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S/o International people views on Americans


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18 minutes ago, MEmama said:

This has been my experience in NYC as well. Nothing but super kind, go out of their way friendly people, especially on the subway when they’d give up their seat for me when I had DS in a small stroller (I’d fold it up before getting on). 

Regional differences are definitely real. When I moved to the Midwest from San Francisco, I recall making someone in a club mad when I shoved right past them. In SF clubs, no one would ask politely for a dancer to move (lol the thought!), but in this new city it was expected. So much culture shock. Lol. I learned. 
 

Boston is similar to NYC and it honestly leaves me baffled when posters here think Bostonians are rude (or Mainers for that matter!). True you won’t find much sugar coated small talk (thank goodness!), but the people overall are super nice. Yet when I go to the south my feathers definitely get ruffled by the ma’am’s and the small talk...ugh! Just gimme my groceries and let me get out of here! Lol. Same niceness of a people, just different takes. 🙂
 

 

I see the same differences within the state of NY. NYC, Rochester, they seem to move fast, speak faster. But I’ve not seen abundant rudeness, tho that is a big stereotype and my son says he’s experienced it . Within the small towns, though, they’re as slow as the southern town’s I’m familiar with. Same slow banter, lots of small talk, hogging the aisles of the grocery store while having their mini-reunions, etc. But they’re even friendlier than any place I’ve lived in Texas, from residents to doctor offices to the dmv. I even had a toll booth lady on the NY thruway, right before MA, take the time to happily give me directions because my Waze app had stopped working and I was feeling pre-lost, lol.

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The discussion isn't are all Americans like this or do the non-Americans on the board think this is what all Americans are like. The discussion is why do those who generalize think this way. Amer

I am not wasting time on disclaimers, since you all know that lumping people into a group doesn't account for the individual. But here's what comes to mind (and when I say "Americans", I obviously do

Don't shoot the messenger; these are not all my opinions: On a geopolitical level: interfering in the affairs of other countries (friend or foe) and generally throwing weight around.  Dominant co

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25 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

Yes, we lived in New Mexico for 4 years.  I had Sprint phone cell phone then (99-03) and One day I was calling them on my cell phone while waiting for my son's day camp to let out about the bad cell coverage in downtown and near downtown Albuquerque.  The Sprint operator kept insisting that it was because the service didn't work in Mexico and I needed another phone.  I kept telling her that I was talking to her on a phone in Albuquerque, NM, USA and obviously it worked enough to call the Sprint people.  the lady just kept telling me the phone doesn't work in Mexico so i hung up. 

Another case that happened when we were there was some school or church choir or youth sports,etc group traveled in a van to Florida or Georgia to perform.  They were returning and the rental van broke down.  I think it broke down in Louisiana.  in order to get a replacement rental van, they had to show their drivers' licenses.  they did and of course, they were from New Mexico and of course, the license was in English, not Spanish.  the place refused to rent them the van.  This story got on the news.

 

15 minutes ago, MEmama said:

I wouldn’t believe this if I didn’t read it here! 🙄

Oh I totally do.  Referencing that call center job, I once sat and listened to a co-worker argue with a customer that Maui was a city on the Big Island of Hawaii and not it's own island.  This was a person who, like me at the time, was considered a *travel agent*.  Like me, she had gone through a specific geography class.  Which, I had rolled my eyes through like 'srsly, who doesn't know this crap' and yet, she not only "passed" this class, but then continued to operate with this idea that Maui was a city, not an island.  I often wonder how many customers landed on the Big Island and discovered their hotel was on a completely different island.  

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5 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I think the disruption aspect is hugely important.  

 

50 tour packed busses can be arriving at Disneyland frequently without being a disruption, and without distressing anyone.  Meanwhile a family of just 4 or even just 2 people moving at a slightly lost, and busy taking in the sights or snapping photos pace can be a massive disruption on a bridge in Venice or along a tight passage in a British town or in the middle of Paris as locals are trying to get to work.  And the disruption of regular life is apt to be upsetting. 

In our state it's the tourists in rental RVs driving slowly on our inadequate roads to get from point A to point B backing up traffic.

Or getting too close to wildlife to take pictures. Or just stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures of the wildlife from a safe distance.

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5 hours ago, Jaybee said:

I had always heard that about people in NYC. Interestingly, when I went on a visit and was out-and-about by myself one day, every single person that I stopped to ask a question as to where I might find something, etc., was nothing but kind and helpful. Not one brusque or rude person among them, and I know many of them probably didn't need my interruptions to their activities. Yet, they helped me and not one of them made me feel like I was an annoyance. Just like anywhere, I'm sure there are those types, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't find them.

You likely need to head to upstate NY. Hands down it’s the most unfriendly place I’ve ever lived or visited. When we lived there, my friends from NYC also couldn’t believe how unfriendly it was. But maybe it’s all changed now, as that was over 25 years ago.

