Ugly Americans?

Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:42 AM
  #121  
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Gallery owner went berserk>

Yup locals can be ugly locals as well - no need to go beserk - just politely remind them of something they did not realize.

I've been in Rome caffes where the owner, knowing I was an American, automatically assumed I was an Ugly American and treated me with obvious disdain even though I did nothing out of protocol and was acting normally.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:57 AM
  #122  
 
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Pal, when you have a fragile glass sculpture, price tag several thousand euros, it is not innapropriate to go berko at people who want to finger the works. People in question spoke Italian.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 10:01 AM
  #123  
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Well yes but if it is that valuable should it even be left without protection?

I just think an ideal museum curator should never go beserk for any reason. Just a difference of opinion and I can see your side in that case.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 10:30 AM
  #124  
 
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I honestly can't think of any examples of Ugly American behavior to share, although I can think of an example of haplessness, more like:

For a trip to Ireland, friends of ours booked a large station wagon as their rental, on the theory that driving on the "wrong" side of the road would be difficult, and dangerous, and therefore a car as much like a tank as possible would be the safest thing. If they had asked us we would have told them about hedgerows and villages and such, but they didn't ask; they really had to struggle to find such a large car to rent, but they persisted and got one. We were all staying at a resort-type hotel for a wedding. One day, this couple drove into the village, and promptly got stuck at the tiny intersection of three little old roads. Locals poured out of pubs and shops to laugh at the absurd predicament, but also to help them inch their way out. Did they ever realize the error of their choice of vehicle? No--to this day they talk about how awfully difficult, almost impossible, it is to drive around Ireland!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 10:37 AM
  #125  
 
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Pal, here is the scene. Gallery -not a museum - has ten or so works in glass. The works - sculptures - are all drawn from works of art from the 16th and 17th centuries. For instance, there is a sculpture of a dog. No big deal, except that the dog looks absolutely like the Carpachio painting of St Jerome in his study. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...o-2081180.html

So these are special works, and cannot be displayed with fences or barriers. To get any sort of appreciation, you have to be able to approach the works, not stand behind some sort of barricade.

Same goes for a recent exhibition at the Querini Stampalia. The works there, and many were very small, cannot be barricaded.

There is an expectation, perhaps misplaced, that people will look and not touch.

I asked if I may take a photo of St Jerome's dog. No, because the works are copyright. OK, fair enough. But we talked some more, and the owner then asked why I wanted a photo. Because I want to call up the Carpachio painting and do a comparison. He then said that a photo would be OK, but could I be discreet.

His gallery, his rules.

I respect that.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:20 AM
  #126  
 
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Oh, I guess I was an Ugly American once, that I recall--does it count if I was in America, though?

I asked a guard at a museum if photography was allowed--he said yes, but no flash. So I took a photo, of the informational sign, not the painting, but no matter. Upstairs, I took another photo of an informational sign and was made to feel the wrath of the docent: photography OK downstairs, not upstairs, it turns out! I apologized immediately, but also said that I was told downstairs it was OK. She was very witheringly condescending. I apologized again, assured her I was not a habitual scofflaw, but couldn't resist pointing out there were no signs clarifying the rules about photography. Should have resisted! She said, loudly, that if I persisted in breaking the rules I would be asked to leave.

Boy, was my face red! Could she have been nicer? Sure, but then again, she has a job to do, and I did break the rules. I bear her no ill will.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:31 AM
  #127  
 
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Kenav: I paid that kid to do that. Worth every cent
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:38 AM
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OK, one last story, a very anemic one at that, but it gave us a laugh, and I hope it does you all, too.

Took a trip to Venice (Italy), took lots of photos, of course, and showed them to friends of ours, a young married couple (well, were young then, too!). I promise you there were about 15-20 snaps, not hours of slides, mostly exteriors of churches, bridges and palazzi. Their only question: how much would one of those houses cost?

sigh.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:17 PM
  #129  
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Peter - yes that clears it up - his gallery not a public servant like I thought of a museum. His gallery his rules and he can yell all he wants in that case and justifiably now that I see it in greater detail!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 01:19 PM
  #130  
 
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in a lovely Paris resto a table of six -won't mention their nationality but Stetsons were in evidence -
decided they wanted to buy the placemats and napkins for their ranch. When the waiter demurred,
they demanded the talk to the manager. When he said they would not and could not sell the
napery things got very UGLY - and protracted. We left the resto to the accompaniment of shouted
Franglais and Texish.

BTW, I'm not a Ricknik, but I find that tale of Steves smelly feet on the train hard to believe.
Somehow, that doesn't fit his persona. Let alone his modus 'apperendi'.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 01:21 PM
  #131  
 
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Little Ricky used to suggest that you eat other people's uneaten food at cafeterias.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:49 PM
  #132  
 
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Stereotypes. Tourists from other countries also are loud...
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Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:33 AM
  #133  
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rick also once brgged about stuffing his pockets and bags with food from the breakfast buffet included in the price of a room many times and thus feeding yourself off the hotel/hostel for the whole day.

Times change but that type of personality IMO does not.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:01 PM
  #134  
 
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I was with my god-daughter in Venice when she was 16. For reasons only someone that age would understand, she really, really craved Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes, so we bought some (I forget what they call them there) replete with Tony the Tiger on the box.

I talked her into trying to get (now called a photobomb) herself prominently holding the cereal box featuring Tony the Tiger into as many tourist snaps as possible. And it was by no means difficult. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 10:24 AM
  #135  
 
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Sumba, you did not follow the instructions re your tickets. Get over it.

The reference to Hitler is offensive.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 12:36 PM
  #136  
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Yes the Hitler reference does you no good - having read about your travails I understand how terrible you were treated, etc. but Hitler?
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 12:50 PM
  #137  
 
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Sorry, I'm new here, but this thread title caught my eye. As an American tourist, I always go out of my way to be respectful when I'm in a new environment. I object to the characterization "Ugly Americans" because it is a stereotype and over-generalization of the behavior of every individual within a group of people. As other posters have said, anyone, no matter their nationality can behave in an "ugly" manner.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 12:59 PM
  #138  
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As other posters have said, anyone, no matter their nationality can behave in an "ugly" manner.>

Yes we or I decided it should have been entitled Clueless Americans or Clueless Tourists.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 01:17 PM
  #139  
 
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I think the comparison to Mussolini is much more appropriate since he made the trains run.
___

There is more self-righteous indignation on this topic than a week of Jerry Springer shows. Just so many perfect people who never offended another or intentionally or accidentally made a faux pas when traveling. It is incredible how they are all attracted to these boards.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 01:51 PM
  #140  
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sumba - I am not a Hunky but an American, just like you. I was sympathetic to your travails in your touching report on another thread but now realize that the Nazis that harassed you so much probably picked up on your aggressive stance and yes thoroughly gave you the work - your are indeed an Ugly American, the term being coined for you.

and IME - Mussolini making the trains run on time is an Urban Myth - not true except on a few key main lines but not nearly all the trains as you falsely believe.
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