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How are Americans treated overseas these days?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Retseh, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Retseh

    Retseh

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    Some friends are heading off to Europe for a 2 week touring vacation - UK, France, Germany, and Spain, and they have some concerns about how they will be regarded as Americans, they are even half-joking about pretending they are Canadians.

    My own experiences in the UK are not good, the British pretty much loathe and detest Americans, we also sent 2 young female staffers to work over there last year and they vowed never to return after the treatment they received.

    So how bad is it, anyone have any stories to offer up?
     
  2. den888

    den888

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    I was in the UK last in 2002 and had positive experiences. I was in Paris last year, June 2009 and also had positive experiences. I always mind my manners while abroad and "treat others the way I would like to be treated".
     

  3. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    I guess I'd be the oddity, since I'm black with American-cockney-Jamaican accent. But no problems in Europe last year or ever, and headed back later this spring.

    'Drew
     
  4. Historian

    Historian NRA Benefactor Lifetime Member

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    I've been through most of Western Europe and never had a problem. Of course I speak English and French...so...normally they think I'm Dutch for some reason.

    Anyway. People can be rude anywhere. My experiences in rural areas of Europe has been nothing less than charming.

    The key is to not be a jerk yourself.
     
  5. Swiper

    Swiper

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    It's not bad at all. As long as they respect the local culture and avoid being 'ugly Americans', they will be just fine.
     
  6. Historian

    Historian NRA Benefactor Lifetime Member

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    One of the nicest places I've ever been was Normandy, France.

    If you are an American and just try to speak a little French the people seem to really make an effort to accommodate your visit.
     
  7. kiole

    kiole

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    if you go to other countries with a poor attitude and no respect for their culture, and expect them to accomidate you. Then you might get some hate thrown your way.

    From what i've seen and heard most people abroad will treat you with respect if you show them respect. Also trying to learn a few phrases of the native language goes a long way, even if you speak it poorly.
     
  8. uhlawpup

    uhlawpup Gentle Soul

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    Swiper's and Historian's post are right on.

    If you "act like an American" in that you expect everything to be the way you are "used to it at home," they you will be shunned and despised. If you are quiet, listen, learn a little about your destinations before you go, and make at least a little attempt to say please and thank you in the local language and follow local customs, you will have a marvelous time! In every country I've been in, the people were just lovely to me.

    A couple of years ago, we were in Marseille. My French is pretty dismal, but there was this one Morrocan lady who worked in the restaurant at breakfast that, when she heard me try to speak French, she would take the time to make sure I spoke it correctly. It was like having a private tutor. I'll never forget that, on the last morning with her, she owned up that spoke flawless English, but she wanted to make sure I had a good and safe time while I was staying with them and knew that if I tried, I could really get along in French. And it paid off, too, especially when I had to ask directions from probably the only police officer in France who spoke no English at all.

    The people in the UK are very warm, once you understand that they respect your privacy and will not intrude on you unless you make the first overture.

    The Dutch are remarkably friendly, and speak flawless, American idiomatic English, especially in Amsterdam.

    Spain has a rich culture. There is much to see, learn and enjoy.

    In sum, the folks in the countries your friends are about to visit will be just as open and warm to them as they are courteous to the natives.

    One final note. If you go to Rome and ask any police officer in Italian if he speaks English, he will answer, in English, "Yes, a little." This means no.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  9. Swiper

    Swiper

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    Yes, the locals will probably think it's cute and be more willing to help you out.
     
  10. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    I'm out of the country at least four or five times a year. The Americans who come back saying they were treated poorly usally act over there the same way as they do here. HH
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    I've been to Uk,India and China in the last 5 years. All pleasant outcome and I was kinda of ambassador so to speak.

    if you want a good experience, well be a good ambassador. Lifestyle and culture is rick and difference across the big pond.
     
  12. tango44

    tango44

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    The problem is that "americans" (America is a continent not a single country) believes that everywhere we go they will treat us like in the US, and that's a big mistake.
    Just learn and practice good manners and I'm sure that you will blend in and you will be fine!
     
  13. Bucky69

    Bucky69 True Gravity

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    Same observation here. If you are respectful, you are treated very good in countries like France, UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. Sometimes I feel like I am treated better in Europe than in the US, especially in France and Italy.
     
  14. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

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  15. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    we were in Vienna over Christmas 2006...other than they have NO idea how to behave in a "waiting" line, they were very nice to us.
     
  16. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    same here, all through Europe, Africa and the Isreal/Middle East with no issues.
     
  17. Historian

    Historian NRA Benefactor Lifetime Member

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    That is a magnificent city.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZDg6VXdb94
     
  18. Free Radical

    Free Radical Miembro Antiguo CLM

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    Most recently in Argentina, Uruguay, Falklands and Chile.
    As noted previously, good manners on your part will be rewarded with a friendly, considerate response.
    Travel is a gas! I just hate those long, intercontinental flights. Ug!
     
  19. Glock-it-to-me

    Glock-it-to-me Catching liars

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    Big cities are the same everywhere - there are some jerks. Small towns love Americans. UK, France, Germany, and Spain are all cool.
     
  20. Kalmah

    Kalmah Supreme Member

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    In the mid 90's I traveled to Germany and Switzerland while in college with a group of about 25 or so other college students to study abroad for an international studies class. Cliques formed in this group, and in our off time we all scattered to hit various bars and restaurants in our various cliques.

    Well, one of the cliques constantly complained about how rude and standoffish the locals were to them.

    On the other hand, my experience was just the opposite. I always found the locals to be very warm, polite, friendly, and accommodating.

    We were all in the same towns, going to the same bars and same restaurants. So why the difference?

    The reason this one clique wasn't getting along with the locals was because they were a loud, boisterous, obnoxious group. Everywhere they went they stood out like a sore thumb. They didn't even try to fit in or follow any of the local customs. They just acted like it was one big frat party the whole time we were there.

    I like having a good time as much as the next person, but I try to keep it in the context of the venue. If no one else in the place is screaming, yelling, and jumping around on the furniture, then that's probably not an appropriate way to behave and you're probably not going to receive a warm welcome.

    These guys never figured that out.

    So I'm sure when they got home, they told everyone how snobbish and unfriendly Europeans are.