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How to not look like an American in Europe?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by simmerdownjack, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Mr_Moe

    Mr_Moe Loaded Pockets

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    Dude, you have the wrong picture of Germans. Nowadys people dress pretty similar in most western countries. If you want to blend in don't flash your camera too obviously. When in doubt, say you're Canadian. I met an American tourist once who said he did that sometimes.

    Which parts of Germany will you visit?
     
  2. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    Avoid cameras hanging around your neck and talking loudly... it's the mouth that gives most Americans away first ;D

    Tourists often look too nicely dressed I think - tone down to very casual nothing special and you won't stand out.
     
    sveqs likes this.
  3. hafpit

    hafpit Loaded Pockets

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    Any thoughts / advice on a backpack or hip bag?
     
  4. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

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    I think EVERY nation has its share of obnoxious people.
    When I'M overseas, Im certainly NOT your typical "lager-lout" British tourist, I avoid ANYONE wearing Football (Soccer!) shirts, Union Jack shirts &/or shorts or any loud, obnoxious people (of ANY nationality).
    Ive always found US tourists in Britain to be charming & polite, (though I DID have a slight argument with one guy in a bar in Spain whilst we were watching an England V USA Rugby match on TV several years ago, but we parted as friends after a few pints (of Budweiser for me & Boddingtons for him!!)

    Ive found some Germans in Spain to be rude & ignorant, and others to be lovely.
    Ditto Russians.
    Ditto Spanish.
    Ditto British

    The fact is that there are good & bad people everywhere.

    Wear jeans & t-shirt in most countries & no-one will take a second look at you. (Just leave the cowboy hat at home! Yeeeeehaw!!!! ;-) )
     
  5. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    For the life of me, I just don't understand why American mass-market swill has become so popular in the uK, when you have so many better indigenous beers.

    Your tale would be like me travelling to Italy and making a local friend while I ate veal saltimboca, and he ate Chef Boyardee out of a can!
     
  6. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

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    I just like the crisp, clean taste of lager. I was NEVER into al these real ales (& youre right, we have hundreds - if not thousands!!) of beers over here.
    I like San Miguel, Sol, Asahi, Peroni, Tiger, Labatts, Fosters, Carling, Stella Artois, Amstel & Grolsch, too, but I ALWAYS have lots of "Bud" at home (I won FIVE crates at Xmas off the Zanussi rep in a sales promotion at work so I currently have about 3 crates left)
     
  7. simmerdownjack

    simmerdownjack Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I didn't specify my question enough though. I'm looking for some advice on what to wear while I'm doing what ever so I don't attract any unwanted attention to myself. Also, I wanted to know how to act while carrying money or valuables so I don't get pick-pocketed. I'm not sure if Europe has changed but when I went about 13 years ago to Italy, my dad got his wallet stolen. Just trying to make sure everything was clear to you guys.
     
  8. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    What do you wear / do in the States? Why dress / act any differently abroad?
     
  9. simmerdownjack

    simmerdownjack Loaded Pockets

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    It's not that I want to act differently so can fit in, it's more so I don't get mugged or pick pocketed.
     
  10. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    Peroni is lush. Drank lots of that in Italy. Also love Grolsch, but mostly I'm an ale man. Prefer taste and flavour to gas! OT though eh?
     
  11. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    But that's my point. What do you do or not do at home to not get pick pocketed? I'm sure everyone's told you horror stories about Europe and the "gangs" but it's really no better or worse than the States. Don't walk around looking like a target (reading maps, taking crazy amounts of photos, walking up and down the same street). Common sense is the best tool and EDC'er could ever carry.
     
  12. Jean

    Jean Loaded Pockets

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    Buy a couple of shirts when you get there, be careful with the unknown soccer team logos.

    Jersey Shore? I don't know any Americans that watch it ...
     
  13. simmerdownjack

    simmerdownjack Loaded Pockets

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    Just trying to make sure I'll be ok. I wanted to know what others do when they travel to new places they are unfamiliar with. I just don't want the same things to happen again.
     
  14. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    Man don't worry 'bout it. Been to so many countries. If you're REALLY concerned, take 2 wallets. One keep stashed away, the other keep in an easy to get to pocket, keep a couple of old credit cards in there (expired and unusable) and a couple of notes of small figures in local currency. If, and I mean IF....you do get mugged, give up the wallet and let them run.
     
  15. simmerdownjack

    simmerdownjack Loaded Pockets

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    Alright. Thanks
     
  16. simmerdownjack

    simmerdownjack Loaded Pockets

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    BTW, I don't own any Hawaiian shirts, Jean shorts, or loud t-shirts, and I am not fat. So looking at all the comments I believe I will be ok.
     
  17. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I don't know that I'd solicit travel advice from this crowd...

    Seriously, for European travel tips, try Rick Steve's website.
     
  18. ChopperCFI

    ChopperCFI Loaded Pockets

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    For men, shorts or white athletic shoes will make you stick out. Regular pants are required to get in many churches, museums and casinos. Darker colored athletic shoes are fine.
     
  19. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Btw, one way to avoid being detected as an American is to overdo it: go for the rapper/hip hop bling to the max and no-one, absolutely no-one, will think you are an actual American, just a wannabe. Tacticool combat gear might probably have the same effect.
     
  20. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    i guess most of the stereotypical yank tourist idea comes from over the top tv shows - dress normally in regular clothes like jeans and a shirt and you won't catch any undue attention, be polite and courteous and you can overturn the whole stereotype in one :)

    It is worth remembering as well that you are on holiday, and you will be being a tourist - is there really much point putting lots of effort and annoyance into trying to 'blend in' while visiting somewhere like central London and every second person is also a tourist? So while I would say blending in and dressing and acting unobtrusively is a good idea, I would say that to anyone going anywhere, not just tourists...

    If you do insist on wearing hawaiian shirts, short and a lovely sandals/socks combo whist dragging your bleached blonde trophy wife about taking photos of absolutely everything while loudly proclaiming about how 'quaint' and 'historical' everything may be and complaining about everything different from your home then you may get a few more 'oh god, American idiots' looks ;)

    As for security and not getting pick pocketed - the same advice as for anywhere, in busy public areas there is always a chance of someone trying to get your valuables, which will be pretty much the same whether in Paris or New York. Don't advertise your wealth, only carry what money you need for the day (plus a little for emergencies) whilst keeping the rest somewhere safe, make sure wallets and valuables are kept safe and hidden (so the big fat wallet sticking out the top of your back pocket is probably a bad idea...) and make sure to keep hold of everything and don't lay stuff down and lose track of it (both for you losing it, and someone taking the opportunity to grab it when you are distracted).

    Most importantly, enjoy your trip :)