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My New Opinion On Europe  
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

I recently returned after nearly two weeks of travel in Europe, my first time across the pond. (I'm undecided if I'll do a trip report - if I do, it will be one massive one for my trips to Hawaii, Europe, and my upcoming trip to Turkey). We went to Germany, France, Luxembourg, and technically Austria as we drove through the northwest corner before crossing back into Germany. I realize two weeks doesn't constitute a lot of time there, but this is my opinion and my opinion and my first impressions from those two weeks determined whether or not I will want to go back.

So in the Pro's and Con's and just Observations from my trip over there.

- Very clean, especially Germany. You don't see a lot of trash on the side of the road. Paris was dirtier than what you saw in Germany, but still better than what I often see in many streets in the US. Most of the buildings were generally well maintained and kept too.
- For the most part, very friendly people who if they recognized you as tourists struggling with a map or trying to find some place or even just struggling with the subway ticket machine, they would help you out.
- I don't think your train network is as cracked up as you all make it out to be. It's as expensive if not more expensive than flying, and service wise it's not any better than the air. It does have its advantages, like being able to show up at the station 5 to 10 minutes before the train leaves and just getting right off when you reach your destination. It was neat to try something different but anything longer than Kaiserslautern - Paris, and I think I'll take the plane. I will say the travel facilities we used (airports and train stations) were all modern and well kept and fairly user friendly.
- Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris, and it cost us €20, or almost $30 for 4 1/2 Liter bottle sof coke, and no refills to boot anywhere. A good chunk of the places, especially in Germany, charged you even for water. We found it was cheaper to drink alcohol, but the long term problem with that was dehydration. On top of that, having to pay to piss was annoying. That was another reason we drank less fluids over there - to avoid having to pay to go to the bathroom. You didn't see a lot of overweight people in Europe either, probably because you can't afford to overeat over there.  wink 
- Parisians are friendly people....until they're behind the wheel of a car. The drivers are nuts. If/when I go back to Paris, I'm taking the subway everywhere I possibly can, even though that was an experience in and of itself, haha.
- Normandy was spectacular. I wish we would have spent more than a day there, and if you really want to study the battle in detail, you know you could spend several days or weeks there.
- The German Autobahn wasn't as exciting as you make it to be either. Yea, there were parts where you could go 130 kph....for about 15 minutes, then you'd hit a slow down to 60 or 70 kph (just the speed limit, not traffic) and then you'd speed up to 110 kph for 10 minutes then hit another slow point again.
- The way the EU is setup is nice. We crossed over the border into Austria our first night there and no passport required, no customs station....nothing. Might as well have been crossing the border from North Carolina into South Carolina. Same thing when we drove to Luxembourg and when we got off the train in Paris.
- Heavy investments in wind generated power, especially in Germany- something the US needs to do.
- Don't take it as a con, but many of the hotel rooms we stayed in (three hotels in France and one in Germany) had small rooms, especially when compared to the standard hotel room in the US.

So that's my rambling on what I thought of Europe in two weeks. There will be more details in the trip report, should I decide to do one.

76 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21562 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3705 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks

Very true. My biggest frustration in Europe is the inability to get free water at restaurants.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
I don't think your train network is as cracked up as you all make it out to be. It's as expensive if not more expensive than flying, and service wise it's not any better than the air. It does have its advantages, like being able to show up at the station 5 to 10 minutes before the train leaves and just getting right off when you reach your destination. It was neat to try something different but anything longer than Kaiserslautern - Paris, and I think I'll take the plane.

It depends. Service-wise it's nothing special, but I find the train to be more comfortable than the plane, and as long as you aren't going a massive distance I find it to be worth the extra time just for the minimal hassle.

I took a train from Berlin to St. Malo (in Brittany) once. It took me all day, but flying into St. Malo would have been hard (closest airport is in Dinard), and since I had connections in Cologne and Brussels, I was able to leave my luggage in a locker at the station and walk around the city for a bit - something I would not have been able to do on the plane.

If you go back to Europe, try getting a Eurail Pass. It makes things a heck of a lot cheaper.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Don't take it as a con, but many of the hotel rooms we stayed in (three hotels in France and one in Germany) had small rooms, especially when compared to the standard hotel room in the US.

