I'm currently sitting at the airport....in a corner down at the baggage claim level. I'll be sitting here all night long and, I'm starting to think that I'm crazy. You see, I had a hotel reservation - and I decided that it was too much work to get to the hotel. The thought of getting my luggage into the taxi - taking the taxi to Jamaica Plains - getting into the hotel room - just so that I can wake up in 5 hours and get my butt back to the airport....was wholly unappealing. So, here I sit. It's not so bad really, I have some snacks...and the Internet....and all my photos from Georgia to go through. Except, my bum is starting to get a little sore and I'm not feeling super motivated to continue looking at photos.
That being said, I'm sitting here mulling over my last 24 hours.
Here is what I've decided - even though I've known this for years - I decided today that Americans are unequivocally the worst travellers. Seriously, the worst! That being said, I can't quite put my finger on what makes them awful. While the obvious choices are right there: arrogant, rude, pushy - there are many other nationalities that are equally so. I mean, anyone who has travelled abroad knows that the term 'no cutting in line' might be a North American phenomena. Standing in line in most Middle Eastern nations is futile.
Here is what I think I've narrowed it down to - Americans are the worst because they are pretentious and have a sense of entitlement. Okay, that may too sound like a no brainer but, hear me out.
If Jack and Jill travel abroad to Germany - most likely someone met them at the airport and they took a guided tour of the nations most popular tourist destinations. However; if you ask them they are International Travellers - with a wealth of advice for anyone who is willing to listen.
If Jack and Jill run into a snag at an airport (or heaven forbid Customs and Immigration) they feel they deserve prompt attention - and better service - because they are American. They have rights!
As someone who travels often -and just wants to make it from point A to point B with minimal fuss - it gets old running into these goobers Internationally.
As I was hustling through the Frankfurt Airport trying to make my connection I heard a man at a ticket counter whine, 'but, we're A-mur-i-can...'. Buddy, any chance you had of getting your issue resolved just flew out the window. I almost looked over just so that I could confirm that the guy looked like Redneck but, I just couldn't make myself do it.
On my flight from Moscow to Frankfurt my seat partner was a young American woman. When it was time to get a beverage the Stewardess asked me, 'What can I get you to drink?' I replied, 'water, please.' to which she responded, 'sparkling or still?' 'Still, please.'. It's now my seat partners turn....'What can I get you to drink?'. She said in stilted English - as in very slowly with exaggerated enunciation - 'wa-ter with gas in it'. Seriously?! Water with gas in it?! Who says that?! Okay, fine....there are some countries that call sparkling water 'water with gas'. But, did you not just hear the previous exchange?! All I could think was 'you pretentious little teenie-booper! yes, yes, we see....you're a world class traveller.'.
A-mur-i-cans. Ridiculous International Travellers!
Want to know what I believe is the secret to successful International Travel?
That's it. Be Nice. When you get to the ticket counter - smile. Keep your tone of voice polite - explain your situation if necessary. Regardless of the outcome - say thank you. When someone goes out of their way to help you - express your appreciation for their added efforts. (By the way, this works wonders during domestic travel, too!)
Okay, my rant is over - I'll go back to sitting in the corner of the baggage claim eating nuts and berries and sipping my latte.
Of course....I have to show you my homestead: