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Old 05-25-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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I want to go to Turkey. Then maybe Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. I like blending with the locals. I don't like standing out. I've been to Mediterranean Europe and Latin America without targeted as a tourist.

I've always thought I looked Mediterranean or Turkish but Arab men have been telling me I look Asian and would be mistaken as a maid (they all say no offense). They think I look Korean, Thai or Filipino. Do you agree? Would I be better off travelling in Asia?

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Old 05-25-2008, 04:21 PM
 
Location: southern california
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turkey is full of pretty girls. even if you looked like one of them at some point you would move or talk and they would know different. enjoy and travel safely.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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They will know even if you were a middle eastern by ethnicity. A few years ago, I went back to my country of birth which I left when I was 4 and people could tell I was a "foreigner". Mannerism, clothing, etc.. I was next to my relatives and I couldn't "pass" as a local. Not counting my accent of course.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Home of King Willie the not so great
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Y do you want to blend in? With that being said I think you have a versatile look- I can't really pinpoint what your ethnicity is.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzie02 View Post
They will know even if you were a middle eastern by ethnicity. A few years ago, I went back to my country of birth which I left when I was 4 and people could tell I was a "foreigner". Mannerism, clothing, etc.. I was next to my relatives and I couldn't "pass" as a local. Not counting my accent of course.
Actually I was pretty good at dressing like the locals in Europe and Latin America. In Europe, wearing black does wonders but no I didn't always wear black. In Latin America except Colombia and Argentina I learned to dress more casually, cute, but not too stylish. Honduras was the only country where I stood out because I'm meaty not fat but meaty. Most Hondurans are slender.

I can imagine the Arab world will be harder since Latin AMerica and Europe have a 'Western' culture based on colonisation, religion, and more 'liberal' ways.

I have found Middle Eastern women to be very stylish and far from casual as women in the Americas but then maybe that is just the ones with means. I don't know how the 'average' citizens are. I really don't think Turkey will be a problem for me but I could be wrong.

The reason I'm considering Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and UAE is because I don't want to feel the need to wear a headscarf. I'm not Muslim and don't want to pretend to be so I thought those countries would be the best fit. Please advise if I'm wrong. I'm sure Turkey will be fine but don't know about the other nations.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:00 PM
 
Location: NJ
2,212 posts, read 6,343,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppylovepup View Post
I can imagine the Arab world will be harder since Latin AMerica and Europe have a 'Western' culture based on colonisation, religion, and more 'liberal' ways.

I have found Middle Eastern women to be very stylish and far from casual as women in the Americas but then maybe that is just the ones with means. I don't know how the 'average' citizens are. I really don't think Turkey will be a problem for me but I could be wrong.

The reason I'm considering Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and UAE is because I don't want to feel the need to wear a headscarf. I'm not Muslim and don't want to pretend to be so I thought those countries would be the best fit. Please advise if I'm wrong. I'm sure Turkey will be fine but don't know about the other nations.
I travelled and lived in the Middle East and the culture is very different, even in major cities so you will be fairly obvious as a tourist, although that is not the end of the world. Many Middle Eastern women ARE very "dressed" but not always in their own countries and not always in mixed company, depends on the country.

Of the countries you listed, Turkey is relaxed and yes you will be fine. Jordan, especially Amman has a strong Western influence and will be quite comfortable also, as will Lebanon which has a solid Christian minority and fairly relaxed dress code in Beirut. Damascus is more traditional but again, is a large city. Both Beirut and Amman have vibrant nightlife.
Please be aware though that all of these countries have much simpler less sophisticated and traditional rural areas and in some towns (if not many) a woman travelling alone who is not modestly dressed will need to be careful. Muslim cultures expect women to have travelling companions. These are NOT socially liberal areas. The contrast can be quite surprising and extreme, so get good advice concerning different regions you might want to visit.

That said, you should be able to travel safely with some care and forethought. You will be easily tagged as a tourist, but your best bet is to appear to be a tourist of limited means (cheap backpacker).
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Not really, but you can be a mix.
Tell them you're from Northern Afghanistan.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:50 AM
 
12,316 posts, read 18,429,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppylovepup View Post
I want to go to Turkey. Then maybe Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. I like blending with the locals. I don't like standing out. I've been to Mediterranean Europe and Latin America without targeted as a tourist.

I've always thought I looked Mediterranean or Turkish but Arab men have been telling me I look Asian and would be mistaken as a maid (they all say no offense). They think I look Korean, Thai or Filipino. Do you agree? Would I be better off travelling in Asia?
LOL, yeah you really blend in with your backpack and water bottle and white sneakers. It's not how you look (by the way you look like any generic WASP american girl), but how you carry yourself and also what you wear. It's very difficult to duplicate the look. Trust me, tourists stand out, they will know, and the fact that "you've been to...without targeted as a tourist" simply means people didn't care.

You will never pass as a local, why even try? Even if you do, when you open your mouth they will know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by puppylovepup View Post
I have found Middle Eastern women to be very stylish
LOL, say what???? Read Anthony B's response, not much to add. Please read a good book on middle eastern culture before you venture out there. I've seen too many idiot european and american female tourists wearing shorts and sleeveless dresses, even bathing suits outside the tourist areas in muslim countries and I just shake my head in wonder at their cultural ignorance.

Last edited by Dd714; 05-28-2008 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:25 PM
 
Location: AmCit in Philippines
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It's all about the headscarf: how you wear it and tie it. If you get some good instruction (from each location), and wear long skirts and long, baggy tops, you can probably pass at first glance.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:43 PM
 
4 posts, read 6,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
LOL, yeah you really blend in with your backpack and water bottle and white sneakers. It's not how you look (by the way you look like any generic WASP american girl), but how you carry yourself and also what you wear. It's very difficult to duplicate the look. Trust me, tourists stand out, they will know, and the fact that "you've been to...without targeted as a tourist" simply means people didn't care. .
I've never worn a backback on my travels and don't carry water bottles. I can't be a WASP because I'm Catholic so I'm a WASC. I've often been asked street directions by locals (including old ladies).
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