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World's Friendliest City? World's Rudest City?

World's Friendliest City? World's Rudest City?

Jan 18th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Fortunately, we've encountered friendly and polite people almost everywhere.
We couldn't call any one city rude just because of a few bad apples, but the place where we ran into the most rude/hostile people on a single trip was Vancouver, Canada. More attitude than you could shake a stick at. Oh, and Houston, Texas. We would be minding our own business sitting in a bar or restaurant and someone would strike up a conversation with us. Fine, we thought, nice examples of Texas hospitality. But as soon as we let on that we were from Philadelphia, we got dumped with a bunch of sneering comments about how glad we must be to be down with some REAL Americans, not a bunch of blah blah blah liberals. When we said we actually LIKED Philadelphia and its people, conversations ended and we just got dirty looks and head shaking. Not everybody treated us that way, just a handful of men, but it was pretty weird.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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BTike, that is funny that you would mention that Vancouve had the rudist people, as friends of mine from London just got back and said they never met friendlier people in their lives!!
So you never know I guess..
I will go with anywhere in Thailand for the friendliest people and I have to say that I haven't an answer for the rudisit city, although I have met Texans that really are irritating...
TracyB is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:38 PM
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I guess it depends how each individual would react to a given situation... I wouldn't put the whole country in the best or the worst because of 1 or a few "misguided" people. I do remember one encounter in Hongkong where I haggled for the price and when I didn't agree... while I was walking out the salesman was cursing at me and speaking devilish words, I just walked out and told him I was going to report him to the IATA (which I didn't). It was just so I can still go home alive. Other than that, I love HK as it was my shopper's paradise (in the 80's). I traveled alone and had 100's of pictures taken by different strangers. I would even leave my shopping bags away from me while the shots were being taken. I did not lose anything from my previous trips. Even if most older people there could not speak English, I would just gesture or play pictionary with them but I didn't find them rude. Paris or UK had yet to prove this... I've been hearing bad reviews and been warned but I will still give them the benefit of the doubt. Is it really true they are such snobs?
Btw, I've also been to New England States and New York but never had a bad experience. Me and my cousin (a NY'r) rode the subway in the wee hours of the morning and didn't realize after later that it was a brave move.
Japan is also cool where they bow their heads for respect. Canadian were also nice when we asked for directions and advises...
I'm crossing my fingers that Europe will not let me down this coming March-April.
JC4UnI is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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Friendliest people: Costa Rica...we got a flat tire in the middle of a small town and learned that the tire had been patched so many times, it was irrepairable. The gentleman at the repair shop (who spoke zero english) insisted upon giving us a new tire. He only charged us $2 to change the flat. Of course, we also gave him a large tip and I thanked him profusely in my very rusty spanish. Everyone else we came across was equally as nice.

Rudest people: Barcelona...I loved the city, but we encountered service that was indifferent to rude throughout our stay. Maybe we were doing something wrong...
alg is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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IMHO one or two bad encounters can make a traveler feel like a city is rude etc.

My late husband and I had been in Vancouver BC many times and always enjoyed the residents there. A favorite city of ours.

But one summer whilst we were there we were invited by a friend to meet him at his Yacht Club for lunch. We drove to the Yacht Club and parked. We were walking to the club when a Candian started yelling at us that the YC was a private club and did not allow nonmembers much less tourist. Real hateful. My DH sort of waved him an acknowledgement and we went into the lobby of the YC and my DH went over to the secretary's desk, introduced us etc. She beamed, had him sign us in and immediately took us to the lounge area to a table with a reserved sign on it and explained that our friend had called and would be with us any moment. Which he was.

Oh yes, he was the Commandor of the YC.

The other fellow was on the board for the YC and I wished we had had a photo of his face when he was introduced to us. Too funny!

If this had been our first visit to Vancouver I am sure we would have been very upset and left with a bad feeling.
But it was just one rude self important person.

I always try to remember this when I encounter someone unpleasant when traveling. As other posters have said, kind friendly people and unpleasant rude people everywhere.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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My vote goes to Toronto- I went to the Film Festival in September and were blown away by the friendliness of everyone, and I talked to lots of people while waiting in line for films!
New York is close behind, I've met so many friendly and unforgettable characters.

As for least friendly, I have to say that generally people are nice wherever you go. It may take awhile to understand the local customs and ways of communicating,but when you do and you approach a new city/country with openness, you're usually(not always) rewarded with the same.
massagediva is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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was blown away, not were.
massagediva is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 07:41 PM
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massagediva, don't play English teacher please, we all misstype. This is what makes newcomers hesitate to post here on Fodors IMHO.

I had a friend who was trying to get her life back in order. She gave up after a few posts because of being critized about how she asked her questions. Lets all be kind to each other.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Friendliest...with out a doubt Ireland. The people there say it is less friendly then it use to be but I found the people from Galway to Dublin and in between very friendly. The rudest...I found some rude people in Venice although one nice old man made up for them.
cparris is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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The friendliest folks I've encountered outside the U.S. have been the Scots, without a doubt. If we are confining this discussion to cities (as per the topic header), I'll go with Edinburgh. If Elgin counts as a city, then I'll go with them.