Which is normal for a more compact continent. Homes are smaller as well - just something you learn to live with.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineJush From Germany, joined Apr 2005, 1636 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3656 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
The German Autobahn wasn't as exciting as you make it to be either. Yea, there were parts where you could go 130 kph....for about 15 minutes, then you'd hit a slow down to 60 or 70 kph (just the speed limit, not traffic) and then you'd speed up to 110 kph for 10 minutes then hit another slow point again.

Hi,

glad you liked Europe and especially Germany. Please come back if you feel to.

I don't know which Autobahn you were on but many foreigners don't realise that German Autobahn has a lot of speed limits. Only a few parts are free to go. But there you can go as fast as you can if traffic allows it.
Anyway the speeds you mentioned (130 kph) are considered slow as a tortoise in Germany  Wink

Regds
jush



There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3649 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- I don't think your train network is as cracked up as you all make it out to be. It's as expensive if not more expensive than flying, and service wise it's not any better than the air. It does have its advantages, like being able to show up at the station 5 to 10 minutes before the train leaves and just getting right off when you reach your destination. It was neat to try something different but anything longer than Kaiserslautern - Paris, and I think I'll take the plane. I will say the travel facilities we used (airports and train stations) were all modern and well kept and fairly user friendly.

the speed of the connection depends heavily if high-speed-rail is avaiable... I agree about the cost, but flying isn't exactly cheap either over here. But at least we do have an ecologically friendly alternative to short-haul flying...  Wink

Besides, you wouldn't have had a chance to fly Kaiserslautern-Paris anyway... you would have had to go to Stuttgart or Frankfurt, easily adding 2h (by train  Wink) to your itinerary...

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris, and it cost us €20, or almost $30 for 4 1/2 Liter bottle sof coke, and no refills to boot anywhere. A good chunk of the places, especially in Germany, charged you even for water. We found it was cheaper to drink alcohol, but the long term problem with that was dehydration. On top of that, having to pay to piss was annoying. That was another reason we drank less fluids over there - to avoid having to pay to go to the bathroom. You didn't see a lot of overweight people in Europe either, probably because you can't afford to overeat over there. wink

well observed... the difference is easily explained: most European restaurants make their money from the drinks they sell, not so much from the food... in turn, they generally won't more or less throw you out of the house once you're done eating ("any dessert? No? Ok, I'll make your check ready then"), because as long as you keep drinking (be it alcoholic or non-alcoholic) they make good money anyway.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Don't take it as a con, but many of the hotel rooms we stayed in (three hotels in France and one in Germany) had small rooms, especially when compared to the standard hotel room in the US.

we just have less space...  Wink perfectly normal in space-constricted regions.... look at the hotel rooms in New York City as an example, as well...

besides, I never quite understand the obsession with the size of a hotel room when I'm in another town as a tourist anyway.... when I'm in Paris, the place I least want to be (except for sleeping, of course) is my hotel room!



300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineDavehammer From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 472 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3628 times:

Glad you enjoyed your trip!

Come to England the nest time you're over! Free tap Water has to be provided by all establishments.

On the issue of train v plane. The High Speed rail is still a work in progress. France's system is top notch and Germany's isn't far behind and in many cases if you get a rail pass travelling by train is easier than going by plane I found. I did a bit of both on my last trip round Europe and the lack of airport messing about made life a whole lot easier it has to be said. Particularly between city pairs that are well served by train e.g Milan-Paris, Milan-Rome, London-Paris/Brussels.


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1817 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3592 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris, and it cost us €20, or almost $30 for 4 1/2 Liter bottle sof coke, and no refills to boot anywhere. A good chunk of the places, especially in Germany, charged you even for water. We found it was cheaper to drink alcohol, but the long term problem with that was dehydration. On top of that, having to pay to piss was annoying. That was another reason we drank less fluids over there - to avoid having to pay to go to the bathroom. You didn't see a lot of overweight people in Europe either, probably because you can't afford to overeat over there.

