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Righteous
Okay, my brother, his best friend, his girlfriend and I are contemplating a trip to London. It's rather up in the air now, so I'm trying to gather some info.

First off, when would be a good time to visit? Winter break would be most condusive to our scheduals, but if it's chilly here on an island in north Florida, I assume it'll be effin' cold across the pond. I, personally, am not a big fan of cold, but am willing and able to deal with it. I'm not too sure about Matt and Candious, though. They're Floridian and Georgian respectfully.

Her Sauciness told me about a place in cenntral London that costs about ten pounds or so per night. That sounds digable, but if the number ends up dwindling to just me, I may have to beg and plead for someone to put me up for a few days. Should I that be the case, I'm a rather pleasent houseguest, willing to do chores, pay my own way, sleep on a couch or floor, smoke outside as far away from the house as possible, and keep my stuff confined to a corner or other small area.

What's cool to do in London? I once told Commie that I don't want to go somewhere where all I see are shirts that say "I Went To London And All I GOt Was This Crappy Tee Shirt." I live in a tourist trap and would like to avoid places like that at all cost. I don't drink, but the guys do. Rick's dead-set on going to a pub and ordering a Guiness ("But dude, you can get Guiness in the States; why don't you get something you can't buy here? "I want a f*ckin Guiness").

Once I figure out when I'm coming, anyone wanna hang out? I've met a grand total of three Matazonians IRL thus far and Aislinn doesn't even really count. That and I'd like to introduce some of the guys to what they consider to be my cult.

Any help, tips, pointers, whatever would be appreciated.
I_am_the_best
Even though England can get pretty cold during the winter, it's not so bad. Just a lot of rain. But then you can get the great feel when you're inside and can see the cold outside. Also, in the summer it's pretty humid, so perhaps not then. I think that autumn is a lovely time to visit when it's warm but not hot and the trees are so beautiful.

I think that you ought to go to Madam Toussauds (sp?). It's full of wax models of famous people and so is quite a laugh. Camden is also a fun place to go. There are lots of great shops and everyone is so friendly there. Oh, and Covent Garden is a good place to visit. There's a small market but if you go down the steps in the market square place, then there's always either a string quartet or an opera singer which is always fun to listen to for a while.
zivane
England is cold in the winter. I live not that far from you. It gets cold. It's not as bad as say Amsterdam, but it still gets cold. Which is why the English dish out tons of hot food. Camden town is awesome. Prices in London are high from what I've experienced in the past. I didn't do too much touristy stuff there... I was actually being sent there for shopping trips... you do have to at least walk into Fortum and Mason to drool, Harrod's to get lost in. Silly stuff like that. London does have like, the best variety of food in England though... but don't expect to find cheap Chinese take-out like we've got here in the good ol' South. Ditto with the barbeque if you happen to be a fan of that.
Mata
You can usually get a cheap-ish carton of monosodium glutamate (sp?), otherwise known as 'Chinese food' in Camden market, but pretty much everything else in London costs a fortune.

Cold is, as you say, relative. It can get cold in the winter, but it would be unlikely to drop more than one or two degrees C below freezing even in the middle of the night in the city. Not that this is impossible, just unlikely.

I'm sure we could sort out a London mini-meet with a little notice.

Avoiding _all_ the tourist stuff might mean you miss out on some cool things, like the Tower of London. Keep an open mind to the tourist side of things otherwise you'll never see the really distinct things of the place. I've been to San Francisco twice now and I've still not been to Alcatraz because I always end up wandering around the Castro and alt bars. I regret not having seen it yet, so try and find the balance of tourist stuff and culture.

I suggest going to the old and the new Tate galleries. There's some great art there that you won't see anywhere else in the world.
froggle-rock
The Natioinal Portrait Gallery is free to get into, as is The Science Museum (which is really cool!). Camden is touristy to me. And it's become even more so, but I 'm not knocking it. Then there is Porabello Road, Spittlefields Market.

With regards to food, you will pretty much get what you pay for. It you buy cheap food it's because it's cheap. Hey. In saying that I've spent most of my life in London so prices are normal here to me, it's other places that are cheap.

There are a few cheap clubs. There might even be a gig on by a band you like when you are over here.

I've always wanted to stay in the Holland park youth hostel, it's basically in the middle of a public park. If Saucy's £10 places is unavailble, YHA will pronbably be a good bet. There is even a youth hostel just off of Oxford Circus. I wouldn't be able to put you up, my house is to small for my family and me as it is.

