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Flagged as American

July 25, 1999

This is in response to a reader ("Soleful Matter," Letters, June 20), who was responding to writer Susan Spano's comment about not wanting to dress like an American tourist. The reader asked, "What's terrible about that designation?"

Well, dear reader, let me ask you this: Have you ever traveled to Europe? The reason you don't want to dress like an American is simple: You make yourself an easy mark for the hordes of thieves and pickpockets who make a living from assuming that all Americans are filthy rich.

Just about eight out of 10 Americans I see in Europe are wearing one of the following items: the sandal of the week with white socks, the platform shoe and numerous toe rings, a baseball jersey, a fanny pack, a pager, a cell phone and an American university-logo sweatshirt. What? Are we going to Disneyland here? The beach? Nobody dresses that way other than in America.

JIM MARQUEZ

Los Angeles

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