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41 minutes ago, GoodGrief1 said:

In our state it's the tourists in rental RVs driving slowly on our inadequate roads to get from point A to point B backing up traffic.

Or getting too close to wildlife to take pictures. Or just stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures of the wildlife from a safe distance.

 

We get that too.  Or stopping in middle of road if a view of a glacier covered mountain top opens in distance

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On 1/22/2020 at 11:00 AM, StellaM said:

IMO, posters here should not be allowed to call a group in the minority (international posters) bigots and have that post allowed to stand by the mods (yes mods, I know I'm not meant to talk about moderation, delete this sentence if required).

 

You have two moderators and this one has been out of reception all week.

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5 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

I live in an area where international tourists are the norm and I do see them. Tourists from Russia and former Soviet countries are often loud, brash, push in line, etc. They're everything I've heard American tourists are. Does that make me disparage all people from Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, etc.? No, I recognize that their culture is different from ours. That seems to be what people in other countries are unwilling to see about Americans. That our culture is different from theirs but that doesn't make us rude. Yes, there should be a "when in Rome" attitude adopted by all international travelers but most people in their excitement over seeing what the came to see, revert to their own culture's behaviors.

When I taught high school our German foreign exchange students thought Americans treated high school students like little kids. They were especially thrown by the fact that, in one exchange student's words, "you need a little piece of paper that says you're allowed to go to the toilet". IOW, they thought bathroom hall passes were completely ridiculous.

I think this policy is completely ridiculous too in the high school

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3 hours ago, MEmama said:

I wouldn’t believe this if I didn’t read it here! 🙄

Yes, I was so shocked by the Sprint rep.  Because not only had she no geographical knowledge of her country, she also didn't see the utter illogical position that I was calling her on the phone she claimed that I was in Mexico and couldn't use my phone.   

But I sure so stupid people when i was an immigration inspector too.  Ones who gladly told me that they were coming to attend school, get a job or get married and they were entering on a visa waiver program.  all of those things are forbidden to be done without actually getting the applicable visa---like my dd had to do when she went to New Zealand for study abroad,  If we had gone as tourists to see her, we would have used visa waiver.  but she was a student so had to get a visa.  But that gets back to the threads of shut your mouth when you encounter law enforcement. But you do have to respond to the Border Control (I worked before 9/11 and the structure and names have changed). questions of why are you coming to our country/  just you also have to read what the rules are for your visa or visa waiver.  And that is true no matter if it is a foreign tourist coming to the US, or a US citizen travelling abroad.

 

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On 1/19/2020 at 9:51 AM, Above The Rowan said:

 

Ive been reading this thread from the start, and I don’t actually often hit reply - but this comment made me laugh out loud for real. 

I live in the town where most of Letterkenny is filmed. That show is one of my faves and makes me laugh - mostly because it’s so terrifyingly accurate. The way they live, the things they do and say, is actual life in my area of Ontario (and from what I gather, also some small towns in rural prairie areas)  

I adore Letterkenney, and I feel strangely protective of it lol - but I do agree that it’s weird af. 

Omg!  There’s an animated version with kids. What is WRONG with you people? Are you ALL degens from upcountry??? It the nice just camouflaging the crazy???

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2 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

In our state it's the tourists in rental RVs driving slowly on our inadequate roads to get from point A to point B backing up traffic.

Or getting too close to wildlife to take pictures. Or just stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures of the wildlife from a safe distance.

Like when we were in Glacier National Park in Montana and there was a mother grizzly bear (our USA version of the Brown Bear of Europe and Asia so really big and huge and dangerous) and her two cubs.  The National Park Rules are that you have to stay very far away.  All the rest of us were on the other side of the road and at least 50 yards away.  One fool with a camera decided to not only cross the road, but to climb up the hill and get in between Mama Bear and the cubs.  We all thought we were going to witness a tourist die.  But the cubs were somewhat older (it was August and they moved up the hill as did the Mama Bear and tragedy was averted.  But I really despise people like that man.  Those bears were happily eating berries on the closer bushes.  This jerk made them use up energy to move at of his way when the little ones in particular really need to eat a lot before the winter comes very shortly.

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On 1/21/2020 at 10:30 AM, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

That isn't what people are talking about.  Everyone saying this is changing the subject.  This topic and the original post were very clearly specific about American tourists abroad and the resulting views of the locals.  Not Americans in general. There's nuance here. And that's why we're focusing on Americans in this thread.  It's off topic when people bring up badly behaved tourists from other countries.  Feel free to start a spin off topic to discuss that there. I can contribute to that conversation with another nationality.

And not every culture abroad is careful to avoid generalizations.  It's not as ingrained in their culture as it is in ours. That's what people mean when they say you need to know other people live differently-not just lifestyle and material goods, but values and thought patterns.  What's different about many other cultures is more tribalistic (in the sociological sense of the word) in nature.

I didn't read the first thread.  To me all the negative opinions I have of Americans are political.  As a people you have the same variety of people anywhere else does.  It would be silly to make claims about a huge country of people based on the few I had met.  Though I suppose politics is a reflection of at least some of the people.

