The Quentin Tarantino Archives logo

Going to Europe - Need some advice!


#1

Soooo, I’m going to Europe this August for the first time in my life. I’m planning on going to the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and possibly France with some friends. However, a lot of people have been telling me horror stories about how they were treated in parts of Europe (especially France for some reason) because they were North American. However, a lot of people have been telling me the opposite.

Now, I’m not some bloated obnoxious American, or a bloated obnoxious Canadian, but is there anything I should know, behavior wise, that may be taken as rude? Obviously this is a VERY broad question, but everyone’s been telling me how many western Europeans take offense to a lot of things North Americans do, and even though I don’t really believe it (or I assume the North Americans in question were idiots) I can’t help but feel a bit paranoid.

So, if you’re not offended by the sheer broadness of this question, do you have any advice?


#2

People in western societies are pretty much the same basically, so there should be nothing for you to worry about, when it comes to dos and don’ts. I’m sure if you behave like always, nothing will be taken as rude or offensive.



"I assume the North Americans in question were idiots"



So do I.


#3

[quote=“Crazy Kenneth”]
People in western societies are pretty much the same basically, so there should be nothing for you to worry about, when it comes to dos and don’ts. I’m sure if you behave like always, nothing will be taken as rude or offensive.



"I assume the North Americans in question were idiots"



So do I.
[/quote]

Yeah, what he said.



As reference, I’m from England.



Like any place, you’re likely to find people that aren’t open to new cultures and people that embrace them. However, I’d be VERY surprised if you were to be treated negatively. The reason being - I live in and around areas where there is a vast cultural diversity. Cities like London, Leicester and Manchester have people from various ethnic backgrounds, they’re used to seeing new faces.



My family is fairly liberal and so are the majority of my friends and relatives. We’d welcome anybody with open arms. Again, if you received some hostility whilst you were here, I’d be VERY surprised. Even if you did, it won’t be due to you being Canadian. Although I live in a western society, I live in a town with a lot of people who aren’t really considered “western”. However, there aren’t really any problems apart from the occasional language-communication difficulty with some of the minority. In the past half year, I’ve had a white Scottish-English dude, a Czech dude and an American dude come live with us. The American dude I took to an all-Asian sports fair, he was the only white dude from around 1,000 Asians - nobody batted an eye-lid! He’s actually back in the country, can’t wait to see him again. My point being, we’re very hospitable. As long as you don’t do anything silly yourself (like kill someone), you’re ok!



The only negative thing I can think of (besides the poor weather) and not to put you off, but we do have a bit of racial conflict at times - mostly asians against whites. But that’s between the idiotic, uneducated wankers you’re likely to find anywhere. I’d doubt highly if you were to be affected.



On a side note, I’ve heard bad things about France too, that they don’t treat people well. Also, and I’m not being racist, but whilst at uni in a city away from home, my housemates and I were often put off by the cold, negligent Chinese International students that lived next door to us and the others we’d meet in and around uni. I don’t know what it was, but everytime they’d walk by us, they would lower their heads so as not to look at us. I never ONCE heard any of them speak English and apart from a couple of girls, they wouldn’t ever return a smile. Maybe I’m a bit ignorant of their culture, but surely they should make an affort and abide by the consensus that if someone smiles at you wishing to be friendly, you smile back. There were so many instances where our friendliness would get ignored. It was quite rude. Suffice to say we stopped trying to be friendly, and just got on with life. I’m just saying, it would have been nice if we had a good relationship with our neighbours. :-</E> We never had a problem with the other International students - Americans, Canadians, Germans, Dutch, Arabs, Pakistanis, Indians, Malaysians, Japanese, Czech, Phillipino, Turkish, Nigerians or Greeks.


#4

Pretend you’re Japanese.


#5

[quote=“plunderbunnie”]
Soooo, I’m going to Europe this August for the first time in my life. I’m planning on going to the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and possibly France with some friends. However, a lot of people have been telling me horror stories about how they were treated in parts of Europe (especially France for some reason) because they were North American. However, a lot of people have been telling me the opposite.

