread to have started.

"Yank" - I thought you were British upon reading that.

I've been traveling to Europe since 1971 and I can tell you that American's are not the only 'ugly' travelers. I don't want to start naming nationalities but there are certain ones that have no sense of personal space, cut lines in front of you without hesitation. In London I've seen some of the worst drunks that were not foreigners. There are loud, boisterous, obnoxious people in a lot of different countries.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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Yes, but I am not going to feed the beast.
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