The ugly American

I just returned from a lovely tour of Eastern Europe. My only disappointment was the stingy and self-absorbed behavior of my fellow tour travelers.

We saw much poverty. Ragged and probably homeless people were selling many small items to make a little money to survive.

For example, one elderly crippled woman was selling T-shirts for $5. Our tour guide reminded us that we should bargain with her and try to get the item for $4. Of course, many people in our group did this with great passion.

I was embarrassed and ashamed that a person who pays for an expensive trip abroad feels the need to deprive a poor vendor of a proper profit.

If we can afford thousands of dollars to pleasure ourselves by traveling, shouldn’t we at least be willing to share some of our good fortune by giving a little extra to others who are hurting?

Linda Le Vine
Agoura Hills