Monday, July 24, 2017

Who was the most ignorant American you have ever met?

An Answer provided on Quora to the question "Who was the most ignorant American you have ever met?

I'm generalizing to open so as to set the context:

Australians, perhaps like other countries, stereotypically consider American tourists in Australia as loud and slightly obnoxious. At Australian tourist attractions you see the Americans spending more time looking through a camera view-finder than absorbing the ambience.

Now to the setting:

To the west of Sydney, Australia is a mountain range that runs to a North South alignment from the southern tip of the continent through to the northern tip of the continent. It is called the Great Dividing Range. The part of the Great Dividing Range immediately west of Sydney is called the Blue Mountains. It is called the Blue Mountains as the trees release oil on extremely hot days and the oil creates a blue haze from a distance.

Within the Blue Mountains there is a popular tourist attraction called the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters are three outcrops of sandstone rocks. They are named the Three Sisters from an indigenous Australian story about three sisters that were turned into stone. Tourists view the Three Sisters from a series of platforms. There is a drop from the platforms to a valley floor. I image the drop exceeds 300 feet (think Grand Canyon but with a carpet of green tree tops as far as the eye can see).
At the Three Sisters is a tourist information center that is perched out onto the drop to the valley floor. The tourist information center has broad windows that give a scenic view of the valley. Tall trees tower up to the height of the windows.

In the Blue Mountains there are many varieties of Australian Native birds. This includes many parrots, galahs, cockatoos, kookaburras, lorikeets, rosellas and more. Many of these birds have very colorful plumage with bright oranges, reds and yellows common. The birds tend not to be too shy of humans.

The tourist information center includes bird feeders that sit out beyond the windows. The staff fill the feeders with seed each morning. I remember there being four of these feeders and each could fit about ten birds at a time.

Now to the scene:

I stood at the window of the tourist information center one day to watch the birds. I quickly counted eighteen different species amongst the birds that were freely coming and going and concluded that there was probably more species than I had counted. My mind was to how there was probably up to one hundred birds in the immediate vicinity. The wild birds could freely come and go and like most Australian native birds they fed at a number of locations on any given day.

So, I hope you have got that - the birds were numerous and they were freely coming and going from the bird feeders.

An American woman arrived beside me. She was wearing a fresh t-shirt that had a popular Sydney logo on the front which told me that she was probably only just off an airplane the previous day. She bustled in and quickly took about ten photographs of the birds. She possibly did not look beyond the birds to view the valley. As her husband joined her they both stopped to take in the bird feeders and the comings-and-goings of the numerous colorful species. She then turned to go as rushed as she had come. Before leaving she made a pronouncement at volume that everyone in the tourist information center heard:

"These Australians are so stupid, they should put those birds in a cage."

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