Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ugly American

From Wikipedia.org-
Ugly American is an epithet used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home.

My husband ran into one of these this weekend. We were in a casino. I expect that most of you know that a casino anywhere in the US is most definitely a smoking environment. Most will accept that when you walk in the door it will have smoke in the air and deal with the issue in joy if you smoke and in resignation if you don't.

A lady sat at the machine next to him and asked him to put his cigarette out. He said this casino allows smoking so I won't. She told him next that she came down to Arizona every winter and spent a lot of money here and should be shown some consideration from people like him. His response to that was next winter why don't you and your money stay home. She played a couple more minutes and then left.

All winter starting about November and ending around April our traffic in this big city is more snarled. The lines in grocery stores and pharmacies are much longer. The wait for tables in restaurants can double or triple. We take it all in stride knowing that from May to October our little corner of this big place is quieter, getting around is just a bit easier and because of the extreme heat it is nesting time down here as we survive in our air conditioned spaces.

To say that you deserve consideration because you come to a place and throw money around is just rude and condescending. You are an "Ugly American". I hope that you don't travel outside the US because we don't need you building on our tarnished American reputation around the world. I am not sorry to tell you lady that personally we would not miss your money if you did stay home.

(She did say where she was from but I am omitting that so I don't slur all the great people I have enjoyed meeting when we visited there.)

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