In France ask for 'une carafe d'eau', in Spain it's 'agua del grifo'. Obviously most restaurants prefer people to drink bottled water/soft drinks, etc. but you can get free water. I am almost sure they're required by law.

As per paying to go the loo.... go to a McDonalds. It's the best source for free, mostly clean, restrooms in Europe.

Glad you enjoyed your time on this side of the pond.


User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3579 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Parisians are friendly people

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

OF COURSE WE ARE!!!  Smile

Thank you for the compliment - in the name of my fellow Parisians, I convey our warmest thanks to you and please be sure to come back.

 Smile


User currently offlineCgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1150 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3529 times:

Nice observations and glad you enjoyed your first trip to Europe. However, next time think about focusing on one area. I think you get more out of it. For instance spend a full week in one city using the first two or three days to see the sights there and then do day trips to the outlaying areas. So many tourist overlook the smaller cities or sights when they are in big cities. I know how it is with American vacations..if you're lucky you are allowed two full weeks at once so naturally you want to see as much as possible. Just a suggestion.

the water issue - it took me years to get use to bottled water because it's almost always carbonated. In the past few years though non-carbonated has become very common as well. A tip...buy a small bottle of water at the supermarket or where-ever and just fill it up with tap water from the hotel. Tap water is really safe to drink in most of the EU and it doesn't really taste anyworse than US tap water. For some strange reasons Germans are appalled by the idea of drinking tap water but insist carbonating their water is healthier...I guess this can go on the "different country different customs" list.

Autobahn - yes, it never ceases to amaze me how many Americans think Autobahns are no limits. I think being used to driving 65MPH (approx. 90KHM) makes anything faster seem great.

pay public restrooms - it's called capitalism

trains - yes they're good for short and medium distances. If you book far enough in advance you can get good deals online and I'm sure you can book from the US as long as you have credit card.

Cheers!



A330 man.
User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris, and it cost us €20, or almost $30 for 4 1/2 Liter bottle sof coke, and no refills to boot anywhere. A good chunk of the places, especially in Germany, charged you even for water.

The exchange rate of the dollar is not in your favour, so even a cheap lunch is pretty expensive for Americans these days, but you're right, eating out in the EU is not really cheap.

The concept of a free refill is totally unknown in Europe too indeed: you buy a drink and when you want another glass, you buy another drink. period. If you order water, they'll always give you bottled water and charge you just as much as if you'd order any other drink. It's standard all over the continent really. You can however try to ask for a can of water and then you should receive a pitcher of tab water, but it is something really not done and don't be surprised if they charge you some sort of service fee for it as well, because the owner of the place is really not going to like this... When you are eating out somewhere, you're supposed to order a drink from their list and you pay per glass.

On the plus side: prices are all inclusive in Europe, meaning you're not supposed to add any tip to the bill at all, although Americans often do it out of habit, much to the liking of the waiters, nor are there any other fees to add. What you see on the price list outside, is what you pay inside. You were aware of that, didn't you? Otherwise you've paid a really really good tip, because there is already a 15% tip included in the list price!  

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
You didn't see a lot of overweight people in Europe either

That's true, although more and more people in the UK are starting to look like they're Americans as well... It's the fast food culture, which is (still) lacking overhere.

The reverse strikes me each time I go to the USA BTW,especially because you never see fat Americans on television in Europe, so when you come to the US for the first time, you're really surprised by the disconnect between what you see on the streets and what you have seen on television.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Many of the hotel rooms we stayed in had small rooms, especially when compared to the standard hotel room in the US.

Indeed, that's another one of those differences.

You really wouldn't be the first American who complains at the reception of his hotel about the fact he and his wife are put up in a single room despite having booked for 2, just because their is only one queen-sized bed in it.

The opposite is true as well: Europeans often book a double room in the USA, yet they stay in it with 2 couples, just because it is so big.

The difference may have something to do with your previous remark about the number of overweight people.....  


Now, I have a question for you: all in all, you sound pretty positive about your trip and you mention in the title it reflects your NEW OPINION about Europe... May I ask what your OLD OPINION sounded like and what it was based on?

