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When do you stop being surprised?

When do you stop being surprised?

Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:21 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Hiro11
You people deal with some true dumbasses.
That's the human condition, not specific to America!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:24 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

I went to Italy several times before they changed to the Euro. Except for restaurants and hotels I found that most shops took US dollars. They actually preferred them and I got a better rate when purchasing as well.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

When contacting Expedia a few years ago, I asked about flights to London, and the lady said "That's in France, right?"

She wasn't joking.
She just worked for an international travel company.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

I have had tourists try to pay for their bar and or restaurant bills in Euros. Some of them just couldn't understand why we wouldn't accept them. I have been left tips in Euros as well.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by yellowroom
Now, I know not everyone is interested in travel and some people have family commitments, but if you had an all expenses paid business trip to somewhere interesting, and you were unlikely ever to be back there again, why wouldn't you take even one day to explore?

It's the lack of curiosity that gets me, I suppose that's how we end up with people not knowing about currency etc.
That's the thing that puzzles me most. I know folk here who don't even have a passport, and have maybe been to one or two neighboring states, but that is as far as they go.

The others that irritate me are the ex-military who profess to know all about Europe because they spent 6 months in Germany once.
On questioning, it usually transpires they never even left the military base, and had no idea there was a foreign country beyond it. Used to see this all the time when visiting friends on USAF bases in East Anglia, they never even changed currency
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:34 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Middlemore
That's the thing that puzzles me most. I know folk here who don't even have a passport, and have maybe been to one or two neighboring states, but that is as far as they go.

The others that irritate me are the ex-military who profess to know all about Europe because they spent 6 months in Germany once.
On questioning, it usually transpires they never even left the military base, and had no idea there was a foreign country beyond it. Used to see this all the time when visiting friends on USAF bases in East Anglia, they never even changed currency
I live in Manhattan. There are people her who live in the other boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn etc) Who have never even been to Manhattan!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:43 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Middlemore
That's the thing that puzzles me most. I know folk here who don't even have a passport, and have maybe been to one or two neighboring states, but that is as far as they go.

The others that irritate me are the ex-military who profess to know all about Europe because they spent 6 months in Germany once.
On questioning, it usually transpires they never even left the military base, and had no idea there was a foreign country beyond it. Used to see this all the time when visiting friends on USAF bases in East Anglia, they never even changed currency
They are called barracks rats, however normally their stay in the host nation extends beyond 6 months unless they are TDY. If they don't leave the base then they have no need of exchanging currency....
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl
I tried to explain there was no sea between the US and Canada...that it was in fact the same land mass.
Perhaps they are under the impression that the Great Lakes are part of one vast ocean...

Originally Posted by cindyabs
Also, back in the day when I lived in Germany, on the shopping runs to the "Crystal border" they WANTED dollars, not marks.....
I presume that they did this in order to make it easier to separate tourists and servicemen from their money (which was likely accompanied by a less than optimal exchange rate.)

Not quite the same thing, but in the Aran Islands, I saw tourist shops with large signs advertising their "sweaters" for sale. The Irish don't use that term, but they apparently must get a lot of American tourists who wouldn't be particularly interested in buying a jumper.

Last edited by RoadWarriorFromLP; Feb 5th 2013 at 4:55 pm.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 4:55 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP
Perhaps they are under the impression that the Great Lakes are part of one vast ocean...



I presume that they did this in order to make it easier to separate tourists and servicemen from their money.

Not quite the same thing, but in the Aran Islands, I saw tourist shops with large signs advertising their "sweaters" for sale. The Irish don't use that term, but they apparently must get a lot of American tourists who wouldn't be particularly interested in buying a jumper.
You presumed correctly, and they gave VERY good exchange rates, so.....

I still cherish and seldom get to wear the Icelandic sweaters sold by LN vendors in the Netherlands.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:17 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Middlemore
That's the thing that puzzles me most. I know folk here who don't even have a passport, and have maybe been to one or two neighboring states, but that is as far as they go.
I used to wonder at that too. I just couldn't understand the lack of interest in international travel. We used to travel internationally a lot - from European/US family holidays as kids, through Europe/Africa/Asia backpacking as students and then onto the "comfy years" (pre-kids) of staying in top notch hotels all over the place. Then we got here, and started traveling round the US, and now, apart from trips to see the family, we've traveled very little internationally in the last decade.

