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Old 11-07-2009, 04:04   #181
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Funny thing I observe is Americans from the South tend to have good eye contact. Meet a real cowboy and he will pin ya with a both eyes (as suppose to just one from a yankee ) I never really notice this tendency until I lived up in the Northwest for a couple years. Maybe its less geographical as it is rural/city?
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In some cultures looking at someone that directly is regarded as aggression. I tend to feel a bit that way myself. Especially if they are sales persons
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:41   #182
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Since we're back on traffic issues, here's something I just remembered:

In the US when you have a traffic circle (roundabout) the traffic already in the circle always has the right of way with those wishing to enter the circle having to yield to anyone already in it.

In many parts of Germany the traffic entering the circle has the right of way and those already in the circle must stop for them to let them in.

I realize everywhere is different, but in all my years driving in Germany I never could see the logic in that setup.
You think that's bad - here in Ottawa there's a single roundabout where both conventions exist. It depends upon the direction you're travelling. North or South enter and exit have right-of-way. Going East or West in or out of the circle, you must yield.

I don't know if it's like this in the US, but up here the traffic planners have started using roundabouts for traffic-calming - whereas in England and other places that have used them forever, they are designed to maintain an efficient flow of traffic and reduce the need for starting and stopping. As a result there is no set convention for right-of-way in a roundabout in Canada, and intersections are becoming more dangerous. imho.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:39   #183
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Actually, all roundabouts in Germany (marked with the blue sign below) have right-of-way to those in the roundabout. No exceptions.

What is strange in Germany is that when two roads cross and there is no signage, cars coming from your right have right-of-way. This is very confusing but, when people understand the system, slows traffic down in residential areas without requiring stop signs and traffic lights.

But on the subject of roundabouts, there is a very nasty one between Heathrow and Bedfont Lakes called Hatton Cross which has a central one surrounded by 3 or 4 outer ones, letting you choose if you want to take the 3 outer ones or slip into the middle one - it is quite confusing even for the aboriginals.

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:53   #184
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Actually, all roundabouts in Germany (marked with the blue sign below) have right-of-way to those in the roundabout. No exceptions.

What is strange in Germany is that when two roads cross and there is no signage, cars coming from your right have right-of-way. This is very confusing but, when people understand the system, slows traffic down in residential areas without requiring stop signs and traffic lights.

But on the subject of roundabouts, there is a very nasty one between Heathrow and Bedfont Lakes called Hatton Cross which has a central one surrounded by 3 or 4 outer ones, letting you choose if you want to take the 3 outer ones or slip into the middle one - it is quite confusing even for the aboriginals.


There are a few of these large islands with satelites, and they are humourously known as Magic Roundabouts, after the cult 60s and 70s kids (and adults) cartoon prog. (Zebedee, Florence, Dylan, Brian, Paul, Mr McKenzee, Ermintrude et al)
Gawd, im showing my age.

