Americans vs Americans

Old Mar 7th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Americans vs Americans

Since there are some great posters on this sight. I have a question. Has anybody noticed that Americans ignore each other in Foreign countries while on Vacation? I had got tired of saying "Hello." Most of the time there was no reply or just a head nod. I noticed this is CR and was wondering if this was the "Norm" in other contries as well.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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We travel internationally quite frequently and don't find this to be the case.

Actually, most Americans we come across in Mexico and the Caribbean seem interested in knowing where you are from and if you've been there before, etc.

The exception to this has been a couple of the luxury properties we've stayed where people have pretty much only wanted to know what you do so they can determine whether or not they make more than you do and if they should expend precious energy talking with you. (Rolling eyes...)

Guess you must have come up against members of the "jerk tour."
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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For what it's worth, as an American, what you describe doesn't seem so unusual to me for behavior in America. I mean, people not necessarily talking or striking up a conversation with people they don't know. Maybe people are just carrying their usual behavior style along with them outside the States.

I don't mean to sound harsh, or to say that this is the way it should be. Just wondering...

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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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I agree and disagree with Diana. I also travel all over the world and while I will always speak to Americans, I don't really go out of my way to strike up a conversation. I much prefer to converse with the locals and learn from the locals.
Having said this, there are tourists and their are travelers. Places like Cancun get strictly tourists and many stay in all inclusives--some because they are really afraid of a new environment. I enjoy talking to Americans who travel the world on their own and have good information to share.
And I am not a member of the "jerk tour" or any other tour.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Hmmmm.... I'm Canadian , but not just any Canadian , a "Maritimer" , and thats a whole different story , I'll strike up a conversation with anyone , anywhere , and find I will get the same in return .....LOl , Faith .
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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My husband is just like Faith. We are exclusively independent travelers and he strikes up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He had a long conversation with a young Greek in Greece. What was the most interesting, a young man did not speak English and my husband doesn't speak Greek. They somehow understood each other. Because of him we have many friends in many countries. We met Americans in Europe, Africa, South and Central Americas and often we converse with them but sometimes they do not wish to talk and we do respect their wishes. We have some wonderful memories of meeting Americans in most unexpected places. Many years ago we met a couple from Houston in Chan Chich, Belize. We became friends and traveled together several times to some exotic destinations. During our two trips to Costa Rica we met many Americans who were as eager as us to talk and always share their experiences. We met many wonderful Americans in a number of luxurious places and as many in budget places.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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I know that in CR especially there are so many other NorteAmericanos that to say "hi" to all of them you run across would take forever. Its just not unusual to see someone else from your country.
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Old Mar 7th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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I agree totally with Steve that it most likely is a case of the person taking their normal behavior along with them on vacation.

I am a Southerner and will talk to anyone, but I do not normally strike up a conversation on my own unless I feel the other person is amenable or I have a question I want to ask.

I personally do not like it when I am on a plane or on the beach or relaxing on vacation (most usually reading a book) and get a "Chatty Cathy" who wants to blather on about everything in view.

I also prefer to talk with locals and learn more about the culture where I am visiting, but in airports, or in other situations, there may not always be locals around to converse with.

I think being friendly and acknowledging someone is just good manners, but again, that is common behavior in the South, and people who move down here from the north are sometimes put off by it.
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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I see the same things. I live in the midwest now and last time I visited "home" in Conn. I just struck up a little small talk with the cashier at a grocery store. Something I do everyday here but she looked at me like I was an ax murderer. A couple of trips before that and I had a taxi driver there that wouldn't shut up about his travels. Okay by me. People are people and they are going to be who they are going to be. It would be pretty boring if we were all the same. Most people I've run into are pretty nice.

I try to give at least a small smile and nod to other N. Americans when I see them. You can usually tell who wouldn't mind sharing experiences and who wouldn't. I had a whole train car in England looking for castles for me one time. The people across from me were reading a USA today and I just asked where they were from and it was the town right next to mine! I happened to mention how fascinated I was with the castles and other people heard me and it snowballed and everyone was looking for them for me.
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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That's a neat story (about the castles).
People can be so very nice and helpful - sounds like a fun trip!

I agree with you that some people get all freaked out if you just try to make polite conversation. I was in a dressing room trying on some pants this past weekend and asked another lady if she thought they were too short. (We were both out of the dressing room looking in the full length mirror.)

You'd have thought I offered to sell her crack cocaine - jeez.

We were on a cruise in January and a couple we were seated next on a tour in the Dominican Republic was also from the town next to ours! We must have seen them 50 times in the week we were on that cruise of 2,000 people.

I agree that no matter what a person's nationality, you can tell when someone is friendly and open. I think being that way had lead to a lot of wonderful experiences we might otherwise not have had.

Happy travels!
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