There is stuff to do, but I just don't know it all.
Usurper MrTeapot
Guiness tastes different wherever you are, it can't be shipped abroad easilly most countries just make it in their own breweries so Brit Guiness is a little different to your Guiness.

Again I recommend Camden, I'm guessing you'll love it there. Don't even need to buy anything, though I'm sure you will. Just turn up, walk around for a few hours and eat some poison (chinese) then relax in the Worlds End pub afterwards, if you can.

A place where you can go there are quite a few things to do without being exclusivly a 'tourist' is Covent Garden. Shops there will even remove your arms for you, but there are a few cinemas, galleries and good theatres in random directions around it. And plus you really get that 'London feel' walking around the old city backstreets exploring. Some of the best places you'll find are tucked away out of sight so well that even the locals haven't found them yet.
Righteous
QUOTE (zivane @ Jun 3 2005, 08:35 PM)
... but don't expect to find cheap Chinese take-out like we've got here in the good ol' South.
*

*gasp* ohmy.gif

QUOTE
Avoiding _all_ the tourist stuff might mean you miss out on some cool things, like the Tower of London. Keep an open mind to the tourist side of things otherwise you'll never see the really distinct things of the place.

I see where you're coming from, Mata, but it just creeps me out being at touristy places. It makes me feel as though I fall into the same category at the out-of-staters who drive around the island doing fifteen in a thirty zone and ask where the beach is where there are signs pointing to Main Beach everywhere (that and for God's sake, we live on a small island; head east and drive around a little; you're bound to hit it sooner or later or, more likely, run into a few signs). My guess, though, is that y'all's suggestions'll be worth it instead of just coming back and being able to tell people I was there.

QUOTE
Cold is, as you say, relative. It can get cold in the winter, but it would be unlikely to drop more than one or two degrees C below freezing even in the middle of the night in the city. Not that this is impossible, just unlikely.

Dude, I'm Floridian. I'd die. I remember being chilly in Philadelphia around Holloween when I went to visit Spiffy and some of the old guys. We'll have to bundle the Hell up just to get around, dude.

QUOTE
Guiness tastes different wherever you are, it can't be shipped abroad easilly most countries just make it in their own breweries so Brit Guiness is a little different to your Guiness.

Groovy. I'll let the guys know about that.

Hmm. I'll need a big map of London and a marker. That way I can mark down all the places y'all suggested and figure out the best circuitous root per day.
Mata
Navigating the city is fast and easy by the underground (the London one is called The Tube). You don't really need to work out a walking route, but planning is always good.

If you do want to see the city then by all means get a London A-Z. Most monuments and places in the middle are within 15-30 minutes walking distance from each-other. However, I warn you in advance, London grew. I mean it is really like a plant that has been there, destroying and reconsuming itself for a couple of thousand years. We don't have many straight lines and the shortest route is often only something that you will learn after living there for ten years. Like organic things, loiter too long in the dark places and you'll get eaten too. I'm not saying you can't look after yourself, but London is very twisty and if you don't know what areas you will be going through then sometimes it's best to skip them with the train.

We do urban decay in a very serious way, and even open concrete spaces are prone to gangs. We don't really have gangs like LA, where you might be safe as long as you don't look like a rival, we just have groups of yobs who would happily pick on anyone that they see as different.
Righteous
See, we don't have rails, undergrounds, public busing or anything here (it's quite rural). I lived in Jacksonville for like six months and still didn't learn the bus system. Eh, well. If there are a number of us, then I'm sure we can figure it all out.

I just realized that I'm probably going to have to translate for the guys since I speak some British English ("Dude, what's a bird?" "A chick, dude").
CommieBastard
QUOTE (zivane @ Jun 4 2005, 01:35 AM)
... but don't expect to find cheap Chinese take-out like we've got here in the good ol' South.
*


I can get more than I can eat for £3. How freaking cheap is it in the South?
Righteous
For about $6.50, I can go to New China and fill myself the Hell up. Takeout's a bit pricey if you don't get specials and you have to order $10.00 or more to get delivery. It's a bit more expensive where Ziv lives, I'd assume. THere are places that sell buffet takeout by weight. Depending on how much you get and where, it can be pretty cheap.

