This is a very interesting thread indeed. I've been in many different countries, and as another poster pointed out, there are rude people everywhere. Everyone is basically the same. In my experience, most people from the US generally try to make a good impression. I've only run into a handful of rude tourists from the US. They certainly made up for the rest though! To be honest, I'd say that I've encountered more ill-behaved tourists from the UK than the US. Most of the time I'll hear people complaining that "this is different back home" or "that is cheaper back home" - or the general price of things... but hey - we all do that. I think that some of the issues with Americans getting a bad rap abroad is that some of them are just so ill informed about the world outside their borders. This isn't isolated to the US however. I've met people from the USSR and even the UK who barely knew who their neighbouring countries were. I think it is a "big country" syndrome. Regarding much maligned France... Paris is probably my fave city in the world. Every time we've been there, people have been very nice. We've had complete strangers come up to us and offer to help with directions. Even Parisian waiters, who have a certain reputation, have been fine.