Bad Attitude - Con's - Police

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by the dark one, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Isn't it funny? I had the same experience in US - a lady was super rude to me simply because I was a foreigner and didn't understand her southern accent 100%. However, I would never dare say Americans do not like foreigners!
  2. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I have been twice to Prague; I don't speak Czech; I didn't notice anybody being rude to me except maybe a young policeman who was chatting away with a beautiful blonde.

    I waited patiently until he had finished. After about 5mn, he reluctantly discontinued his conversation, and asked me what I supposed meant I wanted in an irritated tone. (The blonde had a look of reproach.) I showed him my map and an address on a piece of paper. He vaguely gestured to some direction, turned his back to me, and resumed his conversation.

    Of course, the direction was wrong.

    Finally I asked a distinguished old lady by just showing her my address and my map. Not only was she intelligent, and friendly, she was also extremely helpful.

    She accompanied me to the tram, took the tram with me, and we alighted at the nearest stop to the address. I thanked her profusely. When I was in front of the building I saw her on the other side of the street take the tram back to apparently where we met!

    Frankly, this is the first time this has ever happened to me, and I am sure that this is very rare in the whole world. This lady is a great honour to the Czech Republic. I bless her in my mind a thousand times.
  3. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    A lot of Americans were friendly when I visited their country, but several were hostile and rude.

    I think the rudest natives I ever met were in Great Britain, London in particular.
  4. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    I agree with you there 100%. By no means am I saying they're all rude, but on a general basis, especially the older British generation, just looked at me like I was an utter ignorance. When I asked a certain local how to get to the Maddame Tussauds Museum from a particular bus station, he just completely ignored me! :shock: I don't know whether it is just because I am a tourist, or perhaps because I am from Australia (I wore an Australian cap), but I have never visited a place with such unfriendly locals. I will admit though, outside of London, the people are more down-to-earth. The family that I house-swapped with in Yorkshire, told us before they left, to be aware that we will often be unoticed and offended by the locals when visiting Paris. To the contrary, they were some of the most nicest people I have ever met. I am not fluent in the French language (but I can speak some) yet this did not render my general impressions of the Parisian locals. I did not encounter any arrogance from the locals, most were genuinely friendly, welcoming and willing to go out of their way to assist you. I really struggle to see how so many consider them rude and arrogant folks.
  5. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member

    Actually, it is part of the Czech culture that they are xenophobic? That could be completely wrong, they are something phobic, not liking foreigners... At least that is what I've heard on several occations, and I've had some experience with it. On general though, now that I speak Czech a bit I don't get it as much (but I still do every once in awhile).
  6. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Actually, I might try to find some explanations - the history taught us not to trust foreigners. Romans, Tatars, Swedes, Germans, Russians - none of these came with good intentions, and even now I could give hundreds of examples of "invaders", insensitive to the Czech laws, culture, traditions and etiquette.
    But I think the problem is somewhere else - I am surprized and disappointed by the way you - foreigners and expats - tend to generalize. How many of ten million Czech citizens did you meet, how many of them did show any signs of xenophobia? I would love to hear of all your experiences, good and bad ones, providing you present them as your personal opinion. Or, if it is the reason of your stay in CR, as the results of a sociological research with statistical data, charts and conclusions.
  7. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I agree you, Jana, many people who complain here about the Czechs come from xenophobic countries.
  8. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    I think the problem Americans have with Czechs, is the fact that they will tell you like it is: They say what they mean! Czechs do not play the "political correctness game", and that frustrates Americans with the artiificial smile.

    In the US, when they first meet you, and ask: "Where are you from honey"? -- referening to you accent, you have met the resident xenophobe (Red Neck) . However, the majority of the US polpulation, just ignores your accent.

    I've found a very uselfull "tool" when traveling abroad -- if you speak the local language. Just listen and do not speak it at first, and then you will learn not only usefull information, but also will be able to better judge the charecter of your host.Confident that you do not understand, they will definetly speak about you and say things they did not want you to know!

