rm_charlieff 77M
132 posts
5/15/2006 7:47 pm

Last Read:
5/18/2006 5:48 pm


An article appeared in USA TODAY that kind of hit home. Since I've had the opportunity to travel extensively and have been embarrassed by other Americans' actions, and since we have a lot of cultures represented here in Blogland, I decided to post some excerpts from the article. Some of you may have an opportunity to travel abroad and even if you don't you may understand our poor image in foreign countries a little better.

First, my experiences. Europeans appear in suits and dresses when they go out while Americans wear jeans, T-shirts and sneakers no matter where they are. I watched an American, loudly arguing with a waiter at famous Meo Petaca in Rome, who was insisting on having "mashed potatoes." The poor waiter had no idea what the guy was talking about. I watched an American order lasagna and pronounce in "La Zag Na." I witnessed a French policeman in Monte Carlo politely say "Bon Jour" to an American woman who replied "Oh, no, no. It's 'good morning.' Come on, you can say gooood moooorning." I was enjoying a Guiness and talking with a Londoner who proclaimed that all you had to do was say "Hello" to an American and they tell you their whole life story. Also in London, they seem to have no law against U-turns. What would happen in your town if you made a U-turn in front of someone? Think they'd slow down and allow it like the Londoners do! In Russia I watched Americans hagel with struggling merchants over a few Rubels which were 1,000 to one US. dollar.

Take a minute to read the excerpts. See if you can connect my experiences with our problem being the "ugly Americans."

By Jayne Clark

We're loud, arrogant and poorly dressed.

Oh, yeah – we're fat, too.

Though it can't solve the U.S. obesity problem, a business group is attempting to beautify the time-worn image of the ugly American by promoting an attitude adjustment among business executives traveling abroad....

The non-profit Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA) will formally launch its program in May, when it will make its World Citizens Guide available online....

Surveys indicate that the ugly-American persona is not only alive and well, but getting bigger and uglier. And research aimed at discovering the roots of anti-American sentiments around the world points, in part, to the American personality. People overseas don't just dislike our foreign policy; they dislike us....

"Historically, people would separate the American government and the American people. But that distinction is being blurred," says Eggspuehler. "Typically, our people were admired for our way of life. It was a lifestyle that many aspired to, and that's not the case any more."
The ugly American was born in the days after World War II when greater numbers of ordinary, middle-class Americans began traveling abroad, particularly to Europe. They stood out, and not necessarily in a good way....

Worldwide, respondents repeatedly mentioned "arrogant," "loud" and "uninterested in the world" when asked their perceptions of Americans, Eggspuehler says. "But the most consistent word in every region was 'respect.' They said we don't respect their cultures. That, and if we had to talk so much, we could at least dial down the volume."

The Travel Industry Association of America, which promotes travel to this country, is squarely behind the initiative. The American-image problem is of primary concern to TIA, says spokesman Allen Kay. "But polls show when (foreigners) come and visit, they're much more likely to be friendly toward the U.S."

Have you traveled? Had any comparable experiences? Do you agree or disagree?

mangomamiCT 43F

5/15/2006 9:04 pm

Oh yes , I have embarrassed by a fellow americans actions , we seem so course and vulgar among other cultures sometimes .

rm_charlieff replies on 5/18/2006 12:04 am:
Thanks. I think we're too spoiled to accept other cultures and to respect them for what they are.

rm_atta_girl 46F
219 posts
5/15/2006 9:20 pm

i see it here at home, sadly. . .

rm_charlieff replies on 5/17/2006 11:38 pm:
So true. Unfortunately the attitude starts at home!

catseyes23 62F

5/16/2006 12:44 am

I have seen some of the things you posted, my sweet. I have also been embarrassed in some circumstances as I am British and most Japanese think we non-Japanese that live here are for the most part, American.


rm_charlieff replies on 5/18/2006 12:00 am:
Here we can be a "foreigner" in our own country. My sister moved to the South (Southern part of the US; ask Ms Huny) almost 30 years ago and they still think she's an Easterner (Northeast part of the US, Purry Kitty).

blueguy1051 61M

5/17/2006 10:21 am

When I have traveled, it is often easy to spot Americans. Loud, arrogant, their dress, and, of course, their weight. As sexyfit said above, many Americans I know will identify themselves as Canadian if possible. It's gotten worse since GWB took office.

rm_charlieff replies on 5/17/2006 11:36 pm:
GWB's attitude is that every one in the world should identify with us, our lifestyle, economy and politics. Bu when we show the rest of the world that our lifestyle is one of waste and disrespect, that our economic system is based on greed and our politics encourages cronyism and lies, how could we expect them to admire and want to copy us?

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