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Old 08-12-2008, 05:51 PM
 
Location: North carolina
432 posts, read 1,605,883 times
Reputation: 276

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I though I should amke a thread where we share our experience in a foreign country,

Here is Mine,

My family and I moved to the USA in 2003 from West Africa. In our first week in The US, we were walking from the park when a American Family passed us. The Little boy said HI to us when we got closed enough. We had no idea what to say. We didn't know what HI meant at that period in time. So in our confusion, we decided to say HI back not knowing if it was the right thing to do. Anywayz, A few says later we learned it was the right thing to say. Growing up in Africa, We usually say hello or How is Your day. That day was a litle confusing.

In My first few years in the states I hated Pizza and Burger. Now I am in love with it.

What was or is your experience in a foreign Country or State?
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:37 PM
 
5,953 posts, read 14,371,279 times
Reputation: 6651
Default No room at the inn...

A couple of years ago, I took the family (wife, 3 year old, 2 year old and an infant) on a trip to visit family in Spain, and Switzerland. After visiting family, we thought we'd stop by the Christmas Market in Colmar, France.

We were in the airport in Geneva, and I went online and found us a nice place to stay in Colmar. I paid the location service for the hotel, and received my confirmation of the hotel reservation. It was getting late, so we had to hurry to catch the train to go to Colmar.

We rushed and made it to the train, I had to tote 5 medium sized suite cases, and we had two strollers! We were relaxing, and about twenty minutes into the ride, I get an email on my Blackberry from the agency saying 'Sorry, but we were unable to book your room due to an unforseen demand..'! We were not due to arrive in Colmar unil 22:30.

So we arrive, head to the hotel anyway just to check. The place is packed, no hotels to be had anywhere in Colmar! We could not catch a train to go back. What do do?

The staff at the hotel went out of their way to find us a room, one of the guys who worked there even offered to give up his room (? living there too I guess). We did not let him do that. They called the manager at home to ask for assistance, and the manager came to the hotel. I guess he had to see the poor fools for himself! HA!

He went to his office, made some phone calls, and came back and said his "friend" has a place for us. By this time it was 12:00. He got a taxi for us, and we had to drive about thirty minutes to the hotel.

The gentleman at the hotel came to greet us at the door, he was already asleep at home, the hotel was already closed. He had only one room, no cribs. But he did give us two beds, and lots of pillows and blankets so we were able to make a bed on the floor for the kids.

Knowing we had not eaten, the hotel manager apologized and said there was nothing open, and no stores in the area. About fifteen minutes later, there was a knock on the door, and the manager returned with a big basket of pastries from the hotel bakery, and milk.

The next morning, he was there, and gave us a nice hot breakfast, on the house! We also awoke to find ourselves in the Alsace are, in the middle of the vinyards. It turned out to be a resort, but we could not see since it was night time. It is a beautiful area.

The manager called us a taxi, gave us a huge umbrella, and wished us well.

So, whenever you hear horror stories about France, or the French, remember this story. Everyone was extremly helpful, considerate and nice to these grateful Americans.

I did witness one of those events that most American's talk about which was funny, if you want to know, I'll post again, but it was not as nice as this post!
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
469 posts, read 2,665,763 times
Reputation: 549
Here's two stories about living in Istanbul, Turkey.

Me and my friend, Zoran, who is from Serbia, set out one evening to find a nearby nightclub. Well, I guess they closed it down or something because we walked in circles looking for it. This guy walked up to us and in thickly accented English said, "You want man? You want woman?" He was a pimp! Horrified, we yelled, "No, we don't want anything!" and ran away.

However, the night was not lost. Zoran had heard about a concert being held by a band named Baba Zula that he really liked. This time we were able to find the place and we rocked out for hours. There were bellydancers onstage and in the crowd, and the band was incredible. They didn't even charge us for the show!

My other story is the famous 'How I got tear-gassed during a riot in a Middle Eastern country' story. I was walking down Istiklal Caddesi, which is this big famous street with lots of fabulous shops. Up ahead of me I could see a crowd of people yelling and jumping around, but not knowing what was up, I walked up into them. A lot of young people, possibly college students, were holding signs that said "Kommunist". Then the police arrived, clad in riot gear. Before I knew it, they ran up to some guy, clubbed him, and started spraying us all with tear gas. Everyone stampeded. I fled and managed to avoid being either beaten or jailed. But my nose, my eyes, my lips, everything burned thanks to the gas. Not fun.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:39 AM
 
7,137 posts, read 14,083,535 times
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Some friends and I went to Europe after college years ago. We took the Eurail everywhere, and found ourselves in Brussels, Belgium one night at midnight! It was cold and raining and the train station deserted. Except for one young man sitting on some benches. We were desperate, nowhere to go and asked him about lodging. He laughed and said there was nothing this time of night. So he said "follow me". Well, there were four of us and only one of him, so we did. He took us through the dimlit city of brick streets. I remember looking up and seeing the most beautiful moon, very magical. His apartment was not magical however. It was very bare and cold. But he was very gracioius to let us stay the night. We slept under his kitchen table on cold linoleum floors with the windows open! Next morning he offered us cereal and went out to get pastries for us. Then he showed us some pictures of himself and girlfriend, wanted to talk forever. We thanked him again and left to do some sightseeing before catching the next train. But will always remember the kindness that young Belgian extended to some American tourists in his country.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:37 PM
 
Location: North carolina
432 posts, read 1,605,883 times
Reputation: 276
Those are some wonderful stories!!
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