The US teaches way more language than NZ though I don't know about culture.  In primary and intermediate my kids have had some Maori (depending on the skills of the teacher who also has to teach every other subject), some Mandarin taught by a volunteer and some sign language.  Ds12 starts high school next month and probably won't do any language classes because the only way would be to drop a science or technology class.

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On 1/19/2020 at 9:51 AM, Above The Rowan said:

 

Ive been reading this thread from the start, and I don’t actually often hit reply - but this comment made me laugh out loud for real. 

I live in the town where most of Letterkenny is filmed. That show is one of my faves and makes me laugh - mostly because it’s so terrifyingly accurate. The way they live, the things they do and say, is actual life in my area of Ontario (and from what I gather, also some small towns in rural prairie areas)  

I adore Letterkenney, and I feel strangely protective of it lol - but I do agree that it’s weird af. 

I feel like a real Canadian loser, because I hadn't heard of Letterkenney before. I've started doing some solid research on this topic, and I'm finding the show very refreshing and pretty nuts. It's refreshing because it's not a CBC show - far from it!  Luckily, my son has taught me almost enough hockey lingo that I can follow some of the dialogue of the show. 😂

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What is ironic to me is that it is those posters who I view as least tolerant of "others", and most likely to want to force their beliefs on others, who are most vocal in their upset over this thread about how we are perceived.  Truth hurts?  Maybe if those groups which "view discussions of stereotypes as gauche" actually had some discussion about the reason for these stereotypes they would change their perspective a tiny bit?  Taboos exist to insulate people from other opinions that could lead to better understanding of others as well as personal growth.

Although I imagine those ^^ people will read this as a personal attack instead of using it as a point of self-reflection.

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On 1/16/2020 at 9:26 AM, maize said:

Don't please, we're glad to have you here and unique perspectives really add to discussion. We've had occasional heated debates over the years, the shopping cart and crockpot kerfuffles for example have become legendary, but this is one of the few places online where I have seen such a diversity of experience and opinion come together in generally friendly and respectful discussion. Please don't let a few ruffled feathers chase you back into your shell 🙂

 

I agree.

And every week when I go shopping I think of the boardies as I take my cart from amongst those left in the lot, and then leave it when I'm finished with it. 
I also use an Instant Pot with stainless liner now (thanks for the suggestion, boardies!!), and don't worry about the crockpot liner anymore.

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:15 PM, Matryoshka said:

I've just been reading along but have to jump in and opine that of the two sorts it's the red squirrels that are the villains.   Sure, there are more gray squirrels and they are bigger and not as cute, but they pretty much limit their annoying behaviors, like raiding the birdfeeder, to the great out-of-doors. I'm not even sure what it is they do that's annoying other than that, which is honestly a very minor annoyance.  I've never had a squirrel of either sort bother my garden - that's the woodchucks and bunnies and deer.   Red squirrels may be a bundle of cuteness, but they gnaw and nibble their way into your house and outbuildings and then gnaw and nibble and poo all over the insides of your house and insulation and wiring and all the stuff you have stored in your attic and garage...    Red squirrels are real stinkers.

We've also had flying squirrels get into the house.  That was... interesting.  Gray squirrels tend to stay where they belong, chittering at us from the treetops.

 

We left a two-story ladder up on the side of the house WAY too long once, and I was sitting near the window in the winter when I saw a gray squirrel go up the ladder and not come back down.  Then his friend went up.  I watched out the window for a while and saw that they were getting down by jumping into a nearby tree.  Needless to say, dh spent that weekend making one-way squirrel exits for the holes they had chewed into the sides of our house.  They had been nesting in the brand-new loose insulation we had just installed in the attic.  😠

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On 1/16/2020 at 2:10 PM, moonflower said:

 

I agree with you that political correctness isn't a virtue, but I doubt most people would apply this standard to other groups or situations.  If a black person posted an OP saying hey, what are some of the ways black people in America come across negatively and how can I change that in myself, I'd be hard pressed to believe that the thread would be full of people saying, well, in my experience you're all lazy, loud, violent, low IQ, degenerate, etc.  I just can't see the thread going that way, even if the opinion was asked for.

 

As part of a dropout prevention conference a few years ago I attended a middle school classroom in Texas where the diverse group of students were discussing stereotypes.  It was fascinating and amusing.  They sure didn't pull any punches, even when it came to racial stereotypes, and no-one got upset!

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Since tourists have come up so often in this thread, let me just take this moment to say....

Want to be a tourist and not worry what the locals think of you? Come visit Austin, Texas! Be one of the 27 million people from the US and other countries to visit our lovely city each year! We don't mind your cultural quirks. Be loud, have fun, enjoy the nightlife, eat at the restaurants and food trucks, hike the trails, sail the lakes, spend freely! South By Southwest is in March, Austin City Limits is in October! 