  9. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member

    I'd agree, most countries are xenophobic, it is a natural tendancy. And I don't mean to complain about the Czechs at all. I like that about them. And there is a reason I am living here and not my home country (the states). And I do agree that it is harder for americans, where there is a lot of polite fakeness.
  10. czechpoint

    czechpoint Active Member

    I have only been to the CR twice, but from what I could gather it appeared that it was mainly the older generations (about 50 years of age and older) who held any suspicions of foreigners, but rightfully so, for the reasons Jana pointed out. My Czech-born parents have been living in Canada for over 35 years now, but any suspicions they may have of foreigners can still be attributed to living under the Russians. But in no way do they not like foreigners or are they xenophobic; they have just been conditioned to be more guarded around and with foreigners.

    I also found that the younger generations (30 and younger) were actually quite curious about and interested in other cultures. I don't know how many times when my mom and I were speaking in English that a young stranger would stop to listen, with what appeared to be interest, and exchange pleasantries.
  11. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    I myself found that Czechs were very open and curious to foreigners (I'm only reffering to tourists, not expats or migrants as I am unaware how they are seen). In fact, the curiosity and welcoming was more noticeable and apparent during my visit to Prague than other tourist-flooded European centres (London, Paris Amsterdam etc. etc.). When locals realised we were from Australia, the curiosity and friendliness seemed to instantaneously increase, to the stage where we were even asked if we wanted to visit their domicile or have them show us around the city sights. (I don't know if it is because Australian tourists are rare, or whatever...). At no level did I ever encounter any reserved or unwelcoming gestures from the locals.
  12. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    Over the weekend my Czech husband and I went to a pub to meet friends. He's not much for going out unless there's something to do- pool, karaoke, darts, or dance- and this was a place that had none of the above.
    We separated and about an hour later he came up to me and said he was ready to go because he was bored and there was nothing to do. I told him this was a good opportunity to socialize and force the use of his English.
    He said earlier a couple heard him talking to one of our friends and the woman asked him where he was from. He told her the Czech Republic, and she said "Where's that at?" Her husband exasperatedly replied "Europe!!"
    On the way home we discussed this and laughed about it. He said he was tired of the same conversation and it was not stimulating or interesting to talk to people. He hears "Where are you from and why are you here, etc. etc." over and over like a broken record every time we go anywhere.
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Ilumuva1. :lol:
    I experienced worse in the Philippines in the 1980s. When people asked me where I came from, I replied: "France", to which they tagged: "Which coast?" The first time it took me several minutes to understand they thought France was a state of the United States of America! I had a hard time making them understand where my country was. Eventually I gave up, and just said "somewhere, nowhere, anywhere you fancy". :lol:
  14. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    With such ignorance, sometimes its a true test of his manners/politeness. It is an embarrassment to me and completely backs up the belief that we (Americans) are uneducated. (That I've tried to defend before- in vain.)
  15. Usal

    Usal Well-Known Member

    When I visited the Czech Republic in Dec 2004, I bought a t-shirt that says Praha, Ceska Republika. You would not believe where some people thing the CZ is: South America, Africa etc.
  16. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    On the contrary, I was surprized how much people here (in a small town in Virginia) knew about my country. Some even knew when Czechoslovakia split, they mentioned cut glass, and, obviously, beer :lol: . And they usually wanted to hear more about the differences between US and CR, about our culture, history, geography, food, everything. I simply love it here! :)
  17. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Situations like that are all too common. My friend, who is from Estonia, was on a student exchange in the United States. She told me that when she was asked by an American, "Where are you from?" She replied of course, "Estonia." But the man then replied, "Estonia, I have not heard of that, is that not in Africa?"
    How in the world he thought of Africa is beyond my knowledge. [​IMG] Especially when Estonians are Nordic people (blonde hair, blue eyes...........). :wink:
  18. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    That does not surprise me at all. Rick Mercer, a Canadian comedian, once toured USA to find out what the average Americans knew about Canada. He asked "serious" questions on camera, such as: "Canada, being a land-locked country, is seeking a port to anchor its ships. Do you agree that America should offer one of its ports to the Canadian navy?"

    Most Americans, bless them, agreed that the poor Canada, such a good neighbor, should be allowed to park her ships in the U.S. We were howling with laughter.
  19. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    You would be surprized, how many Americans actually think that the State of New Mexico is indeed a "foreign country", and Canada is part of the US.

    Statistics show, that 55% of the US population never traveled more than 75 miles from their place ob birth..

  20. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    To be fair, I wonder how many Europeans can locate some states like Arkansas or Wisconsin. The average person here can say where New York, California and New Orleans are located, but the rest ... :?

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