What I have known (though you Francophiles do not believe me) about this since (1971), when I first set foot on France’s precious corner of the world: Congratulations, my fellow Americans. According to a recent survey, not only is the U.S. not the rudest place on earth, but we’re not even in the top five.
France is the rudest place in world to visit with nearly one-fifth of votes, based on travel website Skyscanner.com‘s ranking. “This seems to be a fairly common stereotype, albeit not one which is necessarily true,” Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner’s travel editor told the International Business Times,. Russia, the U.K. and Germany rounded out the top four most unfriendly countries to visit. The U.S. was ranked seventh after “Other” and China, and apparently play better hosts than tourists. Americans recently topped another poll as the world’s worst tourists, but the majority of the respondents in that survey were ironically American.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/04/11/where-are-worlds-rudest-countries-for-travelers/?intcmp=sem_outloud#ixzz2DFCwQ5Pp
I know that Americans are not the best tourists. But we do spend money, from frugal backpackers, to the couple from Iowa or Kansas that buy the big expensive packaged tours. And we love to eat, so chalk up another plus for outsized Americans.
I have made a point of doing this on every trip unto the City. I try to help tourists (or locals, for that matter) who look lost or are scanning a map or GPS. Yesterday, I helped two such lost parties, one to find “the best coffee in town”, whereupon I sent them to Peet’s about a block away. The two others were Indians (from India, mind you) who were looking for Moscone Center and the big auto show. No problem, as I was just leaving the show.
Then I happened to fall upon a large group of Canadians from Nova Scotia, looking for a decent place to eat near Union Square. We strolled over, all twenty of us, to Lefty O’Doul’s for lunch and a sandwich. Knowing these hearty folks would not appreciate bite-sized California cuisine or some dainty nouvelle gastrome’, the big sandwich offerings at Lefty’s were perfect. So was the beer, and the wine!!! Most would have preferred McDonald’s until they found out about the beer and wine.
Don’t even ask me to describe the chaos at the Uniqlo store on Powell. Actually, I did in an earlier email specifically about Uniqlo, but it was chaos!!! Or was it KAOS, like in “Man from UNCLE”??? But I did enjoy learning about the concept, as anything is better than overpriced Euro-designers.
As the slightly off kilter homeless man was preaching, I decided I had enough of the City on this fine, warm and sunny day. He was warning them, not of the coming of anything important (like an Apocalypse or end of the world), but of kidnappers (childnappers)! He said they would just swoop down and take only the tourists’ children!!! He was very specific about this. I appreciated the warning, although I did not have any children with me. You see, I will bet they do not have helpful people like this in Russia or France!!!!