Spot the American abroad: 12 ways you're outing yourself while traveling
You are a unique snowflake -- an individual that stands out from the crowd and is impossible to stereotype. That is, of course, until your passport's stamped and you brave the wild frontiers of a foreign country, at which point you're instantly identifiable as a Freedom Fry-eatin', gun-totin', red-blooded 'Murrican. Want to maintain an air of mystery? Avoid the following tell-tale signs that associate you with your country 'tis-of-thee.
1) You're easily confused by coins
You’re too paralyzed by fear to figure out the complex mathematical worth of shrapnel when it comes time to pay, so you present the cashier with open palms bearing all of your coins, and a plaintive look, communicating "Please, take what you need -- I'm at your mercy".
2) Gratuity-happy is your middle name
Waiters scramble to serve you once they hear your accent -- because they know you'll automatically throw 'em an extra 20%, even though they get paid more than you do and tipping isn't a part of the local culture.
3) You're not, actually, smarter than a 5th grader
The Alps are in Sweden, right? Austria is the one with the kangaroos? Hitler Youth... that’s still a thing here?
4) You use Purell constantly
Why do you use so much hand sanitizer?
5) You expect everyone to speak English
Local people don't speak English. Wait... local people don't speak ENGLISH? Maybe they'll understand you if you say everything LOUDER and SLOWER? No?
6) You're wearing a No Fear shirt.. or something like it
Your travel wardrobe is oh-so-functional, so terribly practical, and so obnoxiously comfortable. Patagonia, Uggs, and North Face are akin to draping yourself in American flags.
7) You think everything's better in America
Your default is to compare everything you see, eat, hear or experience in any way to something stateside. “Wow, these Pyramids really sure look like the one in Vegas”.
8) You're fat -- for a reason, it turns out
Waitress delivers what can only be an amuse-bouche. “Ma’am, I ordered an entrée”. “This is an entrée -- don't you realize 'entrée' literally translates to 'appetizer' everywhere apart from North America?” "Umm, yes, I just meant I wanted THREE entrées".
9) You think free water is a god-given right
€4 for water? You mean the stuff that covers 70% of the Earth? But this water has bubbles in it... and it's weird. Sigh.
10) You want ice in everything
"Waitress, sorry to bother you again, but there's no ice in my (sparkling) water". What sort of heathens drink water -- and SOFT DRINKS no less -- without ice?
11) You love your country... A little too much
OBVIOUSLY you love your country. But few other citizens spout as much nationalistic noise as is standard "American Way" protocol.
12) But you also know when to apologize for it
You know when a little "Sorry for that whole George Bush thing" can open a door. And the world thanks you for it.