Friday, September 11, 2015

The Ugly Israeli (Tourist)

The Ugly Stereotypical Tourist! We've all met them, and perhaps we've been them: the person from the flatlands who shrieks in the Louvre "Harold, I can't read this menu!  It's in FRENCH!"*  Or the big city dweller who scoffs at everything, and is constantly to be found saying "In Big City the bagels are superior.  Oh yes, we have a church just like Sacré Cœur there." The (black) Philadelphian who is shocked that there are black people living in the rural South.**

I'm sure there is overlap between all groups of unpleasant tourists.  And by no means are all tourists unpleasant!  Some understand that each place has its own rich cultural and legal history, and that perhaps its inhabitants will get pissy if they criticize every single damn thing.  In other words: It's rude to insult people when you are a guest in their home.

Well, friends, I introduce to you The Ugly Israeli. (Several of them were introduced to me last month!) Who:
  • Thinks that all persons not living in cities are ignorant hippie throwback kibbutzniks. 
  • Thinks they are therefore qualified to reeducate such people. For example: "You really need to go to a gym to exercise.  That [cutting up a 50 foot tree] work won't keep you healthy."
  • Has no conception of the fact that they live in a country the size of New Jersey.  
  • With the population of NOVA.
  • And therefore there's a hell of a lot of country to deal with.
  • Thinks spending a week on the east coast has taught them all about Americans, and makes sweeping and inaccurate generalizations every two minutes.  "Americans don't have charcoal grills!  Americans don't cook! Americans don't drink tea!  Americans....." Really?  REALLY?
  • Must be continually be reminded that driving through three medium sized states is the distance from Tel Aviv to FUCKING BAGHDAD. And there are fifty states. 
  • Has a national memory that is 65 years long.  Has no concept of legal frameworks arising over 250 years and thinks all your laws and customs are stupid.
  • Related: suggests you 'just change the Constitution'.  IF ONLY WE HAD THOUGHT OF THAT.
  • Endlessly harps on American racism.  
  • Argues incessantly.
  • Doesn't know how to stand in line.
  • Actually literally insults you in your actual literal home. 

* True story.  I saw it with my own eyes.
** Ditto.  I even tried to keep a straight face.


  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Americans don't use charcoal grills?!?!? One of THE signs that summer has fully arrived, for me, is the smell of lighter fluid poured over charcoal as the grills get fired up for the first bratwurst BBQ.

    Heck, America is probably the only place where a family member is willing to spend hours coaxing a charcoal grill to light in the middle of a snowstorm in order to have grilled turkey for [important national holiday -- in this case, Thanksgiving, but I have to generalize because America probably IS the only place where people would do this for American Thanksgiving].

    Ah, memories.... :)

    1. Jenny F Scientist12:17 PM

      Wait, people grill turkey??? I did not know that.

      Grilling over charcoal in a snowstorm may well be uniquely American! Along with proper brownie making (I'm looking at you, Europe) and an overwhelming fondness for pie.

  2. Yep, nobody in America ever drinks tea. Especially not in the South. Never heard of such a thing.

    1. Jenny F Scientist12:19 PM

      Well, I think he meant hot tea. But when you put it that way, it sounds even worse, doesn't it?

  3. Over here I'm more accustomed to the Harold-types of American. The ones who want to know why there isn't better disabled access to the tower of the cathedral I can see from my office... that was built nearly a THOUSAND YEARS ago.

    1. Jenny F Scientist8:21 PM

      That sounds like a special cross of the Harold with the city dweller. Your average Harold doesn't hold with none of that ADA nonsense because in their grandaddy's day people in wheelchairs stayed outside and liked it.


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