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Old 02-05-2008, 11:11 PM   #286
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i'm exaggerating, but when you get into political discussions, there's a tendency to hold the American in the room accountable for all the ill in the world, and there's a dismissiveness towards anything the US does that's frankly unintelligent.

and any traveler in Paris -- American or not -- should expect to feel unwelcome at certain points.

i also think there's a formality and almost coldness in Europe that is not present in the US. people simply are friendlier over here. and less formal. even in the supposedly cold-hearted northeast.
Thanks for the reply. I think my experiences were a little different than yours, but I can see your point. I've also been to regions in the US where I truly felt unwelcome, which was unsettling.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #287
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well, i was winking, but there is a reason those Canadians drape themselves in their flag ... obnoxious as it is.

I thought they usually used the flag to keep their foul smell in ...
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #288
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and any traveler in Paris -- American or not -- should expect to feel unwelcome at certain points.
At least they don't expect you to speak French fluently like they do with us.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #289
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Thanks for the reply. I think my experiences were a little different than yours, but I can see your point. I've also been to regions in the US where I truly felt unwelcome, which was unsettling.
Coming out of lurkerdom to ask:

where in the US did you feel unwelcome? Do you have an idea as to why that was?
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #290
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What I found very hard to deal with is that so many people I met in the US who treated me well and were very friendly have socio-political views that are completely fucked up and are astonishingly ignorant about the rest of the world. I went with a friend to a Southern Baptist church and got a very warm and inclusive welcome - but internally, I felt very isolated, as I was at the time a liberal Christian, and I imagine I'd feel even worse now that I'm an agnostic. I was terrified during the sermon.
I believe that's what we call "Southern Charm." That is, they hide their contempt with smiles, which is also why they seem to take strongly to that whole "hate the sin, love the sinner" adage. At least Northerners are honest; if they hate you, you'll know soon enough.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:14 PM   #291
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where in the US did you feel unwelcome? Do you have an idea as to why that was?

I'm guessing Queens. Because Pryk wasn't with him.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:14 PM   #292
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Frankly I don't know why you'd go to a Southern Baptist church to begin with. I mean that's one of those "you know what you're getting into before you go in" sorts of things.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:14 PM   #293
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I don't know a single person who did that. Not a one. Everyone who I know that spent real time in Europe either went as part of a student exchange, or because they'd been born in Europe or otherwise had EU citizenship.

I was talking about travelling in Europe, which we do a lot more of, not spending 2 years working there.


i think, yes, a higher percentage of Canadians travel than do Americans -- though you only have 30m some odd people, kind of hard to make the comparison -- but i met many Canadians, and even more Aussies and Kiwis, in the UK who took advantage of these programs.

we don't have them. and i'd argue that the cultural ties between the UK and Canada are much closer than they are between the US and any other country. you are part of the Commonwealth. we fought a great big war.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:15 PM   #294
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Current tally:

Clinton--Oklahoma, Tennessee*, Arkansas, New York*, New Jersey, Massachusetts*
Obama--Illinois*, Georgia*, Delaware, Alabama, North Dakota, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota*

McCain--Delaware, New Jersey**, Connecticut, Illinois**, New York**, Oklahoma, Arizona**
Romney--Massachusetts, Utah**, North Dakota, Minnesota
Huckabee--West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama


(* = rather large delegate count + significant-looking victory margin)

(** = winner-take-all state with rather large delegate count, OR significant-looking victory margin in non-winner-take-all state with lots of delegates)
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:15 PM   #295
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Coming out of lurkerdom to ask:

where in the US did you feel unwelcome? Do you have an idea as to why that was?
The South. Georgia, South Carolina and Northern Florida. More than once.

Not sure why. Maybe I had my thick Bronx accent and it made me sound a lot more ridiculous that I really am? Maybe it was my Jewish Star that I used to wear on a necklace outside of my shirt? I do not know. I just know that I was made to feel worse than I've ever felt in my life without being directly insulted. Hard to explain.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:19 PM   #296
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Originally posted by Irvine511

we don't have them. and i'd argue that the cultural ties between the UK and Canada are much closer than they are between the US and any other country. you are part of the Commonwealth. we fought a great big war.
I don't dispute that. But you see Canadians all over the world. I think our stats are exactly opposite - 80% of you have no passport and more than 80% of us do. (Of course after 9/11 now everyone will have to so the numbers have skewed). We travel within the US and abroad much, much more. Even when you take away the Commonwealth, it is a huge and indisputable difference.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:20 PM   #297
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i also think there's a formality and almost coldness in Europe that is not present in the US. people simply are friendlier over here. and less formal. even in the supposedly cold-hearted northeast.
See, I didn't have that experience at all. I didn't find Americans to be any more friendly than Australians. I would say that in public, like at shops, Americans are more rude.

One tangentially related comparison I find interesting is airports. US airports scare the shit out of me. They feel like prisons and are not welcoming. In comparison, I've had pleasant, casual conversations with customs officials at Melbourne, Wellington, and Auckland airports. Especially in New Zealand, I feel very comfortable in airports, but in the US, I felt like I was under suspicion and that I was doing something wrong simply by being there.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:21 PM   #298
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Ahh, Utah. I don't live there anymore, but it's my home state, so I've got to appreciate its craziness. Clinton and Obama are neck and neck as the votes come in... Obviously Romney won for the Republicans, but it cracks me up to see that currently Ron Paul is beating out Huckabee. Haha! I do not like Huckabee.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:22 PM   #299
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I don't dispute that. But you see Canadians all over the world. I think our stats are exactly opposite - 80% of you have no passport and more than 80% of us do. (Of course after 9/11 now everyone will have to so the numbers have skewed). We travel within the US and abroad much, much more. Even when you take away the Commonwealth, it is a huge and indisputable difference.


i don't disagree either. i think there's a similarity between Canada and Australia/NZ here. there doesn't seem to me to be as strong a sense of national identity, and i think when that happens, getting out and seeing the world seems a more attractive thing to do. these are large countries with small populations and there's only so many places to go and see. contrast this with Europe where you can't go 50 miles and not run into something of enormous historical importance.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:22 PM   #300
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Frankly I don't know why you'd go to a Southern Baptist church to begin with. I mean that's one of those "you know what you're getting into before you go in" sorts of things.
Let's just say it wasn't my choice. Apparently this particular church I went to is only loosely affiliated with the SBC and is about as "liberal" as a Southern Baptist church comes. I hate to think what a normal one is like ...
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