We like to meet people from other places and cultures, no matter how weirdly you behave. Weird is (literally) our motto! 

Because those millions of dollars each year from the (clean) tourist industry have a way of making us happy and very forgiving.

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 8:29 PM, Pen said:

 

I don’t think border area USA Americans and Canadians do tend to get on each other’s nerves.    Can’t speak to Australia/New Zealand nerves. 

 

 

 

I live in a high-tourism area an hour from the Canadian border, and we get a lot of Canadian tourists here.  Given the unfavorable exchange rate, I would guess they must be well off to vacation here, or maybe everything is just more expensive in Canada, and perhaps it is a class issue more than a cultural issue?  Anyway, most of them are not even remotely friendly - they have a condescending, arrogant attitude.  They often speak French with each other like they are talking about you behind your back, and make giant messes in the stores without picking up after themselves - treating store employees like their lowly servants.  The one Canadian national I know who lives and works here also has an unfriendly, condescending attitude, like she's always looking down her nose at you and judging you unworthy.

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7 hours ago, Amy in NH said:

 

I live in a high-tourism area an hour from the Canadian border, and we get a lot of Canadian tourists here.  Given the unfavorable exchange rate, I would guess they must be well off to vacation here, or maybe everything is just more expensive in Canada, and perhaps it is a class issue more than a cultural issue?  Anyway, most of them are not even remotely friendly - they have a condescending, arrogant attitude.  They often speak French with each other like they are talking about you behind your back, and make giant messes in the stores without picking up after themselves - treating store employees like their lowly servants.  The one Canadian national I know who lives and works here also has an unfriendly, condescending attitude, like she's always looking down her nose at you and judging you unworthy.

My first assumption would be that these Canadians are from Quebec, which is directly north of you. You could take a glance at their license plates to confirm this. They are speaking French because that is their native tongue, not because they are trying to annoy you or be secretive. As to the condescending attitude in stores, all I can say is that there is a cultural difference in customer service standard behaviour in Quebec, from my experience living right on the boarder with the province. It's like a scenario of, "I won't greet you and you don't greet me."  There is no conscious intent to be rude, that's simply how things are. 

Add in the fact that they may not be comfortable and/or enjoy speaking English, there is a good chance that they won't be chatty and overtly friendly when shopping.  Meet them in the pub in the evening and you may find a completely different situation. The Quebec sense of humour is very, very funny. Improv is extremely popular throughout the province. They have improv teams in their high schools and universities, just like you have sports teams. The adult teams that compete are off-the-charts funny. And yes, they actually have improv competitions. They are "serious" about their comedy. 😂

 

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11 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Omg!  There’s an animated version with kids. What is WRONG with you people? Are you ALL degens from upcountry??? It the nice just camouflaging the crazy???

 

Can confirm. 🤣

Actually, there are quite a few peeps in my town who would qualify into the Degen category. But generally people are much more like the Hicks (and has-been never-were local hockey players who still want to be chased after by the Puck Bunnies lol). 

This thread made me go look for more seasons, and I realized I am 1.5 seasons behind so I’ve been binge watching it like crazy this week. Some episodes are lame, but some of them just get me rolling. 

 

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26 minutes ago, wintermom said:

My first assumption would be that these Canadians are from Quebec, which is directly north of you. You could take a glance at their license plates to confirm this. They are speaking French because that is their native tongue, not because they are trying to annoy you or be secretive. As to the condescending attitude in stores, all I can say is that there is a cultural difference in customer service standard behaviour in Quebec, from my experience living right on the boarder with the province. It's like a scenario of, "I won't greet you and you don't greet me."  There is no conscious intent to be rude, that's simply how things are. 

Add in the fact that they may not be comfortable and/or enjoy speaking English, there is a good chance that they won't be chatty and overtly friendly when shopping.  Meet them in the pub in the evening and you may find a completely different situation. The Quebec sense of humour is very, very funny. Improv is extremely popular throughout the province. They have improv teams in their high schools and universities, just like you have sports teams. The adult teams that compete are off-the-charts funny. And yes, they actually have improv competitions. They are "serious" about their comedy. 😂

 

I agree with this. 

One of my closest homeschooling friends are from Quebec, have lived in Ontario for a long time now with their family, and we still find there are some cultural differences as to things like speaking loudly, speaking very brusquely - and they are VERY ‘say what i think, no sugar coating’. It caught me off guard a bit when I first was getting to know her, and I swore she hated my guts for the first year we knew each other. But that’s just her way. Aside from that, I have never known anyone with a bigger heart or a bigger laugh, and man they are a FUNNY family - we always have such a blast when we hang out. 

My mother’s exhusband is from rural northern Quebec, and it was also a big culture shock when he merged into our family. His family would come to visit, and they CAN speak English, they all just chose not to. Even when my siblings and I are mostly angolophone, they would answer us in french when we spoke to them in English. They were VERY big proponents of keeping their French language and culture, and assumed it was the rest of Canada who should all make sure to speak French if they wanted to talk to them. Super snobby, they were. 

