Why can't I look American in Paris??

Old Oct 13th, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #21  
 
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In many places, it's a matter of security. Pickpockets and muggers tend to target people who look like tourists, because tourists are known to often carry lots of cash.

Yes, you will give yourself away as soon as you open your mouth, and probably also just by your posture. However, wearing clothing that is obviously American makes it much easier to identify you as an visitor even in a crowd or at a distance.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 12:09 PM
  #22  
 
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Personally, when travelling, my main concern as far as clothing, is to be COMFORTABLE, and secondly, to have the APPROPRIATE clothing for where I'm going..... I wouldn't wear a designer dress to the deepest rainforest, nor would I wear a tank top and mini skirt while at the Vatican.

I have never once been concerned about 'trying not to look TOO American.' I am American, there's no escaping it. My clothes might not give me away so much, but my voice certainly always will.

More important than fashion, is how one behaves while travelling. Who cares if someone is wearing 30 year old highwaters and sloppy old Converse sneakers? I certainly don't. But as Kate2 points out, seeing another one of my own countrymen/women acting a fool when traveling overseas is pretty darned embarrassing. Whether we like it or not, we are unofficial ambassadors for our country, any time we set foot outside the US. Our behavior has long reaching implications, perhaps only on a local level, or maybe on a larger scale, depending on the situation. But people being the way they are, if they see ONE American acting like a jerk, then psychologically they apply that behavior to ALL Americans.

And if you don't believe that....consider all the posts on Fodors that lump ALL French together when they talk about 'How rude and unfriendly the French are.', even though that person's bad experience may have only been with one or two French people.

So I have never seen the point of trying to 'blend in' except as a security precaution when traveling to risky areas, or in troubled times, such as right after Sept 11th, when no one was sure where and with whom they might be safe. A local person, or separately, a person who's up to no good (i.e. a pickpocket) will be able to spot your lack of familiarity with the area, and your 'tourist-ness' a mile away, no matter how you're dressed.

Rule of thumb: Wear what you want (as long as it's appropriate).....behave yourself.....and enjoy your vacation!!!
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 12:12 PM
  #23  
 
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I don't know you, so I don't know what's wrong with being who you are.
Based on your question I can make a few guesses. Perhaps you suffer from low self esteem.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 12:43 PM
  #24  
 
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But people being the way they are, if they see ONE American acting like a jerk, then psychologically they apply that behavior to ALL Americans.

Is there something wrong with this statement? I don't think the French think all American's are jerks because of one person.

Just my humble opinion
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 01:21 PM
  #25  
 
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I should have added the qualifier 'might'.

However, on that particular thing, my point was and is, that some people - including a lot of people who post messages on Fodors - have made blanket assumptions about entire nationalities, based on the negative behavior of a limited few.

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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 01:23 PM
  #26  
 
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If you don't want to look like a Yank in Paris, don't:

1. Fart in public.
2. Wander into traffic yelling, "Yo, Debbie, I don't see no Gaps or Marshall's on this friggin' street."
3. Wear a bumbag full of loose change that jingles like Santa's reindeer.
4. Ask the waiter in a cafe, "Do you have a Neverending Salad Bowl or Bottomless Fries here, garcon?"
5. Say to the same waiter, "I really don't like Cabernet. Do you have Lambrusco with a side of ice?"
6. Have your belly hanging over your belt with your navel exposed.
7. Wear a hat that states: I BRAKE FOR CANDY BARS.
8. Extole on the virtues of Marshal Petain.
9. Ask, "What is foie gras and why does it smell and look like Alpo?"
10. Go into Louis Vuitton on Fauborg St. Honore and tell the saleswoman, "I don't understand why these hangbags are so expensive. The one I bought from the black man on the street corner was only 17 francs."
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:06 PM
  #27  
 
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I'm embarrassed to be an American (in Paris and everywhere else) because of our government. It is embarrassing that our government insists upon bullying the rest of the world rather than cooperating with other countries and respecting their governments, the UN, etc. We have a president who was not elected by the majority of the voters who lied to the world about our government's motivations and reasons for fighting an unnecessary war that has killed countless innocent people. We also have the Terminator as the new governor of California, etc. I could go on and on, but you get the point. It is embarrassing to be associated with the United States government.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:14 PM
  #28  
 
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Sweetsugar, can you just change your screename to killjoy. It really would be more appropriate.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:17 PM
  #29  
 
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BTW sweetsugar, if you really hate being an American so much, perhaps you should resurrect a post on relocating to Europe.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:18 PM
  #30  
dumas1870
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sweetsugar, you poor, poor thing.

But you sound much like like one of the nine no-notice dwarfs DEMs pandering away for Prez.

You know, the angry ones who constantly bad mouth GWB but have no alternative plans.

The dumb ones who incite class warfare to garner a few extra votes.

The weak ones who think the UN should run US foreign policy.

They are the pathetic fools you should be ashamed about.
 
Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:18 PM
  #31  
 
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I've seriously considered that Ryan, but all of my family and friends live here.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:27 PM
  #32  
 
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At least we have elections and choices. Most people don't even vote, it's our own fault. At least we have human rights unlike many other countries.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 02:32 PM
  #33  
dumas1870
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Have the courage of your liberal convictions. Don't take this terrible abuse anymore - re-locate ASAP! And take Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy with you.
 
Old Oct 13th, 2003, 03:07 PM
  #34  
 
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DUMAS1870
Very well said. Sweetsugar might take wimpy Al gore also!
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:27 PM
  #35  
 
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Ryan-----I've kinda had a bad day----and your 2 responses were laughoutlouds. Thx for the comic relief!!
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:32 PM
  #36  
 
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thinGorjus, was that supposed to be funny? Francs? Your material is a bit dated, where did you steal it from?
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:50 PM
  #37  
 
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Did any of you watch Diane Sawyer in Rome on Good Morning America this morning? She did a good job of being a rude American, she had a local chef cook up unusual Roman dishes (unusual to Americans) and then tasted them and said of one "this tastes like rubberbands" and "I have eaten worms before", etc. The chef was abashed and speechless, at the end of the segment she said "oh well it was good" to him as an afterthought, seeing him shrink back from the camera.

Then a segment on dressing like a Roman, it was embarassing to watch.

So if a "journalist" such as Sawyer with the top spot of a national morning show can behave this way, we shouldn't blame a simple tourist from Bohunk.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:54 PM
  #38  
vivaldi
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Did you want her to lie and say they all tasted good when they didn't?
 
Old Oct 13th, 2003, 05:07 PM
  #39  
 
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Be who you are lucky03 and more power to you!

Excellent point sweetsugar.

I am also embarassed by ignorant Americans. But, I always hope that others won't judge us by our leaders or by other tourists. I find that Europeans tend to be quite friendly and don't necessarily assume that people from the United States are necessarily as ridiculous as our leaders.

Ciao.

Daria
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 05:13 PM
  #40  
dumas1870
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daria, please give us some clear, unemotional examples of what you object to and also some realistic alternatives.

Which one of the nine babbling DEM dwarfs do you favor? If you can deliver at least a hundred votes, they'll personally come to your house and promise you something.
 

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