[Edited 2008-07-14 05:37:55]

User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7062 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3506 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
The German Autobahn wasn't as exciting as you make it to be either. Yea, there were parts where you could go 130 kph....for about 15 minutes, then you'd hit a slow down to 60 or 70 kph (just the speed limit, not traffic) and then you'd speed up to 110 kph for 10 minutes then hit another slow point again.

Wrong Autobahn  Wink, where have you been ?



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently onlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5678 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Don't take it as a con, but many of the hotel rooms we stayed in (three hotels in France and one in Germany) had small rooms, especially when compared to the standard hotel room in the US.

Just wait till you see the Cab Inn chain in Scandinavia . . .

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
Dining is expensive, especially soft drinks. We ate at one restaurant in Paris, and it cost us €20, or almost $30 for 4 1/2 Liter bottle sof coke, and no refills to boot anywhere

Paris is out on its own here: it's not unusual to be charged ten euro or more for two bottles of mineral water in a pavement café, yet you can quite easily get a three course evening meal, with wine, for 40 euro a head.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
On top of that, having to pay to piss was annoying.

I agree. Seeing that there's no apparent accounting for the cash, some of these old dears manning the toilets must rake in very good money, considering they usually charge 40-50 cent.

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 6):
Thank you for the compliment - in the name of my fellow Parisians, I convey our warmest thanks to you and please be sure to come back.

One of the biggest myths is the arrogance and rudeness of Parisians. They aren't, but you do need to make a stab at their language, even if it's just a s'il vous plait or merci

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
Very true. My biggest frustration in Europe is the inability to get free water at restaurants.

Most restaurants here will provide tap water free (and it's very drinkable). Apparently in Denmark you can be charged for tap water.

[Edited 2008-07-14 08:06:57]

[Edited 2008-07-14 08:13:07]

User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3410 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
I don't think your train network is as cracked up as you all make it out to be. It's as expensive if not more expensive than flying, and service wise it's not any better than the air. It does have its advantages, like being able to show up at the station 5 to 10 minutes before the train leaves and just getting right off when you reach your destination.

A key difference between the rail network in most of western Europe when compared to flying is that you can get virtually anywhere. When you include regional trains, it's a very very thorough network. If your trip comprised primarily of visiting larger cities then I'd see your point.

Also, when I was younger and more carefree, I'd just ride the train and then get off when I thought a place looked interesting rather than have everything planned out.


User currently onlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3388 times:
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FlyDeltaJets, I'm very happy you've found this new opinion of Europe. So many Americans are shocked when I say I'd love to go live there for a few years. My parents are European, so I've seen a lot of the continent (accumulated about 2 years there) and I love the culture there. It's so different than the United States (not necessarily better, don't misunderstand) and a place I'd love to spend some time, especially since I have cousins there and have mastered 3 European languages, allowing me to travel virtually anywhere.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
One of the biggest myths is the arrogance and rudeness of Parisians.

I wouldn't say arrogance and rudeness, I would call it pride. Parisians are very hospitable people if you show an interest in their city and their culture. If, however, you are ignorant, refuse to even attempt a French phrase, and compare their city to another one, they tend to become defensive about their city. I don't mean any of this as an insult, as I think pride in one's culture is a great thing, but it can be a bit of a shock to Americans who are not used to new places and different cultures.


TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3375 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Heavy investments in wind generated power, especially in Germany- something the US needs to do.

Spend some time in Iowa or Texas. The money's going in fo sho.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 12):
I wouldn't say arrogance and rudeness, I would call it pride. Parisians are very hospitable people if you show an interest in their city and their culture. If, however, you are ignorant, refuse to even attempt a French phrase, and compare their city to another one, they tend to become defensive about their city. I don't mean any of this as an insult, as I think pride in one's culture is a great thing, but it can be a bit of a shock to Americans who are not used to new places and different cultures.

Those folks sound an awful lot like us Americans. I'm starting to like the French more and more.

By the way,

Happy Birthday to France. I've changed my flag for the day.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 8):
Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
You didn't see a lot of overweight people in Europe either

That's true, although more and more people in the UK are starting to look like they're Americans as well... It's the fast food culture, which is (still) lacking overhere.

