Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back from the USA

It was a short trip but just enough to recharge the batteries and get a tan.  ;)  I had secretly planned to race in Miami (I hadn't mentioned this to my friend whom I was traveling with) but by the last day before leaving, my ankle was still too swollen to pack my skates and cycling shoes.  I still have no idea what is going on with my foot.  No pain, hardly any discoloration but still swollen below the ankle and near the arch.  Life goes on I guess.  I am not letting it stop me anymore. 

The trip was pretty good anyway.  The weather was nice and the places I visited were adequate.  Key West was my fav.  Cute little place, clean and very friendly.  I'd go back there.  Nassau?  Probably not.  Dirty, messy and really nothing that stood out.  Just another run down looking town.  Didn't impress much.

The one thing I noticed during this trip will probably get me into trouble with some readers because I am making broad statements.  I shared my thoughts with my friend and he agreed however so here goes...

I find that Americans have a much more "entitlement" kind of attitude than Canadians.  And believe it or not, I feel this factor increases in direct relation to their physical size.  The larger the person got, the more rude and overwhelming they became.  It was stunning.  No "please and thank yous", looks of disgust when a food item didn't come quickly or an overall aire of superiority over service working people.  It was quite disturbing.  Several times I was the victim to large people pushing me aside to get into service lines (especially food ones) and then complaining loudly when people were taking too long.  One particular time, I was in a line with this family behind me that were actually strategizing how to skip the line and move ahead.  When they decided to make their move, the larger of the women "boobed" me when trying to get by and then gave ME a look of disgust.  Ummm hello?  If your boobs weren't the size of my torso then you might have had a chance of getting by me. 

It got so bad that when I DID see or hear someone being polite or courteous, it made me stop and notice.  It was a rare occasion however.  What a shame.  For the duration of the trip I made sure I was more than polite and courteous.  I tried to go out of my way to ensure it.  I felt as if I had to make up for all the rude people that were around me.  Although it didn't ruin my trip, it for sure weighed heavy on my mind. 

Finally it led me to a conversation with my friend that we found very interesting.  We discussed how each country views each other.  Of course all we could come up with were negative things.  Shame on me.  But seriously, when we think of Americans, we think of overweight, under educated, poor, rude, violent, ignorant and backwards communities.  Of course I realize there is a whole other side.  I am not that stupid.  It is just that for the most part, we don't see that side.  The images we are flooded with always depict the same kind of person.  So it left us wondering what Americans think of when they think of Canadians? 

I am grateful that some of you write your own blogs so that I can see and hear and take comfort in the thought that there ARE decent people out there who seem to have values and ethics.  Maybe I am just going to places where manners and morals are just not a traveling requirement.  Things to consider.

As a last note, I lost my travel doc holder at the Miami airport and ended up losing 200$ US.  I went back through security and for over an hour tried to locate it.  Nothing.  Crap.  Then when I finally landed in Ottawa at 10pm, my car wouldn't start.  Had to call roadside and wait for over an hour before I was on my way.  Oh ya, it was minus 6 and all I had was my cheap fleece jacket.  It was not a good ending.  I am waiting for the next bad thing to happen however.  Things with me always happen in 3s.  Eeek. 


Anonymous said...

I hear you on the "entitlement" attitude and do agree. We've run into all kinds when travelling and it's really quite unfortunate. I told Joel about your um being "boobed" and he got a really good chuckle .... christine

lifein360 said...

yes you should have seen the look on her face! It was as if I jumped on it.

Calvini said...

Boobed...that's pretty hilarious.

lifein360 said...

@Calvini: It wasn't hilarious when it happened. I think I have a bruise. ;)

rabidrunner said...

You're right about the entitlement thing. I've also found that the younger they are, the more entitled they are. It ain't all that cool anymore to discipline and demand things like please and thank you. It ain't all that cool to let your kids feel any pain (that they inflict themselves by choices), so parents are rescuing and whatnot, which makes the kids these days feel as if they aren't responsible for anything. My two cents, anyway.

My kids say please and thank you. And they ask nicely, ESPECIALLY to service people. How is it that my kids say please and thank you? Because I have demanded that they say please and thank you for the last 6 and 9 years (fer each.) It takes that long. Or maybe just my kids take that long.

Parts of the country are more entitled 'n rude than others. And driving? Holy cow. The entitled thing is very pervasive on the road. Except Oregon. Oregon drivers are pretty nice and considerate.

Now, if you really want to experience rude and pushy, try India. It'll blow your mind.

lifein360 said...

@Rabbid: I have no doubt you have taught your kids well. You can just tell by their faces that they have learned consideration for others. Great job. I think everyone should be subjected to the service industry for a while so they can learn the importance of manners. Not to mention, a simple thank you can really brighten up someones day.