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Dear Rudy,

I love your show, but I had to write to remind you that, if you read the book, you would know that the "Ugly American" was the good guy, not the bad one. It's a pity that the nickname has come to mean exactly the opposite of what it should.

My ugliest American was a guy at H. Stern in Rio de Janeiro who kept yelling "My god, I'm spending $22,000 here, can't you at least give me a better exchange rate than the banks?" at the top of his voice.

My other complaint is about all the Americans who have learned to think it's cute to talk about rude French people. I have traveled to France eight times and don't ever have any trouble of this sort. Of course, I expect the French to act like themselves, not like a funny-sounding version of an American. Come on! Give them a break. They are very nice and very helpful if you just admit you need help. They won't insult you by offering help if you don't know you need it. Try to see it their way. After all, it's their country. Just how tolerant are your friends and acquaintances with people who "talk funny"?

- Pat


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