There is a lot to see here, and I can see why people don't feel the need to travel abroad, although I still miss it. However, I don't think "there's a lot to do here" is a valid reason for a lot of people, because a lot of the folk I know don't travel at all, even to get to know their own country, or visit family one state over. I don't know if it is lack of time off, lack of finances, lack of interest, or if they are just homebodies. Each to their own. My BIL hadn't seen his sister in 7 years, and she lived next state across The other BIL had never left his home state till he came to Texas to get married! And now he rarely goes back. He got a passport, did one overseas trip (Taiwan) and declared overseas was crap and he was never doing it again
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:51 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by robin1234
The US Department of Defense publishes (or used to publish) little handbooks to foreign countries for service members going overseas.
There's the CIA FactBook which gives a good basic overview for countries. Here's Canada's entry: https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/ca.html

Originally Posted by penguinbar
I live in Manhattan. There are people her who live in the other boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn etc) Who have never even been to Manhattan!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by yellowroom
A colleague of mine is going to our UK office for some meetings, and then onto mainland Europe - they've never been to either before.

They were asking me for hints and tips, so I was advising them on the area and mentioned that they need to take a small amount of cash. Mainly for personal things, eg snacks as paying for small items by card in the UK can be difficult, and for using public loos etc. The conversation went like this:

I can take dollars, right?
No, they aren't accepted in the UK. You need some pounds.
Really? I can't use dollars?
No. In the same way I can't spend British pounds here, you can't use US dollars in British shops.
Oh, but I'm going to Europe. I'll just take Euros then.
Well, yes you'll need them for Europe, but you'll still need British pounds in England.
Really? I can't use Euros?
Well, in the odd shop in towns with ports, maybe, but, no the only currency where you are going is Pounds Sterling.
Oh, but I don't understand pence. I dont know what pence coins look like and won't know what I'm paying. Are you sure I can't use dollars?

This is a college educated person working for a multi-national company. I won't bore you with the details at their horror of only getting British tv channels and not US cable in the hotel while they're there, and their relief at having a McDonalds nearby. But really - I thought such attitudes were apocryphal amongst professional type staff. Obviously not!

I'm not sure how much practice it will take for me to master my face and voice into a more professional tone than the one I took today....
Do they know they need a passport?
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
I used to wonder at that too. I just couldn't understand the lack of interest in international travel. We used to travel internationally a lot - from European/US family holidays as kids, through Europe/Africa/Asia backpacking as students and then onto the "comfy years" (pre-kids) of staying in top notch hotels all over the place. Then we got here, and started traveling round the US, and now, apart from trips to see the family, we've traveled very little internationally in the last decade.

There is a lot to see here, and I can see why people don't feel the need to travel abroad, although I still miss it. However, I don't think "there's a lot to do here" is a valid reason for a lot of people, because a lot of the folk I know don't travel at all, even to get to know their own country, or visit family one state over. I don't know if it is lack of time off, lack of finances, lack of interest, or if they are just homebodies. Each to their own. My BIL hadn't seen his sister in 7 years, and she lived next state across The other BIL had never left his home state till he came to Texas to get married! And now he rarely goes back. He got a passport, did one overseas trip (Taiwan) and declared overseas was crap and he was never doing it again
I have to admit my son had a schoolfriend in England whose parents had never been abroad. Apparently they did board a cross-channel ferry once, but took fright when it docked at Calais and stayed on for the trip back.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:19 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Don't feel bad.

I live in Hawaii, and I've had mainlanders ask me if we take American dollars, if we speak English, or if they'd need a passport to visit.

I once got into a phone argument with what felt like the entire sales department of a software company when they refused to sell me encryption software.... because it was non-exportable technology.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by penguinbar
I have had tourists try to pay for their bar and or restaurant bills in Euros. Some of them just couldn't understand why we wouldn't accept them. I have been left tips in Euros as well.
They were probably in the hotel or restaurant business themselves and were getting revenge for all the times Americans wanted to pay them in USD.
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