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While sitting on the plane from Frankfurt to San Francisco, David and I reminisced about our trip: the mopeds of Florence, canals of Venice, vineyards of Provence, fashion of Paris, darkness of Amsterdam, strangeness of Sweden, bustle of Rome, and beauty of Trevi. We'd visited old friends and made new ones; we'd shopped and dined; we'd placed our hands on the Coliseum, the Louvre, and a blooming olive tree that had been planted 150 years before the Mayans laid the first stone for their temple. "That was a lot to see in such a short time," I said. David scooted into the empty seat between us and I put my head on his shoulder. "What was your favorite part?"

He answered without hesitation: "Eating baguettes in Paris." I slapped his leg in mock offense, as if he'd flubbed the answer to my trick girl question. David laughed, a nervous, almost embarrassed laugh, at the truthiness of his answer. He put his arm around me and I closed my eyes, instantly soothed. David stroked my hair while I made happy noises. We stayed like that for a few moments, and then, waking me from a brief doze, he asked, "Yours?"

"Too many to choose from," I sighed. "The whole trip was amazing. Exciting. Fabulous." Before I slipped back into slumber, I added, "Yeah, it was cool, I'd go back, beh beh...but there's no place like home."

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rustyjb Nov. 8, 2008 @ 1:59 p.m.

Hi,

My experience in Europe does not match yours. I've met wonderful people who were willing to help Americans. In Copenhagen a French woman asked if I hated the French to which I replied of course not, do you hate Americans to which she answered no.

In Stockholm we asked four teenagers if they spoke English and they responded "of course" and then helped us find the subway entrance.

My wife and I have traveled extensively in central and south America and have been welcomed with open arms. The people in the countries we visited have been friendly, even effusive, and willing to chat with us in Spanish, or English, even helping us with our Spanish vocabulary.

Your personal space experience notwithstanding, I think I would look on that as an anomaly.

As far as your French waiter goes, I have met the "champeen" snobby waiter at Mamma Leones in New York City. There's just no accounting for some folks!

BTW, why are citizens of the United States the only ones referred to as AMERICANS? Aren't Canadians and Mexicans Americans too? Not to mention the citizens of central & south America.

Harry (aka Rusty)

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