THings in general are cheaper in the south. Frog told me how much cigarettes cost in London and I was appalled. A pack of Marlboro lights costs three bucks and some change here. She says they go for five pounds there.

And dude, where? We're going there, man. We're going. You can come, too. biggrin.gif Tell your mates, "I hung out with a bunch of small-town Americans. They were weird."
Usurper MrTeapot
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jun 4 2005, 06:07 PM)
I just realized that I'm probably going to have to translate for the guys since I speak some British English ("Dude, what's a bird?" "A chick, dude").
*


I doubt you'd need to translate anything, I'm guessing that anyone you speak to will either think your odd for talking to them or will speak down to you in very basic English incase you happen to be one of the stupid Americans which we hear so much about.

Not quite as many people use so much slang so you wont have to translate 'bird' every other conversation. Bird? What kind of British English have you been taught?
Moosh
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jun 4 2005, 06:07 PM)
since I speak some British English
*


You mean Real English?

/spam

Yeah, I'm with Mata on the not avoiding touristy places on principle thing. Some of them are quite good, like the London Eye and some of the museams are excellent. Definatly go to the Tate Modern, just for a good laugh if nothing else, and just walk around Theatre District for a bit and soak up the vibe. It's great.

QUOTE
but don't expect to find cheap Chinese take-out like we've got here in the good ol' South


I'm with Commie on this one, last time I was in Central London I found this little restaurant actually in China Town that did a nice all-you-can-eat for £3. I think it was called Mr. Wong's or something like that.
Usurper MrTeapot
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Jun 5 2005, 08:27 PM)
i'm with Commie on this one, last time I was in Central London I found this little restaurant actually in China Town that did a nice all-you-can-eat for £3. I think it was called Mr. Wong's or something like that.
*


You mean Mr. Wu's. I love Mr Wu.
Moosh
QUOTE (MrTeapot @ Jun 5 2005, 08:33 PM)
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Jun 5 2005, 08:27 PM)
i'm with Commie on this one, last time I was in Central London I found this little restaurant actually in China Town that did a nice all-you-can-eat for £3. I think it was called Mr. Wong's or something like that.
*


You mean Mr. Wu's. I love Mr Wu.
*



I do indeed mean Mr. Wu's. Mr Wu is great.
Chronotub
The museums in London are excellent, if you have an interest in that subject then you can spend almost the entire day in them (particularly the imperial war museum, the science museum, the British museum and the natural history museum). And as mentioned earlier the Tate modern is fairly interesting.
Forever Unknown
La la la.

Me and the boy entertained an American today, and she really liked Camden. Kicked around, did some shopping, up to the markets, and then down to the World's End for beers. So yeah, that's recommended.

On Tuesday, he took her to Soho and down a sex shop alley, and then to a gay bar for Guinnesses. Fun! I didn't attend, so it was a bit weird having someone say your boyfriend took her down a sex alley.
I_am_the_best
QUOTE
Some of them are quite good, like the London Eye and some of the museams are excellent


The London Eye issupposed to be closing I think.
Jonman
Here's your list of things NOT to do to avoid looking like a dumb ammurr-kin tourist.

1: Complain about the price of anything. Especially petrol (translation: gas).
2: Allow anyone to hear you say that anything is better in America. It'll piss people off, as inside our heads, the British Empire is still alive, and Brittania really does Rule The Waves. Americans are only one small step up the evolutionary ladder from Australians, who were criminals 200 years ago, so clearly still are.
3: Wear white socks pulled up to your knees with shorts.
4: Ask where the restroom is. You'll get a blank look in return. The correct phrasiology is 'toilet' if you're being polite. If you wanted to be more colloqial, you could ask where the crapper or bog is.

That's all I can think of now - will add more if they occur to me.
Pab
don't forget calling things of national pride 'quaint' or 'cute'. This will rile anybody anywhere, and is a habit often observed in trans-atlanticans.

Example:

"What's that?"

"Those are the Houses of Parliament"

"oh, how cute!"
froggle-rock
Woo, Jonman, I have a couple to add:
-Standing infront of entrances/exits and blocking them whilst looking at a map, whilst people squeeze themselves by you.
-Waiting until you get to the cashier to take out your money and figure out a £5 note from a £50 note.
Righteous
QUOTE
What kind of British English have you been taught?