The reverse strikes me each time I go to the USA BTW,especially because you never see fat Americans on television in Europe, so when you come to the US for the first time, you're really surprised by the disconnect between what you see on the streets and what you have seen on television.

I dunno. I've been watching the Tour de Lance all week and there seem to be some hefty folks cheering on the riders. Maybe not as many as you'd see wandering around hereabouts but most folks looked like they hadn't missed too many meals.

I've also been watching House Hunters International on HGTV (Hi! I'm Suzanne Whang) a lot lately, and I must say, if folks in Europe are getting shortchanged, it's in what they get for their housing euro when they make the decision to buy something-particularly in the amenities that most folks here in the states take for granted.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7951 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Sounds pretty fair.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- Parisians are friendly people....until they're behind the wheel of a car. The drivers are nuts.

This video gives you an idea how to cross a street in say: Rome or Paris:

http://service.tagesschau.de/multimedia-box/index.php?id=Wickert

Choose "Station 8".
The video shows former news anchor Ulrich Wickert crossing the Place de la Concorde in Paris without minding the cars too much.

(It's in German, but you will get the idea.)



I support the right to arm bears
User currently onlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3337 times:
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Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
Those folks sound an awful lot like us Americans. I'm starting to like the French more and more

There's a difference between immense pride and xenophobia...don't get me started on Europeans coming here and knowing enough English to get by while we go over there and can barely manage, "voulez vous couchez avec moi" thanks to a Christina Aguilera song.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26442 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3319 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 1):

Very true. My biggest frustration in Europe is the inability to get free water at restaurants.



Quoting JJJ (Reply 5):

In France ask for 'une carafe d'eau'

And in Germany "leitungs wasser". They have to give it to you and will be more than happy to do so if you have already ordered food.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13190 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

An interesting account, thanks.

The flip-side I think, of the apparent smallness of hotel rooms, is how many visitors to the USA get to see, if they do more than stay in one city, the sheer size of the US, the distances between places.


User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13995 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3284 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
And in Germany "leitungs wasser". They have to give it to you and will be more than happy to do so if you have already ordered food.

But don't order "Wasserleitung" as my first ex did once, to the consternation of the waiter. She had just ordered a piece of water pipe.  Wink

Jan


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3229 times:



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 15):
There's a difference between immense pride and xenophobia...don't get me started on Europeans coming here and knowing enough English to get by while we go over there and can barely manage, "voulez vous couchez avec moi" thanks to a Christina Aguilera song.

"Lady Marmalade" was recorded by Patti LaBelle in 1967. Christina Aguilera wouldn't make a pimple on Patti Labelle's ass.

You can hear some of it here:

http://www.pattilabelle.com/

I think xenophobia has gotten a bad rap.

It's good to be the smarty pants.




 Wink  Wink  Wink


User currently onlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3213 times:
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Quoting Dougloid (Reply 19):
"Lady Marmalade" was recorded by Patti LaBelle in 1967.

20 years before my time, though I do know the name Patti LaBelle. Sorry for the youthful neglect, haha.

Xenophobia has gotten a bad rap because it stems from extreme patriotism. Being patriotic or pround, as I said above, is not bad, but when you start neglecting other cultures for lack of open-mindedness, it becomes an issue. And keep in mind that I say this as an American and as a Swiss citizen from the canton of Valais, where the people are admittedly very xenophobic. I do not mean anything I have just said as an insult, so to anyone who takes it as such, I remind you that I am, in that case, unashamedly insulting myself as well.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13995 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3167 times:

Concerning having to pay for using the toilet, years ago most public toilets in Germanywere free, but they were also very neglected. They were dirty, vandalized and you had junkies shooting up in them. Today, most public toilets have an attendant, who keeps them clean and provides items like toilet paper, paper towels and soap. His / her presence also keeps unsavoury people out (like junkies looking for a place to inject drugs).
Obviously the attendand wants to be paid.
For myself, I rather pay 50 Euro cents to be able to use a clean, hygienic place than go to a dirty place for free, especially if it is for a No. 2.