Now, I’m not some bloated obnoxious American, or a bloated obnoxious Canadian, but is there anything I should know, behavior wise, that may be taken as rude? Obviously this is a VERY broad question, but everyone’s been telling me how many western Europeans take offense to a lot of things North Americans do, and even though I don’t really believe it (or I assume the North Americans in question were idiots) I can’t help but feel a bit paranoid.

So, if you’re not offended by the sheer broadness of this question, do you have any advice?
[/quote]

I’ve heard that the French like us now that we elected Obama. Tell me how it goes.

Every Frenchman I ever knew was an asshole - no matter where you were from.


#6

I’ve been to Europe a couple of times and I’ve always been treated well except for the French they can get a little bitchy at times… Even before Bush and the Iraq war. I just don’t think the French like Americans or Canadians or Mexicans… Italians are the best though…


#7

People that would treat you like shit are not worth it anyway. So just ignore them. You will always run into people that suck. But mostly you will be treated as you treat them! So don’t worry and be your lovely self!



And do visit The Netherlands! :angel:


#8

[quote=“nublob”]
I’ve been to Europe a couple of times and I’ve always been treated well except for the French they can get a little bitchy at times… Even before Bush and the Iraq war. I just don’t think the French like Americans or Canadians or Mexicans… Italians are the best though…
[/quote]

Itallians will pinch your girlfriend’s ass right in front of you “a what are you gonna a do about it?”


#9

[quote=“Seth_Gecko”]
People that would treat you like shit are not worth it anyway. So just ignore them. You will always run into people that suck. But mostly you will be treated as you treat them! So don’t worry and be your lovely self!



And do visit The Netherlands! :angel:
[/quote]

Half of the Dutch are in Madrid ;D


#10

[quote=“asshole from el paso”]
I’ve heard that the French like us now that we elected Obama. Tell me how it goes.

Every Frenchman I ever knew was an asshole - no matter where you were from.
[/quote]

Ahah, French are crazy about Obama.



But I have to protect France right now and break that cliché about us being unpolite, rude, mean to foreigners. That’s WRONG. One thing sure, French cannot speak that well in English, so it’s always harder to have a discussion in shops, though in Paris, you cannot pretend that sellers don’t speak english, they all do. I have this strong feeling that sellers were rude in London, they never say hello or thanks for coming, thanks for buying anything, or such things, while they all do that in France. Sellers were even surprised when I said goodbye or thanks or anything that kind.



Don’t be afraid about France, don’t be afraid of Paris at least, or any touristic place. That’s a weird thing cause people both believe in the cliché we’re rude to foreigners and both believe in the cliché that France is the most romantic place. Why would it be the most romantic place if French would call you MF ??


#11

[quote=“cyber-lili”]
Ahah, French are crazy about Obama.



But I have to protect France right now and break that cliché about us being unpolite, rude, mean to foreigners. That’s WRONG. One thing sure, French cannot speak that well in English, so it’s always harder to have a discussion in shops, though in Paris, you cannot pretend that sellers don’t speak english, they all do. I have this strong feeling that sellers were rude in London, they never say hello or thanks for coming, thanks for buying anything, or such things, while they all do that in France. Sellers were even surprised when I said goodbye or thanks or anything that kind.



Don’t be afraid about France, don’t be afraid of Paris at least, or any touristic place. That’s a weird thing cause people both believe in the cliché we’re rude to foreigners and both believe in the cliché that France is the most romantic place. Why would it be the most romantic place if French would call you MF ??
[/quote]

Woah, we English folk are very polite, too polite is the running joke. When boarding a bus:



Passenger: Single to Bus Station please.

Driver: That’s £1 then, please.

Passenger: [hands over money]

Driver: Thanks.

Passenger: [takes ticket] Thanks.

[Passenger sits down until stop is reached. Gets up and walks past driver]

Passenger: Cheers.

Driver: Thanks.

