Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hell is...Other Americans

I just had to mention this... As a Black American traveler, you are rare. You just don't see others like you and your looks, dress and accent make you really stand out. Having heard reports of racial slurs against footballers in Spain and England and Paris' hostility towards African immigrants, we braced ourselves for the possibility of some type of incident.

Instead, I found the Europeans that we encountered to be friendly and open towards us. Almost no big deal. All four of us are tall, very funny, the life of a moment and the guys were usually dressed comfortably in casual clothing or jeans and nice shirts. I personally fit in style-wise in all 3 cities and got mistaken for a native in all three. In Spain, we were stared at once through a window and an older Spanish gentleman stopped to politely ask my husband where he was from, but no problems. It was usually the older generation and we understood.

You know, I've traveled over 8000 miles plus total this trip, and I'm very saddened, disappointed and angered that the only time we encountered true ignorance was from another American in our program who said, "Oh, you all look alike..." and other things to us. You just don't say that. You just don't...

I just had to share as that was the only small blight on my entire wonderful trip.


Gerrie said...

I am so sorry to hear this, but not surprized. My hubbie and I do lots of hiking trips around the world, and there are always one or two American bozos in the group who are embarassing to be with. How wonderful that the rest of the trip was so fantastic.

Sonji Hunt said...

My Mother worked for the Navy and lived all over Europe during the 40's. She used to tell me stories about how "colored" Americans were treated much differently by the Europeans than white Americans. Better, for the most part. She took tons of photographs and made lots of slides that I still have. I'd like to print up all her images of "colored" folk touring Europe.

teri springer said...

The expression may be *ignorance is bliss* but, in my book, ignorance is just ignorance.....When I travel, unless I have to show my Passport, I am Canadian.....and I rarely travel with a tour group. I'd rather muddle through on my own. I make LOTS of new friends that way.....(and, if they want my address...I am a Canadian living in the US....sorry fellow AMericans but, the simple fact is, the rude few ruin it for the rest of us....)

I'm glad you had a good time, sorry you got sick and hope you are feeling better soon.