Where are the American tourists?

Aug 12th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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The Americans are in Edinburgh with proof of this being the fact they carry Rick Steves books.

As for comments about Americans - 2 (not very good ones) from acts at the Fringe today - "Your President can't be a Bush because Bushes are green" and "Americans must have a good sense of humour - look who they elected President"
alanRow is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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In fairness, Neo, I think Tere is not objecting to your observation of the fact that the public transportation smelled. It is your ascribing that to unwashed masses and smelly armpits of Parisians who only bathe twice a year (an exaggeration I am sure you will agree). Both can be labelled as stereotyping (as can the comment about Japanese tourists). (Watch the cries of PC come out now).
As travellers we are all aware of cultural differences both in smell and what we find objectionable. The Japanese of the seventeenth century said that Europeans smelled of rancid butter.
Why would we think that people in Turkey smell? Muslims, as required by faith, have always put emphasis on daily bathing - as do Jews BTW.
We also know that food affects how people smell.
And we know that familiarity affects what we find objectionable in smell. (I guess people get used to being garbage collectors or working in sewers.)
robjame is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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I realize I'm not going to win this one, but yes I know it is a cultural difference.

Is it really not a well known fact that many Parisians actually scoff at the idea of people who take full baths or showers daily and also believe that the natural odors of the body are less offensive than spray deodorant? This is a cultural difference, and one that I merely pointed out. One I find hard to ignore. And again, would people be equally outraged if the statement were the other way around -- a Parisian saying "I rode the bus with Americans who reaked of the smell of Irish Spring and their spray deodorants"? No one is saying either culture is right or wrong -- but yes, I did point out the cultural difference.

Would they be equally outraged if I mentioned that many Parisian business people even policeman, drink wine with their lunch? Another cultural difference that if I mentioned would probably be equally misconstrued as if I had said that all the French are drunks -- no I wouldn't be saying that. Maybe because it's about personal hygiene that some people are offended that I bring it up -- a much more sensitive issue?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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"I nearly gag all the time on public transportation in much of Europe..."
(I wonder why you even bother to take a flight or several to come to Europe if you have such a sensitive nose)

What would your reaction be if after a trip to the USA someone posted:

"I felt squeezed in public transportation in the USA by those overly obese Americans I come accross everywhere I turned to".( I am just making a compairison to NeoPatrick, not insulting anyone)

Would you feel insulted or would you say "This is like the person who says it is just plain "bigoted" to say that a large Japanese group of tourists were all flashing pictures"?

I don't think it's an insult to Japanese to be said to always carry a camera and flash....!

Tere is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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"I felt squeezed in public transportation in the USA by those overly obese Americans I come accross everywhere I turned to".( I am just making a compairison to NeoPatrick, not insulting anyone)"

Take out the "I come across everywhere I turn to" and I think it would be a fair and logical comparison to my reference to "or the horrific summer armpit smells from the Parisians who believe in only bathing twice a year". After all I didn't say that I come across them "everywhere I turn to". But mentioning being squeezed on transportation by obese Americans is a pretty fair comparison to mentioning smelling armpits on the Paris Metro.

And if someone posted that would I be upset?

No, not in the least. Anyone who thinks it's possible to travel on public transporation in the US without being squeezed by some obese Americans probably hasn't tried to travel on public transportation very much. In fact people here all the time mention about being squeezed in New York theatre seats or more often on airplanes between obese people, and I have yet to say anyone get "outraged" by such statements. Like some Parisians who don't believe in daily showers or deodorant, some obese Americans ARE a fact of life. But apparently some of us are more easily upset by references to body odor than we are to obesity.

Now if you said "ALL Americans are obese" then yes I think it would be more than rude, because it simply isn't true. Just like I'd be rude if I suggested that ALL Parisians are "smelly", which is equally NOT true.

I hate to comment on your "I wonder why you even bother to take a flight to Europe. . ." line. That's just plain silly. You make it sound like I was making some huge deal about the situation. I wasn't. I just mentioned it's a fact of life -- hardly enough to make me stay home. I'm not the one who made a huge deal out of it. Read back. It was only a reference to point out a cultural difference I noticed between Paris or Rome and Istanbul. Some people in Paris have bad body odor? So? I also run into a few rude people everywhere I go. So? And I've seen obnoxious drunks in almost every country I've been to. So? Is that enough to make me not want to travel? How silly.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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I would like to smell some people here after working all day on a probably no air conditioned place and walking the streets in a hurry (not leisurely) to catch the public transport...yes, most people has a daily shower ..many two..but if you sweat a lot, there's no way to avoid it, no deodorant good enough..if you are inside somewhere(call it metro, bus or whatever), yes, it smells ...who minds ??? It's a fact of life, humans sweat and not everybody has the good luck a friend of mine has of having a shower at work, where he showers at least 4 times a day in summer !!!
kenderina is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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"I realize I'm not going to win this one.."

True, it would be SILLY to think you would!
Tere is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Oh my. Why have I been having this "discussion"? I just clicked on the name Tere and read enough other posts to totally understand now "where you're coming from" -- including the post where you trashed someone and said you'd been in the US enough to know you wouldn't want to live here with all the "know it alls" and this brief but to the point post:

"I am an European and would NEVER live in America!!Been there several times and don't intend to go there soon again . Good old Europe!"

Not to mention the one where someone asked a number of questions about safe water and about food in Greece and you boldly replied:
"With all those questions I wonder if you ever got out of the USA???"

So NOW I totally understand why you took offense. Sorry I didn't check your typical posts before all the attempts to explain. And you think what I said was offensive!!!!

Why is it every time someone accuses me of being rude and insensitive, I discover they must have been looking in a mirror?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Oh, and I'm very glad YOU would never categorize people like you claim I did. I suppose you were only kidding with your assessment of Morocco:

"After reading Markisenberger's post I remembered also how I hated Tangiers, it was long long ago I was there but it's an awful city, yes. Pretty dirty, unfriendly people always trying to touch you while wanting to sell you something, and scary!"

Yea, good thing you're open minded and don't try to form sterotypes!!!
NeoPatrick is offline  
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