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Fake Canadian -- Worst Travel Tip Ever?

5/6/2011 1:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

One frosty-tipped TMZ staffer confesses he pretends to be Canadian when traveling abroad ... and all HELL breaks loose. Brace yourself for OUTRAGE and debate in the newsroom! 050511_TV_louis_still

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With American citizens being kidnapped in third world countries, and Americans being hated so much abroad, it's a matter of survival, not national pride. I love my country, but I advised my daughter who is traveling, to keep her U.S. citizenship very low profile, and when in doubt, to claim Canadian citizenship! I don't want her kidnapped or killed because our government is so hated.

1232 days ago

Chris in Canada    

Dax is 100% right. When I was at World Youth Day in Germany in 2008, some American kids paired up with us Canadians because NO ONE would let them in to the buses to leave the parks. The Germans were would not give them directions, would pretend they didn't speak English, they couldn't get on the bus, people swore at them. It was terrible for them. So they joined us because they said that it was easier getting around with Canadians in Germany because at least the Canadians talked to them and people even helped Canadians. When I asked for help (I'm Canadian) the first thing out of a German kid's mouth was "are you American?" and I said "no, Canadian" and he was all "OHHHH!!! Canadian!! Come here, we help you!" So true, Dax!

1232 days ago


I once read this tip online that said to say you're Canadian or to put a Canadian flag on your backpack and you'll be treated better.

I can't speak as to whether Americans really do get treated worse abroad since I am Canadian, but there do seem to be some very good examples in the comment section here of why you might want to say that you are Canadian.

It is just a personal choice. If you're somewhere that you feel might not accept you, would treat you differently, harrass you, or worse, you make up your own mind whether you would rather be honest or just make it easier on yourself and say you're not American.

1232 days ago

I Chinee    

I think it's funny that the majority of the time when a foreigner comes to the US to visit, the majority of Americans are friendly and very welcoming to them no matter what.

1232 days ago


The “Fake Canadian” and the “Gary Cooper” bit are equivalent to Johnny Carson’s best bloopers. If you are planning a compilation of your own hilarious moments, you must include these two at the top of your list. The whole office deserves an Emmy!

1232 days ago


I can honestly say I never have had that problem. Always been treatment with politiest and meet really nice people. The Aussie's are the niciest people and if you are polite and smile nicely and show repect for the country your in social rules you will be fine..but one thing I do have to advise you is watch what you are wearing NO shorts and jeans unless the occasion calls for it and women remember the thing called a dress and skirts that go down past the knees.. but then I have never traveled in Egypt or middle east or in places where women in general let alone a American woman are treated with disrespect.....and to tell the truth if that Dax fellow got disrespected as a American I can see why..its not because he was American it was because of his snotty attitude .He'd get ran out of around here acting the way he does no body like a smart-ass nobody !

1232 days ago


As a Canadian I can tell you in Europe (over and over again) once I made it clear I was not American I was treated better and in some cases prices dropped. Ii could not get B & B rooms in some towns without a Canadian flag attached to me somewhere. It is the loud, obnoxious 'doesn't anybody speak english' Americans that get remembered. On a trip to the Caribbean I was chatting poolside with some lovely mid-western American women as a loud Texan commanded the wait staff around. While they were shocked - we said 'really - that is what most non-Americans think of you all - that you think you are the most important people in the room at all times'. Have you ever watched the Amazing Race and seen the way some of them behave when they can't get any help because they don't speak the language? Are there rude Canadians? For sure but everyone just assumes they are American.
I'll sum it up this way - I like to compare a traveling group of Americans to seagulls - they swoop in, make a bunch of noise, **** all over the place and leave.

1232 days ago

Common Sense    

Hmmm... say you can afford to go on a trip once every 3 years for 2 weeks, would you risk having the trip suck because of the idiocy of some foreigners (idiots are everywhere)? And all that for a patriotic notion no foreigner cares about??

It's like going to Mexico. Would you risk drinking their tap water and having the "tourista" during all your trip???

It's a matter of choosing the level of patriotism and enjoyment of the trip I suppose

1232 days ago


Totally true.
And some are even hated more because they CLAIM to be Canadian to try and tarnish their (cdn) reputations with their arrogance.
That's just being a coward.
You would never find any Canadian claim they are American.
Those that do, are usually locked up in some institution.
That FACTUAL ''rumor'' has been around for decades.

1232 days ago


little history lesson for those interested

illustrates the point

1232 days ago


Google "Canadian Caper"

in 1979 in Iran, the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor and his people were responsible for saving 6 Americans diplomats by passing them off as Canadians and getting themout of Iran

a made for TV movie was made about it:
Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper
and apparently George Clooney is looking at a remake

so it's nothing new for Americans to pass as Canadians for safety reasons

in the mid-late 60's when I was at college it was common for US students backpacking in Europe to sew small Cnadian flags on their backpacks and the shoulders of their jackets
that was during the Vietnam era and it still goes on today

some feel just a little bit safer in certain countries by not loudly advertising their US roots

no judgements on those who do it
need to do what you need to do
to feel safe


1232 days ago


It all stems from WW2, when Canada liberated a lot of Europe. You go to Holland, and they hate Americans there (except for the tiny little tip that the Americans liberated in Holland). The Dutch are catching onto Americans saying they are Canadians, and are now asking questions that only Canadians will know the answer. There is a three tier system of pricing for a lot of Europe.... one for Americans, one for the citizens of that country, and one for Canadians. The Canadians always have the better price than the rest.

1232 days ago


He is absloutely right. Americans are a disgrace around the world. You are all loud mouthed and obnoxious. You figure the whole world should do what you do. You go into a restaurant in Italy and you want a burger and iced tea. Where ever America is ruined..BECAUSE YOU WANT IT YOUR WAY!!! Stay home.

1232 days ago


What happened to being proud to be an American? If a foreign country treats you bad for being an American, I won't travel there and spend my money for their economy. Looks like me and Cartman are in the minority on here, but oh well, I'm PROUD to be an American and I won't deny it - even to the end. Our troops have sacrificed so much for the rest of you to even be able to admit (freedom of speech) you go to other countries and deny being an American. Soldiers who know they are going to be tortured for admitting they are an American still don't deny it. Those that are ashamed of America, why don't you move? Don't you know that people 'hate' America because they are jealous of this great country?!!!

To the guy at TMZ that said he served his country in uniform and was offended and insulted, Thank you SO MUCH for serving this great nation that I am proud of!

1232 days ago

Zach Swan    

I traveled through 14 countries in North Africa and Europe last year. Everywhere I went, people had a story about the a-hole Americans that they've encountered visiting their countries. Stories abound, like the American 'lady' who held up a tour bus filled with people for ten minutes while she argued that she should be allowed to use her single 1€ off coupon for each of the six people in her group. Her primary reasoning why this should be allowed was that a) she was a tourist and b) she was "an AMERICAN". Nobody likes stupid, arrogant people with an entitlement complex. If there were fewer of them, it would be less desirable to impersonate a Canadian.

1232 days ago
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