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Old 04-27-2004, 12:54 PM   #1
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Some of these are observations I acquired during the last few weeks and others are anecdotes. Just thought I'd share and see what y'all think.

-Smoking is becoming less common in England but it's getting more common in continental Europe. I notice the most smokers in Spain and Slovakia, with France not far behind.
-Speaking of which, a lady and her 20-something daugher lit up cigarettes in the Louvre. I am not making this up. They were French; whether or not they were Parisians I do not know. It didn't take long for an employee to come over and bitch them out, to the tune of "what on earth were you thinking to smoke in the LOUVRE???"
-Austria is a strange place. The fashion, especially among people over the age of 30, is quite out of date. Lots of old 80's clothes and mysteriously co-ordinating pantyhose-- i.e. red blazer, red blouse, red skirt, red pantyhose, red shoes, red ugly bow in the hair. Or the same outfit in white. Or a white jean-jacket with tiger stripes all over it and matching pants, both covered with sequins. Eeeeeyurgh.
-Austria also has a larger amount of slightly overweight people than just about anywhere else; interestingly, Slovakia had the highest number of skinny people (and not necessarily always in a good way.) Or, rather, it seemed like overweight people are more uncommon there than anywhere else.
-France had the highest number of obnoxiously leering men who like to follow short girls (read: vulnerable looking) like me around. Germany and Slovakia had the fewest.
-Never underestimate the offensiveness-potential of young american guys traveling in Europe. The "Dumpster Bitch" story is to be continued. (It's pretty good.)
-Never underestimate the willingness of Canadians to proudly proclaim their nationality! There was a girl checking in at our hostel in Munich who had a Canada backpack (fully emblazoned), a Canada ski jacket, a Canada ski hat and a Canada water bottle. I am not making this up either. All in the largest letters possible.

My session is running out so I'll post more later.

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Old 04-27-2004, 01:03 PM   #2
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^ Hmm, the detail and depth of one's observations are usually indicative of one's intelligence/awareness. So, me likey!

But, let's cut to the chase here now. "Dumpster Beyotch" story...3, 2, 1...GO!
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:03 PM   #3
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Hey - interesting analogy of your recent trip - thanks for sharing them with us.....
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:06 PM   #4
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Got to love those crazy Canadians hell, where I live I am only about 2 hours from the Canadian border by car, nothing like a weekend trip up to Toronto or Montreal to put a smile back on your face.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:01 PM   #5
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observations, round 2...

-Regarding my previous statement about slightly more overweight people in Austria, curiously enough this was where I saw the most joggers. I saw NO joggers anywhere in Spain, France, Germany or Slovakia, but there were a shitload in Austria and a few in England. And they weren't being half-hearted about it, either.
-There seems to be a terrible lack of table manners in people under the age of 25 right now, seemingly regardless of nationality. I don't mean to sound like an uptight priss, but for christ's sake, chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to see the half-masticated animal rolling around in a wide open trap and I doubt it impresses any dates they may have. I noticed this mostly in girls, and not the ugly ones!!
-Europeans have a different sense of personal space than Americans, I think we all know this. Pushing & shoving your way through a crowd is common. But in Britain, people say "excuse me, pardon me, sorry about that, terribly sorry, excuse me" as they're pushing and shoving.
-If you are part of a group of four backpackers from North America and you are on a tram in Vienna going from the Sudbahnhof to the Westbahnhof, you must cough once every 30 seconds for the entire duration of the 20-minute ride. Preferably towards the back of someone's head (like mine, for instance.) All four of you. Every 30 seconds. And don't forget to leave your mouth uncovered while doing it. If you're sick go to the damn hospital.
-There are not so many good-looking guys in France, while they seem to abound in Spain and Slovakia, and somewhat in Germany. Oh, and if you are a french man (and maybe even some women?) you must let your facial hair grow out to about a few days past a five o'clock shadow but something just short of a beard. And have really hairy arms and back. (Eva told me that a lot of the German men at the swimming pool she frequents have back hair so plentiful and long that it wafts in the water like seaweed. I told her this was an image I could do without, thank you very much.)

more observations coming soon...
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by space virgin@Apr 27 2004, 02:01 PM
(Eva told me that a lot of the German men at the swimming pool she frequents have back hair so plentiful and long that it wafts in the water like seaweed.* I told her this was an image I could do without, thank you very much.)
yuck, I could have done without that image too



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Old 04-27-2004, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
-Never underestimate the willingness of Canadians to proudly proclaim their nationality! There was a girl checking in at our hostel in Munich who had a Canada backpack (fully emblazoned), a Canada ski jacket, a Canada ski hat and a Canada water bottle. I am not making this up either. All in the largest letters possible.
This one I cannot agree with more. Not that I am saying anything against Canadians, or pride for your country, but damn. When I was at woodstock and the band "The tragically hip" came on... you would have thought we were at the Olumpics. They had huge like 10' x 10' flags and caps and little flags, and stickers and patches and everything you could ever put a Canadian flag or maple leaf on. Then, they would tell you they were from Canada. Really? I thought you were waving a huge Canadian flag and singing the national anthem cause you were from Switzerland. Who'd a thunked?!? It all just seemed a little extreme for 8 in the morning.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:03 PM   #8
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At woodstock 99 I noticed that the Brazilian crowd (though much smaller than the Canadian crowd obviously) rivaled them as far as being boisterous. I was in shock how many Brazilian flags i saw.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:27 AM   #9
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Interesting observations, SV. I think we should officially designate you TP's Roving Fashion Reporter!

