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Old 27-07-2016, 04:45   #121
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
I've never run across an American posing as a Canadian. If any of you have, and there are a few on here claiming that, let's have specifics about it. Leave names out, but places, times and causes would be illuminating.
I have met several in France. I met one at a gas station, a conversation that started over my license plate. The son had met up with his parents but previous to that had been backpacking as a Canadian. He would readily admit he was American but thought it might be helpful to show as Canadian superficially. Folks sell online 'I'm a Canadian' kits for American backpackers that include sew-on flags for their knapsacks, so clearly there is a market for it. I think the typical reaction these days in Europe is to embrace American tourists, and it's the younger brit males that need to hide their provenance when on the continent. Ain't stereotypes a wonderful thing?
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Old 27-07-2016, 04:52   #122
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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I thought you were Massachusettsian.
A gun-toting Canadian stuck in the People's Repubik of Taxachusetts six months of the year, working in a nuthouse.
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Old 27-07-2016, 05:06   #123
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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A gun-toting Canadian stuck in the People's Repubik of Taxachusetts six months of the year, working in a nuthouse.
I could go along with the nuthouse description. The times I had to go to Boston on business it's a good thing I wasn't toting a gun. I would have shot at least 5-6 people a day in traffic altercations.

I've been stuck in traffic jams all over the world and without a doubt the worst (as in rudest, meanest and most aggressive) drivers I ever encountered were in Boston.

Now I'm sure there are plenty of very nice people in Boston but they must all stay home and off the roads.
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Old 27-07-2016, 05:26   #124
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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I could go along with the nuthouse description. The times I had to go to Boston on business it's a good thing I wasn't toting a gun. I would have shot at least 5-6 people a day in traffic altercations.
You missunderstood me, I really do work in a nuthouse. As in.... "Nurse Rached."
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Old 27-07-2016, 05:38   #125
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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I've been stuck in traffic jams all over the world and without a doubt the worst (as in rudest, meanest and most aggressive) drivers I ever encountered were in Boston.

I just recently had the joy of spending considerable time driving through five Canadian provinces and 17 US states. I did this on my little motorcycle over seven months, so was able to spend a lot of time in many areas.

On a motorcycle you are very aware of the driving of everyone else; tailgaters, speedy zig-zaggers, aggressive drivers and outright rudeness is all much easier to spot from two wheels.

I was surprised to find that the two areas with the most obnoxious, aggressive and simply rude drivers were Houston and southern Ontario.

So much for Canadian politeness.


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Old 27-07-2016, 06:12   #126
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

We yoopers (from the upper peninsula of Michigan) are the only United States residents that are routinely mistaken as Canadians. This is because of our Finnish accent eh.

The really good ear can discern the difference though.

I can say that the only distasteful experience we had in two years of cruising through Europe and the Caribbean was with an US cruiser in Spain. This guy had been on his boat in close quarters with his wife for too many years.

We approached the entire experience without preconceptions and met many wonderful folks.
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Old 27-07-2016, 06:18   #127
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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You missunderstood me, I really do work in a nuthouse. As in.... "Nurse Rached."
OH!! Nuthouse as in straight jackets and thorazine.

I still stand by my comments about Boston drivers with my apologies to the four or five good drivers that still live there.
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Old 27-07-2016, 06:19   #128
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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I can say that the only distasteful experience we had in two years of cruising through Europe and the Caribbean was with an US cruiser in Spain. This guy had been on his boat in close quarters with his wife for too many years.

We approached the entire experience without preconceptions and met many wonderful folks.
Seriously.... I think we met that guy.
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Old 27-07-2016, 06:30   #129
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

Interesting you found Houston such a bad place to drive. I had to go there on a regular basis for business for years and relatively speaking, didn't find it all that bad. Have not yet had the pleasure of driving in south Ontario but will be prepared.

Having been a motorcycle rider off and on for years I can relate. Sitting totally exposed makes you very, very aware of what idiot drivers are doing.

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I just recently had the joy of spending considerable time driving through five Canadian provinces and 17 US states. I did this on my little motorcycle over seven months, so was able to spend a lot of time in many areas.

On a motorcycle you are very aware of the driving of everyone else; tailgaters, speedy zig-zaggers, aggressive drivers and outright rudeness is all much easier to spot from two wheels.

I was surprised to find that the two areas with the most obnoxious, aggressive and simply rude drivers were Houston and southern Ontario.

So much for Canadian politeness.


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Old 27-07-2016, 20:57   #130
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Perhaps a lot of it is but depending on where you are, there may be real dangers faced in being American. I recall seeing hatred and seeing spit flying out of peoples' contorted mouths back when Bush had sent us across borders where we shouldn't have been. Back then it was survival to be incognito as British or whatever.

