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different strokes for different folks - what major cultural difference to you find between Europeans and Americans?

different strokes for different folks - what major cultural difference to you find between Europeans and Americans?

Old Jan 28th, 2005, 04:01 AM
  #141  
 
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Hmmmm . . . quality of life measured in glasses of wine/Euro. That's a new one. I saw many Italians in Rome living in poorly plumbed walkups that we would call tenements in the US, and fine the owners if buildings were left in those conditions. But we have a double standard: in Europe they are quaint. In American they are slums. I would imagine that's a faint consolation to that mythical Italian, enjoying his glass of wine on the piazza.

Before you blast away, Dolomite, I am not stating that all Italians live in slums! I am merely making the point--again--that blanket generalizations are almost always wrong. Period.

And who are you to suggest that the American workers in Detroit enjoy their beers after work less than your mythical German guy who works on the Mercedes assembly line? And is that guy the same one who "is still very much interested in culture, quality food, good wine, good music, the nature,etc." I'll bet his wife, waiting for him to return from the biergarten, would be astonished to hear that!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 04:17 AM
  #142  
 
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Americans know not to waste time debating such a stupid issue.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 04:45 AM
  #143  
 
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nuksafe, I think the Brits respect the "personal space" concept, right Kate, or not? I can just picture that scene taking place in Spain LOL. Even queing Europeans seem to crowd you IMO.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 05:01 AM
  #144  
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>Even queing Europeans seem to crowd you IMO.<

That's because their countries are so small.

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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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nantucket, you are right. What was I thinking? This thread has changed from an interesting discussion of cultural practices to an argument on different nationalities' inherent worth. Sorry for my part in that, and I sincerely mean it. Mea culpa--
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:04 AM
  #146  
 
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In a Parisian traffic jam, I fell into conversation with the Algerian-born driver of our cab. When asked what he thought of materialism, he replied: I have little experience of it madam. But I want that to change.

I somehow doubt his near future included a two-hour lunch break with fine wine and a night at the opera. But he lived in hope. In hope.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 07:15 AM
  #147  
 
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Lack of Education KSWL? For your informations my dear I have an excellent education..
I lived, not visited in many countries of the world, I had the fortune to know different cultures and many interesting people.. and my Dear KSWL I speak 3languages fluently, I have a BA in the Humanities.

English is not my native language and is not an easy language to master, so pardon my fellow Fodorites if I make some grammar mistakes..

Talking about lack of Education I would never act so Nasty , ridicule or offend a person that I never MET.

..I was just answering Kate post..

If you cant stand any criticism or if you dont approve a person different views about a subject, then my dear I suggest that you go to a different Forum.
Have a GREAT DAT and keep smiling, life is TOO FRAGILE....
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 07:21 AM
  #148  
 
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Great DAY..I am also a terrible typist
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:10 AM
  #149  
 
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It's been entertaining to scan down the post on the subject of differences between Europeans and Americans. Seems to me there often differences along individual lines as to up bringing and interests rather than nationalities. One person likes art masterpieces while another racing cars, whether European or American. I sure think laurensuite is off base though myself quite crtical of some American tourists (still wonder where she/he lives). Frankly, some aspects of European culture I appreciate and wish we could adopt in the U.S. while other times I do enjoy "the good life" here. If only we had a better train system, tastier desserts, pleasant pedestrian walkways, more comprehesive health care, greater appreciation for history, etc.

Customs may well vary regarding meals and activities, but we all have families and like to make friends. BTW, does anyone have a clue about why European hotels provide only those heavy comforters even in summer?
Bill in the Middle West
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:15 AM
  #150  
 
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There was a question about the education system:

In Hungary there are 3 different high-schools, and you get into them through a system similar to university recruitment with exams. They are trade schools (you finish ready for a job), gimnasium (you go to university afterwards) and in-between where you go for job training after high-school.
I went to a gimnazium and these were my classes every week: (Some every day, some less)

1. math
2. Hungarian Literature
3. Hungarian Grammar
4. English
5. German or French (can choose one)
6. physics
7. geography
8. history
9. chemistry
10. art
11. music and choir
12. physical education
13. homeroom class (discussing issues)
plus beginning in year 9 you had to choose extra classes in anything you felt talented in. Eg. two extra talent classes in chemistry.

Every single person had to take ALL of these classes. I was enrolled in Math and English specialization classes, so I had those every day. We had 6 to 8 classes every day.

