Captain Sasha June 3rd, 2011
I read an article in USA Today, that talked about how American tourists are singled out and harassed overseas. Yet another one of those “we are victims of the world’s hate and jealousy” pieces that the US public seems to be rather fond of. The article talks of how American tourists are harassed, insulted and even spat on in Europe, just because they are American (and no, you weren’t spat at because you wore that “America! Fuck yeah!” t-shirt).
My interest was piqued by the last paragraph of the article that tells of the experience of a US TV star trying to pick up two girls at a bar. The excerpt:
“Man, it was bad,” says the Rat Pack-y star of Swingers. “These girls saw us and were kind of flirting, and they kept asking us if we were American. Finally we said, ‘Yes,’ and they just took off.
“One girl turns and says, ‘We were hoping you were Canadian.’ Canadian? Since when was it cooler to be Canadian?“
Most Americans would have missed the irony in the last sentence, but with attitudes like this, it is no wonder these people have problems in Europe. Someone needs to educate these people that wearing your “We are the coolest” mindset isn’t going to help you score brownie points in Europe. Especially since Europeans do not watch as much American films and TV as you’d like to think and their idea of who is cool is based entirely on merit, rather than TV tropes. Unless you get that in your heads, Canadians will always be cooler in Europe.
If you believe that you are the coolest one around because you are American - forget travelling to Europe. Try India or the Philippines, countries where people believe that Americans are the gods of coolness. The rest can enjoy their travels in Europe; I am sure your travel experiences will be pleasant, interesting and enlightening. I haven’t personally known any American who got taken to task for their nationality anyway.
This is a guest post sent by a reader, Eugenia Stergiou from Athens, Greece. Post has been edited by Captain Sasha for better grammatical clarity and comprehension.