October 16, 2004

Traveling Abroad

AS LONG-TIME Rant readers know well, we had been considering taking our major vacation next year in London. However, things have changed, and it looks like we shall instead spend that week in the highlands of central Mexico. There were several reasons for the switch: we would spend time with family, and it was cheaper, more laid-back, and so on.

However, we recently came across an article which made us downright grateful Mr and Mrs Kepple invited us to spend the week in Mexico. Namely, this rather disturbing tale of anti-Americanism in Britain. Even though we knew from Americans who have lived in Britain that such sentiment was prevalent there, it still came as a shock; for these events were on par with the type of anger one would expect to find only in France or Germany. It makes us glad to know we will be spending our dollars in a country which, even though its people and Government may not always agree with the gringos, continues to be friendly and welcoming.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 16, 2004 11:47 AM | TrackBack

It also has a lot of damn fine tequila, on the cheap. Try getting THAT in soggy ol' London.

Posted by: Geoff Brown at October 18, 2004 11:36 AM

Dude, if you think Brits are hostile toward Americans, I hope you're prepared for what you may find in the Mexican highlands. Where, pray tell, are you headed?

Posted by: Cullen at October 18, 2004 04:52 PM

If Americans were less passive about allowing US policy makers to claim that their policies are "in the interest of the American people", these kinds of tirades might not be so common.

Posted by: Cullen at October 18, 2004 04:55 PM


San Miguel de Allende. Friendly locals, small expat community, etc. I do not deny that there is anti-Americanism present in Mexico, but I doubt it would be openly expressed in San Miguel. I guess I'll find out, won't I? I shall report back one way or the other, I can assure you of that.

As for your comment regarding the tirades, I am unsure how to take that. I would hate to think you were unsympathetic to the elderly lady whose trip was ruined, as she reportedly said, due to the unwarranted harangue. There is something to be said for common decency and civility.

That said, you do seem to be implying that it's understandable that individual Americans face such things because of their Government's positions and public statements, whether or not these Americans agree with them. As such conduct would be roundly condemned in America, this says much about Europe's sophistication and culture.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at October 18, 2004 06:30 PM

I had a falling out with friends of mine in England not all that long ago. These folks had been friends of mine for well over 2 decades. It wasn't too long after my last visit over there that I was told in no uncertain terms that it wouldn't be wise to visit them again because they had no liking for American foreign policy (as if I had anything to do with it). They didn't feel comfortable with an uncultured imperialist Yank in their midst.

Mind you, we never ever discussed politics and the only discussion we had about 9-11 was my impressions of the WTC site (I was there helping with the rescue and recovery efforts with FEMA).

These are people I've welcomed into my home on more than one occasion and I believed we had a solid friendship. Now they wish to have nothing to do with me or any American.

To say that I was taken entirely off guard would be an understatement. The breach between me and my friends has hurt deeply and cut me to the quick. I can see no way to heal that breach. After reading Carol Gould's piece I'm not sure that I wish to....

Posted by: DCE at October 18, 2004 11:46 PM

You sodding well better Ben. I can promise you, your trip to London will be a rather good trip indeed!

BTW that woman is off her nut.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at October 21, 2004 08:58 PM