America's foreign policy has toned down these days and we've pulled troops out of a lot of places, so hopefully the threats aren't as they were. We're now about 85% independent of Saudi oil and our regional politics are driven more around coalition causes, not unilateral "you're either with us or against us" type cowboy stuff.

However, for a typical sailor visiting foreign ports of call hopefully the biggest challenge is the typical pickpocket or outboard-snatcher - same stuff we face in LA harbor or Biscayne Bay or wherever.

Interesting thread that you've started SeaDreaming, next time let's start something less controversial, like anchors and DDs

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It's funny actually.....I remember LOTS of hatred for our (THEN) administration when we were dropping bombs. Again, mostly talk, but why advertise (at the time), that you're a bloody American and make yourself a target for vitriol...or worse?

My comment about becoming "Canadian" was mostly tongue in cheek". If that poor guy I described had just said "No" ...he would have saved himself a broken nose.

People get too wrapped up around the axle..."Dishonest" you say????...maybe, but prudent if one is faced with an intimidating situation, which is seldom if ever.

Nobody finds the humor...oh wait..."humour" of a Yank in a bar buying rounds of Molsons or Labatts saying "eh" a lot while rooting for the Canadiens or Canucks? Maybe throwing in a positive comment about Man City or Man United as appropriate just in case to appease the Brits. Oh, or maybe even wearing a "Wallaby jacket". Might as well cover all the bases in case you can't figure out the accents. We all know that most hooligans are either Brits or Aussies. (kidding) Big Grin

Also...if being an American abroad wasn't an issue at times......why is there a market for "Canadian Kits".

One more thing..... I travel the world...it's my job. For the record...I've NEVER had an issue as an "American" anywhere. I've listened to some trash talk and drunken American bashing...but have never felt physically threatened....ever.

As I've said before. I'm very sweet....even for a bluidy Yank.
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Old 28-07-2016, 00:08   #131
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Safety for Americans abroad

I traveled with a guy that carried videos of head shots at night of Iraqis that he liked showing to the good ole boys and laughing. It mattered not, to him, who was in the room. Zero tact.
Never knew when to shut up.

I watched a young French barber in Dubai struggle with using the straight razor on his sideburns or carotid one evening.

Part of our assignment was dealing with cultural disputes. Wasn't his strong suit.

He died falling from a balcony in Singapore a few years later. Always wondered about it.
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Old 28-07-2016, 04:55   #132
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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But nobody knows you are a US American before you announce it.
I'm Canadian, but in Spain I'm almost always taken for an American. They know I'm speaking English but it isn't British English so they assume I'm American. When I correct them, I almost always get an apology--for the implied insult. In June I actually had one Brit ask me what the heck we were thinking over there, nominating Trump. When I told him we Canadians had no idea ... he profusely apologized. Still, there has never been any implied threat.

There have been a number of Europeans we spoke to who expressed concerns about increased chances of war &/or economic distress should Trump be elected, but that's another issue.

The American love affair with firearms is a bigger puzzle for Europeans to understand, far more so than Trump. We are often questioned on why the Americans are so gun crazy. Again though, no implied threat. As an earlier poster mentioned, I'd be more concerned about your security in the US than in many other parts of the world.
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Old 28-07-2016, 05:40   #133
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

Thank you for weighing in Prairie Chicken. Your comments are amongst the scenarios Ive envisioned. I like the "I have no idea" response. Some of the things Americans do are absurd. But I dont want to spend my time as an appologist.
Ohhh, how about "America has 319 million people, some of them are bound to be fools. Now, where is a good place for lunch?"
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Old 28-07-2016, 05:58   #134
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

Sea dreaming,

You're really worrying about nothing. IMHO

The EU adopted English as the common language many years ago, so today, nearly everyone under the age of forty speaks it quite well. It's common to see a Russian speaking to an Italian in English, or here in Montenegro, nealry all the road signs, store signs and menus are in English.

Now here's the interesting part..... the locals can't tell where your English accent comes from, so unless you are some sort of obnoxious, arrogant American blowhard, nobody really cares where you're from. English is used to communicate, not to identify. Your clothes are what will give you away, but only to people trying to sell you something. The rest couldn't care less.

When English is your native language, you can spot the subtle differences, but when it's someones second, third, fourth language... most can't tell.
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Old 28-07-2016, 06:03   #135
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

One tip, on a boat having a stars n strips ensign smaller the size of a king-size bedsheet might go down well. No one would say anything but it can be seen as a bit "in yer face" in many parts of the world, sometimes less is more
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