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Greece: Just home and a message about smoking

Greece: Just home and a message about smoking

Oct 1st, 2006, 02:28 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 52
Ok .. I am an ex smoker. Thus my views on smoking in public have changed quite dramatically over the last 2 years. Having said this, even though I am anti smoking .. I am also a European.

Being a European I understand tolerance. Tolerance is, if there are people smoking you go to the other end of the room, so it does not bother you as much. If this is not possible, good manners, would dictate you quietly ask if they would mind refraining from blowing smoke in your direction. A pleasant request as such, usually will gain the respect of the smokers and they will endeavour to blow smoke the other way, as I did when I was a smoker.

The alternative, which we will call "The American Abroad" alternative is to shout at the top of your voice and upset not only the smokers but more or less everyone else in the room. The reaction that this would have received from me as a smoker, would be one of dis respect as I had just been dis respected. I would probably have made more of an effort to blow smoke in the direction of that the person whom had just been very obnoxious and offensive, that I would have made an effort to blow it away from them.

You will not change the laws by being big mouthed.

The moral to this story is, learn manners and respect other cultures before you go away from home. You will gain respect.
Yorkyman is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 02:42 AM
  #22  
 
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obviously it was rude and inappropriate to comment on the smoking and childishly make waving motions toward the smoke.

however, if i ran to this board every time i saw someone behaving contrary to the customs in my country, i would go mad. italians come here and jump the queue as they would do at home, germans come here and don't tip, etc, etc.

likewise, thousands of the planet's worst behaving people travel from britain to greece every year, ruining many decent greek villages.

i travelled to china with a british colleague who constantly (and loudly) made jokes about the chopsticks...saying that the chinese were too stubborn to switch to forks when they were invented. this was done several times in front of our chinese hosts.

such behaviour comes from ignorance of how to act when travelling and/or traveller fatigue (which we all get to some degree - when we are tired of things working differently). some people have a low tolerance for such fatigue and let it get the best of them.

when the italian jumps the queue here in london, i might try to correct the situation but in the end, i wouldn't make a huge fuss about it. you just shake it off and realise you are dealing with a foreigner who is ignorant of how things work.
walkinaround is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 02:55 AM
  #23  
 
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I took it as a criticism of the Greeks' response
"Oh my goodness, all hell broke loose. This is my third time in that beautiful country but I have never seen a reaction like that."

"That was bad enough but from a smoker on one of the other tables came the response"...

"Ok, perhaps faults on both sides but this was something I hadn't encountered before and it made me very uneasy."

He/she was talking about the Greeks response in that final quote - 'perhaps faults on both sides but...' (only perhaps there was fault on the USA side?)
"this was something I hadn't encountered before and it made me very uneasy." she is clearly not talking about the American behaviour here so it comes across as though she/he thinks the Greeks behaved worse than the Americans.
nona1 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 02:57 AM
  #24  
 
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Thank you for posting this. I get upset about smoking in restaurants and try to be quiet about it but sometimes I might stare in disgust.

No more. This post has taught me to just shut and not use passive aggressive staring or quiet comments to my partner as a tactic. I need to just hold it in and relax, and try not to breathe .

steve r
stever is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 03:32 AM
  #25  
 
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walkinaround

I see far more inappropriate things being brought to this board than Milley's message. I think it is a helpful reminder to show respect and manners when in country that has different customs. Even, God forbid, customs you may not agree with.

Nona1 I certainly didn't take it as a criticism of anything or anyone Greek. I think she was frightened to be pulled into a situation that she did not create nor ever would have. Read her previous posts. There are many, and all about Greece and her love for the country and its people. In fact, her first ever trip report, in my mind, is a classic for the first time traveller to Greece.

Joe, Artemis was a dab hand with the three pronged trident. I'll say no more.

bill
billbarr is online now  
Oct 1st, 2006, 04:05 AM
  #26  
 
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"He/she was talking about the Greeks response in that final quote - 'perhaps faults on both sides but...' (only perhaps there was fault on the USA side?) "this was something I hadn't encountered before and it made me very uneasy." she is clearly not talking about the American behaviour here so it comes across as though she/he thinks the Greeks behaved worse than the Americans."

I get the feeling nona1 that each time Milley has been to Greece she has seen only the lovely kind friendly people there and not any fighting or arguing or disagreeing that they are also capable of. I have.

Not only have I seen those characteristics in Greece but in most other countries I've visited so don't take my comments as an attack on Greeks.

I love them dearly - I'm married to one.

Also, I think bill got it right when he says he felt she was frightened at being caught up in a situation that she herself would never have created.