As far as rudeness is concerned, I have always found that larger cities (London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, etc.) have such a rich, diverse cros-section of humanity that some of them are going to be spectacularly rude...and therefore stand out. But the only time I felt genuinely angry was at Harry's Bar in Paris. The bartender was an ass.
mr_go is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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This is hard to answer because some of the differences are surely cultural rather than individual choices to be rude. In Sweden, I was amazed by how often people would bump into you, step on your foot,have conversations with the person sitting next to you by bending in front of your face,etc., and never excuse themselves or apologize. However, when asking for help or being served in a restaurant, they were quite polite. I think they just don't have the same claim to personal space that other cultures do.
The Irish are generally very kind. We stopped at a gas station near Cork to ask for directions and the owner actually left the station to drive us to a nearby turn to reach the ferry.
I would also have to say that Pittsburgh has to have the friendliest people in the world, at least at the airport. We are always amazed when we return there from a european vacation because we immediately notice how perfect strangers will smile at you, offer to help, and engage in small talk if you wish to do so.
nankar is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Love Italy- as you will see if you look above my last post,I was correcting my own mistake.It looks like you were the one being nitpicky.
massagediva is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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The rudest people we ever emcountered were seated at the table next to us in a restaurant in Barcelona. They tried hard to make us feel we didn't belong in same restaurant eating lunch with them.

The friendliest people are surely from Canada, especially Vancouver where every morning while walking people would say "good morning" and "have a nice day".

We found the people on the street in London to be the most helpful. They would go to any length to try answer questions and provide information.
Although the people working in the Underground were very rude. More than once when we showed our pass they said "Bloody go as you pleasers".

We found the people in Florence the most reserved and cool.
Anton is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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The attitude of the London transport workers is clearly reflected in their tendency to strike only when the inconvenience to their customers is at a maximum.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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I found, personally, the Czechs to be incredibly friendly. I'd have to say the same for Berlin.

just1dayoutoflife is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Messagediva, I congratulate you for correcting your English. Amazing that you are criticized for correcting your own error.

The rudest people I ever met were Atlantans. Many years ago, a week after marrying my Scots wife in Scotland, I had to go to an annual 5 day conference in Atlanta where wives were invited. Little events were scheduled for the wives while husbands participated in the business sessions. My wife was almost totally ignored (ostracized would be more accurate) during those events. The wives were mostly Atlantans.
jsmith is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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messagediva, I didn't explain myself properly. I was trying to say that we all type incorrectly at times. And not to worry about it. Your message was very clear. Did not mean to come across picky but actually to say unless the mistype changes the meaning of the message, not to worry.

My friend, who has a Masters, and also was an English teacher some years back tried Fodors (at my suggestion as she is hesitant about traveling on her own and I thought Fodors would help her) told me after a bit that she just gave up on Fodors mentally because after reading the various threads she felt that too many people corrected others and consequently people were reposting, correcting themselves,when some small language error had been made. She just did not feel up to dealing with it. It was not a good time in her life.

I am sorry I did not express myself properly (talking about mistyping!)
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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ok,let's kiss and make up!
massagediva is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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I have an interesting story regarding a VERY rude German tourist.

My husband and I spend many Saturdays snowshoeing through Rocky Mountain National park, as we live within an hour of the park entrance. The trails are shared by fellow snowshoers, cross country skiers, etc.

If you are approaching someone in front of you that is going at a slower pace, the normal behavior is to call out "may I pass please". They will move over and let you pass ahead of them. Since many people will take breaks along the way - you may pass the same person several times.

A couple of weeks ago when we were snowshoeing (I always let my husband go first and break the trail a bit, so I was in back), a cross country skier came up behind me. I didn't realize how close he was because of my earmuffs, or I would have pulled aside. He skiied right over the backs of my snowshoes - knocking me over to the side of the trail into a couple of feet of soft snow. He elbowed my husband out of his way and kept moving. We were stunned. I have snowshoed in the park for years and never encountered anyone shoving people into the snow and knocking them down!

Less than an hour later we saw him pulled way off the trail and we passed him. You guessed it... a short while later he came steaming up behind us and pulled a repeat of literally knocking us over to get ahead of us. At this point I am thinking to myself "if he tries this on the way down I'm going to trip him with my pole and let him see how it feels to land face first in several feet of soft snow!!"

We met another couple further up the trail and mentioned the man to them. They said that the same thing had happened to them regarding this particular person, just only once. The woman's husband lost his temper and shouted at the man... and the man shouted back.. in GERMAN!

When we got to the top of the trail we saw the same man talking with a group of people in their 30s - all speaking German. We guessed they were part of a group and he was trying to catch up or something...

My husband and I laughed the entire way down the mountain about the misbehaving German tourist over here in the States. We spent a week in Germany a couple years ago and listened to many "rude American tourist" stories. Now we will have a story of our own for our trip to Germany this February!

TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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messagediva, I agree! And let me state that I am probably one that makes more errors when posting then most, LOL.
LoveItaly is offline  

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