I lived in Ottawa for a number of years pre-kids, and had similar experiences with folks who would come across from Quebec. I was a server, and I would talk to them in English - they’d reply to me in French, and when I’d say in my battered-up French that I only understand a little, they’d get REALLY angry. This happened often enough that it was not a surprise to me after a few months of living in Ottawa. 

I think, too, sometimes people don’t realize how BIG some of our provinces are.  And how isolated many towns and cities are from each other. Quebec, since we’re on that topic, is a very large province, but with a ton of small rural areas - so even regionally within the province there are big differences in culture and language and social behaviours.

Same goes for Ontario - massive province in size - I can drive from my town in northern ontario for 18 hours and still not be at the north edge of my province. And it can’t be overstated how very very different each part of Ontario is from the others. I live, on the map, technically in upper central Ontario but we are considered “northern Ontario” because anything else north of us is SUPER isolated, and have very different lived experiences. Many communities further north than I am are fly-in only, or they are native communities, there are lots of timber and mining towns and camps. Folks who hail from those areas (and even in my area of ‘northern’ ontario) are very very different than people who’ve lived their lives south of my region. 

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14 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

In our state it's the tourists in rental RVs driving slowly on our inadequate roads to get from point A to point B backing up traffic.

Or getting too close to wildlife to take pictures. Or just stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures of the wildlife from a safe distance.

My dad's first cousin that he grew up with owns the house Goonies was filmed in in Oregon.  Tourists were annoying, but they've caused serious problems since the 25th or 30th anniversary that just came up (I forget which it is now.) It's at the top of a hill, in a neighborhood, so she posted a sign that read "Goonie access by foot only, please." for decades. Most tourists during that time took selfies in front of the house. In which ever anniversary year it was a few years go, there were 1,000 people a day walking up to the house for pics.  Locals couldn't get into or out of their homes because of tourists in the street.  Tourists didn't pick up their after their dogs they brought with them. People would bang on the door wanting a tour and yelling at her when she told them there are no tours and never have been. People dumped ashes (of human remains) in her flower garden without permission. Sean Astin made a public statement asking people to stop.  She finally put up a tarp over the house to discourage tourists.  She since went dark on FB, so I don't know how it all ended. She's in her mid-70s now. And no one should suggest selling the house to someone willing to do all that, it doesn't solve the problems it creates for the neighbors. The entitlement mindset of those tourists is shocking.  It was a cute movie when you a kid, tourist.  It's not worth being a jerk over it to get your stupid little selfie.

My husband's employee lives in Phoenix.  At the last house they were in, they had a next door neighbor who did a huge Halloween light display (like those Christmas light displays you see on the news except in purple, orange, and green with haunted house themes.)  Scores of people every night would drive by slowly to see it.  Employee and wife have a medically fragile foster child with severe respiratory issues. She was a licensed nurse before kids, so she's not one to fret unnecessarily, but child has to be hospitalized every. time. he has anything resembling respiratory illness because it could easily be fatal. No exceptions.  With that long line of cars packed in, moving slowly, neighbors can't get in or out of their houses, and emergency vehicles can't get in in a timely way, because that environment isn't designed to handle heavy traffic. This is a typical PHX neighborhood of high density single family homes with postage stamp sized lawns shoulder to shoulder. It really does put people at unnecessary risk. It's a rare person who thinks of things like that. PHX has a very high retiree population, so it's not just medically fragile children who have to be considered for emergency access.  

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

My first assumption would be that these Canadians are from Quebec, which is directly north of you. You could take a glance at their license plates to confirm this. They are speaking French because that is their native tongue, not because they are trying to annoy you or be secretive. As to the condescending attitude in stores, all I can say is that there is a cultural difference in customer service standard behaviour in Quebec, from my experience living right on the boarder with the province. It's like a scenario of, "I won't greet you and you don't greet me."  There is no conscious intent to be rude, that's simply how things are. 

Add in the fact that they may not be comfortable and/or enjoy speaking English, there is a good chance that they won't be chatty and overtly friendly when shopping.  Meet them in the pub in the evening and you may find a completely different situation. The Quebec sense of humour is very, very funny. Improv is extremely popular throughout the province. They have improv teams in their high schools and universities, just like you have sports teams. The adult teams that compete are off-the-charts funny. And yes, they actually have improv competitions. They are "serious" about their comedy. 😂

 

I think this is what the USians have been trying to communicate in this thread about our population. Not to assume negative motives an value judgments where none are intended.

 

44 minutes ago, Above The Rowan said:

I agree with this. 

One of my closest homeschooling friends are from Quebec, have lived in Ontario for a long time now with their family, and we still find there are some cultural differences as to things like speaking loudly, speaking very brusquely - and they are VERY ‘say what i think, no sugar coating’. It caught me off guard a bit when I first was getting to know her, and I swore she hated my guts for the first year we knew each other. But that’s just her way. Aside from that, I have never known anyone with a bigger heart or a bigger laugh, and man they are a FUNNY family - we always have such a blast when we hang out. 