Jan


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3143 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 14):
The video shows former news anchor Ulrich Wickert crossing the Place de la Concorde in Paris without minding the cars too much.

A friggin' classic! Uli Wickert is a world-class journalist and I quit watching the "Tagesthemen" after he left, now I am a "heute-journal" guy.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
"leitungs wasser"

It is spelled "Leitungswasser".  Wink

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Thread starter):
- The German Autobahn wasn't as exciting as you make it to be either. Yea, there were parts where you could go 130 kph....for about 15 minutes, then you'd hit a slow down to 60 or 70 kph (just the speed limit, not traffic)

We don't have 60 or 70 kph speed limits on the Autobahn beside in construction sites. Sure, there are a lot speed limits and traffic jams but I can think of a lot of stetches where you can go 230+ kph in the late evening. Two weeks ago a friend and me went from Paderborn to Soest via the A33, at some point we reached 217 kph in my friend's VW Eos with the roof open... that was a fun experience! Big grin

Patrick


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3130 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
And in Germany "leitungs wasser". They have to give it to you and will be more than happy to do so if you have already ordered food.

Though that often carries a charge as well. My favorite eatery in LEJ charges 1 euro for a glass of tap water about half the price of the bottled.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26442 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3125 times:



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 23):

Though that often carries a charge as well. My favorite eatery in LEJ charges 1 euro for a glass of tap water about half the price of the bottled.

I have never seen that if you order something else with it.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 22):

It is spelled "Leitungswasser"

