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Old September 29th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Default Friendly and unfriendly cities and countries ?

As we travelers get together we often compare ports and other places. Inevitably we proclaim certain places friendly or unfriendly. Can we honestly discern such things?
There is a tendency toward the "halo effect" where we gauge a whole community based on a few people....the lady in the restaurant was so pleasant so this must be a nice place. Or it can go the other way....that bus driver was hateful...therefore we assume all residents are that way.
One recent port of call I conversed with two locals, the tour guide and bus driver, on a tour across state lines. To be honest I can't tell you much about the people of that port of call based on two people, but there is that tendency to attempt to anyway.
I was very much impressed with Halifax Nova Scotia and Saint John New Brunswick. Everyone was so nice to me. Then again I tend to forget that tourism is big business so of course ports are going to staff their terminals with only the friendliest of locals.
Once I get home I shift gears and change my expectations. Of course it is a given that we have all sorts of personalities at home. My hometown motto is "The friendly city"...is it really? I don't know...it's never so simple. Some are nice others are rude and local culture has nothing to do with anything.
Some conjecture if you may, but I do see some places as instant friends cultures and others as polite but more private cultures...others are upfront and honest...some are more soft spoken and reluctant to speak one's mind. There are plus and minuses to all the above. Instant friends are not always genuine...it's often a facade. loud & upfront cultures may be initially rude but at least they are more honest. I've encountered some places where the locals are slow to warm up to strangers but once they do warm up, they tend to be sincere. Language also tends to unit or divide.
Perhaps when all the plus, minuses, cultural nuances, and complex demographic patterns are tallied, maybe humans are basically the same everywhere?
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Old September 29th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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Ever notice on the last day of a cruise, that change is in the air, and I don't mean leaving the ship....People's personalities, are not in a vacation mode anymore, and tempers can flare..I have seen it...

I think we as travelers. tend to sometimes forget, while, we are on vacation, the people we are interacting with, in most cases are working. So our collective heads are not in the same place.

I think its best for us, to not to stereotype any place, as any certain type. as many can do....people all over can surprise you, even in Martinique<vbg>
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Old September 29th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Thoth: I traveled extensively in my 30 year Naval career. To be up front, I only spent 28 months out of my 30 years aboard ship I spent 10 years in Africa working at various Americam Embassies. The rest were short tours of various lengths in other countries. I was born in New England and raised in a mill town in Maine. My Dad was a mill worker and my Mom was a school teacher. I give this info as a background of my upraising. I find that no matter where you go, if you treat people as people and not as some other kind of thing, they will respond in a like manner. Yell and scream at a native in Uganda and they are not going to be nice to you. Play the ugly American anywhere and they will not respect you. Go to a very poor country, see the pride in which those folks live and raise their families, respect them as individuals and they will always have a smile and a greeting for you. I and my family were in Morocco for several years. We all had maids and gardeners. It was a way of life. These folks worked hard and long for their money which wasn't a lot by our standards. However, when we were invited to their houses for dinner we accepted. We treated them as equals even though we obviously lived a lot better then they did. And they treated us as equals. That was a long time ago. I am not too sure we would be treated the same way today but I suspect we would be. Bottom line is, although there are countries where I would not travel today, the hate and animosity we see on TV is mostly for the media's sake. Get out into the back country where politics don't exist and the only things people are worried about is where the next meal comes from and you will see a vastly different world. OK, enough. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and I always get carried away. As a last comment, when I was taking management courses, we were always taught that a good manager was always interested in his people. A kind word everyday went far in getting jobs done and teamwork accomplished. Smooth seas and following winds to all
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Master Chief said it better than I could.

Heck: I was just going to write:

Friendly:
Germany
China
Egypt
Spain
England
Portugal
Mexico
United States

Unfriendly:
Germany
China
Egypt
Spain
Portugal
Mexico
United States

If you take the attitude that people are people and you are not superior to any one of them you will do fine. There are friendly and unfriendly people around the globe. In my experience the friendly far outweigh the unfriendly.

When you travel know that other places will not be like yours and even if people "seem" to live at a lower means than you do it doesn't mean they are unhappy or unfriendly.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 29th, 2009, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
Ever notice on the last day of a cruise, that change is in the air, and I don't mean leaving the ship....People's personalities, are not in a vacation mode anymore, and tempers can flare..I have seen it...

I think we as travelers. tend to sometimes forget, while, we are on vacation, the people we are interacting with, in most cases are working. So our collective heads are not in the same place.

I think its best for us, to not to stereotype any place, as any certain type. as many can do....people all over can surprise you, even in Martinique<vbg>
Oh yes, I have noticed that on debarkation day personalities can change. Unfortunately many revert to the "real world". At least I ATTEMPT to carry over some of that love of life attitude acquired on the seas.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 11:32 PM
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Master Chief... I was in the military as well. In the service we don't get the highlights of a place we get the whole thing. Cruise travel is like an hour documentary on the History Channel, travel in the Air Force was like taking History 201 with final exams. It may not be always easy but it does make us better people.
Yes, American do live well and sadly many are too naive to realize it. Compared to most places in the world the USA has a number of wealthy folks. If one can afford a cruise vacation, then we are wealthy by the world's standard.
Speaking of Maine & New England....I recently visited Portland Maine where I took the Mount Washington Cog Railroad ship's tour.
Lovely part of the world ! 8)
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Master Chief said it better than I could.

Heck: I was just going to write:

Friendly:
Germany
China
Egypt
Spain
England
Portugal
Mexico
United States

Unfriendly:
Germany
China
Egypt
Spain
Portugal
Mexico
United States

Mike
That list reminds me of just how useless our media is The talking heads tend to spread ignorance & stereotypes.
Germany: Lived there for two years. Some Americans don't realize that World War II has been over for 64 years. Modern Germany has left Hitler in the dust bin of history. I found it a wonderful country and more tourist friendly than some other counties over there.
Egypt: a rich culture with a proud history. Not all Muslims are evil.
Mexico: you mean not all Mexicans are illegal immigrants? The media would have one believe otherwise.
Spain & Portugal: not even on the radar. Those places have nothing to do with Michael Jackson.
China: never been there, but CNN will keep me informed.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:12 AM
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Watch out the unfriendly people you see in port might be from your ship!
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
Watch out the unfriendly people you see in port might be from your ship!
LOL!!!!
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Old September 30th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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Thoth: Mt. Washington was an annual Sunday drive for my family. We didn't have a car but borrowed one from a friend each year. We never were able to go up the cog railway (too expensive), just sit and watch the action. It took me 30 years in the Navy and an additional 14 years working for General Dynamics and even then I had to retire to be able to afford the railway. It is indeed a wonder adventure. My wife, who hails from the DC area, and I went up in Oct 2004. We were dressed for an artic trip, heavy jackets, long underwear, you get the picture. The day we went the weather was very unusual for that time of year. Temp at the top was 38 degrees and visibility was unlimited. You could even see the Atlantic Ocean. NE in the fall is a great experience and should be on everyone's "bucket list". Glad you enjoyed it
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