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  #1  
Old 22 May 2009, 04:45 AM
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Icon09 Tourists' national naivete is cause for embarrassment

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My son lives in Hawaii and over the years we have visited him many times. The questions I have heard travelers ask flight attendants as they deplane in Honolulu run the gamut: "Where do I go to change money?" "Which side of the road do 'they' drive on?" "Is it safe here when it rains?" or "Is English widely spoken?" I think I've heard them all.
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  #2  
Old 22 May 2009, 04:58 AM
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Australian mainland visitors to Tasmania ask about currency differences, passport requirements and duty-free options quite regularly.

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  #3  
Old 22 May 2009, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
Australian mainland visitors to Tasmania ask about currency differences, passport requirements and duty-free options quite regularly.

Dropbear
It's amazing how many times you see (even here in Australia) mention of someone visiting "Australia and Tasmania".

Um, it's the same place.
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  #4  
Old 22 May 2009, 05:37 AM
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When I was in high school, the band and colorguard visited Honolulu every four years to compete in the Hawaii Open Invitational. Our colorguard captain brought her passport and was quite ticked off that they didn't stamp it for her. It's not like she didn't know Hawaii was part of the U.S., she just hadn't traveled much and wanted a stamp in her passport.

Sometimes I wonder why those guys even put up with us.
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  #5  
Old 22 May 2009, 06:44 AM
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I'm so used to carrying more than one type of currency that I had to check myself whenever I went to Pennsylvania.
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  #6  
Old 22 May 2009, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mateus View Post
I'm so used to carrying more than one type of currency that I had to check myself whenever I went to Pennsylvania.
My father used to joke about that every time we drove across the bridge into NJ.
At least I think he was joking. Maybe he was actually completely serious, since he always referred to NJ as "The People's Republic of NJ" (We lived in PA.)

ETA:
In retrospect, maybe he just didn't like the work of having to unload all the guns out of the car, because we weren't supposed to bring them into NJ...

Last edited by Der Induktionator; 22 May 2009 at 06:58 AM. Reason: sp.
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  #7  
Old 22 May 2009, 07:29 AM
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We seem to get the opposite with regards to the Republic of Ireland. I had a couple of friends going to Dublin for a weekend and I asked if they had their punts. They had no idea they didn't use the same currency as the UK.
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  #8  
Old 22 May 2009, 08:17 AM
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"Where do I go to change money?"
Is she sure that all the people asking this type of question were from the US? Took me a while to work out what on earth would be wrong with asking that question in Hawaii...
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  #9  
Old 22 May 2009, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Dactyl View Post
We seem to get the opposite with regards to the Republic of Ireland. I had a couple of friends going to Dublin for a weekend and I asked if they had their punts. They had no idea they didn't use the same currency as the UK.
To my shame I was well into my 20's before I realised that Ireland was not part of the UK.

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  #10  
Old 22 May 2009, 08:56 AM
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A co-worker at Eastbay swore up and down that when a customer asked where they were calling (happens a lot with call centers) and she answered "Wisconsin" the customer said, shocked "Wisconsin? I didn't know I was calling Canada!"

We found that lots of New York City/New Jerseyites had no idea where Wisconsin was and the best explanation we could give to them was "it's the state above Chicago".
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  #11  
Old 22 May 2009, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
To my shame I was well into my 20's before I realised that Ireland was not part of the UK.
It's not part of "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"? It even says so in the name.

I do know that the official name for the Republic of Ireland is "Ireland" (or Eire).
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  #12  
Old 22 May 2009, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
To my shame I was well into my 20's before I realised that Ireland was not part of the UK.
Well, to be fair, between 1801 and 1922 all of it was part of the UK. How old are you?
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  #13  
Old 22 May 2009, 10:14 AM
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So I don't need a passport to cross the border into Sheppey, and they use the same money as us?
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  #14  
Old 22 May 2009, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Well, to be fair, between 1801 and 1922 all of it was part of the UK. How old are you?
Not quite that old - although my son asked me yesterday what sort of games I played in the olden days. sigh.

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  #15  
Old 22 May 2009, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
Not quite that old - although my son asked me yesterday what sort of games I played in the olden days. sigh.

Dropbear
Did you play that one with the hoop and the stick?
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  #16  
Old 22 May 2009, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
Not quite that old - although my son asked me yesterday what sort of games I played in the olden days. sigh.
Aah the 'Olden Days', a great social epoch, sandwiched in timeline between 'Yesteryear' and 'Days of Yore', I believe.

I hate smugness on the part of people who think that just because some tourist doesn't know something they regard as obvious somehow makes them idiots. I've personally berated folk for being so utterly arrogant and pompous that they regard their casual contextual knowledge asUniversal required reading.

We've all asked what may have turned out to be daft questions when in unfamiliar territory, but a little humour in these situations goes a long way. However naive a tourist happens to be it still speaks volumes for them that they are out there exploring, asking questions...
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  #17  
Old 22 May 2009, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
It's amazing how many times you see (even here in Australia) mention of someone visiting "Australia and Tasmania".

Um, it's the same place.
It's logical though - Tasmania is another island. And visiting "Australia including Tasmania" sounds weird.
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  #18  
Old 22 May 2009, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay Tea View Post
I hate smugness on the part of people who think that just because some tourist doesn't know something they regard as obvious somehow makes them idiots. I've personally berated folk for being so utterly arrogant and pompous that they regard their casual contextual knowledge asUniversal required reading.
There's nothing smug about expecting US citizens to know that Hawaii and New Mexico are parts of the US, or to recognize the names of states, or to know that there are states between CA and Canada.
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  #19  
Old 22 May 2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
There's nothing smug about expecting US citizens to know that Hawaii and New Mexico are parts of the US, or to recognize the names of states, or to know that there are states between CA and Canada.

Fair enough, I was going on the observation that this 'lack of preparation' was being perpetrated by tourists, not US citizens exclusively. Also, in general, there seems to me to be a increasingly smug tone amongst online commentators when it comes to discussing tourists/travellers. I'm probably just paranoid having asked a few questions which, on reflection, amounted to sensational f*ckwittery on my part...
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  #20  
Old 22 May 2009, 02:26 PM
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I'm always surprised at how many people in the US don't know that Puerto Ricans are US Citizens.
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