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Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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The Ugly American?

Question: Do you think Americans take enough vacation time?

Frank: No, I don’t. I am not saying that just for business reasons, no it is amazing when you go to Europe and you are being in France, how much time they have often and how well they use that time. They use that time to see the world and meet other people and it is a great thing, I have a number of European friends that are matter over there are nor through business or such and they have friends around the world and sitting on and it is not a social connections which is about having the time to little relax and to reconnect with your family and your loved ones and get stuff done around the house at you wouldn’t be able to do if you work every day and so not the economists so I can’t tell you what effective would have an on our country but it is like a logically I think it will be great for us.

Question: What can American tourists do to blend?

Frank: To say the ugly Americans speaking cushy. The cushy the ugly Americans actually not as bad as we probably think it is I have seen survey saying that they really they surveyed foreigners and ask them to rate other nationalities by there are level of obnoxiousness as Americans do pretty well which help we are usually pretty polite and we are little on the loud side, but we are friendly and welcoming in we ask nice questions so I think people appreciate that usually part of blend in and this is for safety reasons as well sort of cultural reasons you don’t want to wear you big loud T-shirts or your like your ugly sneakers or what ever it is just because you want to fit in and not be pegged as an American right away. People who are pegging you are the criminals and the terrorists and the pleasers right. I just think that being polite, saying please and thank you especially in the language of the country you are visiting and tipping well when it is appropriate just having a conversation with some one that goes a long way to experience in the place. In a must more for willing than a plain tourists would do.

Question: How can travelers determine if a destination is safe?

Frank: What was an easy answer for that and it really comes down to researching as much as you can about that place and then making the decision of your comfortable makings. So for example I want to go to Kenya right now it just the situation is too volatile and it could all end of very peaceful. In the next couple of days we are going to send it to a very violent situation more violence that it is now. That is just my opinion they are probably parts of Kenya there are completely safe in there are probably people going on so far and they are right now having a fantastic time but knowing what I know I wouldn’t go on the other hand I would go to Beirut in a minute. Yes, there is a risk that there is in be a bomb here or an assassination there and can rise and that kind of stuff, it is the middle east, these things happen we look there are 100s of 1000s, 1000s of 1000s of Europeans going to Beirut all the time and they don’t get into any trouble, so one thing you can do and you go to the state department’s website and see what the state department has to say about it destination but also go to some of the other country governments web site, so the British foreign office has similar warnings and the information sheets on every country and they tend to be little bit new more new ones and little bit more detail than the American ones, Australia is also a good resource, so you get a slightly different perspective on things the American state department is it is a political organization, so even their travel information’s it has a slight political tends to it some time.

Question: Why are Europeans so comfortable traveling to the Middle East?

Frank: Well I think a lot of to speak because there a lot more Arabs living in Europe’s, so it is not so unfamiliar where as basically it was handful of places in the United States where there is large Arab population, so it is so exotic and so foreign to most Americans that is just right thing. I think Americans need to do better at the geographic classes, people will cancel a trip to Turkey because I think that happens in the Egypt even though those countries are hundreds of miles away and don’t really have that much of the connection and so look at the map and do some research look, go online read this there is probably an English language paper to every major city in the world, read that paper read that paper on line for a few days and see what in the expats are saying about the situation there, read the different government warnings and that kind of the thing, so Americans also tend to feel like look what do I have to go to a scary place or a potentially scary place we are not go


To these great places and are not scary that are closer to home in that in of that is the way feel that is great too and that is the reason I wouldn’t go to Kenya. Why go to Kenya, when I can go to Tanzania, the difference is that I know that Tanzania and Kenya even though the right close to each other are two sovereign countries, it was happening in Kenya, it doesn’t really affect what’s happening in Tanzania so much.

Peter Frank offers advice to American travelers looking to make a good impression abroad.

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