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.
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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?