Swiss Saturday: It’s Time to Stop Being the Ugly American
You’ve probably heard of the Ugly American. It’s a phrase commonly used to describe loud, rude, arrogant Americans abroad. These are the types of people who get upset when the corner ice cream stand doesn’t accept dollars and yell at people to speak English already, even though they are in a country where English is not the national language.
I have run into many of these. One of my “favorite” encounters was the following, which I shared previously:
I forgot to report on a very important event from our vacation. When my husband went to check out of the hotel in Budapest, there was a very obnoxious American (or at least American accented) family checking out. The mom was throwing a fit about every little thing and basically being the perfect example of the “ugly American.” When they finally left the front desk clerk apologized to my husband for having to hear that and removed all of our breakfast costs from the bill to compensate for having to hear the crazy American woman.
When we boarded our train back to Austria, this same family was there. My husband wouldn’t let me go up and thank the lady for the discount on our hotel bill.
One of my fellow expat friends (who I knew in college) shared an encounter she had with some Ugly Americans on a train in Italy on an expat Facebook page. People started to jump in with their stories of horrible people–many of whom were not Americans.
Basically, it turns out, every country has horrible people who are loud, rude, and arrogant, and these people are horrible when they travel and, presumably, horrible at home. It’s not limited to a single country.
To keep reading, click here: It’s Time to Stop Being the Ugly American
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