I was quite happy to come to Canada in grade 10. I could relaaaxxxxx in high-school finally!
But I do feel a little inferior to some of my Hungarian friends, because I perceive their education to be superior.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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kswl, I think you stepped over the line and should apologize to Kismet. I would like to see any of us, as American born speakers, to participate on a travel board in a second or third language. I think we forget how flawlessly some of the participants here do write in a language that's not their first.

And Kismet is always helping me with my Italian!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:21 AM
  #152  
 
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I once attended a convention where the actor Peter Woodward was speaking (he does Conquest on History channel, among other things). When asked about the differences between education systems in the US and UK he said this:

The US education system seems to teach a lot more subjects, but in less depth. The UK teaches great depth in fewer subjects. For instance, in the UK, I took several years of Latin, and could, at one point, speak it fairly fluently. On the other hand, in the US, you get credit for taking a class in licking raspberries!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Grazie Bella Grasshopper( Cavalletta) you are very kind, but I dont need an apology ,I just Consider the Source..

I wasn't going to reply to such nasty comments, usually I am a very easy going person, but the comment of lack of education and the insinuations about of what kind of people I met or socialize with, was an insult and could not let it go.
I feel better now that I expressed my views and dont hold any grudges against the poster.
Life is too Short...

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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:06 PM
  #154  
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Someone above said something that I just have to respond to. Just FYI, it's not just some Americans that chew with their mouths open. People from all over the world, every country I've been to in fact, do that, Europeans included!
 
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #155  
 
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Europeans know how to enjoy the simplest of meals. Perhaps we Americans should stop & smell the coffee a little more frequently ?
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #156  
ira
 
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>If only we had a better train system, tastier desserts, pleasant pedestrian walkways, more comprehesive health care, greater appreciation for history, etc.<

Actually, we used to - before the National Defense Highway System, GM and the oil companies made it cheaper to drive, before the major supermarket chains made it cheaper to buy "wonder bread", before city parks became too expensive to maintain, before HMOs, before American began to believe they were "overtaxed" and State and City governments decided to cut back on funding education.

Back when we were poor and I was but a stripling, there were three bakeries in walking distance of my home; buses passed by our corner every 15 min throughout the day and every hour at night; milk, eggs, cheese, baked goods, laundry and produce were delivered to the door; I could walk to the public library or take a bus to the main branch downtown.

>The US education system seems to teach a lot more subjects, but in less depth.<

When I was in high school (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) we took Math, Chemistry, Physics, English language and lit and History for 4 years. In addition, we had 2 years of Civics, 2 years of French or German, 2 years of shop, 2 years of PE.

We sat for final exams (three hrs) each semester in all academic subjects.

Seniors were required to do a 48hr "boiler test", in which we kept the schools furnaces and boilers going and operated a steam engine and electrical generator.

Twice a month we had school assemblies that featured music, dance or drama.

Most of my teachers had Doctorates or MFAs. All of them had MS or ME degrees.

The city can no longer afford to maintain Poly at that standard.

"T'is true, t'is true, t'is pity and pity t'is, t's true"



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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:32 PM
  #157  
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OOPs

Forgot to mention the iceman.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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HUGE quantities of food and especially drinks in the US - when I ordered a 'small' coffee it would still be literally 5 times as big as a normal coffee in Europe! Also, the food in the US often seemed oddly tasteless - bread tasting sweetish, cookies bland, etc. I lost a lot of weight in the US (which I could well afford to lose...)! On the plus side, service in restaurants very fast and friendly, much better than here in Holland.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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To echo Ira's last post about the good ole USA before the corporation became king: I remember when all soda's were 8oz., then in the 70's came the LARGE (which was 12 oz.). I no longer keep track of what the current sizes are but I think a SMALL is now sometimes considered 16oz.! Most sodas sold today are 20oz. --- or even bigger!

The same thing was true of food portions as well.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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I read an article a few months ago (it may have been in BusinessWeek) that claimed drink sizes in the US are on the way down. The "Big Gulps" etc. are yesterday's marketing ploy. The last time I bought a Big Gulp was also the first time. We were on a long driving trip and I discovered that the damn thing wouldn't fit in the cup holder.

On a different note, I see BTilke's point, but even vastly different people from the same country are likely to have shared cultural expectations. To use her example, both the lesbian vegetarian and the highway patrol officer are likely to expect a hotel to have washclothes and free parking. Their European counterparts are unlikely to have such expectations.
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