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|Re: A Fool Goes to Germany (Newsletter)||#31|
OMG Germany <3 I'm envious. Germany is definitely on my list of countries I wish to tour one day.
I'm from Canada and have done some traveling in the last few years. Here are some of my observations.
U.S.A.: Because, yes, it's a foreign country here There are a lot of similarities but also a lot of differences. Overall, I've noticed Americans tend to say "Please" and "Thank you" less than Canadians. And, yes, Canadians apologize a lot more, too! I've also noticed how Americans are a lot more patriotic. Every other house seems to have a U.S. flag hanging somewhere, whereas it's quite rare over here to see a Canadian flag on a house. Things differences can even be felt just across the border.
London: I spent a couple of days in London in 2010. I loved it there. The "driving on the other side of the road" definitely threw me off, but luckily there are signs at every crosswalk telling you which way to look first, haha! The style of cars are different than I'm used to, as well. An interesting note as a Canadian: because of our British roots, we still share some vocabulary with the Brisith (where Americans have replaced them with different words). However, there were still some words to get used to. For example, they refer to bathrooms/washrooms/restrooms as "toilets". If you ask for a bathroom or washroom, the British person you're asking might be a bit confused. Also, I have never heard of mushy peas before going to England!
Paris: I didn't really talk to anyone beyond staff at big tourist spots but I didn't sense any rudeness. Still, you can tell that this city is tired of tourists. If you go there, do try your best to speak a bit of French - a decent attempt will go a long way. I once did my best to ask what time the Louvre was closing in really awful French that probably only half made sense, but the woman took care to speak slowly and clearly for me. It's also a crazy busy city, traffic is awful, and there are plenty of people trying to scam tourists, so be careful and stay safe.
Italy: (cities I've been to: Florence and Rome, mostly, with quick stops in Pisa and Orvieto) Compared to Paris, crazier traffic, crazier tourist spots! Seriously, it's like all traffic rules get thrown out the window. And name any significant tourist spot in Italy and guaranteed there will be TONS of crowds. Still, I found the Italian people to be very gracious and friendly wherever we went. There are still plenty of people trying to scam tourists and a lot of bag snatchers and pick-pocketers. I was very impressed with the history and architecture, though. I knew it was going to be beautiful, but what I saw completely blew me out of the water. Also, I'm not a big fan of steak but the Florentine steak is absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.
The Philippines: "Hot weather" to me is good weather for Filipinos. "Cold weather" to Filipinos is beautiful weather for me. Seriously, during winter, I'm used to -30 Celsius temperatures, but Filipinos were wrapping themselves in sweaters and scarves at a mere 15 Celsius! I couldn't stop laughing. Meanwhile, I was dying of heat at 40 Celsius while everyone else was perfectly fine. Here, everyone seems to have a dog, a goat, a cow, or chickens or some combination of these, even in the heart of Manila. The wealthy and the poor can live practically side by side, which was weird to see. Things are crazy cheap compared to Canada, and farmers and (closer to the sea) fishermen will bring their products fresh to you to buy. People with racks of clothes attached to bikes will also go door-to-door to sell. Traffic in Manila is about twice as bad as Rome. Coffee is also usually served with brown sugar (instead of white) and powdered whitener (instead of milk or cream). Maids are also quite commonplace if you can afford the help (which is if you're middle class or higher). There is almost never toilet paper in public bathrooms, and sometimes, there isn't soap at the sinks either, so you have to bring your own.
I heard someone say they post Americans who can't spell easy words/names like Ohio on the media.
Are you sure you weren't thinking about Canadians making fun of Americans? Because, you know, we like to make fun of Americans just as much as we like to make fun of ourselves.
Posted on: 2012/2/18 17:24
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