StevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3704 times:
For a lot of Americans, we love to travel to Europe and elsewhere, and often have many funny stories to tell about our experiences there when we get back, not to mention sometimes embarrasing stories of experiencing culture shock along the way.
Let's flip it around...I'd love to hear stories from our friends overseas (and Canada and Mexico, too) of your visits to the US, particularly your first time here.
Arniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3663 times:
My first time in the US I went to LA for a vacation with one of my buddies.
We rented a car and when we drove of the AVIS parking lot we made a right and drove till the first traffic lights.
Big was my surprise when I noticed that in contrary to my home country you are not supposed to drive up until the traffic lights.
We found this out when we came up on some lights, they where red but we drove over the crossing and stopped ,as we thought was right, just before the lights.
Luckily it was already very late (11 PM I think),and traffic was low, but as you could guess a cop saw us and stopped us.
Surprisingly he was very friendly after he noticed that we where just two ignorant foreigners so he let us go with a friendly warning.
I hate to think what would have happened if we would have taken the earlier flight and tried our driving escapades when traffic was still heavy.
7LBAC111 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 2566 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3602 times:
First time I went to the states was to Houston to visit family. I was 12 (ish!) and my mum and dad had to go to the bank to change some travellers cheques. When the clerk heard our accents she immediately piped up asking us where we were from. When we said Northern Ireland she looked up and puzzled said - "Oh yes - thats off New Zealand isnt it? You have a nice day....!"
I pissed myself laughing - my parents looked stunned at her sheer ignorance of geography and we left. I will never forget it - now we just say we're from Ireland!
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
Silverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3594 times:
Keep this thread going until 20/10
I am off on Sat and the first night is in Amish Country!
Then its through the Appalachians (all those 6 fingered banjo players, where id someone divorces his wife she is still his sister) over to Niagara, a 5hr drive thruogh Canada to Port Huron, and Detroit , possibly Chicago, And another visit to Ed Debevics
As a starter, in 1991 I was staying in Chicago with my penpal and drove up to Green Bay, stooped off at one of the diners, where there were three people behind the counter, one doing general things, one cooking, and one serving, there server said Hi, to which I answered 5ft 9 thanks, this confused her and so it was repeated. The cooker heard the voice and said, Are you Australian( best way to piss an Englishman off), no I said, well where are you from?, As I don't lie I said Chicago, which technically was correct, A long discussion then carried on on the way I spoke, by now my pp was pissing herself and as she realised these three girls were losing quite heavily (and I was very straight faced and serious throughout, told the I was from England. Two of them realised it was a wind-up except the waitress, who then said Hi. at this point the rest of the diners just fell about, when the reply was , I have already told you that!
Going round Henry Fords Museum in late Sept 2001 there was a school party tailing us, it was raining so two of the kids and a teacher sheltered in one of the buildings. Mike and I carried on talking and suddenly noticed these kids were looking at us as though were were Martians. English we said ... very slowly... the teacher asked where we were from
Oh I live near Ascot, which is close to Windsor Castle, where the Queen sometimes stays, and explained it was about 15 west of London etc.
She took this all in, and relayed the info to the Kids.
As we departed she run after us and asked
Did you say you lived near Windsor?
How long did it take you to get through the tunnel?
A long pause only broken by Mike trying to hold back a VERY big laugh
Err What do you Teach?
Well, that explains everything, I said
Want to see an Amish Computer with a wooden Hard Drive, and can anyone tell me if the Amish Rental Co is a good one? Got a great deal on a two seater sedan!
Trouble is evrtyime i asked hin the mpg he replied 'Hey'
Silverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3586 times:
My Scottish wife has been really boning up on the various Scottish colloquisms, hopes to confuse the Av Yank to th point of brain failure.
I know if i lapse back into broad East End London, it make them go quiet.
I am looking forward to geeting away from the Las Vegas, LA, Disney side of the country. Want to see Bears and lots of wildlife( the furry kind)
Going to have a super time
AzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 770 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3567 times:
A friend visited me from France, her first trip to the US. In buildings here in the US the 1st floor is the ground floor. In France they call the floor we know as the 2nd floor the 1st floor. So the ground floor in France is the floor BELOW the first floor.
She landed at JFK, and was in the Int'l Arrivals building, on the 4th floor, which was easy for her to find by the elevator button for "4". When she got back into the elevator to go down, she didn't know what button to push for the ground floor, but there was a "B" below the "1" button, so she pushed it. As she tells the story:
And of course I ended up in the basement. There was a work crew there when the doors opened, and one of the workmen said to me in French, "You're French, aren't you?" I said, Yes, I was, and how did he know? He replied, "Oh, we get all the French down here in the basement!"
I thought that was hilarious!! Welcome to the US!!!
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
PerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3434 times:
Had heaps of funny incidences in our travels through the US, probably because we often ended up in out of the way places like Scotts Bluff, Nebraska and Lake City, Florida, where at times we really were considered "aliens".
On our first trip back in 2000 we were in the checkout queue, sorry, line, at K-mart in Lake City chatting to our friend who lives there. In the next line a little girl was tugging at her mother's hand, "Mommy! Mommy!", she kept on and on, "Mommy! Mommy!". Eventually her mother noticed her, "Whaaat Kiirrsstee?". Kirsty replied looking over at us, "Mommy, those people are talking funny." And the mother's response, "They sure are, Kristy, they sure are." Needless to say our friend was totally horrified and embarrassed, but we fell about laughing - I guess it had been a while since someone from over the horizon had last visited lil' ol' Lake City.
Another story is from two years later at LAX and perhaps could be sub-titled "Beware the Cultural Invasion from Downunder". My wife had just flown PER-SIN-TPH-LAX with Singapore Air and had to connect with a United flight to Denver so understandably she was a little tired and not thinking straight. In the UA domestic terminal the check-in lines weren't well defined and it was somewhat chaotic. As she was trying to work out which line to stand in an American woman asked her if she was in the line for the Denver flight. My wife replied "I don't know, it's a total shamozle here." The other woman asked, "A whhaaat?" "Oh," my tired wife replied, "Er, it's total chaos, disorganised, a shamozle." "Ah", the American said, "I like that, yes it is a shamozle." Some time later as my wife was settling into her B777 seat for the flight to Denver the same American woman happened to walk down the aisle, struggling with her carry-on, and they saw each other. The American immediately smiled and said, "You know it's still a shamozle out there!" So if you ever hear someone in the USA say "shamozle" you know who to blame!
And hey, Sliverfox, you get pissed off being mistaken for an Australian, think how we feel being mistaken for a pom! Could just tolerate being called a New Zealander (at least that's in right hemisphere), shrugged at being mistaken for German (? what the ...?), but we definitely draw the line at English.
Mdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4139 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3309 times:
I think some of our words must really throw people off:
Parkway - where all the cars drive >60 mph
Hell, I'm from California and I was thrown off the first time I read that! All we have here are Freeways, Highways, and now some Toll Roads. I first thought the Garden State Parkway was just that...a road going through a park.
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
Ryanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3276 times:
Well I didn't realise that the Americans call the road the 'pavement'. In the UK the pavement is what the Americans call the 'sidewalk'. So I was in Orlando a few years back and there was no where to park so I asked a police officer if it was OK to park the car on the pavement and he just looked at me as if I was insane and said under no circumstances should I park there, who the hell would do that. I said I was from London and everybody parks on the pavement and the guy thought I was nuts!
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?