Ugly American Tourism

 

Summer is the tourist season for Americans. There are Americans that believe their passport is some sort of talisman that turns the entire world into Disney World. Disney World is a bit different than North Korea; bad behavior in Disney World means being escorted out of the park, bad behavior outside the borders of the United States can become a nightmare.

Americans regardless of their political beliefs make mistakes when choosing a vacation destination. Trekking across the border of Iran is really not a good choice, and I would suggest taking a visit to Yemen off your bucket list, unless it’s the last item on your bucket list.

One visit to another country does not necessarily make a person an expert on that country when it comes to culture or politics. There is the old joke about a group of American socialists visiting a newspaper publisher in Stalin’s Soviet Union. The Americans marveled at the large printing press. One woman exclaimed we don’t have anything like this in the United States. Closer examination of the press revealed a plaque stating: “Made in Brooklyn, USA.”

Two Americans who happen to be members of Congress have been refused entry into Israel. Unlike our own Congress that believes in open borders, Israelis do not. Congressional junkets are paid vacations that are described as fact-finding missions. As Joe Biden says, we prefer truth to facts. Members of Congress are like locusts; they devour wages and strip the fields bare, and worst of all they are probably lousy tippers.

Different countries mean different rules.

Published in Education
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There are 20 comments.

  1. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Doug Watt: I would suggest taking a visit to Yemen off your bucket list, unless it’s the last item on your bucket list.

    Wonderful!

    • #1
    • August 16, 2019, at 7:50 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher

    Doug Watt: As Joe Biden says we prefer truth to facts.

    The Squad already have their “truth” — the facts be damned.

    • #2
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:08 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    The Squad already have their “truth” — the facts be damned.

    According to their own published itinerary, there is no Israel, only Palestine.

    • #3
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  4. OldPhil Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: I would suggest taking a visit to Yemen off your bucket list, unless it’s the last item on your bucket list.

    Wonderful!

    If Yemen’s on your bucket list, even last, your bucket has a big leak.

    • #4
    • August 16, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    The Squad already have their “truth” — the facts be damned.

    According to their own published itinerary, there is no Israel, only Palestine.

    The only country that I’m aware of that recognised Palestine was Imperial Rome, and then it was a province, not a country. And the Romans only did it because they were mad at the Joooos.

    • #5
    • August 16, 2019, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. Percival Thatcher

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: I would suggest taking a visit to Yemen off your bucket list, unless it’s the last item on your bucket list.

    Wonderful!

    If Yemen’s on your bucket list, even last, your bucket has a big leak.

    Or you’re wearing it as a hat.

    • #6
    • August 16, 2019, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Franco Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: I would suggest taking a visit to Yemen off your bucket list, unless it’s the last item on your bucket list.

    Wonderful!

    I was living in Cairo in 1979 and met a young, very attractive American woman who had come back from a year in Yemen (yeah, probably) and she referred to Cairo as “civilization”. Musta been really bad….

    • #7
    • August 17, 2019, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. KentForrester Coolidge

    I have a special distaste for Americans who suck up to Europeans by feeding them the anti-Americanism that they so enjoy.

    A number of years back, I was standing in a line behind two young Americans for tickets to the playhouse in Stratford Upon Avon. What I heard from these two was a litany of of America’s sins.

    I wanted desperately to barge in and knock their heads together. It’s bad enough to hear that bushwa in the States, but it’s worse to hear it from Americans pandering to European anti-Americanism.

    • #8
    • August 17, 2019, at 4:31 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  9. Franco Member

    I’ve traveled a fair amount, and there are ugly Americans, but there also are ugly everybody else. They can be ugly in their own country or ugly here. 

    I’ve learned a lot. Too many Americans don’t spend enough time abroad to begin to understand the flaws and downsides of Europeans or anyone else. 

    Do Americans not know that Asians ( in Asia) are, for the most, part jaw-droppingly racist? 

    New York is 50 times the cultural hub than Paris. So much more art happening at any given time in NYC than Paris or any European city.

    Europeans can be amazingly rude and diffident. My daughter arrived today from Tel Aviv, had a layover in Kiev, and reported a special kind of rudeness she experienced there. As a side-note, she wondered what made Russian girls seem so, well, slutty -even the ones who aren’t so inclined.

    The French have a special kind of arrogance that doesn’t exist in the American spectrum. Even David French can’t duplicate that strain of arrogance.

    The Germans are sadly uptight, and only get personable when they drink. Then it’s fun.

    I have nothing bad to say about the Italians or the Irish, although they too have their faults.

    These are the only ethnic groups one can disparage without being accused of racism. But we are all ugly in our own way.

    • #9
    • August 17, 2019, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  10. Lumimies Member

    I just visited Ukraine and Poland, and had a wonderful time in both countries. English is pretty widely spoken in both places (much more so in Poland), and we made do pretty well with Google Translate and the Uber App when it wasn’t. (Uber may be the greatest thing ever for traveling abroad where you don’t speak the language: No confusion over directions and destinations, no haggling over prices, and nicer cars than your average taxi. And the Ubers all felt far safer than the one cab we took, which was a nightmare. DO NOT take a taxi from the Kyiv airport.)

    Lviv, Krakow, and Warsaw are all beautiful cities with rich histories, and likely to give you the experience of a vacation in Europe at a much lower price than other parts of the continent. Kiev (call it Kyiv – locals of Ukrainian descent are not fond of the Russians or the Russian version of their city’s name) is also a must visit, but much less European and more Russian, including great examples of brutally ugly Soviet era architecture and public art. And the food in Ukraine is wonderful.

