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'Speak softly, don't argue and slow down'
By Philip Sherwell
Loud and brash, in gawdy garb and baseball caps, more than three million of them flock to our shores every year. Shuffling between tourist sites or preparing to negotiate a business deal, they bemoan the failings of the world outside the United States.
The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not, however, just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.
'Ugly American' abroad: Worryingly accurate
Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.
Originally posted by alternateheaven
Sad but true. Two of my friends went to Germany for thier honeymoon and prior to leaving they actually went out and bought clothes just for the trip to appear as simple as possible and not draw any attention to themselves (even though both have been there numerous times and speak the langauge fluently). Surely this must say something about the climate of the world when people don't wish to display anything that might be construed as distinctly american.
Originally posted by Landis
Interesting article. No mention of Ugly Europeans, but then that's not the topic.
Here's a few pointers for the UE's from a veteran world traveller:
1. Bathe more than once a week. Use deodorant if available. It makes the local cuisine more palatable for the tourist if they don't have to incorporate the local BO into the experience;
2. Brush your teeth at least as often. Include toothpaste in your effort. Floss is also good, but optional. We're flexible;
3. Don't get so close. Space is a good thing when there's plenty to be had. I'm heterosexual. I didn't enjoy your penis poking me in the buttocks while I was watching the Changing of the Guards;
4. Stop giving us those ugly looks when we're not doing anything wrong;
5. We may be American, but that doesn't mean we agree with our government. Don't treat us as though we're swapping spit with the GWB;
6. We'll make an attempt to speak your language. How about controlling the nasty facial expressions;
7. Don't stare at the fat American. It's not polite and the fat person already feels bad as it is;
8. Speaking your language and pointing and laughing is not a good way to represent your country;
9. When you come to our country, we try hard to help you. How about some reciprocal effort.
I know there are more tips, but I can't think of them now. I'm sure it won't be long though.
Originally posted by Koka
I think the point of this thread was to highlight the insanity of the present administrtion, where they feel they have to lay out guidelines as to how to behave when abroad.
It's not about venting your prejudices.........
There are stereotypes for every country, colour, culture and creed and you've just slotted yourself quite nicely into a few of those stereotypes....well done...!!
Originally posted by stumason
Don't worry, my baseball cap wearing, overweight yankee brethren! We British are also percieved rather badly abroad and do get steroetyped as well...
We have a tendency to get rather drunk, loudly shout abuse at the locals then proceed to baffle them with a "face first" fighting style before being carted off to the local jail house puking in the back of the police van...
But, on the other hand, our personal hygiene is considerably better than that of some of our continental cousins....Plus, we don't eat garden pest's and pond life
Originally posted by dgtempe
Thank you, Koka.
The point is very ironic. The world laughs at us (lately), and its not because of how we act.
They laugh at this incompetent government. You know, the same government that wants you to take etiquette lessons?
That's the one.