Occasionally, I am a stupid American

When my ex-pat colleagues and I travel, we pride ourselves on not being the typical American tourists: the loud, ignorant, intolerant ones who need to be handled with kid gloves or else they will explode from all the Otherness going on around them, even while they feel the need to comment constantly on all the Otherness (“Oh, look, Frank, it says YOO-bahn. I wonder if that’s like the subway? But then what’s the ESS-bahn? Oh, this is so confusing”). However, I’m embarrassed to say that I’m about to embark on a trip where I may have made a stupid American mistake.
Continue reading