Tuesday, July 15, 2008

American Tourists

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]
16 July 2008

Column 8

[...] "Yesterday an American pilgrim being interviewed on TV was surprised but happy to find that our Mass was the same as theirs in the US," reports Robyn Lewis of Raglan. "It reminded me of an incident in St Paul's (Anglican) Cathedral in London. My husband and daughter were at Morningsong, enjoying the ambience and music. During the Lord's Prayer an American exclaimed 'Golly Gladys, this Lord's Prayer is the same as ours!"' [...]

Sydney Morning Herald
18 July 2008

Column 8

[...] "The surprise and delight of American tourists on finding that Mass and the Lord's Prayer in other English-speaking countries are the same as 'back home'," writes Ken Vincent, of Buderim, Queensland (Column 8, of late), "reminded me of my first visit to Hong Kong. I booked a half-day mini-bus tour to see the main sights quickly. Passengers were collected from several Kowloon hotels and two American ladies got in and announced that they came from Hawaii. After driving through the New Territories, with balconies festooned with lines of laundry, one of the ladies said, 'Say, driver, will this tour take us through China Town?' "

It gets worse, naturally. Laurie Wigney, of Huntleys Cove, reports: "A Bridge Climb guide told me of an American tourist, on one of the dusk climbs, who asked, 'Is that the same moon as we see in the USA?' On the way down, after a North Shore train thundered past, his wife said, 'Gee, you Aussies are so cute. You even give names to your trains. That one was called Gordon.' " [...]

Sydney Morning Herald
19 July 2008

Column 8

[...] There seems to be no end to anecdotes concerning Americans' knowledge, of lack thereof, of the brute facts of geography (Column 8, since Wednesday). "In 1981," writes Lynne Smith, of Empire Bay, "my husband and I worked on Hayman Island. One day an American gentleman was complaining (very rare) and declared (very loudly) that he was leaving. No problem - except there was a two-hour wait for the next boat. His reply? 'Not good enough! Call me a taxi NOW!' " [...]

Sydney Morning Herald
21 July 2008

Column 8

[...] Jeremy Tonks, of Bundanoon, has come to the defence of American tourists asking inane questions (Column 8, for some days) "'Is that the same moon as we see in the US?' is a fair question," Jeremy insists. "It certainly looks different, as I discovered while visiting my sister in Sweden, where the moon is viewed upside down." Point taken. We are also pleased that Jeremy makes it clear that it is the Swedes (and by extension, the Americans) who view the moon upside down. We see it the right way up, of course.

Nonetheless, still they come, and while we should really knock it off, we can't go past this one, from Hugh O'Keefe, of Elizabeth Bay, who writes "Some years ago my friend Ric was in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Of course, everyone was looking at the ceiling. An American woman tapped Ric on the shoulder and said 'What's gonna happen? It's gonna open or sump'n?"' [...]