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Old 03-11-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 714,715 times
Reputation: 200

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAK802 View Post
Here's an article on how to avoid looking like an American when traveling. How ridiculous! I'll have to remember to pack my ketchup packets on the next trip..... Somehow I don't think any of these tips would help me blend in with the locals in Ethiopia.

How to Avoid Looking Like an American Tourist | Interesting Pictures



lol. The guy in the middle looks like someone from my French textbook. Minus the cigarette, of course.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,949,267 times
Reputation: 2978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings Ranger View Post
Also, be aware, we think personal space is a foot or 2 between us, I'm not sure what they think, but if they step in REAL close, don't step back, otherwise they'll think its rude...

I don't know about thinking that it's rude, but they will not hesitate to chase you all over the room if you back up. Usually neither person realizes what they are doing, their natures just don't match up.

Funniest thing I saw was a friend of mine talking with a local. In the course of a 10-minute conversation, they literally circled the room twice. The Slovak got up close to the American, the American took a step back. After a second, the Slovak took another step forward... a few more words and the American took two steps back. I was just sitting and reading, but I paused to watch them do their little dance all around the room.

The best part was their expressions. As the Slovak stepped forward, my friend kind of tried to turtle his head back into his shoulders and made a face like he had smelled some bad mustard. He'd bob left and right and then finally back up a step or two.

When my friend stepped back, the Slovak would keep talking for a bit, then have this confused look come over his face, like he was thinking "Huh, how come this guy is waaay over there?" And then he'd trundle forward to fix the situation.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:12 PM
 
Location: The US of A
253 posts, read 714,715 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
I don't know about thinking that it's rude, but they will not hesitate to chase you all over the room if you back up. Usually neither person realizes what they are doing, their natures just don't match up.

Funniest thing I saw was a friend of mine talking with a local. In the course of a 10-minute conversation, they literally circled the room twice. The Slovak got up close to the American, the American took a step back. After a second, the Slovak took another step forward... a few more words and the American took two steps back. I was just sitting and reading, but I paused to watch them do their little dance all around the room.

The best part was their expressions. As the Slovak stepped forward, my friend kind of tried to turtle his head back into his shoulders and made a face like he had smelled some bad mustard. He'd bob left and right and then finally back up a step or two.

When my friend stepped back, the Slovak would keep talking for a bit, then have this confused look come over his face, like he was thinking "Huh, how come this guy is waaay over there?" And then he'd trundle forward to fix the situation.


lmao. I would've been laughing my butt off at them.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:33 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,166,436 times
Reputation: 3260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Pose as canadian??? WHAT THE HELL FOR??? This cannot be a serious post. Are you that f*%^cking delusional that you think you need to do that?
Your reaction is really over the top. I think the OP explained quite well why he thought it might be a good idea. Those with useful comments have advised him it isn't necessary.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:56 AM
 
Location: SWUS
5,421 posts, read 7,897,892 times
Reputation: 5797
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
! I tell them to go to middle America and rural areas to find mostly white, Republican voting backward folk who doubt science, hate the government, and just think it'll all take care of itself as long as you don't ask for more taxes.
Hate to take this off-topic for a moment, but please don't encourage the idea that all Republicans are "backward folk who doubt science, hate the government, and think it'll all take care of itself as long as you don't ask for more taxes." Not all Repubs are backwards and hate science


Back on topic: From what I understand, Europeans LOVE to talk politics if the other person can hold a good conversation on said topic. Other than that, don't just blunder about and bring it up.

Don't lie and say you are from Canada, say you're American and be extremely pleasant- it'd be nice to break the stereotype that Americans are obnoxious tourists (yes, I realize that many countries have obnoxious tourists)
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:08 AM
 
2,024 posts, read 2,989,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanJP View Post
Hate to take this off-topic for a moment, but please don't encourage the idea that all Republicans are "backward folk who doubt science, hate the government, and think it'll all take care of itself as long as you don't ask for more taxes." Not all Repubs are backwards and hate science
Hmmmm....are you sure about that? I mean, Sarah Palin, for example.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,610,949 times
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Europeans don't have a problem with you being an American. I lived in Europe for 4 years and traveled all over and never once encountered someone who was rude because I was an American. As a matter of a fact, most would ask, "Oh, you're from Arizona? Do you know so-and-so?" which always struck me as funny. Be respectful of other cultures, learn how to say good morning, good evening, hello, goodbye, please, thank you, do you speak English and where's the bathroom in the language of the country you're visiting. You will find that most people speak English (though they'll always reply with "a little bit" when you ask) and if you approach them respectfully and in their own language, you will not run into a problem. Also don't wear stuff that gives you away. No one in the world wears baseball hats except in America. No one wears bright white tennis shoes outside of the gym except in America. No one wears t-shirt with "Old Navy" or another logo on them except in America.

