The Rude American for These 8 Reasons?!? I Must Be Different — Or…
“W hen it comes to being just plain rude, Americans have for some time, consistently topped the list. This new survey drives the point home”, according to this article written by Joseph Luther of Elliott, whose “last word” is that America is number one…at being rude. “It includes results for the number of people, by country, admitting to urinating in the pool, taking extra hotel toiletries, calling in sick to prolong their vacation, and checking out without paying the bill.”
The list to which Joseph Luther refers — and apparently led him to the conclusion pertaining to the rude American — is this global survey of “travel secrets revealed” recently released from Travelzoo, which is “a global Internet media company and trusted publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals.”
I subscribe to alerts via e-mail messages from Travelzoo; and a good deal comes along now and then in which I may be interested — but when I think of Travelzoo, I think of deals. I do not think of Travelzoo as a content provider — or, at least, content provider is not the first thought when I think of Travelzoo.
Then again, deal sites such as FareCompare and AirfareWatchdog — now a division of Smarter Travel Media Network — and their respective founders of Rick Seaney and George Hobica have successfully transformed themselves from purveyors of travel deals into providers of content. Why not Travelzoo?
Why not indeed? I am sure there are people who would argue that some “bloggers” do not come to mind pertaining to being conveyors of content — but I digress.
Here are the survey results from Travelzoo, along with my comments.
1. Taking Hotel Toiletries
According to the survey, 69 percent of Americans — followed by 63 percent of Canadians, 61 percent of Chinese, and 45 percent of Britons — will take extra hotel toiletries with them; whereas Germans were the least likely to do so.
I am not sure why this qualifies as a “dirty little secret.” Back on Monday, August 28, 2006, I admitted to taking hotel toiletries “because their size is convenient for travel in case I visit somewhere that may not have the toiletries I want or need” — but the toiletries are there for the guests to take.
Also — as part of the Stupid Tip of the Day series — I give some advice pertaining to traveling with those toiletries.
To me, taking towels, robes, bedding, light fixtures, alarm clocks, and other items which are actually bolted down at some hotel properties — in other words, things which should not be taken from a hotel room — would qualify more as a “dirty little secret”…
…and no, I have never taken anything other than toiletries and the occasional pen and pad of paper from a hotel room.
Some hotel guests will purposely take toiletries to donate them in order to help those who are less fortunate. One organization which comes to mind is Global Soap.
2. Tinkling in the Pool or Ocean
64 percent of Americans confessed to urinating in the pool or ocean — as opposed to 58 percent of Canadians; 46 percent of Britons; and 44 percent of Germans. The Chinese were least likely to do so.
“News Flash: Birds and fish not only pee in the ocean, they poop there too.” That is according to this comment posted by SirWired, who is a reader of Elliott. Yes, that may be true; but that does not help to alleviate the disgust of the thought of a fellow human being relieving himself or herself in an ocean or pool, in my opinion.
For the record, I have never urinated, defecated, vomited, or even blew my nose in a pool or ocean.
3. Cheating on Your Partner
At ten percent, Germans were most likely to cheat on their partners while traveling; followed by the Chinese at five percent, Britons at four percent, Americans at three percent, and Canadians at two percent.
I have never cheated on anyone while traveling. I am quite boring, aren’t I?!?
4. Sneaking Goods through Customs
32 percent of Chinese admit that they have not declared all merchandise at customs; while 23 percent of Canadians, 22 percent of Americans, and 19 percent of Britons admit the same.
My purchases when I travel are usually too small to declare to customs agents: “Yes, I bought this souvenir for three dollars.” Does that mean that I snuck that souvenir through?
5. Vacation Planning During Work
The survey revealed that 70 percent of Chinese; 67 percent of Americans; 64 percent of Canadians; 40 percent of Britons; and 38 percent of Germans do research for their vacation during work hours.
The survey does not reveal how many people work during their leisure hours — such as at home, for example. There are surveys which claim that Americans are amongst the groups which spend the most time working — but that is the topic for another article for another day.
I am fortunate that doing vacation research — which can be quite extensive and can consume an inordinate amount of time and effort — is part of my job in writing this weblog here at The Gate.
6. Playing Hooky to Extend Your Vacation
I personally have never called in to work claiming I was sick to extend a vacation by a day or more; but apparently 24 percent of Americans, 16 percent of both Canadians and Chinese, 15 percent of Britons, and ten percent of Germans admitted to doing so.
7. Skipping on a Bill
Not paying your bill for any product or service you received fairly and squarely is just plain wrong. Fortunately, only 13 percent of Americans, nine percent of Canadians, eight percent of Britons, seven percent of Germans, and six percent of Chinese have left a restaurant without paying the bill.
In other words: skipping and tipping on a bill are two different scenarios…
8. Reserving a Lounge Chair with Your Towel
“While not a terrible habit, it is frowned upon to reserve a lounge chair with your towel early in the morning, when you’re not at the beach or pool.”
Although 64 percent of Canadians, 59 percent of Americans, 40 percent of Chinese, 33 percent of Britons and 33 percent of Germans admitted to this practice, this is the first I have heard of it being frowned upon…
…especially as I have never done it myself — other than if I am already in the water and need a place to keep my belongings, of course.
Then again, I am not typically the type to lounge around at a pool or beach — at least, not for longer than a couple of hours at a time.
This survey apparently only had respondents who were American, Chinese, British, German and Canadian. What about people from countries such as Australia, France, India, Japan, Russia and South Africa? I see no evidence that people from other than those from five distinct countries participated in the survey, which could arguably be concluded as flawed.
Additionally, I am not sure how Joseph Luther took the leap of concluding how rude are Americans by gleaning the results of that survey. Some of the “dirty little secrets” may be disgusting or unethical — but I do not believe they qualify as rude. For a better list of items which could be considered rude, please read this article I wrote last year pertaining to “ugly” Americans.
There are definitely rude, inconsiderate, obnoxious and disgusting people all over the world — including Americans — but to classify them into nationalities is akin to classifications regarding race, gender, sexual preference and age, in my opinion. Surveys such as this one serve little purpose other than for entertainment and the possible perpetuation of stereotypical behavior and justification for discrimination.
More importantly to me is to bring about awareness pertaining to doing the right thing while traveling — and that includes politeness and respect to others and the land in which they live. I am not treated like a rude or “ugly” American when I travel. Quite the contrary: I am usually treated very well by citizens of countries which I visit — most recently, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — simply because I treat them with respect; I attempt to speak at least one word of their language; and I am polite and considerate to them…
…and it really takes little effort to accomplish that, as being treated well can be the difference between a successful trip and a bad trip — even when unexpected anomalies occur…
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.