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When do you stop being surprised?

When do you stop being surprised?

Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:30 am
  #31  
 
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by zff
....... 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.
Maybe the company belonged to "birthers".
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:31 am
  #32  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

This has probably been discussed many times already on the forum - sorry for bringing it up again! I get that the USA is a huge and varied country, and you can spend all your free time exploring and still not see everything, so many folk never get round to going abroad. Plus I know people too in the UK who are homebodies who have no interest in travel.

My surprise in the OP was mainly because I thought the stereotype of the ill informed USA traveler was a bit of an over-exaggeration. I'm a bit disappointed to find it confirmed TBH.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:36 am
  #33  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by yellowroom
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!
A relative of mine worked for a large US multinational that you will of heard of, anyway he went to Paris with two of his American colleagues and they were in a five-star hotel, my relative told me the entire time they were there his colleagues were too scared to go out anywhere except to the meeting they were there for. He couldn't even get them to use the hotel restaurant, they had to have room service. And bear in mind their meeting was with a French govt. agency.

The British can be just as bad though, lost count of the number of British people I've seen stopped in Florida for having an open container in a public place.

Last edited by Steve_; Feb 5th 2013 at 5:38 am.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:38 am
  #34  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
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.
I actually didn't mind being tipped in Euros. It worked out better for me in the end!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:42 am
  #35  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Steve_
A relative of mine worked for a large US multinational that you will of heard of, anyway he went to Paris with two of his American colleagues and they were in a five-star hotel, my relative told me the entire time they were there his colleagues were too scared to go out anywhere except to the meeting they were there for. He couldn't even get them to use the hotel restaurant, they had to have room service. And bear in mind their meeting was with a French govt. agency.
funny you should mention that, my colleague was asking me whether people would have a go at them because they're American. I'm wondering whether part of that is the general media thing of portraying the world as a scary place and anti-American.

A lot of it is perception - I'd love to visit Mexico but am put off by the stories of increasing numbers of violent attacks on tourists, yet other colleagues have no worries about going there at all and think I'm a worry-guts for being concerned!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:44 am
  #36  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Middlemore
When contacting Expedia a few years ago, I asked about flights to London, and the lady said "That's in France, right?"
Oh, a better one than that, I had a "North America" plan on my phone and I asked the company if that covered the Caribbean. What I meant was, did it cover places that used the +1 dialling code, like The Bahamas (242 area code).

So anyway first of all it transpired the person I was talking to had no idea what countries were in North America, other than the US and Canada. Then I realized after he put me "on hold to check" that what he was trying to do is figure out where the country called the "Caribbean" was. He was actually asking around the office, I could hear him asking other people in the cubicles around him.

So I had to explain to him that the Caribbean consisted of different jurisdictions and The Bahamas is considered to be a North American country.

Took me about 20 minutes to establish I couldn't call The Bahamas on my plan.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:48 am
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Steve_
..... The British can be just as bad though, lost count of the number of British people I've seen stopped in Florida for having an open container in a public place.
..... which is obviously much more of a threat to public safety and order than, say, a pistol?
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:50 am
  #38  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by zff
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.
But at least you do speak English... one of my best friends is Puerto Rican.

OMG, some of the arguments she gets into with people.

"Why do they have Spanish on this product/why is there an option for Spanish on this voicemail menu, etc?"

"Because of Puerto Rico."

"Why do we care about Puerto Rico?"

"Because it's part of the United States."

(Often followed by look of surprise)

"Well they should all speak English."

"What, we should train 4 million people to speak English? Spanish is the native language."

Usually followed by some stupid comment about how they're not really American then.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:51 am
  #39  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

To throw in another reversal story, in Britain I had a hard time getting to pay the 'Mediterranean' price for travel insurance for a trip to Syria. I am not sure where they thought it was. This was a travel agent.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:51 am
  #40  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
..... which is obviously much more of a threat to public safety and order than, say, a pistol?
Well I know I feel safer in a town centre in the US on a Friday or Saturday night than in one in the UK, that's for sure.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:53 am
  #41  
 
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Steve_
...... So I had to explain to him that the Caribbean consisted of different jurisdictions and The Bahamas is considered to be a North American country. ...
Unfortunately he now thinks that the Bahamas are in the Caribbean!
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:54 am
  #42  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Steve_
A relative of mine worked for a large US multinational that you will of heard of, anyway he went to Paris with two of his American colleagues and they were in a five-star hotel, my relative told me the entire time they were there his colleagues were too scared to go out anywhere except to the meeting they were there for. He couldn't even get them to use the hotel restaurant, they had to have room service. And bear in mind their meeting was with a French govt. agency.
Language barriers are terrifying for some people. And Parisians do have a fairly formidable reputation (including among Europeans) for not being the most gracious of hosts (although I personally find that reputation to be grossly exaggerated and not atypical of the big city/ center of the universe mentality that is prevalent in large hub cities throughout the world, including New York.)
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 5:59 am
  #43  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Unfortunately he now thinks that the Bahamas are in the Caribbean!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CI..._Caribbean.png

Hey it's the CIA so it must be true.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:02 am
  #44  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP
Language barriers are terrifying for some people.
I could understand that if it was one person on their own, but there were two of them with my relative who is familiar with Paris.
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Old Feb 5th 2013, 6:03 am
  #45  
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Default Re: When do you stop being surprised?

I would NOt consider Bermuda (for obvious reasons) part of the Carib, BUT I would consider the Bahamas to be.
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