What Europeans (and the rest of the world doesn't appreciate for that matter) is anyone yelling "Do you speak English" (as if yelling will somehow break not only the sound barrier but also the language barrier), talking loudly about how gross the food is or how dirty things are or how weird the toilet is. YOU ARE NOT IN AMERICA!!! If you don't want to experience a different culture and instead just sightsee and look at highlights for a few minutes, take one of those "20 Countries in 14 Days" bus tours. Not every country will have food that is to your liking. Not every country will have clean toilets in separate stalls. Not every country will live up to your expectations. Appreciate things for what they are and not what you wish them to be. Be subtle when talking to your travel partners. You are in a foreign country so if you're on a bus speaking in English very loudly, you are likely going to stand out more than if you were talking in hushed tones.

BTW, I DID think of a time when it's better to just say "no" if someone asks if you're American. In front of the Notre Dame in Paris, there are tons of Gypsies. When you go there, they will approach you looking pitiful and ask you if you are American. Shake your head (don't say "No" because it will give you away).
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:55 AM
 
2,024 posts, read 2,989,713 times
Reputation: 1813
Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Europeans don't have a problem with you being an American. I lived in Europe for 4 years and traveled all over and never once encountered someone who was rude because I was an American. As a matter of a fact, most would ask, "Oh, you're from Arizona? Do you know so-and-so?" which always struck me as funny. Be respectful of other cultures, learn how to say good morning, good evening, hello, goodbye, please, thank you, do you speak English and where's the bathroom in the language of the country you're visiting. You will find that most people speak English (though they'll always reply with "a little bit" when you ask) and if you approach them respectfully and in their own language, you will not run into a problem. Also don't wear stuff that gives you away. No one in the world wears baseball hats except in America. No one wears bright white tennis shoes outside of the gym except in America. No one wears t-shirt with "Old Navy" or another logo on them except in America.

What Europeans (and the rest of the world doesn't appreciate for that matter) is anyone yelling "Do you speak English" (as if yelling will somehow break not only the sound barrier but also the language barrier), talking loudly about how gross the food is or how dirty things are or how weird the toilet is. YOU ARE NOT IN AMERICA!!! If you don't want to experience a different culture and instead just sightsee and look at highlights for a few minutes, take one of those "20 Countries in 14 Days" bus tours. Not every country will have food that is to your liking. Not every country will have clean toilets in separate stalls. Not every country will live up to your expectations. Appreciate things for what they are and not what you wish them to be. Be subtle when talking to your travel partners. You are in a foreign country so if you're on a bus speaking in English very loudly, you are likely going to stand out more than if you were talking in hushed tones.

BTW, I DID think of a time when it's better to just say "no" if someone asks if you're American. In front of the Notre Dame in Paris, there are tons of Gypsies. When you go there, they will approach you looking pitiful and ask you if you are American. Shake your head (don't say "No" because it will give you away).
One of the countries he is visiting is Scotland and many people do wear baseball caps and tshirts with logos. In fact I'm surprised at how many Michigan tshirts I see. Totally white tennis shoes, no. I used to be able to pick out the Americans because they wore jeans, baseball cap and white shoes. But I've noticed it's not always the case anymore.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:42 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,703,496 times
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In all my years of travelling all over the world I've had exactly one "bad" experience from being an American abroad. (Warning: You have to be of a certain age to appreciate this.) Paris, 1973. I was a college student travelling with friends my age. That was a summer of hippies, kidnappings, Vietnam protests and the Watergate hearings.

We were in a cafe having dinner when the owner came over and asked if we were Americans. We nodded "yes". Then he asked the guys if they had been in Vietnam. My boyfriend and another guy had been so they said, "Yes." The owner then said, "Out! Out!" And threw us out of his establishment.

I took my plate with me because I was hungry and ticked.

We all felt kind of proud and accomplished. I mean how many people can say they've been tossed out of a Parisian cafe?

Several years later we were in New Zealand and some Aussies asked us about Vietnam. I kind of thought, "Oh man, here we go.." My (by how) hubby said yes, he'd served. Well, he got slapped on the back and several of the men said, "Mate! Me too!!" They then thanked us for the U.S. entering WWII.

Most people are fascinated with Americans. They think we are all tremendously rich, drive fabulous cars and live next door to Denzel Washington.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,610,949 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
One of the countries he is visiting is Scotland and many people do wear baseball caps and tshirts with logos. In fact I'm surprised at how many Michigan tshirts I see. Totally white tennis shoes, no. I used to be able to pick out the Americans because they wore jeans, baseball cap and white shoes. But I've noticed it's not always the case anymore.
Michigan, huh? I wonder if there is a study-abroad program that the university runs nearby. I lived in Italy for a year while I was in college and found a lot of other universities in Florence as well. Many of those students wore UMass or Stanford sweatshirts too.

I still say that it's better to not attract attention. We have very good Dutch friends who came to visit and went to a baseball hat store and bought 4 or 5 baseball hats each. But now they're just Dutch people wearing American baseball hats. All kinds of things give Americans away...even the way we walk or gesture. I think that if something like my walk can give me away, why add to it with bright white tennis shoes and a Old Navy sweatshirt?

My favorite times are when someone comes up to me and starts speaking to me in a foreign language. This happens to me a lot in France, I suppose, because my family is French and I take after them. I was always there in the winter or fall so my "uniform" was blue jeans, black shoes and a black sweater which made me blend in. If only I was smoking a cigarette non-stop I would have blended in even more!
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