It is always interesting to see how different the folks of a particular country may be than you'd expected. I remember my first trip overseas, when I got to France, I was expecting everyone to look so different. I was surprised how "normal" they all looked. I mean, TV prepares us for each nationality to have its own distinctive look. So, when you see a normal variety of people, it jars you for a second.

I guess my most recent surprise was Bulgaria. I was expecting the women to look like steroid using Olympic shot putters. You know the stereotype of the Soviet bloc. I was shocked when they were all these slender, gorgeous women...interesting, though, there was a high percentage of women with the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark look about them.

And on my recent trip to Spain, jaded old me was expecting everyone to look just like in the U.S. I'd forgotten the high percentage of women there with long, wavy black hair...grrrroowwwllll. My type!'

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Old 04-28-2004, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by worldwidemike@Apr 28 2004, 10:27 AM
I guess my most recent surprise was Bulgaria.* I was expecting the women to look like steroid using Olympic shot putters.* You know the stereotype of the Soviet bloc.* I was shocked when they were all these slender, gorgeous women...interesting, though, there was a high percentage of women with the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark look about them.
Wasn't it Mocsy who said Bulgaria was overrun with hot girls? Or was it another EE country?

Speaking of Elviras, is Transylvania in Bulgaria?
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:25 AM   #11
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Yeah, it was Moc that said the Bulgarians were good looking... I love those Eastern European women. Like Lilia Podkopyeykev <sp> in Gymnastics from the Ukraine... and Dominic Moceanu...
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:03 AM   #12
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PICS! WE WANT PICS!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:22 AM   #13
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Wow sv!!! wwm's right, your a reporter through and through!
Is Canada the only country to have bagged milk? We ceratinly don't have it over here in the uk! Strange strange and just strange.
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:31 AM   #14
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Great observations!!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by voyd@Apr 28 2004, 06:57 AM
Speaking of Elviras, is Transylvania in Bulgaria?
I think its in Romania
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:35 PM   #16
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Yes, i believe you are correct......My great grandfather was born not so fat from there. Wonder if he hunted dracula? (shameless, i know...but anything to incorporate a smiley icon into a post)
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:17 PM   #17
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I blame Molson for our newfound overdone pride...Screaming out "I am CANADIAN!" seems to have really hit home. I don't remember near as much obsession with being Canadian before that slogan came out....then again, there was that "My name's Joe (Frank? What was it?) And I am Canadian" thing a while back..can't remember how far though.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:24 PM   #18
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and a few more...

-There are hardly any cars in England that are older than 5 years. Seriously. I don't know what they do with them, as I haven't seen a lot of junkyards either... must be some mysterious car retirement compound somewhere. Or they just send them to France, because that (and Slovakia) is where I saw the most beaters.
-Almost every hostel that I stayed at included one male australian roommate, and they were almost always very good looking and very nice. And very, very messy.
-People in England and Germany take extraordinarily good care of their animals (except I'd like to have a word with some english horse owners who keep blankets on their horses in the middle of a hot day... sorry for the weird tangent.) I came across a lot of animals in Germany and every single one of them looked shiny, well-fed and content, not to mention very friendly. Including the goats.
-Young french students like to blast odd music at odd hours, mostly (inexplicably) Shania Twain. And Slovakians have strange taste in music too-- I heard Barry Manilow's "Mandy" three times while there and Britney's "Toxic" about eight times.
-When we were in Barcelona taking a walk down the beach, for about 1/2 mile every few feet we kept coming across maxi-pad remnants. It was as if a boat or shipping container full of maxi-pads had disgorged its cargo and washed up on the beach. Ew. At least they didn't look used!
-Not all women sunbathing topless in Nice are pretty. And not all (overly) tan, (overly) thin women with (hugely, frighteningly) fake boobs sunbathing topless in Nice are pretty. Men pee in front of god and everyone on the beach and wear the strangest swimwear, usually proclaiming more about their private life than perhaps they would like people to know. Or maybe they do, in which case-- eew again.
-Many european mothers take their baby strollers / buggies everywhere, sometimes to the detriment of their or their child's health. There was a lady in Barcelona who tried to take her buggy on the escalator, tripped and almost dropped (!!) it down the escalator and for some reason ended up losing both of her shoes as she almost fell. Jesus christ, the elevator was three feet away from her. I saw lots of buggies on escalators. And I don't think it's fair when little old ladies have to stand up on the bus because there are too many buggies taking up the room.
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by space virgin@Apr 30 2004, 12:24 AM
Not all women sunbathing topless in Nice are pretty.* And not all (overly) tan, (overly) thin women with (hugely, frighteningly) fake boobs sunbathing topless in Nice are pretty.
Yeah, I remember in Crete I was interested to see the topless European chicks sunbathing. Oh, they were topless all right...overweight German tourist women topless...ugh!

Now, in Provence, I remember the topless sunbathers being attractive, though...

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Old 05-02-2004, 01:28 PM   #20
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Someone should travel around to the various nude sunbathing locations around the world and put together a travel guide that discusses each location and rates each location as to the attractiveness of the women in attendance.......hmmmm...maybe I will take that on...........
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