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Thread: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Talking US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    By Philip Sherwell
    (Filed: 16/04/2006)

    Loud and brash, in gawdy garb and baseball caps, more than three million of them flock to our shores every year. Shuffling between tourist sites or preparing to negotiate a business deal, they bemoan the failings of the world outside the United States.

    The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not, however, just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.

    Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.

    Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), a non-profit group funded by big American companies, has also met Karen Hughes, the head of public diplomacy at the State Department, to discuss issuing the guide with every new US passport. The goal is to create an army of civilian ambassadors.

    The guide offers a series of "simple suggestions" under the slogan, "Help your country while you travel for your company". The advice targets a series of common American traits and includes:

    Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller. (In many countries, any form of boasting is considered very rude. Talking about wealth, power or status - corporate or personal - can create resentment.)

    Listen at least as much as you talk. (By all means, talk about America and your life in our country. But also ask people you're visiting about themselves and their way of life.)

    Save the lectures for your kids. (Whatever your subject of discussion, let it be a discussion not a lecture. Justified or not, the US is seen as imposing its will on the world.)

    Think a little locally. (Try to find a few topics that are important in the local popular culture. Remember, most people in the world have little or no interest in the World Series or the Super Bowl. What we call "soccer" is football everywhere else. And it's the most popular sport on the planet.)

    Slow down. (We talk fast, eat fast, move fast, live fast. Many cultures do not.)

    Speak lower and slower. (A loud voice is often perceived as bragging. A fast talker can be seen as aggressive and threatening.)

    Your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs. (Religion is usually considered deeply personal, not a subject for public discussions.)

    If you talk politics, talk - don't argue. (Steer clear of arguments about American politics, even if someone is attacking US politicians or policies. Agree to disagree.)

    Keith Reinhard, one of New York's top advertising executives, who heads BDA, said: "Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values. That, in short, is the image of the Ugly American abroad and we want to change it."

    The guide also offers tips on the dangers of dressing too casually, the pluses of learning a few words of the local language, use of hand gestures and even map-reading.

    Of course, US foreign policy - and perceptions of it - currently has the biggest impact on the image of Americans abroad. President George W Bush recognised this when he appointed Ms Hughes, a close confidante, to head the country's public diplomacy push. But Mr Reinhard and his colleagues are convinced that individual Americans can also make a difference.

    They also want to highlight the positives in foreigners' impression of the US as a land of opportunity, freedom, diversity and "can-do spirit" by boosting business and domestic travel to America.

    "In many parts of the world, America is not getting the benefit of the doubt right now. People prefer to dump on us instead. But for many people, corporate America is their main point of contact, and that's where we come in."

    Business for Diplomatic Action, which was formed in 2004, has already distributed 200,000 -passport-sized guides tailored to college students going abroad.

    The group's next target is to raise funding for a colourful pictorial World Citizen's Guide For Kids for children on school or youth group trips. However, a spokesman for the National Tourism Agency for Britain said last night: "Americans have a certain reputation which, for the majority, is undeserved. These guidelines sound like good common sense but they're not something the majority of our American visitors need. As tourists, they're out to enjoy themselves and have a good time. We continue to welcome them."
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    It is really sad that they actually have to prepare something like this. all of that stuff listed is just common sense or good manners. *sigh*
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Gold Member EvilMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Its why canadians put their flags all over themselves when travelling - they arent that patriotic they just dont want to be mistaken for American.
    An EM is like a Scientologist - Unhinged and Unbelievable - Now shutup and place your hands on my EM-Meter

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Actually, the people with the flags are probably Americans. It's a common thing that they do -- not that many Canadians do it.

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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    ^^ Ditto. Besides, the flags on their backpacks are fairly big
    and ostentatious, and when Canadians do fly the flag, they're
    pretty modest and inconspicuous. (I only have a flag pin, myself.)

    Besides, the anti-american militants in some countries now burst
    into hotel rooms with guns drawn and demand to see your passport,
    so it doesn't matter how many Canadian flags you've got on your
    backpack. If your passport is American, they might demand that
    you leave the country immediately.

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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Eh, I don't need no stinking etiquette lesson! I come to your country, you had better treat me with the respect I deserve. If you don't, I will march in your streets and hold up signs and demand to be heard! Yes, this is my right as a citizen of the world! I am no less than you!

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphl

    Quote Originally Posted by ourmaninBusan
    ^^ Ditto. Besides, the flags on their backpacks are fairly big
    and ostentatious, and when Canadians do fly the flag, they're
    pretty modest and inconspicuous. (I only have a flag pin, myself.)

    Besides, the anti-american militants in some countries now burst
    into hotel rooms with guns drawn and demand to see your passport,
    so it doesn't matter how many Canadian flags you've got on your
    backpack. If your passport is American, they might demand that
    you leave the country immediately.
    That's exactly what I have, a small flag pin.

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    Elite Member NawdleZouss's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphl

    It's kind of sad that it's come to this, but yeah,this is pretty much spot on. I see a lot of really loud, rude tourists over here. Hell, I'm American myself, and no friend of overdressing; but showing up to an opera at the national theater wearing shorts and flip-flops, and chatting loudly through the whole thing is just the pinnacle of rude.

    Finnish, German and Argentinian tourists are right up there too, however. Plus the latter's accent is...far from endearing.
    2 years...

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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze
    Actually, the people with the flags are probably Americans. It's a common thing that they do -- not that many Canadians do it.
    Ive yet to meet an american posing as a canuck.

    I usually hooked up with canadians in my travels ( Aussies and Canucks get along really well - must be the commonwealth thing ) and everyone had a big maple leaf on trhe bag, or the shirt, or the cap etc etc
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    A*O
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Aussies usually travel with a flag somewhere too. It indicates to the locals which females they can shag.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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    Gold Member EvilMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    The Boys dont.

    We just wear Wallaby Jerseys.
    An EM is like a Scientologist - Unhinged and Unbelievable - Now shutup and place your hands on my EM-Meter

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Aussies are lots of fun, and boy can those fuckers DRINK!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    After having been around a number of US soldiers and their idiot families overseas I can fully see why this list is needed so badly. Most are as acluistic as the peta members.

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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    please don't use big words here undercovergator, or you'll turn this thread into garbly gook.

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    Default Re: US gov issues "How to not behave like a typical american while travelling" pamphlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok
    Aussies are lots of fun, and boy can those fuckers DRINK!
    We like our beer.......and wine.....and spirits.......basically if we havent drunk it we'll give it a go.
    An EM is like a Scientologist - Unhinged and Unbelievable - Now shutup and place your hands on my EM-Meter

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