My sources in no particular order:
1. You cats
2. My extended family
3. Skate documentaries and movies made by skaters (e.g. Haggard) that seem to include an abnormally large amount of English skaters, including the long-winded Jason Ellis, Alex Moul and his friend Clifford of Liverpool
4. Out, about and around

I picked up "bird" when I asked Froggy for a UK equivalent to "chick," though "bird" isn't much better according to her. It's great for annoying my friends, which is how I started habitually using the word "fag" for "cigarette."

QUOTE
2: Allow anyone to hear you say that anything is better in America. It'll piss people off, as inside our heads, the British Empire is still alive, and Brittania really does Rule The Waves. Americans are only one small step up the evolutionary ladder from Australians, who were criminals 200 years ago, so clearly still are.

According to my cousin and aunt, everything is better in the UK. Then again, my cousin was born in London and my aunt pretends she is (she's Welsh).

QUOTE
3: Wear white socks pulled up to your knees with shorts

Dude, that applies anywhere. I live in a tourist trap, remember? We sometimes go tourist spotting for fun. WHat's even worse is when they wear flip-flops with them.

QUOTE
You mean Real English?

Smartass.

I also speak Georgian English, Phildelphian English and some upstate New Yorkish English. My Philadelphian English allaows me to know the meanings of the words "cheesesteak," "Tastykake" and "Wawa." biggrin.gif
Jonman
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jun 6 2005, 05:26 PM)
According to my cousin and aunt, everything is better in the UK. Then again, my cousin was born in London and my aunt pretends she is (she's Welsh).
*


Exactly, see?
Feyliya
QUOTE (Jonman @ Jun 6 2005, 08:01 AM)
Here's your list of things NOT to do to avoid looking like a dumb ammurr-kin tourist.

3: Wear white socks pulled up to your knees with shorts.
*


Well damn! That's Randy's NORMAL way of wearing shorts! rolleyes.gif Maybe I can re-train him before we get hitched. laugh.gif

/spam
Righteous
QUOTE (Pab @ Jun 6 2005, 12:20 PM)
don't forget calling things of national pride 'quaint' or 'cute'. This will rile anybody anywhere, and is a habit often observed in trans-atlanticans.

Example:

"What's that?"

"Those are the Houses of Parliament"

"oh, how cute!"
*

Do "sweet," "snazzy," "awesome," "cool," "stellar" and "righteous" count?
Rick says things are "righteous" all the time; it may make things confusing.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jun 6 2005, 08:37 PM)
Do "sweet," "snazzy," "awesome," "cool," "stellar" and "righteous" count?
Rick says things are "righteous" all the time; it may make things confusing.
*


They're probably ok. Just as long as you're not making things sound like a fluffy little kitten. Unless they actually are. Then it's ok.
Mata
Those are okay, but you will probably be viewed as a stoned surfer on holiday.

- Get a decent map.

- Be very, hyper, massively, polite. We are a very polite nation, even now. This goes twice for waiting staff in restaurants or people working in shops.
Righteous
QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 6 2005, 08:26 PM)
Those are okay, but you will probably be viewed as a stoned surfer on holiday.

Well, none of us look like surfers (though Rick and Matt do on occasion) and none of us talk like Sean Penn's character on Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

We're more like this:
"How'd you like Camden?" "Yeah, dude. It was awesome."
And not like:
"LIKE, YEAH, MAN! It was, like, totally stokin' dude."
QUOTE
- Be very, hyper, massively, polite. We are a very polite nation, even now. This goes twice for waiting staff in restaurants or people working in shops.
*

Yeah, I've picked that up. My dad's more polite than my mom and he dislikes most people. It's kinda funny to me how the least polite person in my paternal family is my very Scottish grandad (Cupar, Fife), that is, unless politeness means saying very little to others and avoiding people as much as possible.
Feyliya
Oh, I thought of something to contribute! Don't leave tips unless the service was REALLY spectacular! Most places factor in the tip into the actual bill.

Of course, this is only what I've been told, so correct me if I'm wrong.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Jun 7 2005, 07:55 AM)
Oh, I thought of something to contribute!  Don't leave tips unless the service was REALLY spectacular!  Most places factor in the tip into the actual bill.

Of course, this is only what I've been told, so correct me if I'm wrong.

*


Hmm, some places do but then quite a few places don't. We certainly don't place as much importance on tips as the USA does - if you don't leave a tip nobody will spit in your face or anything.

