Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Travel Tips for Americans....
Travel Tips for Americans
Since I will be
going on an international trip in a few months, I've been reading some
travel tips about packing light, what to take, and such. One of the
tips I came across regarding international travel was a bit surprising
"Try not to look like an American."
Here I thought that being American was a good thing. Now I find that
the world does not think as much of us as we think of ourselves. So,
how do I avoid being obvious about being American? My native language
is English and there isn't much I can do about that other than trying
to learn a few essential foreign words, such as yes, no, thank you,
and "Where is the toilet?".
Tourists are supposed to wear comfortable shoes that are well broken
in and a hat to prevent sunstroke in the desert heat. "Don't wear
a baseball cap or white tennis shoes, or you will look American,"
according to the travel tips. Fortunately, I own a pair of comfortable
black shoes and I don't wear baseball caps. Honey will have to leave
his favorite Penn State cap at home, though, or become an ugly
T-shirts with logos or names of sports teams are also another dead
give away. There go all of honey's shirts out the proverbial window.
He loves to wear Penn State or Steelers shirts as people notice and
comment and he gets to tell them that he is from Pittsburgh . How can
he carry on a conversation in Egypt if he can't talk about Pittsburgh?
Other things that will mark you as American are jogging suits, flip
flops, jeans, red, white and blue outfits, and purple tights. Other
counties are more conservative in dress, and many a travel tipster
advises that shorts are not acceptable in many places, regardless of
how hot the climate is. The way my legs look, I don't blame them.
So, as I understand it, we are to go incognito unless required to show
passports. It is hard for Americans to understand that the rest of the
world does not love us. Somehow, we are all held responsible for the
failed foreign policies that are unpopular with the rest of the world,
especially the Muslim world.
I once heard that it is best to leave any government or military
identification at home when you fly internationally and be an ordinary
American citizen on vacation. The reason for that? If your plane is
hijacked by terrorists, they will kill you first if they think you
work for the government. That's certainly a sobering thought.
Terrorism, period, is a sobering thought.
Egypt is America's best friend in the Muslim world and one of the
oldest civilizations on earth. Other travelers say they feel perfectly
safe there. There are armed "security guards" escorting
groups of tourists on tour in Egypt and they have travel police. I'm
not sure if they are protecting us from them or them from us. Maybe
They don't need to worry about me. I only want to see the pyramids,
ancient ruins, antiquities and learn about the past. Any foreign
visitor should expect to respect the traditions of another country.
That is common courtesy, as well as common sense.
One good thing, people who have been there recently say that the
Egyptian people love Obama, and there are no travel warnings out for
Egypt. And if anyone thinks white tennis shoes and purple tights are
bad, it's only because they haven't seen my passport picture.
Regardless, I am going to practice walking like an Egyptian.
Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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