June 12, 2008 |
The summer I was 21 and my sister was 20, we hitchhiked through Quebec. Striking sisterly poses by the side of the highway, we oozed naivete. We wore short shorts. We smiled. People stopping for us assumed hitchhiking "these days" was hard, but we found the opposite to be true: It was too easy. Successfully fending off the advances we received, however, was not. We needed a particularly brutish encounter to teach us when to respect social etiquette and when to throw it out the window.
August 4, 2007
It's no secret that the animated television series "The Simpsons" has fans around the world; last weekend's chart-topping overseas ticket sales for its spinoff movie only underscored the point. What's puzzling is why. How did an ignorant, doughnut-scarfing "Ugly American" father and his mustard-tinged brood win fans in Auckland, Argenteuil and Argentina?
May 21, 2006 |
A Pew Research Center study on how the U.S. is viewed around the world is sobering, reflecting a deep erosion of our nation's image abroad. According to the study, released last June: * Approval for the U.S. has tanked throughout the Muslim world, not surprising given the war in Iraq. Even among our closest allies, ratings have plummeted. In 1999, 71% of Canadians and 83% of Britons had a generally positive view of the U.S. Last year those figures fell to 59% in Canada and 55% in Britain.
February 25, 2006
My heart goes out to poor Shani Davis. It must have been very difficult to stand on the podium to receive his gold medal and be forced to watch the U.S. flag raised, and have to listen to our national anthem. I'm sure he would have preferred to see them raise a flag with his picture on it while he chanted, "Hurray for me!" Maybe next Olympics he can enter as his own country, and pay his own expenses. That way the U.S. team won't have anything to be upset about. GEORGE NEWBERRY San Pedro In J.A. Adande's Wednesday column about feuding skaters Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis, he neglected to mention the most embarrassing moment of these Olympics: Davis' "interview" with NBC after he won the gold medal.
December 5, 2004
After reading "Sensitivity, Respect and the Ugly American" [Her World, Nov. 21], I could imagine the volume of negative mail. Spano has a gift for saying the right thing in the worst possible way. Although I agree with her message, my plans don't include visits where it is best to deny being an American. There are too many great destinations left. Travelers spend hard-earned money and endure inconvenience with the expectation of a great experience. What's wrong with letting the locals know how much you are enjoying it?
November 21, 2004 |
If you're weighing the pleasure of tourism against the discomfort of going abroad at a time when our country and culture seem widely abhorred, you might consider traveling incognito. After all, no one wants to be hated. "Carry the Koran," humorist Mark Russell once advised American travelers. "Paint a red dot on your forehead; wear sandals; never ask how the Mets are doing." I did think of hiding my national identity on a visit to Libya last spring.