Best bet is just to check the bill. It'll be listed as "service charge". The menu should also say whether a service charge is included.
Jonman
QUOTE (Feyliya @ Jun 6 2005, 09:37 PM)
QUOTE (Jonman @ Jun 6 2005, 08:01 AM)
Here's your list of things NOT to do to avoid looking like a dumb ammurr-kin tourist.

3: Wear white socks pulled up to your knees with shorts.
*


Well damn! That's Randy's NORMAL way of wearing shorts! rolleyes.gif Maybe I can re-train him before we get hitched. laugh.gif

/spam

*



It's the American normal way of wearing shorts. But you'll stick out like a sore thumb doing it here. I played 'spot the Yank' with the wife last time we were wandering around central London to prove that there is a definite american tourist 'look'.
Pab
There is DEFINETLY a look to each nations tourists. As you may know, Ana and I live in a touristic country (like in season there are literally up to 4 tourists per regular inhabitant), and we are now able to acurately spot a nationality from 50 paces, as long as they are: english, irish, french, spanish, catalan, portuguese, german, dutch, belgian, danish, norwegian, swedish, canadian (though it helps to meet'em), american (from a mile off), argentinian, rumanian and one big bag of all the eastern european newbies like lithuania, poland etc.

Scary, but true. Based almost entirely on clothing, accessories and that 'look' they get, and the invididual nationalistic methods we all have of walking aimlessly in a circle wondering who to ask where the toilets are. Vive la différence.
Phyllis
I'm curious now, Pab. What sort of clothing and accessories are typically American then? I wonder if you'd be able to tell my nationality from 50 paces if you didn't already know what I look like and what my nationality is. ohmy.gif

The "quaint" thing applies over here as well. I hate that. At least there you don't get people wearing cowboy hats and boots because they're trying to "blend in" with the locals (though I'm sure people wear other ridiculous things like British flag shoes or something in an effort to "blend").
Jonman
QUOTE (candice @ Jun 7 2005, 12:49 PM)
I'm curious now, Pab.  What sort of clothing and accessories are typically American then?  I wonder if you'd be able to tell my nationality from 50 paces if you didn't already know what I look like and what my nationality is.  ohmy.gif

The "quaint" thing applies over here as well.  I hate that.  At least there you don't get people wearing cowboy hats and boots because they're trying to "blend in" with the locals (though I'm sure people wear other ridiculous things like British flag shoes or something in an effort to "blend").
*


Allow me to butt in.

here's your stereotypical american tourist (in my experience):

White, cheap-looking trainers (very often New Balance).
White socks (pulled all the way up if wearing shorts).
Long shorts or plain faded 'comfy-fit' jeans.
Moustache (very rare on men under 40 in UK - dead giveaway).
Bum bag (trans: fanny pack).
Baseball cap.
Perfect teeth.
Big hair (especially on women).
Sensible haircuts (on men).

Obviously, they don't all tick all the boxes, but what's suprising is how many DO tick all the boxes.

As a caveat, the kind of person who meets these criteria tends to be white, married with kids (who are with them), and middle-class. Exactly the demographic who are likely to be taking foreign 'touristy' holidays. This is why it's dead easy to spot american tourists, becuase as a group, they're much less diverse than americans as a whole.
Jaq
Well, now I want to know what a typical Canadian tourist looks like... out of interest... I want to see how well I'm going to fit the profile, though I'm not counting on blending in much, carrying a huge ass back pack and looking lost and confused the majority of the time.
Mata
I sometimes have trouble telling French and Italian tourists apart from a distance, but there is something very American about US tourists other than just their clothing. I think it's something in the way they respond to their environment. I usually see them near the train station, so I get the moment of 'which way should we go', which I think can be very indicative of a nationality. As a comparison, the Japanese when faced with this problem will usually form into a circle and discuss where they think they are, Americans fan out into a line and point at things.
Righteous
QUOTE (Jonman @ Jun 7 2005, 07:58 AM)
White, cheap-looking trainers (very often New Balance).

Black DC Exactas
QUOTE
White socks (pulled all the way up if wearing shorts).

Short white socks
QUOTE
Long shorts or plain faded 'comfy-fit' jeans.

Either those or my good pants (they're black and made of synthetic material)
QUOTE
Moustache (very rare on men under 40 in UK - dead giveaway).

Goatee
QUOTE
Bum bag (trans: fanny pack)

Oh, dear Christ, no.
QUOTE
Baseball cap.

