Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ugly Americans

Travelling with a tour group presents is own unique challenges. One thing we didn't want was to be stuck with a bunch of Ugly Americans. People who came to see the sights but have no interrest in learning anything about the country they are visiting. They complain loudly about the food or the service and have only snide remarks about the native inhabitants.

I can now say that this is not our group. A fairly diverse group in age and occupation, most well travelled and some on their second or third trip to Egypt. Most are aware of basic social standards and are respectful of tradition.
I cannot say the same for the Russians. These people are giving us a bad name. Its hard to tell a Minnesotan from a Muscovite when they both wear jeans and a snoop dog basketball jersey. But the Russians have taken our ugliness and cultural insensitivity and like the japanese with cars, they have improved upon the concept.. They tend to be very loud in public places. The women are dressed scantilly, if not in all our slut gear. The men wear their shirts open to the navel exposing pasty gut flesh. They are constantly videotaping so someone needs to be 'doing something' at all times, usually something stupid.

I feel the urge to tell local Egyptians that we're not with these clowns.

Egypt takes it all in stride. They see it all, but they are raised well enough not to point out our flaws.

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