Posts Tagged ‘lager louts’

After I wrote my a blog post on managing cultural differences I received a comment from Candace C. Davenport who I met through Blogger Monday with Ann Evanston. Candace said

‘I’d also love for you to do another post on the connection between culture shock and ‘the ugly American’ syndrome. When I came back from a year of traveling all over South America, I experienced cultural shock just being in the airplane with all the tourists returning from S. America and all they were doing was complaining about the problems they had on their trips because it was so different than the US.’

I have been mulling this post over as I have grown to like my adopted country and I, as an outsider, don’t want to offend my new found friends. However, I do have to agree that the ‘ugly american’ does exist and can be quite a shock. Though  have to say that you see this phenomenon more when the ugly American is traveling outside of the US..

There is no doubt that some Americans are loud, boorish and nationalistic and that some Americans abroad remain ignorant of local culture and judge everything by American standards. Such people can be very unpleasant and give Americans a bad rap but now, having lived here for two years, this post is going to be a defense of my adopted country.

Have you ever heard of lager louts and chavs? Not exactly the best of British.

And how about the stereotypical German tourist. Pushy, rude and arrogant with a habit of putting their towels on pool chairs before dawn at holiday resorts.

According to an Expedia survey French travelers are the biggest skinflints, the worst tippers and the least able or inclined to speak foreign languages. They also finished next to last in terms of their politeness and behavior.

My point is that there are ugly people the world over and their worst traits seem to come out whilst traveling or living amongst a culture that is not their own. Sure, I think some Americans are very loud but I have made friends with many perfectly nice Americans who are most definitely not loud and obnoxious.

What has been your experience of ugly tourists/travelers? Are you embarrassed by some traits of people from your country? Do you think all these stereotypes exist for a reason or that they are wrong?

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