It says "Bacardi" on it, so it's not blatanly American. That and I prefer my beanie.
QUOTE
Perfect teeth.

Strangely, I get good teeth from the UK side of my family.
QUOTE
Big hair (especially on women).

Um, how about no.
QUOTE
Sensible haircuts (on men).

Is mine sensible?

Damn, you guys have a lot of diversity when it comes to tourists. For us it's northerners or Georgians. I once met a group of Englanders and asked what in God's name posessed them to come to this poo hole on holiday. They said that it seemed like a nice place.

Um, will we get odd looks when we say "y'all"? Rick and Candious don't say it as much as Matt and I, who also say "y'all's" (posessive form), "y'all're" (y'all-are contraction) and "y'all'll" (y'all-will contraction).
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Jaq @ Jun 7 2005, 02:41 PM)
Well, now I want to know what a typical Canadian tourist looks like...  out of interest...  I want to see how well I'm going to fit the profile, though I'm not counting on blending in much, carrying a huge ass back pack and looking lost and confused the majority of the time.
*


Isn't there a Canadian law requiring you to stitch a huge red maple leaf to all your luggage when you leave the country? That's a pretty good way to tell.
Greeneyes
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jun 7 2005, 04:15 PM)
Um, will we get odd looks when we say "y'all"? Rick and Candious don't say it as much as Matt and I, who also say "y'all's" (posessive form), "y'all're" (y'all-are contraction) and "y'all'll" (y'all-will contraction).
*


If you walk around saying it all the time, I imagine you'd get odd looks anywhere tongue.gif.
Feyliya
QUOTE (Jonman @ Jun 7 2005, 03:58 AM)
Allow me to butt in.

here's your stereotypical american tourist (in my experience):

White, cheap-looking trainers (very often New Balance).
White socks (pulled all the way up if wearing shorts).
Long shorts or plain faded 'comfy-fit' jeans.
Moustache (very rare on men under 40 in UK - dead giveaway).
Bum bag (trans: fanny pack).
Baseball cap.
Perfect teeth.
Big hair (especially on women).
Sensible haircuts (on men).
*


Eep! Randy's got the cheap shoes (they're black but they're pretty tattered so I figure it fits), the white socks pulled up to his knees (he does it when wearing pants, too), the long shorts (he only owns one pair of jeans and he's never worn them), the fanny pack (he wears it all the time over his wallet pocket for protection), and the baseball cap (though he wears his gatsby more). unsure.gif

He doesn't wear any facial hair (unless you count occasional stubble when he's gone unshaved for a bit), his teeth are far from perfect, his hair isn't *big* (though I might fit into that catagory because of mine's fluffyness), and his haircut is less than sensible (it's long and pulled back into a ponytail most of the time, though it might become sensible soon; he keeps threatening to cut it).

Yeesh! Maybe I can re-train him before our honeymoon. Or maybe I'll just pack him all short socks, nice shoes, and long pants. And "forget" his fanny pack and hats.... laugh.gif

So tell me, do lots of Americans wear t-shirts? You know, the "touristy" kind that have pictures of the places you went on them? I know that most people don't wear them over here, unless they're tourists. I'm one of the few people I've ever seen to wear them regularly. (In my defense, I have some of the coolest t-shirts ever made. Especially the Jupiter Space Station project one from back when the Shoemaker-Leevy comet hit that says "Dave....My mind is going..." on the back.)
markslut
Tube Guru is a good interactive guide to whats in an area

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/arts/going-out/tubeguru.asp
voices_in_my_head
QUOTE (candice @ Jun 7 2005, 06:49 AM)
At least there you don't get people wearing cowboy hats and boots because they're trying to "blend in" with the locals
*

Unless your in Texas, and in that case, It's easier to tell if your wearing shorts and complaining how hot it is in the winter.

That one of the major things I've noticed (With tourist in Houston, at least) Tourist complain about everything.
"it's so humid"
"my god! look at the size of that mosquito! How can you people live here?"

