Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Budget Travel asks: Are you an Ugly American?

Touron Talk’s official unauthorized exclusive response: UP YOURS!

Read Budget Travel’s 10 most common faux paus by traveling Americans titled, Are you an Ugly American? Starting tomorrow -- and after that whenever I feel like it – I will break down a faux paus and give examples how I have been guilty of each one.

But first a short intro to the stupid subject of Ugly America…

I’ve addressed this Ugly American thing before. In a post titled The Search for Ugly America, I wrote:

As a nation we are culturally-isolated – we border as many oceans as we do countries. Unlike Europe, where a three hour drive may take you through three countries, here in the US a three-hour drive may take you from Ohio to exotic Indiana - maybe. We aren’t used to dealing with people who don’t sound like us, who don’t use our currency, and who don’t know all of the words to “Take me out to the Ballgame.”

So, we are a bit Ugly. But the French are a bit rude, the English a bit prissy, the Aussies are drunks, the Germans are perverts, the Israelis conceited, etc. etc. As humans we can’t help but label nationalities with certain qualities even if they are wrong. This sort of prejudice is not pretty, but it exists.

1 comment:

Johnny Quest said...

What does the book have to say about robbing a remote Honduran village of all of its honey? A certain lizard-lover might have been good at "getting over" with our guides, but he just couldn't quite grasp the fact that there wasn't a Wal-Mart around the corner.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 = slightly 10 = ginormously) how "cool" was that guy? K-Dub, while pondering this question please keep in mind the following: the height of his elbow relative to his coffee cup when taking a swig, his thoughts on the trustworthiness of Miskito children, his propensity for walking around shirtless, his endless stream of "stories", and, oh yeah, the pit viper that he sat in your lap.