RATHER unfairly – at least in some cases – Americans have been saddled with a reputation for being less than familiar with the world outside their country. Or even their own state.
“God created war so that Americans would learn geography,” wrote Mark Twain.
Having spent a night in a bar in the border town of Niagara, chatting to two barmaids who had never left their home state, let alone country, despite living their whole lives a few miles from Canada and access to one of the world’s great natural wonders, he perhaps has a point.
But in other places, similar conversations – particularly in Boston, for some reason – have left me feeling inadequate as a local or two was far more informed about Europe, Britain and, weirdly, Tony Blair than my knowledge of their home.
It is also unfair to slap this criticism on Americans alone. Just watch a geography round on Pointless to see how little the average Britain knows about the world around them – even ones who reckon themselves intelligent enough to appear on a TV quiz show.
Whatever our national traits, one weakness so many of us seem to share is the ability to check in our brains along with our luggage (or even earlier in some cases), which can make airports both hilarious and frustrating places to spend any time.
Don’t believe me? Then check out these two links.
The first is entitled Why Americans Should Never Be Allowed To Travel – genuine questions asked to travel agents.
And, just to stop anyone on the other side of the pond getting too cocky, try this from 101holidays.co.uk – Are These The Most Stupid Trip Advisor Reviews?