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Thread: Ugly America...

  1. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    Ugly America...

    Do you agree?

    DEAR ABBY: On a recent trip to Europe I learned firsthand the meaning of the term "ugly American," which stems partly from the loud, obnoxious voices we sometimes use in public.

    When Europeans are out in public they converse in low, modulated tones. They carry cell phones as we do, but rarely did I see Europeans use them, and never loudly. On trains, they walk out of the train car and answer their phones between the cars, so they won't disturb other passengers. And only once did I see someone answer a cell phone in a restaurant.

    For some reason, Americans seem to need to be constantly on their cell phones. It's almost as if they have a compulsion to prove to those around them they are important or have friends. Well, they would gain far more friends if they turned off their phones and smiled or spoke quietly to the human seated next to them. -- TRAVELER IN SAN DIEGO

    DEAR TRAVELER: Here we go again on the subject of cell phone manners. People who plan to travel outside the country need to keep in mind that once we cross the border we become unofficial representatives of the U.S.A., and first impressions can have a lasting impact. That's why it's wise to ask a travel agent or read up on your destination before leaving to learn what the local customs are in the place you are visiting -- and this applies not only to the use of cell phones, but also to how you dress and whether or not it's appropriate to take photos.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
  2. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    I agree. I haaaaaaaate bad cell phone manners with a passion.
  3. My Life is My Own Again! YAY!!
    WGs_Grrl's Avatar
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    We're such a self-absorbed culture. I am not surprised by this letter writer's observations at all. I see it here in DC all the time. PUT.THE.PHONE.DOWN! This weekend, my friends and I went to an amusement park. The ENTIRE time there, except for me, everyone in the group was just addicted to their damm cell phone! Um, let's just go have FUN and ignore the damm phone!

    It's as if no one wants to be present in the moment. It makes your present company feel as if you aren't as important as the people you are hoping call with your constant checking of the phone!! IT'S OK TO PUT.THE.PHONE.AWAY!
  4. Account Closed
    LittleBit84's Avatar
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    oh jeez, lol.

    Yeah, and cellphones and DRIVING?! Never ok. I'm guilty of it, but only in emergencies: "Ok, I'm on my way" *click*

    the twenty times I've almost been hit since coming to CA all involved a cell phone. I think people here would drive better if I shoved that phone up their ass ><
  5. Navy Wife
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    I agree.
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  6. Senior Member
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    Has anyone else encountered a rude foriegner while here in the States? I noticed when I went to Disney, that the foriegners were rude as all get out! Much more so than people I come across every day. I wonder if it is because we have this stigma of being rude so they think it is ok to be rude as well? Or if it is because they just don't like Americans
  7. and still I think of you
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    I completey disagree with the dear abby. I live in Europe.... in Italy, the Italians for the most part are so rude and inconsiderate. When they drive, first of all, you would think no one else is on the road. They stop and park anywhere, even in the middle of the road. They are on their cell phones as much as any American. This is also just my experience. They do not like Americans much here.

    ETA** they do take way better care of their things here. The states look very dirty compared to here. You rarley see trash on the side of the road and their yards always look amazing
  8. Cookie Queen
    Theresa's Avatar
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    I agree that American's have an obsession with their cell phones, but I have no experience with other countries.

    A few days ago we were at the park and this Dad was on his cell phone the entire time, just following his kid around but not interacting with him. He was letting the boy walk up to everyone and mess with their stuff, but still remained completely in tune with his conversation. I felt a little bad for the kid.
  9. Senior Member
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    I totally agree. I wish I could buy one of those cell phone blockers and take in resturaunts with me.
  10. Senior Member
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    Well, since "polite" and "rude" are cultural inventions, most everyone can be considered "rude" when around those of other cultures.
    OP mentioned cell phone use in public. I would counter that with body odor and over use of perfume and cologne by many Europeans.
    Cell phone use in public is only as rude as the equivilant of two people talking. If the two people are shouting, or not paying attention to anyone else (talking in the checkout line when the clerk is trying to help them) and being distracted when driving, they are just as rude as the individual on a phone exhibiting these same behaviors.
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