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Chastened
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Here's an interesting article about living aboard "narrow boats" in London and elsewhere in England.

Are sky-high property prices steering home buyers onto water? - CNN.com

Some of these boats, are simply lovely. I love the way they are decorated and the owners are a lively, eclectic group. They look after each other the way US liveaboards look after each other.

The reader's comments (predominantly US) really seem to indicate that any attempt to differentiate from the norm of living in the suburbs or city, is simply not acceptable, and deeply frowned upon.

When the hell did we become so homogenized?

Yet another day, when I am disappointed and a little embarrassed to be a US citizen. :(
 

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The biggest issue killing the houseboat on Long Island was they were started as a tax dodge and we have a very limited amount of sewers and cost effective ways of them pumping out

The sewer thing is NOW a problem for EVERYBODY as most of are on 1950s septic system's that leak directly into the bays and harbors
 

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The houseboats were lovely, but I got a feel that they were really little more than RVs on the water (in the sense of how they look and even how they're advertised). And personally, I very much like a traditionally flag-blue painted hull (or white, green, or red) - there's no reason to kit it out to the point that it looks like a floating billboard!
 

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Swab
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any attempt to differentiate from the norm of living in the suburbs or city, is simply not acceptable, and deeply frowned upon.
Human nature: Different = Bad

Yet another day, when I am disappointed and a little embarrassed to be a US citizen. :(
I have never been embarrassed to be an American. If you are, well you can always tell people you are from Canada. I know people who do.
 

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In my international travels, I find that most non-USA people like Canadians better than they like Yanks. Since I am a polite traveller, people sometimes assume that I am Canadian (I take that as a compliment) and treat me better than I get treated as a Yank. I never lie about my citizenship, but I'll gladly be mistaken for a Canadian.
 

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This is a bit of a generalization that may offend, but isn't intended to. Traveling extensively, my wife and I have noticed that lower cost areas in Europe are much more likely to be kept clean and neat than in the US.

The analogy here is that there are floating homeless in the US, at least in the sense that they leave junk around and look homeless. Even on land, I literally know a home in a low cost rural area I drive through, where the owners toss their full garbage bags into the front lawn. I've not seen that in rural areas of Europe, not hat I've scoured it all.

None of this makes me feel ashamed to be an American by a long shot, however, I get why some things are seen differently over seas.
 

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I travel internationally for a living.

It is a rare event in which I have felt that someone dislikes me for being an American. Although I never offer, when asked about our politics or my political persuasion I am honest with my leanings (republican).

I think the key is to recognize and respect the culture, economic and political system in the country that you are in. Very few of the worlds people could fathom the freedoms that we used to enjoy here and the history behind them. All the evangelizing in the world is not going to change anyone's mind. It will only offend.

It also appears that the "ugly American" tag that existed in the 60 & 70s has for the most part disappeared. Looks like the Chinese are the latest tourist to be scorned.
 

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The reader's comments (predominantly US) really seem to indicate that any attempt to differentiate from the norm of living in the suburbs or city, is simply not acceptable, and deeply frowned upon.

When the hell did we become so homogenized?
"Much Madness is divinest Sense
To a discerning Eye --
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
'Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail --
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you're straightway dangerous
And handled with a Chain"

-- EMILY DICKINSON
 
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I travel internationally for a living.

It is a rare event in which I have felt that someone dislikes me for being an American. Although I never offer, when asked about our politics or my political persuasion I am honest with my leanings (republican).

I think the key is to recognize and respect the culture, economic and political system in the country that you are in. Very few of the worlds people could fathom the freedoms that we used to enjoy here and the history behind them. All the evangelizing in the world is not going to change anyone's mind. It will only offend.

It also appears that the "ugly American" tag that existed in the 60 & 70s has for the most part disappeared. Looks like the Chinese are the latest tourist to be scorned.
That's a good point. I've observed is that most people I've encountered, while travelling in their countries, are savvy enough to understand that American individuals are not the same as American corporations, the American government, or the American military. Individuals who behave as you mention are generally well-liked, while the other three entities are much reviled. Can't say I disagree with them. They realize that a nation of generally fine people can elect a government that seems very different than the nature of the people it supposedly represents, because they experience it in their own countries. What they don't like is that the USA government/military/corporations meddle in the affairs of the rest of the world, either by corrupting economic coercion or military force.
 

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We have a lot of liveaboards in my marina. The USA version of a houseboat tends to be the ugliest boat in the marina inhabbited by the lowest level of liveaboard. By "low level" I do not mean to be insulting to the less well off, but it is what it is. So far just in the last 3 months one houseboat sank in her slip and the owner ran off and left the marina with a mess and no insurance - one houseboat gone. Another one was evicted because the skipper woke the whole marina up beating on his girlfriend at 0400. These boats are not even "boats" in the sense that they move around. A European narrow boat is really not the same thing, it would be more the equivalent of a trawler in the USA - i.e something people WANT to see while walking the docks, not a floating version of a crappy trailer stolen from Honey Boo Boo. Not there are not nice houseboats and upstanding houseboat liveaboards. I have seen some on H&G TV nicer and more expensive than my HOUSE, let alone my boat, but at least in salt water areas the houeboats aren't that usefull as boats and tend to migrate to the lowest maintained boats in an area.
 

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In my international travels, I find that most non-USA people like Canadians better than they like Yanks. Since I am a polite traveller, people sometimes assume that I am Canadian (I take that as a compliment) and treat me better than I get treated as a Yank. I never lie about my citizenship, but I'll gladly be mistaken for a Canadian.
Isn't being from Wisconsin kind of the same thing? ;)

I haven't met many Canadians that I didn't like and the same thing holds for people from Wisconsin.
 
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