The first magic roundabout i encountered was @ 1981 and it looked like mayhem, yet proves that when you deregulate the system and allow people to make their own decisions, things run more smoothly. You often find when traffic lights are out, the traffic flow is improved, people pay more attention and drive more safely.
Being treated like an idiot encourages people to behave like idiots.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:21   #185
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anjou - For a long period several years ago I stayed at a hotel on one side of Heathrow and had to traverse that roundabout twice daily. They also had a traffic light right before the roundabout and would shut down the road in order to open up some gates and haul aircraft across (jumbos and the venerable Concorde) from the maintenance hangars.
While on the subject of traffic - bikers usually greet each other by using their right hands (the one not on the throttle). But in countries with left-hand traffic that doesn't work because the hand is on the far side, so in those countries they have a move-your-head-sideways-till-the-neck-pops method which can prompt neck problems and chiropractor visits to newbies who encounter lots of other riders on the road.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:27   #186
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anjou - For a long period several years ago I stayed at a hotel on one side of Heathrow and had to traverse that roundabout twice daily. They also had a traffic light right before the roundabout and would shut down the road in order to open up some gates and haul aircraft across (jumbos and the venerable Concorde) from the maintenance hangars.
While on the subject of traffic - bikers usually greet each other by using their right hands (the one not on the throttle). But in countries with left-hand traffic that doesn't work because the hand is on the far side, so in those countries they have a move-your-head-sideways-till-the-neck-pops method which can prompt neck problems and chiropractor visits to newbies who encounter lots of other riders on the road.
Funny you should say that cos last year i rode pillion for the first time in 30 years and was reminded when the rider was resembling someone with a nervous twitch. When you race from cafe to cafe, you see a lot of other bikes and the poor guy didnt stop twitching all day
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:36   #187
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anjou - in those countries they have a move-your-head-sideways-till-the-neck-pops method which can prompt neck problems and chiropractor visits to newbies who encounter lots of other riders on the road.
in Australia we only nod to other true bikers no scooters or sooks wherein safety vests which my job involves me to where and when i leave it on I think why is no one saying hi then I stop take it off and i have respect again.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:41   #188
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anjou - I drove away from a big biker meet a couple of weeks ago and had my left hand out for a stretch of about 20Km, that was tiring but was better than the neck injuries I would have sustained had I been in the UK or Oz. In the UK they also have a biker right-leg-off-pedal-and-back that the passing bike does when overtaking another. I've never seen that signal used anywhere else. Since I drive my bike like a granddad, I got to see that signal a lot

Back to the thread - For some reason, it is not considered correct to applaud, instead you knock on the table. This is a strange feeling the first time it happens to foreigners - they give a presentation or talk in front of a crowd and instead of the expected light clapping you get a lot of guys banging on the table. At least the clapping isn't syncopated
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Old 15-07-2009, 01:44   #189
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Actually I've normally encountered 'veessa' for the charge card and both 'veessa' and 'veeza' when referring to the government document.
Yes pronounciations are facinating. You Americans pronounce McDonalds "Macdonalds" in Australia we pronounce it as "that crap".

LOL.
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Old 15-07-2009, 03:16   #190
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in Australia we pronounce it as "that crap".

LOL.
or mcchucks
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Old 15-07-2009, 07:10   #191
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You know the McDonald's jokes are crazy because in all my years I have never met an American that averages as much McDonald's in a year as most of the Europeans I know.

I was amazed by the sheer number of McD's in London and in just about every city in Germany you can't walk 5 minutes in any direction without encountering one.

I used to sit and listen to how Americans eat such horrible food while everyone around the table would have eaten more cheeseburgers and big macs in a month than most people I know in the US would eat in a year!

Granted we have our load of misconceptions as well. When I moved to Mexico I expected to see tacos and burritos everywhere. I was surprised to learn that burritos don't even exist outside of the US (and the very northern border area) and that hamburgers and hotdogs are the most common street foods. The Mexicans also had the idea that Americans eat hamburgers and hotdogs all the time and were surprised when I'd tell them that I had never seen so much fast food in my life before going to Mexico.
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Old 15-07-2009, 11:23   #192
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Drew, you remember the old days when "truck driver" was a profession, not just something people did between jobs.

Gord, there are several scenes involving flashing lights in "Close Encounters", including one on the road.
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Old 15-07-2009, 13:26   #193
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When I am beat tired - I say "my puppies are barking" meaning my feet hurt. I have lived mostly in the south (USA) so I assume its a southern saying, maybe related to the shoes - hush puppies?
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Old 15-07-2009, 13:36   #194
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In this part of the world "Puppies" can be used as a (polite-ish) euphemism for...........breasts Barking is of course simple shorthand for barking mad (completely crazy).

I only mention it in case you ever get funny looks in this part of the world. at about chest level
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Old 15-07-2009, 15:51   #195
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When I am beat tired - I say "my puppies are barking" meaning my feet hurt. I have lived mostly in the south (USA) so I assume its a southern saying, maybe related to the shoes - hush puppies?
The Assistant Director I broke into the biz with always said that, too, Ocean Girl, only he would add "at me." As in, "Man, my puppies are barkin' at me." He might have been from the south side of Burbank, but he'd lived in LA his whole life, though I suppose he could have picked it up while in the army (which is composed of about 60% southerners.)

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