[Passenger exits bus]



;D



We say please and thank you far too often, it’s just the norm here. Even if we pay for a service, and the person providing you with the product doesn’t actually do anything but take the money and hand the product over, there’s a million thank you’s involved. I’m a salesman for the largest electrical retailer in the UK, when I used to work on checkouts and someone hands me over say a memory card to buy, there’s a greeting followed by a “please” and “thank you” after every exchange (money/card, product, change, receipt, bag) and then a goodbye comment too. We’re VERY polite. Maybe the Londoners are just basterds though ;D


#12

Ahah. Yeha, I was very surprised first time I went to London. London’s suburbs is different though. More polite and friendly. But in London, I swear, I heard no “thanks” and no greatings or whatever. I’m used to overthank people, ahah, so no overpoliteness always surprise me. But don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against UK, love it.


#13

Thanks everybody! :smiley:



I feel less terrified now. I think I’m most afraid of France because I’m used to a lot of people in Quebec who are less then friendly. I already find it embarrassing that I can’t speak French, and a lot of people make your life harder for it (But I LOVE LOVE LOVE Quebec anyway!).



I was talking to one of my friends who was “warning” me about Europe, and said that Europeans overreact when you complain about their food. As someone that does a lot of cooking for my friends, I find complaining about food to be incredibly rude. The only food I ever vocally complain about is my own! Even in a restaurant if I dislike my food I eat it anyway and say I enjoyed it.



Geio, I could pretend to be Japanese, but then I’d have an offensively bad attempt at a Japanese accent, and I doubt that would go over well for me :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

All you need to survive in Brittain:



From How to be an Alien:



The Weather



This is the most important topic in the land. Do not be misled by memories of your youth when, on the Continent, wanting to describe someone as exceptionally dull, you remarked: “He is the type who would discuss the weather with you.” In England this is an ever-interesting, even thrilling topic, and you must be good as discussing the weather.



Examples for conversation



For Good Weather

“Lovely day, isn’t it?”

“Isn’t it beautiful?”

“The sun …”

“Isn’t it gorgeous?”

“Wonderful, isn’t it?”

“It’s so nice and hot …”

“Personally, I think it’s so nice when it’s hot - isn’t it?”

“I adore it - don’t you?”





For Bad Weather

"Nasty day, isn’t it?"

“Isn’t it dreadful?”

“The rain … I hate the rain …”

“I don’t like it at all. Do you?”

“Fancy such a day in July. Rain in the morning, then a bit of sunshine, and then rain, rain, rain all day long.”

“I remember exactly the same July day in 1936.”

“Yes, I remember too.”

“Or was it in 1928?”

“Yes, it was.”

“Or in 1939?”

"Yes, that’s right."



Now observe the last few sentences of this conversation. A very important rule emerges from it. You must never contradict anybody when discussing the weather. Should it hail and snow, should hurricanes uproot the trees from the sides of the road, and should someone remark to you: “Nice day, isn’t it?” - answer without hesitation: "Isn’t it lovely?"



Learn the above conversation by heart. If you are a bit slow in picking things up, learn at least one conversation, it would do wonderfully for any occasion.



If you do not say anything else for the rest of your life, just repeat this conversation, you still have a fair chance of passing as a remarkably witty man of sharp intellect, keen observation and extremely pleasant manners.


#15

dude you’ll be fine in Europe. if someone complains, say you’re from England and then they’ll understand :wink:


#16

Haha. We are a nation of moaners though. We moan about EVERYTHING!


#17

[quote=“Ify”]
Haha. We are a nation of moaners though. We moan about EVERYTHING!
[/quote]

In France too, we do moan & complain about everything. ;D



But Plunder, if you plan to go to France, or to Paris, tell me. I’ll recommand you good places. And don’t worry about the food, Paris is great for that. You can eat whatever you want, from american, british, asian, african or 100% french food.


#18

going to Europe you say?





here’s a tip to help you blend in:



don’t take any deodorant or a toothbrush with you ;D


#19

If you come to SWEDEN, don’t talk german with them becouse they will get insulted. And don’t mention the swedish-russian war; weak spot.


#20

[quote=“asshole from el paso”]
here’s a tip to help you blend in:



don’t take any deodorant or a toothbrush with you ;D
[/quote]

Where does that cliché even come from ? :stuck_out_tongue: