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General dress code for ports in Europe

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8 minutes ago, iancal said:

It amazes me the effort that some people will go to look like who they are not.  Or to be so insecure that they are concerned about wearing what others are wearing and worried that they will not 'fit in'.

Well, that goes way beyond travel and is, for many, a lifelong concern from the time they were 6.  In part for good reasons that have nothing to do with insecurity but has to do with needs and wants -- because first impressions do matter and there are long-held subconscious prejudices linked to appearance, we are more likely to get what we need and want if we look like we are expected to look (as if we fit the part). 

 

In the realm of travel, it's the belief that one will be treated better (or at least not treated worse) if one looks like a local or, at least, doesn't look like an American.  But it's true in the realm of work, school, and most other areas from book clubs to banking....everywhere except family and true friends.

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4 hours ago, calliopecruiser said:

In the realm of travel, it's the belief that one will be treated better (or at least not treated worse) if one looks like a local or, at least, doesn't look like an American.

Good post. And there are enough "Ugly Americans" traveling about that blending in isn't a bad thing sometimes. I'm such a tailored dresser that I tend to fit in most places.

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It is wasted effort.  You many look the part but one you open your mouth the truth will be obvious..  Not to mention other actions.  Does not matter if one is American or anything else.  Looking the part does not do it.  And most of those that we have seen trying hard  to 'look the part'  actually look a little silly.  What on earth is wrong with looking like the country you come from.  At then end of the day that will become very obvious to most people within about 2 seconds after the first casual glance.   It all just seems so silly to me.

 

My spouse gets confused in Italy and a few other countries as being Italian.  She is not.  And that becomes patently obvious the minute she speaks.  We have traveled so often and to so many places that we realize the pointless of trying to 'ape' the natives.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, c-boy said:

wow. .... just wow !

You sound disturbed by the previous posts. Do you speak and understand any of the languages native to the countries you visit in Europe ( French/German/Italian etc)? Try sitting at a sidewalk cafe and listen to some of the local "people watchers". If you think they don't comment on both the clothing and the behavior of those they see, you're in for a rude awakening. It's true that you can't totally blend in. But making an effort not to stand out like a sore thumb doesn't hurt, and can often help. But if course, one's behavior is the most important thing. Don't be the rude, loud, demanding archtype, and maybe the team t shirt,  mismatched baseball cap, rumpled cargo shorts and socks with sandals won't matter as much.

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1 hour ago, mom says said:

But making an effort not to stand out like a sore thumb doesn't hurt, and can often help. But if course, one's behavior is the most important thing. Don't be the rude, loud, demanding archtype, and maybe the team t shirt,  mismatched baseball cap, rumpled cargo shorts and socks with sandals won't matter as much.

THIS^^^^^^^^^  And if I don't look like the "Ugly American" maybe they'll warm up to me a smidge. It happens.

PS: I travel to engage with the people.

Edited by clo

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1 hour ago, mom says said:

You sound disturbed by the previous posts. Do you speak and understand any of the languages native to the countries you visit in Europe ( French/German/Italian etc)? Try sitting at a sidewalk cafe and listen to some of the local "people watchers". If you think they don't comment on both the clothing and the behavior of those they see, you're in for a rude awakening. It's true that you can't totally blend in. But making an effort not to stand out like a sore thumb doesn't hurt, and can often help. But if course, one's behavior is the most important thing. Don't be the rude, loud, demanding archtype, and maybe the team t shirt,  mismatched baseball cap, rumpled cargo shorts and socks with sandals won't matter as much.

Same thing happens in US.  Folks will comment about someone from another countries dress, actions, etc.  Actions could be being loud when talking, not standing in lines, not tipping, smelly sandals, being pushy, etc......point being there our "ugly" travelers from every country and the countries they visit notice them and comment on them, but thankfully everyone from any country that travels is not an "ugly" traveler.

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27 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

but thankfully everyone from any country that travels is not an "ugly" traveler.

Right. But the "ugly" ones are the ones we remember. And of the six continents I've visited it's the "muricans" that seem to stand out. And that's coming from an American.