Write your trip report Milley - I'm looking forward to it very much.
joe4212 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 07:22 AM
  #27  
 
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Well, it doesn't matter too much either way, as long as it doesn't put her off going.

but I still think this has coloured her views of Greeks - why say 'but this experience won't stop me going to Greece' and not 'but this experience won't stop me making friends with Americans' instead. Sorry, but she clearly was more scared by the Greece reactions than she was bothered by the Americans rudeness.
I don't know, everyone's only human, whatever country they are from. Annoy someone enough and they'll have a go at you. I don't think it warrants making a public warning about having to be careful about what you say in public places in Greece. Not from the point of view that it is rude to say these things, but from the point of view of 'oh my God the Greeks will defend themselves'.

quote "please be careful what you say in public places in Greece. You may just get the response that we witnessed and it wasn't nice at all."
Surely you shouldn't be bloody rude to anyone in any country or you can expect a 'not nice at all' response.
nona1 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 07:25 AM
  #28  
 
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Stever,
You choose to go into a restaurant that allows smoking. Glad to hear that you intend to give up the passive aggressive dirty looks and stares at people who smoke there.

By the way I am a non-smoker myself, so I much prefer a non-smoky atmosphere. But if I'm in a place where smoking is allowed, that's my choice, so how can I complain about it? Giving people who are just minding their own business filthy looks is filthy behaviour in my book.
nona1 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 07:40 AM
  #29  
 
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The DH and I are adamantly non-smoking, we supported local regulations to ban smoking, etc. etc.

Neither of us would presume to dictate to or correct the customs of residents of a country we were visiting, particularly when they have not asked for our opinion.

If we didn't like a smoky restaurant, we'd find another, or eat outside. The loud Yanks were out of line.

annw is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #30  
 
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Nona1, I don't think anything will put her off going back. Did she indicate this somewhere and I have missed it?

'She wasn't rude but witnessed it and was drawn into it.
Sorry, but she clearly was more scared by the Greece reactions than she was bothered by the Americans rudeness.'

My goodness you have really drilled this right down haven't you. Have you thought that she might be USED to American rudeness but not to the volatile reaction from the Greeks in the restaurant? You may not have seen it before but I have and it can be kind of scary when not used to it.

Once in Athens we had to leave a taverna when bottles started to be thrown around after an argument between Greeks over a card game they were playing.

I still think that's what scared Milly -she hadn't seen 'the other side' of Greek human nature and was drawn into it without being at fault. In fact, I think most folks would be uncomfortable.

Don't forget, Greeks can be as rude as folks from any other country and some maybe interpret what THEY said to the Americans as rudeness. I can think of some Greek relatives of mine that would be embarrassed at this reaction of their countrymen to foreign visitors in that restaurant.

joe
joe4212 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 09:29 AM
  #31  
 
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Oh please. What those Americans did were incredibly rude--I'm an American AND a smoker and had I been there I would have told them to go back home if they didn't like! How terribly rude.
MissZiegfeld is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 09:40 AM
  #32  
 
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I would probably have apologized to the smokers for the boorish behavior of my countrymen, and let it go at that.
Passepartout is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 10:10 AM
  #33  
 
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Why should Milley 5 apologize for the "boorish behavior" of her countrymen? She is not responsible for how other Americans act. The Americans were rude; and I think the Greeks overreacted. How much more discussion does this topic need? Talk about beating a dead horse....
orangetravelcat is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 10:27 AM
  #34  
 
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Since your post asked two questions, I guess you must be the dead horse expert here...
Passepartout is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 12:24 PM
  #35  
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Oh my goodness. I've just checked in and I am so sorry that my post has caused so much disagreement.

It was written with the best intentions, I promise.

Nona1, nothing will stop me returning to Greece. I love the people there and I'm still hoping and looking for that Shirley Valentine moment (and if I could figure out how to add that little yellow smiley face I'd place it right here).

Best wishes to you all,

milley
milley_5 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 12:48 PM
  #36  
Neopolitan
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Why on earth would someone apologize for people they had nothing to do with? Should a Frenchman walk around all day apologizing for the people who don't shower or use deodorant as if it's HIS fault? Should every German be apologizing for Hitler's actions? I don't get the concept of that kind of apology. There are rude people all over the world. The fact that a couple of them happen to be from the same country I am is nothing for ME to apologize about.
 
Oct 1st, 2006, 12:59 PM
  #37  
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Sorry Neopolitan.

You've lost me a bit. I didn't apologise for anyone that morning. Have I missed something here?

milley
milley_5 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 12:59 PM
  #38  
 
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Hey, I'm trying to defuse a situation here, not rationalize the Holocaust.

"I hope you don't judge all Americans by the rudeness of these two."
Passepartout is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #39  
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milley, if you missed anything it must have been this post which caused my response:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Author: Passepartout
Date: 10/01/2006, 01:40 pm

I would probably have apologized to the smokers for the boorish behavior of my countrymen, and let it go at that.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Frankly I think it's insulting to suggest to someone that they would judge an entire nationality based on the actions of two people. Sounds like a good way to get involved in a situation I'd want to stay clear of. Why would I even want to bring to the attention of those people yelling that I'm from the same country as the rude ones?

So let's make a deal, Passepartout. If you feel you want to apologize for your countrymen when they do something very foolish or rude -- go ahead. I'll choose not to do that. And each other person can make up his or her own mind about it too.
 
Oct 1st, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Fair enough. I'll even do it for you.
Passepartout is offline  

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