Tuesday, April 07, 2009

American Tourists in Paris


Whenever I see American tourists in Europe I am always amazed at how bold they are. Yesterday, while sitting on a bench near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, I overheard an American mother telling her tween daughters, “Now don’t be shy. French boys love to have their photo taken with American girls.”

I’m thinking: Since when? And how is this woman so confident about that?

Then the mother asks the guy sitting on the bench next to me if he wouldn’t mind having his photo taken with her girls. And of course she asks in English. Assuming the guy even speaks it.

“But I’m not French,” he says, obviously having listened to their earlier conversation like I had.

“Doesn’t matter,” the mother says, pushing her girls to stand next to him.

“I’m from Denmark,” the guy protests in perfect English. Then he stands and smiles with her girls.

The mother takes the photo.

“We’re from California and we’re heading to Euro Disney tomorrow,” she says, like he would care.

“It’s a lot smaller than the one in Florida,” says the Danish guy, “I’ve been to both.”

Danish guys are really nice.

But I still wish these kinds of American tourists would go home and stop assuming the world loves their presence. They are an embarrassment to the rest of us who know better.

10 comments:

mrsmac said...

oh man this story made me cringe....

Chantal said...

I almost wanted to say something to the lady, but just got the heck out of there instead. So the did Danish guy. I saw him two minutes later in the metro...

Bethy{aka}lilsis said...

Haha!!! That sounds like the deluded self-confidence my mom has!!! :-)
To some people, there are only friends. My mom is like that- it used to drive me crazy when we went on vavcations and she would hug and just kinda tell her life story to random people who had to be thinking she was a nut- and if they were even remotely friendly or helpful she would offer them Dublin Dr. Pepper (we're from Dublin, Tx).
Even if you said something, she wouldn't believe you :-)
I don't know what i'm going to do when I move to Scotland and MY mom is unleashed on the world... :S

juanitatortilla said...

Oh goodness, that IS hilarious!

Traveler For Good said...

I had someone do that to me in the Bangkok airport. He motioned his wife to come sit next to me to take our picture (no English in this conversation). Was I the only farang in the airport? I don't know, but it was kind of funny being on the other side.

cadiz12 said...

this is what gives americans a bad rap in other places. when i was in spain, i was often tempted to tell people i was from India.

Chantal said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes I want to say I'm from Switzerland.

msc said...

Why bother critiquing other people's trivial conversations? Those people had nothing to do with you.

Callie@Gray-Line said...

Oh, give them a break. Everyone has their unique cultural habits and they sometimes look a little different to people from other nations.

Friendly people are more likely to help you out in a jam. I would like to send shout outs to all the wonderful people I've met in Jamaica, Canada and Japan. I'm talking about the people who would walk with me in order to ensure that I got to my destination. People who did whatever was within their power to make my stay pleasant. There are lovely people all over the world.

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