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- That in a conversation they will go on and on about what is wrong with the US.

 

- That they have a thing for staring at people who are not dressed like everybody else in the room.

 

Do they also complain about how rude American are?

Not rude so much as loud.

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I've found, for me, the more homework I do before the trip, time permitting, the more I enjoy my stay.....

I tend to be equally anal about planning trips. I go through multiple books, talk to people, make lists, etc. But, the best trip I ever had was completely spontaneous and planned in 5 days. And because I was too busy wrapping things up at work I didn't get a chance to look any books until I got on the plane. There's something quite liberating about traveling like that.

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- That in a conversation they will go on and on about what is wrong with the US.

 

- That they have a thing for staring at people who are not dressed like everybody else in the room.

 

Do they also complain about how rude American are?

Not rude so much as loud.

Loud and unaware of how they're supposed to carry themselves in an urban environment. And they wear khaki shorts. :rolleyes:

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When I spent a week in Croatia (you are going to Croatia, aren't you?), about all I knew of the country was what I saw on t.v. during the war. I was travelling on the cheap and dressed somewhat like I'd dressed when I backpacked through Asia. Big shock. Zagreb was one of the most cosmopolitan cities I've been to. The people dressed much better than NYers (probably shouldn't have been a surprise).

They are almost Italian.

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I've found, for me, the more homework I do before the trip, time permitting, the more I enjoy my stay. Ideally, I like to at least skim through more than one guidebook to see what they all agree is important, read about the history of the country, try to find a book or article about the culture and read a novel set there. I also plan my days thoroughly, based on the guidebooks, my reading and conversations with people who have been there or live there, with morning, afternoon and evening activities, so I'm never at a loss for what to do on a particular day -- e.g. I know in advance that if I really want to go to a particular museum, I know the days it is closed. Once I'm actually traveling, I feel absolutely no compulsion to follow my "plan," but it does give some shape to my trip. The shorter the trip or the less likely I am to return to a place, the more important the planning is for me.

 

If possible and appropriate, I like to get some tickets in advance, to avoid disappointment and standing in line at Leicester Square, for exaample. I will also make restaurant reservations well in advance if my heart is set on a particular place. I know that all this planning makes me seem rigid and time-bound, but it is actually freeing. All the advance work also has the advantage, for me, of enhancing the anticipation and, in a way, extending the experience of the trip.

This is pretty much exactly how I travel. I started doing more planning after I left something I really wanted to go to in Dublin until the last day, and of course it was closed.

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I always, always wear sweat pants or spandex when traveling in Europe! It's the only way! Lots of lip gloss too! Bubble gum pink is tres chic in Paris at the moment. Speaking of bubble gum, chew with your mouth open, blow big bubbles, and crack loudly!

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Loud and unaware of how they're supposed to carry themselves in an urban environment. And they wear khaki shorts.  :rolleyes:

Uh Oh, I better take my khaki shorts out of my suitcase! How about my red plaid pants?

Nooooooo...

 

 

:o

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Loud and unaware of how they're supposed to carry themselves in an urban environment. And they wear khaki shorts.  :rolleyes:

Uh Oh, I better take my khaki shorts out of my suitcase! How about my red plaid pants?

Don't forget your socks! Shorts are OK with the right socks!

 

 

Ninja_Tabi_Socks.jpg

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While we don't travel as much as you have, Maurice, we travel a lot. Today we are off for two months in the Pacific.

Travel, like life, is about people. Those you, see and are astounded by.The rich Arabs, with their BMWs and body guards, stopped on the Left Bank. Those people you meet and befriend for life, and those you meet and learn something from.

Money, I don't think has much to do with it. Like you, while we have traveled in Europe over the last 20 or so years, we have enjoyed the festivals and grittier parts of every day life.

I can remember being lost in Berlin just after the Wall fell. We ending up in the very poor East. The people in the tavern we stopped at insisted on sharing their cold spagetti, the only thing on the carte.

I learned how to peel and eat a mango without getting a drop on a suit from a women at an event on the Left Bank of the Seine.

We were shocked at a festival in Dijonwhen we walked into alarge room full of fortune tellers. We learned the French are big on card readings and all the mystery we seldom see in our lives.

Sit in a cafe early in the morning in a French town or Paris. and watch the parents and children headed for school. You realise the premium the French place on education compared to us. You also learn the value they place on life-long friendships when you see two young boys greet each the first thing in the morning.

I have learned far more about the French in the streets and undergrounds than in any three- star restaurant or four-star hotel.

If there is a dictum for travel it is: Be observant, smile, and make a damn good effort at communicating with your hosts. They ain't so bad or American haters.

 

dave

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I am detail-oriented when I plan trips (unless it's a city I know very well, like Paris or London). I do the following:

 

-- Have an Excel spreadsheet with slots for lunch/dinner/acommodations

-- Shade cells on that spreadsheet based on whether reservation confirmations are pending

-- Print detailed Michelin driving instructions

-- Gather information about the facilities in question

-- Figure out train and other public transportation information

-- Travel light, but always have clothes suitable for restaurants and steamer, etc. I usually bring at least one or two two-piece top/skirt combinations, where I can wear the top with jeans when I am traveling and then pair it with the matched skirt for restaurants.

-- Have photocopies from Michelin Red Guide for places visited, in case I have an opening come up for a meal

-- Keep a write-up of travel routes, so that I can tap into them later. Sometimes my dining notebooks contains instructions on how to get from one place to the next, if the two are natural to visit together.

-- Have a clutch handbag, earrings, a pair of black heels that can "dress up" simple black dresses in reduced-wrinkle fabrics

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I am detail-oriented when I plan trips (unless it's a city I know very well, like Paris or London). I do the following:

 

-- Have an Excel spreadsheet with slots for lunch/dinner/acommodations

-- Shade cells on that spreadsheet based on whether reservation confirmations are pending

-- Print detailed Michelin driving instructions

-- Gather information about the facilities in question

-- Figure out train and other public transportation information

-- Travel light, but always have clothes suitable for restaurants and steamer, etc. I usually bring at least one or two two-piece top/skirt combinations, where I can wear the top with jeans when I am traveling and then pair it with the matched skirt for restaurants.

-- Have photocopies from Michelin Red Guide for places visited, in case I have an opening come up for a meal

-- Keep a write-up of travel routes, so that I can tap into them later. Sometimes my dining notebooks contains instructions on how to get from one place to the next, if the two are natural to visit together.

-- Have a clutch handbag, earrings, a pair of black heels that can "dress up" simple black dresses in reduced-wrinkle fabrics

Alls I take is a toothbrush and a pack of condoms.

Unless, of course, I'm familiar with the city. In which case, I don't need the toothbrush.

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