re: the American travel / link about the American jokes:
There was a live show on the radio a few weeks ago. The commedian asked if there were any Americans in the audience and some woman must have put her hand up.
"Hey, we have one!" he declare.
Even then, people in the audience were laughing. He was laughing. There was a puzzled "er ... yes, I'm American?" feint voice from the audience mic.
"I can tell you have never been to a comedy show in the UK before have you? ... you put your hand up!"
After 5 minutes I bet she wishes she hadn't.
Now, what he said was funnny but probably went a bit too far and it was cruel to single someone out like that. It does illustrate the point though.
Just as we have stereotypes of scousers being dishonest, brummies being thick and scots being alcoholics, many people have a stereotypical view of Americans as being loud, brash and uninformed. Maybe it's the ones you send over here? (just kidding)
I don't think it's true or fair to make generalisations like that and don't believe it about any of the groups (well, I'm a a manc so I obviously dislike scousers) but you should be aware of how "the rest of the world" sometimes views you.
I know, we all talk funny, have bad teeth and drink too much tea.