Ugly Americans?

Old May 30th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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Yes Clueless would have been a better term than Ugly!
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:30 AM
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At family dinners of my French in-laws when they had, on rare occasions, sweet corn - should I do like them meticulously take off the kernels with a knife or should I do like to me is the only way to eat corn on the cob - with my hands?

Would that make me an ugly American or a clueless American - clueless actions are forgiven - wanton acts are not.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:34 AM
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Pal;You hit a home run----Clueless it is!!
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Having worked at an International airport for years we see all sorts and every country has people they would not like representing them. Smelly people get me the most. We would comment on having to sit next to certain people for a ten hour flight. Garlic, body odor or a bottle of perfume sprayed on them. I think as Americans we are loud but so are others. I can only try and represent myself not my country.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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flpab's post reminds me of an Ugly French guy who came into my couchette compartment on a Spanish train stinking to high Hades - everybody was holding their noses - the conductor finally moved him somewhere else.

Rick Steves was a true Ugly American when in his early books he described his modus apperendi of getting others to vacate a train compartment - he would make sure his socks were really smelly and then take off his shoes - shooing everyone else away!
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:59 AM
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Pal asked:
<i>At family dinners of my French in-laws when they had, on rare occasions, sweet corn - should I do like them meticulously take off the kernels with a knife or should I do like to me is the only way to eat corn on the cob - with my hands?</i>

Eh voilà, l'internet sait tout:
Comment manger un épi de mais....
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xwh...0-secondes_fun
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Old May 30th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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Great video Cowboy!
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Old May 30th, 2014, 06:18 AM
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Three categories:

1. ignorance is not ugly. Not knowing whether the castle in Germany is the original doesn't make one ugly. Proclaiming that the one in one's own country is superior in some way might make one ugly. (I say, 'might', because I allow room for expressions of opinion, provided they are well supported with evidence, and given politely to someone interested in a conversation on the topic, as opposed to volunteered to innocent bystanders.)

2. economic marketplace negotiations are not ugly. I have ordered a cappuccino at all times of the day - and I don't consider this ugly provided I accept the vendor's policy. 90 per cent of the time I get my order filled. Ten per cent of the time, the polite reply is, sorry signora, the cappuccino machine she is broken, and I take the hint and say, "oh, then perhaps you can suggest something else then."

3. Harried travelers - borderline, depending on circumstance. Okay, they are a bit of a nuisance, and if they are loud they are disturbing but hey, they are agitated, possibly even a little frightened, for they are in a strange country and disoriented. Provided the agitated traveler doesn't take a pick ax to the Pieta, I say cut them a little slack and help them calm down. And yes, if one is accustomed to orienting oneself according to any given reference, from RS guidebook to GPS, yes, I can imagine it being stressful to be asked to switch to a different route or use a different guide.

4. Rude. Definitely ugly ("I can't eat this muck". )It's okay to negotiate an order that might not have been cooked properly, but there's a way to do it politely.

5. Obnoxious. Definitely uglly. Shaking off sweat is unsanitary, and leering is unacceptable, I don't care where someone is from.

6. Racial prejudice. Full bore ugly. Off with their heads.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 07:44 AM
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The Quiet American is the one you have to worry about.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Our first trip to Paris happened to be over Easter so we decided to try and go to mass at the Notre Dame. We got dressed up, saw the huge line and stood patiently in it. when doors opened people just ran, all nationalities!!, pushing everyone out of the way, grandma included we did not get a seat but stood in back and paid attention best we could. Some Spanish women were speaking very loudly next to me and i thought "how rude, at least they weren't American"..then during communion my husband couldn't even get to the station as some Texans who were just looking at church, not attending the service were just gawking and talking loudly and staring...i couldn't believe it..so embarrassed
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Old May 30th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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There is an American on these boards who once wrote about a trip to NYC, that even though he claimed a favorite place to eat, he did not remember the name or where it was located.

