Originally Posted by Capt Phil
When I did the obligatory European tour in 1960, I went with a couple of Americans and they pleaded with me to give them a couple of Canadian flag patches to sew on their rucksacks.. Even in those days, Yanks were nervous about traveling overseas! Phil
Gosh, Phil, as it happens I too did the European tour in 1960... an American, travelling with another couple of Yanks. I certainly did NOT want a Canadian flag or identity, and I did not feel any particular anti-American vibes. Spent a short time in Yugoslavia, during the first few weeks that Yanks were allowed to travel there, and found great curiosity and warm welcome. In Spain
, after a few glasses a local confided to me that "they treat Yanks like a younger brother who was kicked in the head
by a mule and hasn't been right since". A sort of kindly benevolence, not anger or rejection... odd, but not threatening! All in all, we felt as welcome as other nationalities were.
I dunno why your friends were feeling so afraid or worried or whatever drove them to desire Canadian identity... could be you talked them into feeling threatened?
And now that i have been cruising in foreign lands for so many years, I too can say that I've not been afraid to show my nationality. I don't advertise it other than to fly the required flag, but I never have hidden it either... and I've seemed to be welcome where ever we have been. Out here in the Pacific islands, we encounter older folks who have told us how much they appreciated the Yanks during the war... how much better they were treated by the Yanks than the Japanese, or by other colonial powers before hostilities broke out.
In thirty years of cruising, there has been but one overt anti-American view directed at us... in New Zealand
, of all places! There a drunken younger man shouted anti-American slogans at us from a tourist boat
cruising past us when we were anchored in Whangaroa. His fellow passengers quickly subdued him and apologized for his behavior as they steamed away.
I guess we all have different experiences, but as others have said, if one treats the locals with respect and friendship, you will likely be welcomed, wherever you may cruise
... active war zones excepted.