    • #10
    • August 17, 2019, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    A number of years back, I was standing in a line behind two young Americans for tickets to the playhouse in Stratford Upon Avon. What I heard —and it wasn’t the first time — was a litany of of America’s sins.

    What play were you going to see? Were it the Scottish play or Titus Andronicus, you could have slaughtered them and just said it was a preview of the play.

    • #11
    • August 17, 2019, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Kay of MT Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    A number of years back, I was standing in a line behind two young Americans for tickets to the playhouse in Stratford Upon Avon. What I heard —and it wasn’t the first time — was a litany of of America’s sins.

    I was there in Nov 1988, and didn’t hear any disparaging remarks from other Americans, not sure but don’t think there were any others. It was pretty darn cold there at the time. My companion, from Australia, and I were treated wonderfully well all over England and Wales. I did have a set-to at the French Embassy in London, trying to get a 3 day visa and finally grabbed my passport back and swore I’d rather die than spend a sou in France.

    • #12
    • August 17, 2019, at 10:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Zafar Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    The Squad already have their “truth” — the facts be damned.

    According to their own published itinerary, there is no Israel, only Palestine.

    The only country that I’m aware of that recognised Palestine was Imperial Rome…

    The green ones, according to wiki:

    • #13
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Percival Thatcher

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    The Squad already have their “truth” — the facts be damned.

    According to their own published itinerary, there is no Israel, only Palestine.

    The only country that I’m aware of that recognised Palestine was Imperial Rome…

    The green ones, according to wiki:

    Any which have recognized Palestine post-1948 are engaged in sophistry, or just good old-fashioned anti-semitism. 

    • #14
    • August 18, 2019, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Zafar Member

    It’s not exact, but there’s a significant overlap of recognition of Palestine and people who are the descendants of the colonized rather than colonizers. I’m certain that in 1948 in India at least (and I suspect in China and sub-Saharan Africa as well) most people didn’t know that Jews existed.

    • #15
    • August 18, 2019, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Wylee Coyote Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    The only country that I’m aware of that recognised Palestine was Imperial Rome, and then it was a province, not a country. And the Romans only did it because they were mad at the Joooos.

    Plus ça change…

    • #16
    • August 18, 2019, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Kay of MT Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s not exact, but there’s a significant overlap of recognition of Palestine and people who are the descendants of the colonized rather than colonizers. I’m certain that in 1948 in India at least (and I suspect in China and sub-Saharan Africa as well) most people didn’t know that Jews existed.

    A little history Zafar:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish–Roman_WarThe First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE), sometimes called the Great Revolt (Hebrew: המרד הגדול ‎ ha-Mered Ha-Gadol), or The Jewish War, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire, fought in Roman-controlled Judea, resulting in the destruction of Jewish towns, the displacement of its people and the appropriation of land for Roman military usage, besides the destruction of the Jewish Temple and polity. After the last war, Bar Kokhba revolt in 132–136 CE, and after the temple had been destroyed, Jews expelled from the land, the Romans called the land Palestine after the Philistine who had conquered the Jews once before. Notice that it took the Romans a long time, and depleted their army getting rid of those Jews. The Romans recognizing Israel as Palestine? They renamed the land as an insult to Jews. Surly you can’t be that ignorant of history.

    • #17
    • August 18, 2019, at 11:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Marjorie Reynolds Lincoln

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    I have a special distaste for Americans who suck up to Europeans by feeding them the anti-Americanism that they so enjoy.

    A number of years back, I was standing in a line behind two young Americans for tickets to the playhouse in Stratford Upon Avon. What I heard from these two was a litany of of America’s sins.

    I wanted desperately to barge in and knock their heads together. It’s bad enough to hear that bushwa in the States, but it’s worse to hear it from Americans pandering to European anti-Americanism.

    I can understand that, I’ve met a few Americans travelling who were like that. I met 2 American men in Beijing a few years ago and we didn’t hit it off. They were at pains to dismiss the entire population of the States outside of a handful of cities (you can guess which) as red necked creatures of low intelligence and primitive beliefs. I pressed them as to how many of these knuckle draggers they’d actually met or if they’d even travelled to these stone age settlements. This was 2013 so I can only imagine how much they are afflicted by TDS, the thought does make me smile.

    One other thing about Americans abroad is that I haven’t really met that many backpacking. You’re guaranteed to meet Germans, Aussies and English (in that order) no matter where you go but young Americans not so much.

     

    • #18
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Marjorie Reynolds Lincoln

    Lumimies (View Comment):

    Lviv, Krakow, and Warsaw are all beautiful cities with rich histories, and likely to give you the experience of a vacation in Europe at a much lower price than other parts of the continent. Kiev (call it Kyiv – locals of Ukrainian descent are not fond of the Russians or the Russian version of their city’s name) is also a must visit, but much less European and more Russian, including great examples of brutally ugly Soviet era architecture and public art. And the food in Ukraine is wonderful.

    I’m going to Poland and Ukraine next month myself Lumimies. I’m just going to Lviv for a few days and the rest in south eastern Poland. One of my best friends is Polish so this is going to be my 7th trip to Poland (I think). It’s a great country, the people are sound, meals are a proper unpretentious feed when you’re starving, the supermarkets have aisles full of more varieties of flavoured vodka than you can think of, its history is fascinating, the mountains are accessible for mediocre climbers like me and the major cities are full of colour and beauty. Every trip begets another trip because there is always something else to see. Oh and the museums are wonderful too.

    • #19
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Arahant Member

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):
    its history is fascinating

    True.

    • #20
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes