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Old 01-15-2018, 05:58 PM
 
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While travelling through the Greek Islands we met a lovely Greek couple who said lightheartedly there are a couple islands Greeks like to "keep for themselves."
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:36 PM
 
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Whenever we traveled to other countries, I tried to learn some about the culture and language. We've seen that when some tourists, from America, go abroad, some act like they should be treated well. And not a word or syllable of the foreign language.

My wife is not too much with the language, but I try to talk to shop owners, waiters and waitresses with the local language. We were always treated with respect. Don't know about if we were ragged out behind the scenes or not. They even went so far as to help with the pronunciation that was slaughtered. And we all had a good laugh.

Also, about the customs. Find out what is welcome to wear in the country. What we may wear in our local areas may or may not be frowned abroad. Photography also. Some locals in those areas frown upon photography of certain places. If you're unsure, ask.

Try these tips. Maybe your next vacation abroad will have be a better one.

Oh, and don't act too American. Just be vigilant, aware of your surroundings, and again...don't act like, hey, I'm an American. Treat me with respect. Don't look down on others abroad. They will definitely make sure that you're not welcome.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
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I agree it may be a problem with your groups in general. My husband and I travel a lot, but he travels even more for work. Agreed with Paris, they do not like Americans there and I donít think thatís a secret! My husband has been to Germany several times and never had a problem there and he speaks no German. We have also been to the Bahamas and I feel they are overly friendly as they want you to buy there stuff; however, if you donít I think thatís when they get a little snooty. I have never had a problem in Mexico either. I think thatís actually the friendliest country Iíve been too!
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:16 PM
 
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The rudest place I've ever been has been is Hawaii. We were treated better at the touristy areas. The locals do not like mainlanders.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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I thought the Parisians I interacted with were far nicer than their reputation suggests. And all I was really doing was trying to work from a page in my guidebook on French manners and use a few very rusty phrases of high school French. My theory was that we were there when the city seemed to be slammed with Chinese tour groups, who have something of a bad reputation themselves abroad, and the locals were thinking that maybe the Americans weren't the worst of the lot after all. Also far cleaner than its reputation- I think there have been efforts on both fronts in recent years to improve those areas. I do find it amusing that socialist France is one of the most hyper-capitalist places I've been- so many kiosks and food carts crowding out into the sidewalk on every available meter of space. One word that sticks with me when thinking of Paris is claustrophobic.

Never had any problems inGermany either. Most people in the parts we've been remember enough 'tourist English' from their school days that we can get things figured out in a timely fashion, and I'll also try to watch what the people around me are doing and if they seem somewhat local, try to mimic that, whether it's at grocery stores or figuring out the 'pay and display' parking kiosks.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:12 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
The rudest place I've ever been has been is Hawaii. We were treated better at the touristy areas. The locals do not like mainlanders.
^^^ for sure ^^^ Hawaii has been my worst experience in 50+ countries.

Hopefully I will NEVER go back to that USA state.

My family likes it... fine,,, I as long as I send them without me!
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:39 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,699 posts, read 2,547,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
...On a bus tour passing through Germany, stopping at rest stops and being treated rudely by cashiers as you try to purchase something without speaking German....
Without speaking German? In Germany?

You'll get no sympathy from me. One of my biggest pet peeves is Americans/Canadians/Australians/Kiwis and others in foreign countries who don't learn how to greet people in the language of the country, count, ask for directions to the bathroom or order meals, etc. and expect everyone to cater to them in English.

You don't need to speak the other languages fluently or even close to it, but not to try is extremely rude.

Get a foreign phrase book. There are some pocket-sized ones that include most or all of the European languages. Then practice. Nowadays it is so much easier with pronunciation guides online.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,100 posts, read 22,968,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
I travel a lot with English speaking tour groups. I have been to places and have had interactions where you get a definite vibe that Americans are not welcome or are undesirable tourists. Anyway, I have a few of experiences:
1. In Morocco, traveling with a 14 person tour group of women, men everywhere at mint tea houses sitting outside smoking and frowning at our group.
2. On a bus tour passing through Germany, stopping at rest stops and being treated rudely by cashiers as you try to purchase something without speaking German.
3. In Paris at the Moulin Rouge, rude waiters, and being herded like cattle in lines and packed into tiny tables; requests ignored.
4. From tour guides, making sneaky snide comments about Americans, e.g. In China, tour guide kept referring to Americans as "Big Nose"; On a tour through Europe, Tour Guide insinuating Americans are too demanding and are expected to be big tippers more than Australians.
5. Stopping on a cruise in Bahamas, where frowning vendors were rude and suck their teeth if you say not interested.

Have you visited places where you you felt unwelcome or singled out because you were American or simply just for being a tourist?
Yes. I've only ever been to the US, Canada and Mexico. As much as i'd like to see Paris, I don't want to deal with the French, and my mother's side was French. Why deal with people who can't deal with our accent, when, hello, they speak English with a French accent? I've never met more rude tourists to America than French tourists. I was once at a dinner in the US, where someone from France was a guest, and he started talking about how in France they often have political cartoons showing Americans eating corn on the cob, and wasn't it ironic that his hosts were serving corn on the cob at a barbecue?

He then went on to say how obnoxious it was for Americans to not know where Paris was on a map of France. I then asked him what the capital of Indiana was. He said he didn't know. I said, I didn't either - that's how huge this country is and why I don't care about where Paris is - it has nothing to do with my life as an American in America.

Just, grrrr. I'm sure the city is beautiful, but why would I go to a country where the people are generally rude to American tourists?

That said, the second most rude group I've found is, surprisingly, Canadians. I met many while I was living in Mexico, especially. They'd be obnoxious and then say, "Oh look, I was being like an ugly American." I'd say, "Uh, no, you were being an ugly Canadian."

They'd often bash Americans and when I couldnt' stand it any longer and reminded them that I was an American, they'd say, "Oh, well, you're an honorary Canadian." Uh, no. I was an American, and they were regularly insulting me by bashing Americans.

Hence, I don't travel outside of the US anymore. Here, at least, I can call out another American for giving me bad service or being rude. They don't get any kind of extra pass for being rude - because they are from another culture, etc.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Boston
3,732 posts, read 1,472,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
I travel a lot with English speaking tour groups. I have been to places and have had interactions where you get a definite vibe that Americans are not welcome or are undesirable tourists. Anyway, I have a few of experiences:
1. In Morocco, traveling with a 14 person tour group of women, men everywhere at mint tea houses sitting outside smoking and frowning at our group.
2. On a bus tour passing through Germany, stopping at rest stops and being treated rudely by cashiers as you try to purchase something without speaking German.
3. In Paris at the Moulin Rouge, rude waiters, and being herded like cattle in lines and packed into tiny tables; requests ignored.
4. From tour guides, making sneaky snide comments about Americans, e.g. In China, tour guide kept referring to Americans as "Big Nose"; On a tour through Europe, Tour Guide insinuating Americans are too demanding and are expected to be big tippers more than Australians.
5. Stopping on a cruise in Bahamas, where frowning vendors were rude and suck their teeth if you say not interested.

Have you visited places where you you felt unwelcome or singled out because you were American or simply just for being a tourist?
The common denominator is tour group.
Lose the group, venture alone and you'll have different experiences. First off I'd never ever go where they take the groups, they are all seen as suckers by locals.

My experiences across Asia and Europe are opposite of yours. You couldn't pay me to be cattled around in a group.

Stopping for coffee in an outdoor fish mkt in the middle of nowhere in the ukranian steppes at 2 am,
100 outdoor stalls selling dried fish , the old babushka wouldnt take my money when i told her i was americanski.

Trying to figure out where I was in paris, some woman showed me where I was on my map without asking.

Drop the tour group if you want to really experience people.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
597 posts, read 353,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
Without speaking German? In Germany?

You'll get no sympathy from me. One of my biggest pet peeves is Americans/Canadians/Australians/Kiwis and others in foreign countries who don't learn how to greet people in the language of the country, count, ask for directions to the bathroom or order meals, etc. and expect everyone to cater to them in English.

You don't need to speak the other languages fluently or even close to it, but not to try is extremely rude.

Get a foreign phrase book. There are some pocket-sized ones that include most or all of the European languages. Then practice. Nowadays it is so much easier with pronunciation guides online.
It is unrealistic to expect tourists to learn something of the language when they are on a tour to multiple countries. Last time we were in Europe we went to Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Norway. Between us we have some Italian French and Indonesian but we often find when we attempt to use these languages, even Italian which is our most fluent, people answer in English.

I find that if we simply ask, in English, whether people speak English, they are fine with that. If they do not they will inevitably find someone who can.

We found people in Paris friendly, and actually we had absolute no problems in Hawaii. Perhaps as we live in a very large city we do not expect too much in that way. We have been to London many times and despite the reputation of the English, we find the people very compatible.
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