Yeah, I didn't smash the words together to make it easier on them  Wink



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
25 ThePRGuy : Thats the law here in the UK - If someone refuses, you can have them nicked by the plod!
26 767Lover : I watched an episode where a couple was looking for a house somewhere in Italy and none of the houses came with full kitchens...you had to "bring you
27 WunalaYann : I am honestly touched and honoured by your comments - while I would not are compare us with Japanese or Thai people in terms of general hospitality a
28 N1120A : Well, I don't think they will get nicked, but I bet they get fined by the relevant people.
29 StuckInCA : ... and you've just alienated at least 99% of people reading your post
30 Dougloid : I saw that one. Amsterdam and Venlo were pretty bad too.
31 FlyDeltaJets87 : Wow....this threads got quite a bit of responses. Oh, I imagine my career in the US Air Force will bring me through Ramstein or somewhere in Europe at
32 Post contains images NoUFO : I know an American from OK who was stationed in Germany and came with a list of places he wanted to see. After eight years of service, he left with a
33 N229NW : This totally varies from country to country. For France and Germany you CAN get free tap water in most restaurants (people above mentioned how to ask
34 N1120A : Funny, never head it called that by a German.
35 TylerDurden : I'll agree to both. A friend and I got frustrated with trying to see the sights on foot (and didn't want to miss anything by going on the Metro) so w
36 ME AVN FAN : Dinard and St. Malo are close neighbours, the problem rather is that the schedules of Dinard are not very good in Switzerland for example is availabl
37 TZ757300 : German for Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?
38 TLG : I rather like the US system where, for the most part, the restrooms are clean & hygenic, AND free! -TLG
39 ME AVN FAN : - it is the only way to cross such roads in places like Paris or Cairo
40 Klaus : Not really — contrary to that one, composite words like the one given above actually make sense! It's not recommended, however, to drive it to such
41 ME AVN FAN : - of course, just like the famous Wienerdonaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft or what in Zurich used to be called the Zurichseedampfschiffahrtsgesellscha
42 Klaus : I generally shy awy from monstrosities like those myself... As they say, not everything that can be done should be done...!
43 MD11Engineer : This is the case in Germany as well. You buy or rent a place and you bring your own furniture (unlike in Ireland, where the landlord can charge extra
44 ACDC8 : Were you driving the A40 by any chance? LOL! 130kph, how "touristy" ... As already pointed out, there are several areas on various Autobahns that hav
45 WunalaYann : Your taste? I didn't know "Germany" and "taste" had any form of association... No offence, just some bad French joke.
46 ThePRGuy : Well, no, actually. Recently some local pub owners who repeatedly refused to give away water for free were taken to court over it and given community
47 ANITIX87 : It's amazing how a stereotype (good or bad) can be created by just one or two people forming the same opinion. And I feel the same way you do when so
48 ME AVN FAN : - A more sensible way of writing would be Leitungswasser- Abgabe-Lageplan-Sachbearbeiter - It is either "Röschti" or "Rösti", and you in Berne of c
49 N1120A : In lieu of a fine I am sure. I don't think they were brought up on criminal charges. For the most part? A huge number of "public" bathrooms in the US
50 ANITIX87 : Agreed. I'm afraid of many of them, haha. I was right except for the blasted umlaut (again, spelling?). Sweet! I don't think it was emmentaler, I thi
51 ME AVN FAN : It may have been "St. Galler Kalbs-Bratwurst mit Röschti" (Roeschti)
52 IAirAllie : We were eating a full meal every time they charged us. Your point is? Most Germans are aware that Kaiserslaughtern is refered to as K-town by those s
53 Klaus : Yup. It's even seeped into general informal language, to be heard in conversations and on the radio.
54 Baexecutive : In the UK the polite way to ask for tap water is 'ice water' and in Scotland particularly it is just as good if not better than the supermarkets bott
55 DocLightning : What US train system? Anyway, did your train sit at the station stopped for 3 hours in line for departure? Did you wait outside your destination for
56 Braybuddy : . . . or my own personal favourite, give or take an umlaut or two, der Hottentotenpotentatentantenattentaeter. It may be useless, but it sounds wonde
57 GRZ-AIR : I don't know about Belgium, but there are certainly areas/countries in the E.U. where it is still expected that you tip if you were content with the
58 Braybuddy : Some continental countries seem to consider leaving loose change as a perfectly acceptable tip, and Belgium is one of them. Here that would be consid
59 JRadier : The dutch version of which is "hottentottententententoonstellingsterrein"
60 TLG : I live in the rural Midwest where we have real convenience stores with nice, clean, nice-smelling restrooms. I have been in many public restrooms all
61 Dougloid : If all you've ever seen of the US is New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans you'd probably think the same thing as well. The heads in Dallas and Minne
62 Post contains links and images NoUFO : Before the introduction of the Euro, you could witness Germans entering a post office demanding a one-Mark-stamp, which sounded like this: "Eineeinem
63 ME AVN FAN : - in a split writing it is "Hottentotten-Potentaten-Attentaeter" = assassin of tyrants (Potentaten) among that people in Africa
64 Haggis79 : actually, it is a Hottentotten-Potentaten-Tanten-Attentaeter.... he doesn't kill the tyrants, he kills their aunts...
65 Columba : One of the few things I don't like when I am in the States is that in restaurants you often get water that tastes like chlorine or when you order a C
66 ME AVN FAN : - when in the USA you always have to mention very clearly "NO ICE" when ordering whatever beverage
67 Columba : I do but sometimes I forget.......and if I do say "no ice", the waiter stares at me with the strangest look on his face
68 ME AVN FAN : sure, many waiters in this moment have a mental problem, but that is their problem
69 FlyDeltaJets87 : Actually, we did experience about an hour delay somewhere in France about an hour outside of Paris. Was kind of frustrating, and I never figured out
70 MD-90 : I loved the taste of the water in Ireland and the water was much softer in the British Isles in general than it is back home. We were able to get ref
71 Mir : Ok...what the hell does that mean? Did you also park your car on "Einbahnstrasse"? -Mir
72 AirStairs : I have visited Europe on vacations several times but also spend some short/medium-term time studying there, which is a bit different setup than going
73 MD11Engineer : First, A/C systems use a hell of a lot of electricity, and this is quite more expensive over here than in the US (actually my last electricity bill b
74 ME AVN FAN : - Leitungswasser = tap-water Abgabe = distribution Lageplan = situation map Sachbearbeiter = employee in charge >> Employee in charge for updating th
75 AirStairs : I can totally respect your opinions on that, but not understand them at all. I mean I have central air or whatever that has vents in every room of th
76 OzGlobal : This is not true in France: You just ask for a 'carafe' of water, rather than mineral water. They are not allowed to force you to buy bottled water.
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