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Ugly Americans ruin Show

By scumdorg 24 February 2008 37

I went to the Canberra Show this morning and can report that it was a very pleasant experience. The tension and aggression which quite often marred past Shows was gone, in fact it seemed almost carnival-like. People were friendly, the exhibits were of a high standard and it seemed everybody had a good time. Well, almost everybody.

On the bus coming back to Woden Interchange, two young men boarded and sat behind me – one was fairly large, the other average build. During the entire trip home they drawled in American accents how the morning had been a waste of time. They kept up a solid drumbeat of whinging about Australia until the bus arrived at the Interchange. When they alighted one of the others on the bus approached them and explained he was from interstate and if they’d let him take a snapshot for a course he was doing. He first asked if they were Canadian and one of them said “no, American” before the large one snapped “absolutely not” to the request before both walked off in a huff.

I heard this and approached the interstate visitor who said that this was the first hint of negativity he’d encountered during his visit to the caital. I also had a camera and was taking pics at the Show and can vouch for his assertion that the arrogant behaviour by the Yanks was an aberration which almost ruined the entire day.

It then dawned on me who these two men were and why they were here. During this week there have been various Americans in town for defence talks holding top level negotiations with our new government. It strikes me that this type of behaviour is hardly the way to win hearts and minds, especially at a time when the Americans have been telling every journalist within earshot that it is business as usual with the Alliance and that there are no hard feelings after we pulled out of their disgraceful Iraq war.

From anecdotal evidence from others I have told this story to, it would seem that this was not an isolated incident. Do any other Rioters have similar stories about Americans behaving badly during these defence talks?

What’s Your opinion?

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37 Responses to
Ugly Americans ruin Show
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sepi 8:01 pm 28 Feb 08

When i was in the US a girl asked me if the ACT was a state in America.

Mælinar 3:55 pm 28 Feb 08

Sometime next year Gunahlin residents will get sewerage to their houses, and telephone access – boredband is a few years off though.

We’re might technilogikaly savey, us Austrians.

Thumper 1:18 pm 28 Feb 08

When I l;ived in DC they asked me if I had a koala and a kangaroo.

of course, I said yes…

And they sometimes asked if we had television in Australia.

Of course, I said no.

James-T-Kirk 9:14 am 26 Feb 08

Damn – My comment isn’t the last any more.

There – That’s better.

flying doormat 9:19 pm 25 Feb 08

Gee scumdorg you remind me of the kid who takes his bat and ball and leaves the game when things dont go his way. “this debate is now closed – period”

Ari 8:24 pm 25 Feb 08

Hey Scumdorg, please enforce your earlier ruling that: “This debate is now closed – period.”

It’s confusing when people keep having inconvenient opinions.

gun street girl 8:16 pm 25 Feb 08

Nice to know we’re being used as human shields!

sepi 8:10 pm 25 Feb 08

I think they actually do aim for peak hour, cos the traffic standstill would make it hard for assailants to get thru or get away.

gun street girl 6:00 pm 25 Feb 08

He arrived at peak hour on Friday afternoon – so it only stands to reason that they plan his departure at the worst possible time on Monday morning, too. 😉

ant 4:49 pm 25 Feb 08

Yes, having him leave in peak traffic-jam time around the airport was a piece of monumental stupidity.

Mælinar 4:18 pm 25 Feb 08

apart from this one.

scumdorg 4:09 pm 25 Feb 08

This debate is now closed – period. No further correspondence will be entered into.

James-T-Kirk 3:09 pm 25 Feb 08

“it strikes me that this type of behaviour is hardly the way to win hearts and minds”

Ha ha ha ha ha

Surely you don’t believe that anything said outside an official government meeting would have an impact – Noooooo.

pug206gti 1:53 pm 25 Feb 08

While we’re complaining about Americans, why the Defence Secretary decided he’d fly his jet out at 8.30 this morning is beyond me. It blocked all roads from the Hyatt to the Airport at peak hour this morning stopping half the city’s communters. We have peak minute here, today it was peak hour. Had Mr Gates left an hour later there would have been a fraction of the disruption.

pseudonym 1:37 pm 25 Feb 08

A stranger asking to take your photo isn’t what everyone would call a “perfectly reasonably request”, regardless of your country of origin or place of work.

As for “Don’t anger the locals” for ear of a “gunshot right between the eyes”, what are you trying to do, invoke goodwins law? You’re putting out a rather extreme strawman argument there.

Just because you can’t handle the thought of offending someone in public doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily as outrageous to everyone else.

scumdorg 12:18 pm 25 Feb 08

The suggestion that the two American boors are CIA is not as fanciful as it might seem – the large one had dark circles under his eyes. Seriously though, the points brought up in the original post remain unchallenged after this debate and have withstood infantile, and sometimes personal abuse – namely that if you are in a foreign country and you have any complaints you either keep them to yourself or else discuss them with your partner in the motel room (or embassy as the case may be). You certainly don’t ventilate your negative feelings on the top of your voice on a public bus and then compound the situation by arrogantly barking at someone when they ask a perfectly reasonable request.

In bringing this debate to a close it needs to be emphasised that travellers need to exercise discretion at all times when travelling in foreign countries. Don’t anger the locals because in many cases, and in many other places both within and outside of Australia, the response wouldn’t be a posting on a website but a gunshot right between the eyes.

Ralph 10:01 am 25 Feb 08

I’ve been coming across increasing numbers of Americans in town, working on supermarket checkouts, serving in cafes etc.

Dunno what the story is with that. Must be here for Defence talks…..

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