My mother’s exhusband is from rural northern Quebec, and it was also a big culture shock when he merged into our family. His family would come to visit, and they CAN speak English, they all just chose not to. Even when my siblings and I are mostly angolophone, they would answer us in french when we spoke to them in English. They were VERY big proponents of keeping their French language and culture, and assumed it was the rest of Canada who should all make sure to speak French if they wanted to talk to them. Super snobby, they were. 

I lived in Ottawa for a number of years pre-kids, and had similar experiences with folks who would come across from Quebec. I was a server, and I would talk to them in English - they’d reply to me in French, and when I’d say in my battered-up French that I only understand a little, they’d get REALLY angry. This happened often enough that it was not a surprise to me after a few months of living in Ottawa. 

I think, too, sometimes people don’t realize how BIG some of our provinces are.  And how isolated many towns and cities are from each other. Quebec, since we’re on that topic, is a very large province, but with a ton of small rural areas - so even regionally within the province there are big differences in culture and language and social behaviours.

Same goes for Ontario - massive province in size - I can drive from my town in northern ontario for 18 hours and still not be at the north edge of my province. And it can’t be overstated how very very different each part of Ontario is from the others. I live, on the map, technically in upper central Ontario but we are considered “northern Ontario” because anything else north of us is SUPER isolated, and have very different lived experiences. Many communities further north than I am are fly-in only, or they are native communities, there are lots of timber and mining towns and camps. Folks who hail from those areas (and even in my area of ‘northern’ ontario) are very very different than people who’ve lived their lives south of my region. 

Ditto with this.

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9 hours ago, Amy in NH said:

 

I live in a high-tourism area an hour from the Canadian border, and we get a lot of Canadian tourists here.  Given the unfavorable exchange rate, I would guess they must be well off to vacation here, or maybe everything is just more expensive in Canada, and perhaps it is a class issue more than a cultural issue?  Anyway, most of them are not even remotely friendly - they have a condescending, arrogant attitude.  They often speak French with each other like they are talking about you behind your back, and make giant messes in the stores without picking up after themselves - treating store employees like their lowly servants.  The one Canadian national I know who lives and works here also has an unfriendly, condescending attitude, like she's always looking down her nose at you and judging you unworthy.

 

My border experiences have tended to be Washington/BC and NY/Ontario.

Presumably speaking French with each other is because they are from Quebec and that’s their language.  

Though they probably all will have studied English as their second language, many are not comfortable in it, IME.  (Related to work, when I would call to Quebec, someone who could speak comfortably in English sometimes had to be found—so that’s why I think that not all Québécois are comfortable in English, similar to in my current area there being many native Spanish as first language speakers who still struggle with English. 

(Or to reverse this, even if you are working on a language with kids for homeschooling, unless Language is really your thing and you are deliberately trying for immersion learning, even if you travel to a place where that language is spoken, you would probably speak in English within your family—not to be rude but because English is easier for you to communicate in.)

When I dealt with Québécois for work and also with a good friend in university, my approach of trying to meet them in their own language (even quite badly) a tiny bit, “Bonjour. C’est domage mais Je ne parle rien francais. Parlez vous Anglais?” helped a great deal.   If I lived that close to Quebec I’d probably use it as an opportunity to try to learn and practice some French.  

My Quebecois friend in university was bery friendly, so maybe there is a class aspect, or something else going on.  She was totally fluent in several languages including English, so language wasn’t a barrier which may have helped.  And she didn’t have a bunch of other Québécois to hang out with, so that too might have been part of it.  Or just individual personalities. 

I wonder if you could ask the Canadian National you know who lives where you are for help? Maybe for some useful French phrases, or insight, or how to ask them to bring you garments they try on (or whatever they are making mess of) when done so there’s less mess.  

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1 hour ago, Above The Rowan said:

 

Can confirm. 🤣

Actually, there are quite a few peeps in my town who would qualify into the Degen category. BHut generally people are much more like the Hicks (and has-been never-were local hockey players who still want to be chased after by the Puck Bunnies lol). 

This thread made me go look for more seasons, and I realized I am 1.5 seasons behind so I’ve been binge watching it like crazy this week. Some episodes are lame, but some of them just get me rolling. 

 

I thought Puck Bunnies were made up!  You know, for comedy!  I can walk to a rink from my house and I've never seen one in the wild.  I just got past the episode where she sends the "fat" shirtless models back to the big city.  I'm still clinging to the claim that I'm watching it to humor ds and dh.  They both have the greatest laughs of all time and hearing them both guffawing at Letterkenny has been a hoot.

This is NOT off-topic, Hive.  My family is doing their research to understand a culture outside our own.  Not everything we discover will be high art. 😁

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21 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I thought Puck Bunnies were made up!  You know, for comedy!  I can walk to a rink from my house and I've never seen one in the wild.  I just got past the episode where she sends the "fat" shirtless models back to the big city.  I'm still clinging to the claim that I'm watching it to humor ds and dh.  They both have the greatest laughs of all time and hearing them both guffawing at Letterkenny has been a hoot.

