Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 1st Dec 2012 09:05 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I was on vacation to the US last week, and a few technology-related things stood out to me. One, the in-flight entertainment things aboard international Delta flights are absolutely terrible. Worst software I've ever used, and many of them were plain broken. iPads/Android tablets please, Delta. Second, there were more employees than customers in the Las Vegas Apple Store. Since there were a reasonable amount of customers, there were even more employees. It looked ridiculous. Are they all like that? Three, using a Windows Phone 8 device to mooch off an Apple Store's wifi is strangely satisfying. Four, there are a lot of technology commercials on US TV, and they are all corny as hell. Two iPads playing piano? Children holding a PowerPoint presentation to convince their parents to switch mobile plans? Seriously? Is this what this industry has come to? Five, it's pretty clear iPads and iPhones are way, way, way more popular in the US than in The Netherlands. You see them everywhere, and people display them so openly. It was jarring. In The Netherlands, I always feel as if people are ashamed to take devices out of their pockets in the first place. No wonder US-based writers like Gruber and Arment think Apple dominates everything - if you rarely leave the US, it seems as if they do! Six, and this is not technology related at all but I want to get it off my chest because us Europeans could learn a thing or two from it: Americans are the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I knew this from my existing American friends and from my previous trip to the US (Texas, ten years ago), but it bears repeating. Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen. Alright, as you were!
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RE: About the Americans being nice
by ricegf on Sat 1st Dec 2012 11:42 UTC in reply to "About the Americans being nice"
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

"This is Texas. Everybody has a gun. My hairdresser has a gun." -- One of my favorite lines from Miss Congeniality

Though I live in Texas, I've never seen a handgun carried by a private citizen in public. Crimes have dropped steadily since we kicked out veto-happy Ann Richards and enacted CHL in 1995, perhaps because even though we don't carry them around in public, criminals never know who's carrying one. But Texans (and I think most Americans) are just friendly by nature.

While I think the general level of politeness in America is more cultural than gun-driven, I think you'd find that a more relaxed attitude toward firearms would be a win overall. But that's for each country to decide.

I've found people to be friendly wherever I've travelled in the world. Perhaps my efforts to adapt to and appreciate the local culture have something to do with it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've found people to be friendly wherever I've travelled in the world. Perhaps my efforts to adapt to and appreciate the local culture have something to do with it.


Definitely. This is so important. As a tourist, you're a guest, so act like one. If you find something weird, keep it to yourself, and don't act all hoity-toity. Or, better yet, try to discuss the thing you find weird with a local to understand what's going on - most of the time, it's nothing.

And what always helps: do some effort to speak the local language - even if it's just hello, thank you, and where's the bathroom. As a Dutchman, nothing makes me happier than a foreign tourist trying to speak some Dutch.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And what always helps: do some effort to speak the local language - even if it's just hello, thank you, and where's the bathroom. As a Dutchman, nothing makes me happier than a foreign tourist trying to speak some Dutch.


Do all the Dutch feel this way as well? I hope to make it over to Amsterdam one day and do some window shopping ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Haven't been to the Netherlands, but when I went to Italy I was struck by the "difference in public behavior", to put it diplomatically. Having my feet in two of the most polite and hospitable cultures in the world (American and Turkish), it was almost enough to ruin my trip. I'm not sure where the "rude American tourist" stereotype comes from at all, it seems quite the opposite in my limited experience!

Reply Parent Score: 3

StuS Member since:
2012-12-01

Exactly.

I went to Paris a few years ago (fall of 2008), and it was great, even as an American. Just be polite, and at least learn how to ask if they speak English in French. And how to say a few words here and there. You'll get credit for trying, and you'll be fine - they're not going to want to speak French with you anyways, and will switch to English ;)

My neighbors who went the previous summer, and the friend who went with me, did not do so well. Would just walk up to people and start asking questions in English (rolls eyes). Did better than me in Rome, though. The people were nice to me, and the food was great, but the chaos and old rocks just got to me after a while.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

When I was in Norway in May, I tried to revive my rusty Norwegian. The problem was, I needed people to talk slower to understand them, and I felt they preferred to switch to English once realized that I did not follow them at the normal pace of their speech. I did mostly succeed with the request "Can we continue in Norwegian, but a bit slower?", but felt some reluctance on their part.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Though I live in Texas, I've never seen a handgun carried by a private citizen in public.


I also live in Texas, and same here. A lot of us own guns, but we don't carry them around. If people tried to loot around the coast after a hurricane like they did with Sandy, we would just use them for target practice ;)

Edited 2012-12-01 14:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

That reminds me of a recent trip to Arizona, an "open carry" state, I was first surprised to see "No Handguns" signs on restaurants, bars, etc. (anyplace that serves alchohol?). And then later slightly alarmed the first time I saw a civilian in a convenience store with a side arm (until I remembered it was perfectly legal there). It does take some getting used to.

I can't say us Californians are the nicest. But, for the most part we're pretty laid back.

Reply Parent Score: 2