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

It is wasted effort.  You many look the part but one you open your mouth the truth will be obvious..  Not to mention other actions.  Does not matter if one is American or anything else.  Looking the part does not do it.  And most of those that we have seen trying hard  to 'look the part'  actually look a little silly.  What on earth is wrong with looking like the country you come from.  At then end of the day that will become very obvious to most people within about 2 seconds after the first casual glance.   It all just seems so silly to me.

 

My spouse gets confused in Italy and a few other countries as being Italian.  She is not.  And that becomes patently obvious the minute she speaks.  We have traveled so often and to so many places that we realize the pointless of trying to 'ape' the natives.

 

 

 

I assure you I am not trying to 'ape' the natives. I'm not trying to pass myself off as anything I am not. But often, I am traveling independently and on my own, and it just seems like good common sense to not stick out or draw anyone's attention. One can look like one 'belongs' somewhere, even if one is not born and bred there. Observe the mores, do as the locals do, be courteous, don't walk around gawking or looking at a map. It puts less of a target on one's back. And again, as a woman traveling alone, that is not a bad thing. 

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8 hours ago, calliopecruiser said:

Well, that goes way beyond travel and is, for many, a lifelong concern from the time they were 6.  In part for good reasons that have nothing to do with insecurity but has to do with needs and wants -- because first impressions do matter and there are long-held subconscious prejudices linked to appearance, we are more likely to get what we need and want if we look like we are expected to look (as if we fit the part). 

 

In the realm of travel, it's the belief that one will be treated better (or at least not treated worse) if one looks like a local or, at least, doesn't look like an American.  But it's true in the realm of work, school, and most other areas from book clubs to banking....everywhere except family and true friends.

 

So if someone looks like an American they are treated poorly?  Not my experience. 

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Whenever I visit the touristy areas in Sydney I can always tell who are the visitors and locals are. Locals know where they are going, walk with confidence and purpose, unaware of their surroundings, whereas the tourists walk casually a little more aimlessly and and are hyper aware of their surroundings🤗. I have no doubt when I am overseas I behave the same, after all I'm seeing it all for the first time so of course I want to look but locals have seen it enough they hardly care and when they turn left they know it will get them where the want to go whereas I am crossing my fingers hoping that map was accurate😉. Strangely on my last holiday someone came up to me so certain I was a German tourist. I had to interrupt her speech and tell her "I don't speak Deutsch". She looked at me really surprised and walked off 😂

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Sorry if this is a little controversial but this thread is borderline daft.

 

Who is it exactly you are trying to blend in with?

 

If you visit London do you try to blend in with an upper class twit wearing his cravat? The pinstriped bowler hat wearer so often seen in London? John cleese type.

 

Or maybe it's the football hooligan dressed always in his club colours.

 

Or is it the traditional Muslim in their traditional clothing?

 

Or what about the permanent tracksuit wearers?

 

Or maybe you want to dress like one of the many homeless people?

 

I could go on as there are hundreds of other examples. 

 

Just what is this stereotype you aspire to copy in every country you visit?

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8 hours ago, ldubs said:

So if someone looks like an American they are treated poorly?  Not my experience. 

Can you read?  I have to ask because that's not what I said........What I said was that is what many believe. 

 

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4 hours ago, DarrenM said:

Who is it exactly you are trying to blend in with?

 

If you visit London do you try to blend in with an upper class twit wearing his cravat? The pinstriped bowler hat wearer so often seen in London? John cleese type.

 

Or maybe it's the football hooligan dressed always in his club colours.

 

Or is it the traditional Muslim in their traditional clothing?

 

Or what about the permanent tracksuit wearers?

 

Or maybe you want to dress like one of the many homeless people?

 

I could go on as there are hundreds of other examples. 

 

Just what is this stereotype you aspire to copy in every country you visit?

It depends on what you're going to do there and what you want to accomplish.   There are times you may want to wear wear a club colours or traditional Muslim clothing.....etc.  

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Whatever you decide to do if you are really serious about impersonating a local....don't speak or use your credit card.  And don't ask if they accept US dollars either.

It will give the game the away. 

 

 Not to mention the maps, the cameras, the guidebooks, the gawking.    

 

 

Edited by iancal

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4 hours ago, calliopecruiser said:

Can you read?  I have to ask because that's not what I said........What I said was that is what many believe. 

 

 

Yes, I can read.   

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11 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

Whenever I visit the touristy areas in Sydney I can always tell who are the visitors and locals are. Locals know where they are going, walk with confidence and purpose, unaware of their surroundings, whereas the tourists walk casually a little more aimlessly and and are hyper aware of their surroundings🤗. I have no doubt when I am overseas I behave the same, after all I'm seeing it all for the first time so of course I want to look but locals have seen it enough they hardly care and when they turn left they know it will get them where the want to go whereas I am crossing my fingers hoping that map was accurate😉. Strangely on my last holiday someone came up to me so certain I was a German tourist. I had to interrupt her speech and tell her "I don't speak Deutsch". She looked at me really surprised and walked off 😂

 

I think this is very true and I always enjoyed interacting with tourists in San Francisco.  We have had very similar experiences in  Italy and France to what happened to you in Germany.  While my Italian is practically nonexistent, I was able to respond to that question.  We were once also approached by a couple from the UK that asked us in halting French if we spoke English.  😀

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1 hour ago, iancal said:

Whatever you decide to do if you are really serious about impersonating a local....don't speak or use your credit card.  And don't ask if they accept US dollars either.

It will give the game the away. 

 

 Not to mention the maps, the cameras, the guidebooks, the gawking.    

 

 

traveling in a tour group...

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4 hours ago, c-boy said:

traveling in a tour group...

I try to go in the opposite direction 🙂

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31 minutes ago, clo said:

I try to go in the opposite direction 🙂

.... run away GIF

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10 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

We have had very similar experiences in  Italy and France to what happened to you in Germany.  While my Italian is practically nonexistent, I was able to respond to that question.  We were once also approached by a couple from the UK that asked us in halting French if we spoke English.  😀

 

Sorry I re read what I wrote and I realise I wasn't very clear😂. What made my situation humorous was that it was not in Germany, Austria or any other Deutsch speaking country. It is one thing if someone mistakes you for a local, I have had that happen too but I was quite perplexed why someone assumed I was a tourist from their country. I don't know if I was behaving particularly Germanic in that moment but her certainty that I was a fellow countryman made me laugh when she walked away 😜

Edited by ilikeanswers

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1 minute ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

Sorry I re read what I wrote and I realise I wasn't very clear😂. What made my situation humorous was that it was not in Germany. It is one thing if someone mistakes you for a local, I have had that happen too but I was quite perplexed why someone assumed I was a tourist from their country. I don't know if I was behaving particularly German in that moment but her certainty that I was a fellow countryman made me laugh when she walked away 😜

 

Haha, it went right by me the first time.  Now that really is funny!  😀

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7 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

Sorry I re read what I wrote and I realise I wasn't very clear😂. What made my situation humorous was that it was not in Germany, Austria or any other Deutsch speaking country. It is one thing if someone mistakes you for a local, I have had that happen too but I was quite perplexed why someone assumed I was a tourist from their country. I don't know if I was behaving particularly Germanic in that moment but her certainty that I was a fellow countryman made me laugh when she walked away 😜

 

 

Hmmm, exactly the opposite happens to me.

In non Englsh-speaking countries, when I walk up to the counter of a shop or sit at a bar, I'm asked what I would like in English. This is without me saying a word or wearing or carrying anything that provides a clue. :classic_huh:

Just how do they know?????

 

But I don't have the same problem abroad with Brits.

On more than one occasion on my travels I've been approached in the street by Brits asking me for directions to the rail station, cathedral or wherever, in halting French or Italian or German.

Just how do they not know?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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7 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

 

...

 

But I don't have the same problem abroad with Brits.

On more than one occasion on my travels I've been approached in the street by Brits asking me for directions to the rail station, cathedral or wherever, in halting French or Italian or German.

Just how do they not know?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Yes — one would think that they would recognize your Union Jack waistcoat.

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