This is NOT off-topic, Hive.  My family is doing their research to understand a culture outside our own.  Not everything we discover will be high art. 😁

Puck Bunnies are a very real thing. 

I first started watching this show bc I wanted to make fun of it since it looked like such a ridiculous idea for a show. Then I realized I quite enjoyed it. For my DH and I it’s fun to pick out which sub groups our various family members or friends might fall into. 

The Skids are my fave though, they CRACK ME UP. 

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3 minutes ago, Above The Rowan said:

Puck Bunnies are a very real thing. 

I first started watching this show bc I wanted to make fun of it since it looked like such a ridiculous idea for a show. Then I realized I quite enjoyed it. For my DH and I it’s fun to pick out which sub groups our various family members or friends might fall into. 

The Skids are my fave though, they CRACK ME UP. 

YES!  So much choreography!

 

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1 hour ago, annegables said:

I think this is what the USians have been trying to communicate in this thread about our population. Not to assume negative motives an value judgments where none are intended.

 

Ditto with this.

Sure, the making a mess behaviour would not be appreciated no matter where the people come from. The language issue seems to be an ignorance of the country and province New Hampshire boarders. 

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As for the stereotype about French-speaking bilingual people acting angry about English, I hate to support a stereotype, but I did get that feeling with a number of individuals in France.  They spoke excellent English but were still angry (or looked angry) that they needed to use it.  FTR I do know some French, but for a bilingual person, conversing with me in French would be much more excruciating for them than English.  And based on their general demeanor, I didn't get the feeling they would appreciate my effort.  😛

I get that most of it is they just don't like the USA.  But I have to say that it is kind of sad to feel the hatred just for walking down their streets (regardless of whether I'm walking the culturally appropriate way or not).  I still prefer to travel than not, though.  (And yes I know others have probably felt that here - particularly people who wear Muslim or Sikh garb in certain conservative parts of the USA.  That is awful too.)

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14 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

Since tourists have come up so often in this thread, let me just take this moment to say....

Want to be a tourist and not worry what the locals think of you? Come visit Austin, Texas! Be one of the 27 million people from the US and other countries to visit our lovely city each year! We don't mind your cultural quirks. Be loud, have fun, enjoy the nightlife, eat at the restaurants and food trucks, hike the trails, sail the lakes, spend freely! South By Southwest is in March, Austin City Limits is in October! 

We like to meet people from other places and cultures, no matter how weirdly you behave. Weird is (literally) our motto! 

Because those millions of dollars each year from the (clean) tourist industry have a way of making us happy and very forgiving.

 

A friend of mine recently stayed at Miraval. She thoroughly enjoyed her stay there and the city itself! 🙂

In fact, she is still raving about it!

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30 minutes ago, Islandgal said:

A friend of mine just stayed at Miraval. She throughly enjoyed her stay there and the city itself! 🙂

In fact, she is still raving about it!

Great to hear! The hill country there is so beautiful. And only ten minutes' drive from Hippie Hollow, for those who like to experience the full diversity of Austin Weirdness. ;)

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14 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

Since tourists have come up so often in this thread, let me just take this moment to say....

Want to be a tourist and not worry what the locals think of you? Come visit Austin, Texas! Be one of the 27 million people from the US and other countries to visit our lovely city each year! We don't mind your cultural quirks. Be loud, have fun, enjoy the nightlife, eat at the restaurants and food trucks, hike the trails, sail the lakes, spend freely! South By Southwest is in March, Austin City Limits is in October! 

We like to meet people from other places and cultures, no matter how weirdly you behave. Weird is (literally) our motto! 

Because those millions of dollars each year from the (clean) tourist industry have a way of making us happy and very forgiving.

 

Sigh. If only the rest of Texas could be like Austin.

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46 minutes ago, Violet Crown said:

Great to hear! The hill country there is so beautiful. And only ten minutes' drive from Hippie Hollow, for those who like to experience the full diversity of Austin Weirdness. 😉

My brother was obsessed with this place back in the 80’s. I never realized how many nude resorts there actually are in Texas. There are two within half an hour of my old town!

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3 hours ago, wintermom said:

Sure, the making a mess behaviour would not be appreciated no matter where the people come from. The language issue seems to be an ignorance of the country and province New Hampshire boarders. 

Ummmm...you do realize that northern New England was heavily populated by Québécois and Acadians? Maine has many communities where French reigns, as I’m sure do New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the second most spoken language in Maine and Vermont and third in NH.  
There’s no ignorance about the province or country to our north. Seriously?

