24 February 2008

Ugly Americans ruin Show

| scumdorg
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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?

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

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.

James-T-Kirk9:14 am 26 Feb 08

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

There – That’s better.

flying doormat9:19 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”

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 girl8:16 pm 25 Feb 08

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

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 girl6:00 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. 😉

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

apart from this one.

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

James-T-Kirk3:09 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.

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.

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.

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.

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…..

West_Kambah_4eva9:00 am 25 Feb 08

Yeah maybe they were CIA spies just trying to make you THINK they were tourists. BUS tourists. DUN DUN DUN…

I don’t think I would react well to some random stranger on a bus asking to take my photo either.

The Defence talks….yes indeed, perhaps it was Gates and his deputy on the bus.

flying doormat7:57 am 25 Feb 08

whos whinging now – you still are. What the hell does some post from a few months ago have to do with the fact that you got upset over one stranger not agreeing to have his photo taken by another.Maybe you should see if kleenex tissues will sponsor you!

I consider this experience far more relevant to Canberrans than crap about a diving trip to the south coast which got a run here a few months ago. Who’s whinging now?

Can’t believe this experience merits a posting on RiotACT. There are morons everywhere, there are rude people everywhere. Often Australians. I’ve seen some pretty bad behaviour by Australians overseas, way beyond what’s described here. If you’re worried about them having such a bad impression of Australia, why not give them a smile and see if you can change their view?

Ruby Wednesday10:25 pm 24 Feb 08

What a drama queen post this is. Not every American is rude. Not every rude person is American. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Australians can also be rude too.

I can’t say I’d have been thrilled to go to the Canberra Show either, and there is plenty to whinge about in Australia–just like every other country on earth. It’d be more likely that they were tourists, international students or expats than part of any delegation.

If two people’s conversation on the bus can ruin your day, you have issues.

CanberraResident10:12 pm 24 Feb 08

Tip of the day: try to see the funny side of every situation; you’ll live longer. Perhaps take a look at yourself and why it is that you were so offended by what happened. After all, people are people, and arrogant ones can be found in every town, city and country on this planet. Where did you grow up? Under a rock? Oh yeah, and to suggest these guys were part of the American delegation is hilarious. To suggest Americans in general are rude is plain wrong and very immature. (laughing hysterically)

flying doormat9:31 pm 24 Feb 08

a yank says no to having his photo taken by a stranger and it almost ruins your day! Fark me you are kidding right?

I work for a US company mainly with Americans and I can tell you its like anywhere. Its become some what trendy to bash Americans especially amongst the luny left but at the end of the day their no different from us. There are dickheads in every country.

barney, I second your comment.

When I lived in Maryland, they asked me if we had roads……

Perhaps they were just American tourists who didnt want to be bothered by other morons on the bus.

I went to the Canberra show on Saturday, compared to years past I didnt think it had much to offer this year. The crowds seemed down on previous years too…or perhaps everyone was hiding out in the showbag hall.

There are morons in every country.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler6:32 pm 24 Feb 08

It’s hard to believe Canada and the US are on the same continent. I love Canada and the Candians are really nice people in my experience. US… um, well, almost like a different species.

I doubt if US types here for high level talks would have been on the bus.
We sat on the same table as some americans at the show and they were fine. No whinging, not even loud. They did have a long discussion about what is in satay – deciding in the end it is like mexican chilli, but apart from that (and the accent) you wouldn’t have known they were US>

Oh and I am sure we made many enemies on the sickly patriotic Freemont experience….

Deal with it….

I’m sure heaps of Americans hated Mrs Danman and I’s accent when we were in the US. People actually asked us to slow down our talking so they could understand us…who gives a toss….

It would be interesting to know who they were and where they were from, and if in fact they were involved in ausmin. Americans haven’t yet got the message that the rest of the world judges them, they believe they lead the world.

blingblingbears3:36 pm 24 Feb 08

whinge, whinge, whinge…

Oh they were Americans, they MUST have been in town for the Defence talks… not necessarily, they could have just been regular tourists

A couple of mildly obnoxious Americans on a bus is not much of a news story … even if you try to link it to defence talks.

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