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March 06, 2007

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The Tour Marm

These things don't seem fair except on Jay Walking. I wonder how many correct answers he received?

However, I've conducted mixed adult groups of international visitors and US citizens throughout the US and Canada and The silliest questions and remarks do come from Americans.

At SEATAC, ready to board a plane to begin our Alaska trip, a couple from the midwest was worried about changing their US money for Alaskan!

A couple from New York City brought winter coats and boots with them for their trip to Alaska in July and wondered what language was spoken there!

Americans wonder who the lady is on the Canadian currency.

As a rule, they can't comprehend that crossing the 49th parallel brings them into a foreign country and some things are done differently.

Two Americans have asked me at what altitude an elk becomes a moose? (A. They don't become moose, they join the Rotary.)

On cruise ships, it's even worse. But don't get me started!

Indeed, many of our citizens are not aware of geography, international politics, culture, and the world in general. Part of the problem is apathy, poor education, and a news media that really doesn't cover world events properly. What a contrast to The news in Europe and Asia which covers several nations (including the great and powerful US) because they're intertwined.

I leave you with my favorite: the lady from New Jersey sipping a fruity cocktail in Key West while watching a sunset. "Look at the sun set! Does that happen every night?"

Terry Cowgill

Tim,

I am always amused that the rest of the world evidently thinks we are dumber than they are.

I lived in Canada for five years and I can tell you there are just as many narrow-minded ignorant jugheads up north as there are here.

And I suspect if you asked those same questions (or the native equivalent) in other countries, the results would be just as unflattering.

People in other countries (especially those in Europe) assume we must be stupid because they don't like our policies or they can't believe we would elect a plain spoken man like George Bush. And, of course many people on the left in the U.S. share those views.

Too bad, because at its core this kind of attitude is nothing short of intellectual snobbery on the part of people who typically say they are for the little guy. So we come back to hypocrisy -- which is a subject I should get off of, lest I drive myself crazy again.

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