It seems that every time I leave the safe confines of Austin, I become disgusted with humanity in general and Americans in particular. Really, it's no wonder that the rest of the world hates us. We went to the beach this weekend in Corpus, and I was horrified by most of my fellow beachgoers.
First, 90 percent of them were fat. I'm not talking about a few extra pounds here or there, because goodness knows I can't throw any stones about that right now. I'm talking morbidly obese, and there were whole families of obese people - kids included. One little boy on a blanket near us had bigger boobs than I do.
Then there was the general lack of consideration. Just because you like country music doesn't mean everyone within a 100-yard radius does, too. There were times when it was hard to have conversation because we were drowned out by the competing boom boxes and car stereos. On a positive note, one car pulled in next to us blaring gangsta rap, rife with obscentities (mind you, four WHITE kids were listening to it), and one of the girls in the back seat told the driver he needed to turn off the radio because little kids were near by. He ended up driving off to park somewhere else, which was pretty remarkable. I gave the girl a "thank you" wave as they drove away. I get enough tough questions from Ella these days, I don't need to have to explain those words to her, too.
People left trash everywhere; I pulled floating garbage out of the waves. They let their dogs poop in the water and on the beach. It was awful.
And this isn't a slam at lower income folks. Some of the worst offenders were piling out of nice cars and SUVs. My observation is that the more money they appeared to have, the worse the apparent sense of entitlement - I'm going to do/say/destroy what I want, nevermind who is around me.
There were two French couples next to us on the beach at one point, and I wanted to go over and apologize to them and explain, in my broken French, that not all Americans were boors and idiots, despite evidence to the contrary.
Things didn't get better when we left the beach and headed for home. It seems that ugly American behavior is spreading. Since when are a Hooters tank top, cut-off jeans and flip flops appropriate attire for eating at a restaurant - a real restaurant with napkins and silverware on the table? And at one gas station, I had to duck and dodge a pack of kids who were running wild with no parental supervision.
It was all enough to make me never want to travel again. Or to wear some sort of sign that says I'm not like the rude, ignorant fools all around.