Sue

Those three categories look like six.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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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"

Yes, adding America to the list of countries posted above is exactly what is making America ugly. People like Americasn in general but they dislike American politics. US politics is coming across more and more as very hypocritical. You may not like what I'm saying, but it's the way the world is now seeing the US.

What truly saddens me is that it wasn't like this 20 years ago.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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What truly saddens me is that it wasn't like this 20 years ago.>

but it was 40 years ago under Nixon-Kissinger and the Viet Nam War.

Europeans may not like U.s. policies but IMO they are in bed with us whenever push comes to shove.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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"Europeans may not like U.s. policies but IMO they are in bed with us whenever push comes to shove."

That depends on the issue.

However, there's one fact that Europeans will agree on: America's military is one of the most powerful in the world.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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NATO and the American military is one of the most powerful in the world. Germany depends on our military might to protect itself - many Americans think that is wrong and they should like other European allies like the U K have their own strong military and pay for it.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:15 AM
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I can see why many Americans might feel that way, however, most Europeans would rather invest their country's money into education, healthcare, infrastructure, social programs and maintaining their own country in general, while America can take care of global squirmishes.

The way of the world.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Kleeblatt, Switzerland has its tough equivalent of the TSA. I've seen how they interrogate passengers from India, Pakistan, etc, coming into the country via Zurich airport. If you think Switzerland is a soft-touch at passport control, you are living in a major self-congratulatory and delusional bubble. So take off your Fielmann's rose-coloured glasses and climb down from your high pferde.

I'm disappointed that PalQ is seemingly so desperate for attention that he would post the tripe that was his OP. Every country has its good and bad tourists but overall, most American visitors to Europe are quite polite and respectful. I'm going to get into name-calling here, but it's easy to find just as bad or even worse examples from many countries.

IMDoneHere: "Generally there are three types of ex-pat groups, business people, retirees, and those seeking an adventure somewhere else. In the company for which I worked becoming posted overseas was like having herpes, once you always got it, you always got it. These were hardened business people whose mission was business not learning a culture or learning a language. It was astonishing how little they learned about the countries in which they lives, but they were assigned as masters of the universe not as cultural attaches."

IMDoneHere overlooks another group of business expats: those who enjoy working in a multi-national environment and who do make the effort to fit into the culture. I'm a businessperson working/living in Switzerland and like many of my international colleagues, I'm doing my best to fit in. I speak the language with the locals as much as possible (although most of the time it's "regular" German, not Swiss German, though I do say stossen instead of drucken and use several other Swiss expressions). I think you need to differentiate between those businesspeople who are on short, fixed-term expat assignments and those who come in as permanent "local hires" (even if they come from another country, as we did).
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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"Kleeblatt, Switzerland has its tough equivalent of the TSA. I've seen how they interrogate passengers from India, Pakistan, etc, coming into the country via Zurich airport. If you think Switzerland is a soft-touch at passport control, you are living in a major self-congratulatory and delusional bubble. So take off your Fielmann's rose-coloured glasses and climb down from your high pferde."

Weisser Tee: I would appreciate your attempt at toning down the personal attacks. There's no need to get emotional.

Fact is, Americans do not go through the same security screening in Europe as Europeans do in America, and that's what bothers a lot of Europeans.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Kleeblatt, you're the one who got all sniffy with your "it saddens me" rubbish about Americans and your snarky "bet you didn't expect this" comment to the OP.

Many of my European co-workers travel to the U.S. from Switzerland on a frequent basis. They are NOT, despite your blanket claim, raising their eyes and complaining to the skies about ugly America. Most have absolutely no problems with it.

And by the way, I'm not attacking YOU, I'm disagreeing with your post and your presumptuous attempt to speak for everyone in Europe. There is a difference.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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I'm speaking for most of my Swiss friends and family members, Swiss colleagues and Swiss adult students who want to go to the States for TOURISTIC purposes. Most DO have their issues with US security but one either puts up with it or they don't go.

And yes, it still saddens me because things used to be different.
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