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58 minutes ago, SKL said:

As for the stereotype about French-speaking bilingual people acting angry about English, I hate to support a stereotype, but I did get that feeling with a number of individuals in France.  They spoke excellent English but were still angry (or looked angry) that they needed to use it.  FTR I do know some French, but for a bilingual person, conversing with me in French would be much more excruciating for them than English.  And based on their general demeanor, I didn't get the feeling they would appreciate my effort.  😛

I get that most of it is they just don't like the USA.  But I have to say that it is kind of sad to feel the hatred just for walking down their streets (regardless of whether I'm walking the culturally appropriate way or not).  I still prefer to travel than not, though.  (And yes I know others have probably felt that here - particularly people who wear Muslim or Sikh garb in certain conservative parts of the USA.  That is awful too.)

I have never seen this. First, French don't hate Americans. ATM most feel sorry for them and are perplexed by their acceptance of things the French find unacceptable. 

If you've had unpleasant experiences, it's likely on you. Do you say "Bonjour" when you enter a shop or interact with someone? Do you speak quietly? Americans are loud and it is considered impolite. You know how it's said one should put on perfume so no one but a person who is really, really close to you can tell you're wearing it? Think of your voice that way. Do you eat or drink  walking down the street? Don't, or be prepared for people to have a certain opinion of you that might affect your interaction with them. 

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

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9 minutes ago, bibiche said:

I have never seen this. First, French don't hate Americans. ATM most feel sorry for them and are perplexed by their acceptance of things the French find unacceptable. 

If you've had unpleasant experiences, it's likely on you. Do you say "Bonjour" when you enter a shop or interact with someone? Do you speak quietly? Americans are loud and it is considered impolite. You know how it's said one should put on perfume so no one but a person who is really, really close to you can tell you're wearing it? Think of your voice that way. Do you eat or drink  walking down the street? Don't, or be prepared for people to have a certain opinion of you that might affect your interaction with them. 

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

Believe me, I am not loud, not by any country's standards.  I do not eat on the roads.  I do not wear perfume, stand in the way, or tell people the US is best.  That said, I did have on white shoes ....

I should note that my co-travelers, who are Americans of Indian and Ukrainian origin, got the same vibe I did in France.

I should also note that this was back in 2014.

 

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

As for the stereotype about French-speaking bilingual people acting angry about English, I hate to support a stereotype, but I did get that feeling with a number of individuals in France.  They spoke excellent English but were still angry (or looked angry) that they needed to use it.  FTR I do know some French, but for a bilingual person, conversing with me in French would be much more excruciating for them than English.  And based on their general demeanor, I didn't get the feeling they would appreciate my effort.  😛

I get that most of it is they just don't like the USA.  But I have to say that it is kind of sad to feel the hatred just for walking down their streets (regardless of whether I'm walking the culturally appropriate way or not).  I still prefer to travel than not, though.  (And yes I know others have probably felt that here - particularly people who wear Muslim or Sikh garb in certain conservative parts of the USA.  That is awful too.)

This is interesting because it's so different from what we experienced. We lived in a French city that was not a typical tourist locale for 4 months and people fell over themselves apologizing for not speaking better English (some were essentially fluent, some knew very, very little). We had to reassure them that we were to blame.

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3 hours ago, MEmama said:

Ummmm...you do realize that northern New England was heavily populated by Québécois and Acadians? Maine has many communities where French reigns, as I’m sure do New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the second most spoken language in Maine and Vermont and third in NH.  
There’s no ignorance about the province or country to our north. Seriously?

It can't be both ways, can it? Either they are Canadian and bloody annoying, as the PP stated, or they are American and annoying. I guess going into a shop and speaking a language different than English is enough to be annoying, though.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Believe me, I am not loud, not by any country's standards.  I do not eat on the roads.  I do not wear perfume, stand in the way, or tell people the US is best.  That said, I did have on white shoes ....

I should note that my co-travelers, who are Americans of Indian and Ukrainian origin, got the same vibe I did in France.

I should also note that this was back in 2014.

 

Sure, maybe it was your white shoes. More likely, they didn't care enough to hate you (why would they?), and you mistook non-effusiveness for something it wasn't. Maybe your expectations were that French people are rude and so you read into actions things that weren't there. Of course, it's always possible they hated you on sight. 😋

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4 hours ago, xahm said:

This is interesting because it's so different from what we experienced. We lived in a French city that was not a typical tourist locale for 4 months and people fell over themselves apologizing for not speaking better English (some were essentially fluent, some knew very, very little). We had to reassure them that we were to blame.

Paris has come by its reputation for looking down on non-francophones honestly.

Other parts of France do tend to be friendlier.

 

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5 hours ago, bibiche said:

Basically, as in any other place you travel to, behave like a polite, refined individual and you will be received as one. It's pretty simple.

One of my big takeaways from this whole thread is that what may be considered "polite and refined" or socially acceptable isn't the same across cultures. So if you mean that tourists should do their best to adopt the social norms of the place they are visiting, sure. But I also think we could all be better at giving people the benefit of the doubt, having some patience, and trying to accept others for who they are and not who we think they should be.

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