I Don't know if the same thing applies anywhere else, though.
Jaq
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Jun 8 2005, 02:14 AM)
QUOTE (Jaq @ Jun 7 2005, 02:41 PM)
Well, now I want to know what a typical Canadian tourist looks like...  out of interest...  I want to see how well I'm going to fit the profile, though I'm not counting on blending in much, carrying a huge ass back pack and looking lost and confused the majority of the time.
*


Isn't there a Canadian law requiring you to stitch a huge red maple leaf to all your luggage when you leave the country? That's a pretty good way to tell.
*




ahhh yes. The old "Canadian Flag" law. Yeah, when I left for Korea people were treating me like some sort of flag dump. "Ooo, here's a flag, let's give it to the person leaving the country! *huck*" I got a huge bag of flag pins, a bigger flashing flag light pin, a set of dog tags with the canadian flag on them, a big flag patch to sew on my backpack (which I didn't do..) and every so often I get a package in the mail with other assorted flags.

Basically, the reasoning behind this is our national source of pride. It's not our universal health care, lax marijuana laws, gay marriages, or liberal peace keeping government, though it all sort of ties into that. Ready for it? Here it goes: We're Not Americans. ... that's it. We may be alot of things, but our defining national identity is the fact that at least we're not American.

But, I ask you, what in the name of Steve am I going to do with so many flags?! I know that I'm Canadian, but do I have to go screaming it out visually to every person on the street?


And yes. I'm going to have a small Canadian flag pin on my back pack. >.> Don't judge me.
/rant
Pab
QUOTE (Jonman @ Jun 7 2005, 12:58 PM)
QUOTE (candice @ Jun 7 2005, 12:49 PM)
I'm curious now, Pab.  What sort of clothing and accessories are typically American then?  I wonder if you'd be able to tell my nationality from 50 paces if you didn't already know what I look like and what my nationality is.  ohmy.gif

The "quaint" thing applies over here as well.  I hate that.  At least there you don't get people wearing cowboy hats and boots because they're trying to "blend in" with the locals (though I'm sure people wear other ridiculous things like British flag shoes or something in an effort to "blend").
*


Allow me to butt in.

here's your stereotypical american tourist (in my experience):

White, cheap-looking trainers (very often New Balance).
White socks (pulled all the way up if wearing shorts).
Long shorts or plain faded 'comfy-fit' jeans.
Moustache (very rare on men under 40 in UK - dead giveaway).
Bum bag (trans: fanny pack).
Baseball cap.
Perfect teeth.
Big hair (especially on women).
Sensible haircuts (on men).

Obviously, they don't all tick all the boxes, but what's suprising is how many DO tick all the boxes.

As a caveat, the kind of person who meets these criteria tends to be white, married with kids (who are with them), and middle-class. Exactly the demographic who are likely to be taking foreign 'touristy' holidays. This is why it's dead easy to spot american tourists, becuase as a group, they're much less diverse than americans as a whole.
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 7 2005, 03:07 PM)
I sometimes have trouble telling French and Italian tourists apart from a distance, but there is something very American about US tourists other than just their clothing. I think it's something in the way they respond to their environment. I usually see them near the train station, so I get the moment of 'which way should we go', which I think can be very indicative of a nationality. As a comparison, the Japanese when faced with this problem will usually form into a circle and discuss where they think they are, Americans fan out into a line and point at things.
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QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Jun 7 2005, 06:14 PM)
QUOTE (Jaq @ Jun 7 2005, 02:41 PM)
Well, now I want to know what a typical Canadian tourist looks like...  out of interest...  I want to see how well I'm going to fit the profile, though I'm not counting on blending in much, carrying a huge ass back pack and looking lost and confused the majority of the time.
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Isn't there a Canadian law requiring you to stitch a huge red maple leaf to all your luggage when you leave the country? That's a pretty good way to tell.
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The defense rests. biggrin.gif


The canadian will ALWAYS have a flag, this is true. They also ALWAYS back-pack. If they don't, they look american, but with shorter hair (good reason for a flag). The girls wear the same range of glasses as the danes and fins, and are a bit more up-market than other back-packers. This is one good way of telling them apart from australian back-packers, who don't do those glasses, but probably do have a flag, and who seem to be more obviously having fun.
zivane
Tourists that come to Florida are hilarious - just go to Disney World. I went yesterday. Now, the typical theme park go-er is a tourist, not a local. This has also aided my many travels abroad. Tourists of any kind are almost always often carrying too much of something - wearing too much jewelry, too much make-up, an excessively large bag for a normal person, or just looking "too" in general (hard to define, but you've all seen it). In Florida, we get the tourists who are terrified of bugs over 3 inches (cockroaches up to like, 6 inches here), mosquitoes, things that sting, sunlight (watch out for the nose coat, sunglasses, and hat factor along with those shorts and the funky white socks with sandals or flip-flops).

