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I found the people in Europe SO friendly, especially the people in eating establishments

I found the people in Europe SO friendly, especially the people in eating establishments

Old Apr 9th, 2002, 05:03 AM
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I found the people in Europe SO friendly, especially the people in eating establishments

I just got back from my first trip to Europe. We saw 6 countries and one thing stood out- how out going and friendly the people were who worked at the hotels and eating establishments.

It seemed like every place we went the men and women at the hotels were so cheerful and wanted to know everything out us, so many smiles. Also, the people at all the eating establishments, were so outgoing and friendly. They all stopped by and visited with us and wanted to know all about us, our family, our homes, where we went to school, etc. The people in Europe are just so open to strangers!

Was that your experience?
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 05:28 AM
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Yes,everytime I go to Europe.Not just in eating establishments either,the shop keepers/salespeople,if you look the least bit puzzled,someone will ask if you need directions.
It's great!

Old Apr 9th, 2002, 05:29 AM
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We don't have a tipping system in Europe! Smiles make money$$$$$
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 05:52 AM
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I have to agree about people being extremely helpful and outgoing. While in Paris (and not in a restaurant!!), a friend and I were walking down the street and obviously had confused expressions on our faces. On two separate occasions, we had people come up to us while we were looking at a map of Paris and ask if they could be of assistance. They were extremely pleasant and even told us which Metro to take and which stop we needed to get off on.
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 05:58 AM
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Um, did I just click on the Pollyanna, rose-colored glasses website? There are friendly and unfriendly people in every country, but as a general rule I don't find the European waitstaff to be especially friendly, except in a rather condescending way.
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 06:01 AM
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Peter, I, for, one, am happy to see your "Pollyanna" post, so thank you!

I've experienced wonderful people in Europe and the ones who weren't I've forgotten.
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 06:04 AM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip, Peter!

Just curious, Peter and kc! I too had a long and wonderful trip, but I didn't have that experience of extremely friendly Europeans, except in Greece. Were we on the same continent?

Among the English, French, Italians and Spanish we met, some of course were friendly and helpful, but most quite indifferent, a few grouchy. Especially the two weeks in in France, I got very few smiles returned, only from a few young people, if I recall.

Thank goodness for the warm friendly Greeks, otherwise I would've wondered if it was us!

We didn't fret about it; I had heard that Europeans are more reserved around strangers than Americans.

Maybe because we seemed to be doing okay on our own, no one noticed us. But in fact some extra help and friendliness would've made things easier at times.

We learned phrases in all the languages. We were not too loud or overly familiar. We dressed nicely. We're open-minded people and have no problem getting along with others.

Did you stay in the nicer hotels where the staff pamper their guests? We stayed in cheap hotels and didn't expect pampering or get it.

As always, I'm amazed by the quite different reports from travelers on thi board about the same experiences!
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 06:05 AM
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I think Peter's post is supose to be funny. I doubt anyone would think that most people in European cities are so familar and friendly. Some are, but most were brought up to be cold to stangers.
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 06:09 AM
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They don't come much stranger than Americans!
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 06:11 AM
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I for one, was not kidding.Everywhere that I have traveled in Europe,I have had very pleasant experiences with the people, working in the hotels,restaurants,shops,on the street.
Perhaps,it is true, if you smile, others will too? I expected the worst on my first trip to Paris,having heard all the stories about the rude French-not once did I have an experience with rudeness...now on this site,that is a different story who knows,maybe I have just been lucky and the next trip I will meet nothing but grouches!
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 07:14 AM
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While some people will find Europeans friendly the majority of the people you will come in contact with are cold and aloof.
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 07:55 AM
Bob Brown
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My general experience has been that people in restaurants in Switzerland, Austria and Germany are friendly.
I am sure they want the tip, but I never really thought all of the attitude was phony or artificial.

In Paris, the restaurant staff seems cold and aloof, like they didn't care whether or not you ate there. We did find one young lady at a bistro in Paris who barely spoke English, but we don't speak French. My wife, who even got an stone faced Vienna policeman to smile, had her convinced that she was highly fluent.
Business was slow at the time we were there, so she talked with us extensively. Interesting conversation. But the head usher, or whatever he is called, was impassive.
I guess that is cold professionalism in a French bistro.
In Munich last summer we encountered one rude person who was a clerk in a department store. We arrived at the checkout counter without doing something correctly and the clerk had to do something extra to establish the price.
But as an antidote, I was trying to get to Nymphenburg via the street car. I was using Frommers guide, but it is wrong on the directions from downtown Munich to Nymphenburg. (Serves me right I guess.) I was sitting there at the stop with my map out trying to figure which line to take when a young lady and her baby came up. She saw me puzzling over the map and asked if she could help. I told her what I wanted and she told me how to get there.

I did run into one total, absolute jerk who sold tickets in the train station in Lauterbrunnen.
He was easily the worst of the worst.
I had written out my travel plan, complete with times and train numbers from Interlaken West to Vienna.
I handed them the plan and asked him for tickets. He refused, totally, to sell me the tickets. First he printed off a schedule, which I of course already had, handed it to me and said
"What's your problem?" I said I want to buy the tickets to Vienna. He curtly responded,
"I have to sell tickets to Wengen."
There was not a single person besides me wanting tickets at the moment.

I was so angry that I did not know what to do. I walked outside, cooled down, came back in, went to another window, and got my tickets from a very cheerful ticket agent. I later found my acquaintance who works for the railway and found out how to lodge a complaint. I never heard from it.
At times I think too many people visit Switzerland and they get funny ideas.


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