Sunday, February 20, 2011

Americans Abroad

I just read an article on cnn.com titled "Is the 'ugly American' label fading?" and the intro to the article talks about an American couple who travel abroad and use to claim they were Canadian's to avoid being negatively viewed by the natives. American's claiming they are Canadian while traveling is not a rare occurrence, it is so common that I was told multiple times to claim Canuckness in order to avoid the label of ugly American. If you follow this blog at all then you know that I am overtly opinionated and therefore probably assumed, correctly, that I would never claim to be anything other then what I am, an American. I actually find it disgraceful and ignorant to claim a false allegiance to another country, oh and pathetic. So if you're one of those people who has traveled abroad and denied your American citizenship, well I want you to know you're an asshole and that you are an embarrassment to your nation.
If you're American and have this patch, it should be expected that both Canadians and Americans will rearrange your face.
As for the title of "ugly American," I have my own list of observations from my travels abroad. The article does state the the image has changed greatly in the past three years, so I may have just witnessed the first waves of change that thus skewed my viewed but none-the-less here is my take on the title. American's are so flat out afraid of offending people in other countries that they are usually overtly polite and sincerely attempt to adapt to the culture they find themselves in. Every American I met in my travels, attempted to speak the language of the native country, and to just blend in the background without making much of a spectacle of themselves. I never once saw an American act belligerently or even so much as draw attention to themselves. In fact most American's are so scared of pick-pockets and thieves they go to great lengths to not appear as tourists at all.
"Run that person is different then us, they are going to mug and rob us...RUN!!!"
The same can not be said for many of the newer additions to the traveling ranks. Japanese tourists are hysterically stereotypical, with their camera's and tripods and misguided attempt at western fashion. The Chinese also follow this general stereotypical view and thus become hard to differentiate from their Asian neighbors.
Is it stereotyping if it's true?
The new owners of the title, and this is my opinion coupled with that of locals from Italy, Greece and Spain, are the British. They can easily be spotted from across of piazza and are generally "acting a fool." I need to backtrack quickly and add older Britons, because like their American counterparts the younger Britons are likely to be attempting to integrate themselves with the culture around them. In general the fattest tourists, which everyone assumes would be Americans, are the British. This is probably an economic anomaly as typically the more obese Americans are the poorer Americans and thus are less likely to be found globe trotting. I will not say the American population is not grossly overweight, because then I would be a liar, just that it is a lot cheaper for the English to travel to Europe then for Americans and subsequently you are more likely to find a lower class (thus fatter and less refined) Briton in France then their American counter-fatty.
Trust me when I say do NOT google "British Fatties," unless you're into British fatties of course, then enjoy.
If you are American and travel abroad, just don't be a prick, it's pretty simple, and please don't lie about your nationality. If you are so conscientious of how the locals will view you, you are likely being respectful and therefore by just not being a lying asshole you are helping to improve America's image abroad. If you say you are Canadian, you are doing nothing more then making these people assume that Canadians are nice, and we all know that is a giant bold faced lie. Plus, you should be proud to be part of a country who has accomplished so much, YES we have some fucked up mistakes to make up for, but overall America has added more good then bad, and as an American you should be proud of that and be willing to disprove the stereotype by just being courteous and respectful of your host nation.
Excessive commercialism and all, America is still awesome.
I will now step down from my soap box...Thank You.


STMTZ

3 comments:

  1. Googling British fatties > Googling Santorum

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't tried...but I've heard...and I plan on never ever typing that name into a search bar

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this.
    I was just telling a friend that I would view someone who denounced their own country for something like that to be a traitor. Hell, it makes me want to sew an American flag on my pack when I go abroad in August.

    ReplyDelete