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Old 03-09-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 713,771 times
Reputation: 200

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
You can't go wrong with neutral colored long pants and a neutral-colored long-sleeve shirt. I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Sandals or sandal-shoes might make you stand out, and your feet will get trashed in any kind of weather (as I found). Besides, you probably won't find yourself needing to swim across a river with your gear on your head and some sort of protection on your feet, which is about the only thing sandal-shoes are good for.

I always wore a pocketed vest (great for tucking away maps, metro cards, and other tourist paraphenalia in a jiffy) with my passports and such strapped under it, but that made some people assume I was a journalist or a photographer.


Funny American Tourist Story: In Budapest we were taking a stroll around Buda with a friend who was hosting us. Up comes a group of big people in shorts, hats, with dangling cameras and flapping maps. The surround us and start asking for "directions." This consisted of loudly shouting "CAN YOU TELL US WHERE THE T-O-W-N IS? The T-O-W-N! WE WANT TO GO TO THE T-O-W-N!!"

Uh, we were in the t-o-w-n. Lol. Until we came across that group (they had heavy New Jersey accents) we hadn't believed the stories of big sweaty loud American tourists. So, you'll probably do better than them, since you're actually conscious of not sticking out. And even so, it was a funny encounter, not an offensive one.


lol. that was pretty funny. i definitely will not be like them. i don't understand how people can be so obnoxious.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,293 posts, read 12,792,591 times
Reputation: 6636
Where are you going?

I spent the last two years in Europe and had nothing remotely resembling a problem. Most people I met were excited to show off their English, which didn't help me learn Swedish very well.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,353,340 times
Reputation: 22356
You can be from anywhere. Just because you look American doesn't mean you have to limit yourself. Pick something exotic. Pick Antarctica, or maybe Tasmania or how about Liechtenstein or Lapland or Outer Mongolia or perhaps the The Duchy of Grand Fenwick? If you're going to lie, then have some fun with it.

How are you going to explain exchanging American Money or having American Traveler's Checks?

20yrsinBranson
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 713,771 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
You can be from anywhere. Just because you look American doesn't mean you have to limit yourself. Pick something exotic. Pick Antarctica, or maybe Tasmania or how about Liechtenstein or Lapland or Outer Mongolia or perhaps the The Duchy of Grand Fenwick? If you're going to lie, then have some fun with it.

How are you going to explain exchanging American Money or having American Traveler's Checks?

20yrsinBranson


because if someone asks me where i'm from i'm not going to be showing them my American money or any money for that matter. lol.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:09 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 713,771 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
Where are you going?

I spent the last two years in Europe and had nothing remotely resembling a problem. Most people I met were excited to show off their English, which didn't help me learn Swedish very well.



Germany, Scotland, Denmark, France, Russia(only St.Petersburg).
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,940,307 times
Reputation: 2978
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
How are you going to explain exchanging American Money or having American Traveler's Checks?
Does anyone actually do this anymore? Just take an ATM card with a PLUS or STAR logo and withdraw local currency at 1% from any of a billion European (or asian) banks. You'll get WAY better rates than cash exchange or traveller's checks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:02 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,158,625 times
Reputation: 3260
Regarding accents being the same for Americans and Canadians . . . I am Canadian and people here often ask if I am "American or Canadian" - most people here in England that I have run into can't distinguish the difference. Last night we went into London to see a comedian and on the tube there were two women chatting. Right away I knew they were Canadian (and I asked and they were from Toronto) - but frequently, paricularly with people from the northern USA, even I can't tell the difference.

I only know of one American that had a rough go of it in Europe, and that was 20 years ago, in Germany. Two of my friends that were backpacking had hooked up with a solo American and they travelled around together for a few weeks. The guy that ran the B&B in German said the two Canadians could stay but not the American ) They all left and went elsewhere. Last year a (Canadian) friend of mine asked directions from a bus driver in London. The guy swore at him, said "what do you think I am a travel agent?" and called him an &^%$ American. My friend said "Actually I'm Canadian" and dude answered "Well you're still a %%$@%& wanker!" LOL

Moral of story: some people are just jerks!! Their nastiness has nothing to do with YOUR nationality. So if you run into one (still highly unlikely imho), just shake the dust off your feet and walk on.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:05 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,158,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
In the UK . . . A fanny is not a butt! Only females have one. There's a series called Culture Shock country of choice that are very good.
ROFL - tell me about it - I almost had cardiac arrest when my husband told me what "fanny" meant over here!
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,902 posts, read 13,655,028 times
Reputation: 11535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
Anything's possible PA2uk, maybe you are an attractive woman, or perhaps handicapped, or a successful businessman living in a million pound house, or some type that people kiss up to or sympathize with so as to be very polite. Or maybe you've acclimated so well that no one thinks twice when they see you walking your dog or kids, who knows. And if you are living there, it's different innit?
I don't have a dog or kids - and acclimating to the culture doesn't explain why I never experienced any animosity prior to my acclimation. I'm not handicapped, I'm not wealthy and while I admit some people find me attractive, I'm no model and besides, I'm married and looks don't impress everyone. Yes, living here is different than traveling but it's given me more exposure to individuals so if you're suggesting anti-Americanism is really that common, you'd think I'd have come across it at some point. When I first meet people here, they don't necessarily know that I live here. Only people I meet through work assume that. Living here also doesn't change the fact that I have traveled to mainland Europe several times and never experienced any hostility.

I agree anything is possible, I'm not denying that some Americans have indeed experienced hostility during their travels. I'm just saying it's not the norm. Frankly, I think you sound hugely cynical to suggest that the only reason I've never experienced hostility for being American must be that I have something that makes people want to kiss up to me. It couldn't possibly be because I'm just a likeable person and/or the majority of people in England/Europe are not hateful people and I simply haven't run into the minority who are. You seem to be suggesting that most Europeans (or a large percentage) are anti-American and worse, that Americans have no likeable qualities beyond superficial ones like being physically attractive or wealthy. I'm just not that cynical and I think it's rather sad that you are.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,902 posts, read 13,655,028 times
Reputation: 11535
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
I'm an American who moved to Scotland in 2000. Never had any problem with anti-Americanism. But in 2003 when that moron started the war in Iraq I was very tempted to start claiming I was Canadian. Didn't do it though. But it was embarrassing with W as prez to say I was American.
I've never understood this - the president has no bearing on who you are. Anyone who judges a civilian by who their current president is, especially when that civilian did not vote for that president, is clearly a moron and therefore I don't care what they think. I don't care who is president, I will never be ashamed to be American. Presidents come and go, politics change all the time, my citizenship does not.
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