American tourists, I've noticed, dead giveaways include flip-flops and "fanny packs" and complaining about "why don't they have this or that" or "that's not real Italian/Chinese/Indian food" (yeah, my guardian actually said that when we were in Italy).

Bottled water runs expensive from what I recall (at least, a bit more than it does around here). I never pay more than $12 for any type of Chinese food (take-out or eat-in, and, of course, much much less for buffet style). Lo mein - unless in Camden town from what I got around to, forget about it. Unless you like it dripping with this odd flavoured sauce which is still rather good, jsut not what you expect.

Barbeque is different in the UK (this girl who came back with me for some reason thought she loved barbeque until she came here and we do it pretty damn well in my opinion although I prefer Virginia barbeque anyways).

From what I noticed, you will not find "country style" veg in the UK. Forget biscuits and gravy for breakfast (if you happen to like it).

Grape soda is also non-existant (for the most part, I never found it even at Harrod's who actually HAD Boylan's). Grape flavoured things... well, welcome to black currant (yech, no offense, I can't stand it).

In London, be confident in where you are going whether or not you know where you are going. It's horribly easy to navigate (I used a map once... and somehow managed to memorize most of the underground within a day and remembered it a year later).

Ya'll sounds really odd over there, even worse than it sounds up north here. (And yes, I know Wawa, cheesesteak and so forth - I <3 Philly)

School over there is different (Uni = college, A levels = approximately an associates degree). They get out for summer much later than we do depending on the course. Exams are national as opposed to our FCAT and others. They don't take things like the ACT or SAT. They take things more like AP exams (minus the credits) or SAT-II subject tests from my understanding.

I'll stop now. That's just my experience and I can't wait to go back!!!
Mata
President Blair is trying to get our education system to be more like the US style so we do now have an S.A.T. analog, I think they're called things like 'the 14-plus'.

The thing about looking like you know where you are going is important. It is a good way to stop yourself looking like a victim. I use an A-Z of London all the time, but I always put a bookmark on my target page, step out of the main path of a road and quickly check where I'm going. If you need to take longer then step into a shop of a pub. It's a little paranoid, but caution is always advisable when you don't know the neighbourhood.
froggle-rock
QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 10 2005, 01:59 AM)
The thing about looking like you know where you are going is important. It is a good way to stop yourself looking like a victim. I use an A-Z of London all the time, but I always put a bookmark on my target page, step out of the main path of a road and quickly check where I'm going. If you need to take longer then step into a shop of a pub. It's a little paranoid, but caution is always advisable when you don't know the neighbourhood.
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unsure.gif I use an A-Z of London, when I have to go places in London, and I've lived in London practically my whole life. In my defense, it is a big place.
Righteous
That sounds snazzy, Mata. However, where would I pick one up?

Oh, and to sound even more southern, let us not forget "y'all've" (y'all-have contraction) and "all y'all" (used when there's more than five or so people).

And fer cryin' out loud, it's not like any food here is real Chinese or Italian or anything. Unless you go to a seriously ethnic place, all you get is imitation. They have schools that teach people to make "Chinese" food for the round-eyes of the country.

I like biscuits, but not gravy, actually, so hopefully I won't be missing out too much.

As for "looking" touristy, I'm at the screw it point. I figure if I go to London when it's cold, I'll wear what I wear here when it's cold here; trousers, longsleeve, tee, jacket, jewelry, chains, eyeliner and beanie. If I go during spring break (another viable option we've been throwing around), I'll wear what I wear in the spring, which really isn't much different except regarding the longsleeve and the jacket; in that case it's one or the other. And if it's particularly warm, I won't wear a beanie.
CommieBastard
Words That Mean Very Different Things In Our Respective Countries

Biscuits (America)

Biscuits (Britain)

Fag (America)

Fag (Britain)

Chips (America)

Chips (Britain)
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Pab @ Jun 6 2005, 05:20 PM)
don't forget calling things of national pride 'quaint' or 'cute'. This will rile anybody anywhere, and is a habit often observed in trans-atlanticans.

Example:

"What's that?"

"Those are the Houses of Parliament"

"oh, how cute!"
*


This especially rankles coming from Americans - we think your entire country is cute. Aww, ickle America! Only 200 years old and already it can walk...
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