I’ve heard many times that Americans are hated abroad because of their behavior and unwillingness to learn the local language. I resent that stereotype as an American, but I am about to make the same one about people from another country.
First…I traveled around Japan for two weeks. I found everyone to be very polite and helpful. The only behavior I encountered that was odd was how the people in Tokyo would stare at us. Perhaps they were judging? Or maybe just curious about us large blond people.
I’ve encountered many Japanese tourists in my last few weeks of travel. They are loud, rude and act as if they are the only people on the planet. I was physically pushed twice so one of them could get ahead of me in line. Do they realize or care about the reputation they are creating?
It could, perhaps, be said that Americans don’t act differently abroad. If they are rude at home they will be rude elsewhere. And I do know plenty of loud and obnoxious Americans. But the Japanese tourists I’ve encountered are very different from the gracious people I met in Tokyo and other cities in Japan. Maybe their culture is so rigid at home travel is their escape from being polite?
Or is this all evidence of people struggling to understand people from other places, or people who look different?