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Author Topic: The Joys of Europe  (Read 180 times)

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Offline Contrarian

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The Joys of Europe
« on: November 09, 2023, 09:05:13 AM »
I lived in Hong Kong for a few months while on a university sabbatical to see if I would like it.  My mom was born there so I could get a Right of abode card through her and live/work there...but I realized HK wasn't the place for me.  even as a Chinese who could speak the language but my mentality was all western. I didn't get along with the locals and hung out more in expat spots. funny enough I met a few overseas born Chinese who were back in HK for work.  I made friends with them easier.

I need places where there's more diversity.  London has that.  Moscow is mainly Russian of course but I actually get along well with Russian people. the temperament is more on the same wavelength.  i have a few Russian friends who studied in China so I can speak 3 languages with them. usually we default to English but their Mandarin is actually better than mine in terms of vocab and knowledge.

I did visit Bangkok, would like to spend more time there to see if it's a place worth living in short term.

Paris is nice but the French are absolute sh*t with tourists. Most unwelcoming bunch of ppl i've ever encountered.


Yes I think you're right as to how the French treat tourists. It is what it is.  :biggrin:

Offline Contrarian

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2023, 11:18:09 PM »
Have you thought of visiting certain famous cities in Europe for a Holiday? I was in Paris once for a Holiday and that was nice.

We've done pretty much everywhere interesting in Europe as it's right on the doorstep. Most of Europe, Hungary and Poland aside, have the same problems as the UK.

I lived in Hong Kong for a few months while on a university sabbatical to see if I would like it.  My mom was born there so I could get a Right of abode card through her and live/work there...but I realized HK wasn't the place for me.  even as a Chinese who could speak the language but my mentality was all western. I didn't get along with the locals and hung out more in expat spots. funny enough I met a few overseas born Chinese who were back in HK for work.  I made friends with them easier.

I need places where there's more diversity.  London has that.  Moscow is mainly Russian of course but I actually get along well with Russian people. the temperament is more on the same wavelength.  i have a few Russian friends who studied in China so I can speak 3 languages with them. usually we default to English but their Mandarin is actually better than mine in terms of vocab and knowledge.

I did visit Bangkok, would like to spend more time there to see if it's a place worth living in short term.

Paris is nice but the French are absolute sh*t with tourists. Most unwelcoming bunch of ppl i've ever encountered.

I agree with you about the French.

London has rather too much diversity for me, indigenous Brits are a minority there now. And the crime rate is very high as a result and the streets aren't really safe there.

Did you ever get to the south of Hong Kong island? When I was looking at the map, I wondered what that was like. I had a quick look around Stanley on street view and it looks much quieter than the rest of HK and quite nice. I might go and have a look there when we go back.

A lot of people here have an eye on moving somewhere abroad now. A lot of things that should have got better under the Conservatives the last decade or so haven't. We are likely to get a Labour government soon that will probably be in power for a decade, and they will make everything many times worse, as always. People like Asia I guess as it's perceived as cheap with a decent standard of living in many places.

Well it looks like some Scandinavian countries are wising up.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/nordic-countries-cooperate-more-returning-migrants-countries-origin-2023-10-31/#:~:text=The%20ministers%20of%20Sweden%2C%20Finland,to%20their%20country%20of%20origin.

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2023, 01:30:04 AM »

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/nordic-countries-cooperate-more-returning-migrants-countries-origin-2023-10-31/#:~:text=The%20ministers%20of%20Sweden%2C%20Finland,to%20their%20country%20of%20origin.
Many of my friends, family and professional contacts this year did the vote-help-system because its elections 22 November in Netherlands.

Theres 1 party that Rules the charts with them. the PVV , yet they do not wish to vote for them out of fear of being called out racist, which is sad. I for one, have no love for Wilders or his politics, but it IS what NL needs right now, so I will vote for his PVV.
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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2023, 05:07:12 AM »

Yes I think you're right as to how the French treat tourists. It is what it is.  :biggrin:

You got any funny stories of encounters in France?  I just remember going to restaurants in Paris and the workers wouldn't even acknowledge you. like you were bothering them for trying to order and stuff like that.

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2023, 05:26:56 AM »
You got any funny stories of encounters in France?  I just remember going to restaurants in Paris and the workers wouldn't even acknowledge you. like you were bothering them for trying to order and stuff like that.

I have. I used to visit France often doing bits of business.

I was once lost a few miles into the countryside near Calais, I stopped and collared a local on a bicycle for directions. It went like this.

"Hello, do you speak English?"
"No"
"Sounds like you do?"
"No, really, I don't"
"You obviously do, I only want directions"
"Learn French!"

And off he went. Arrogant bugger.  :chuckle:
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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2023, 05:47:19 AM »
You got any funny stories of encounters in France?  I just remember going to restaurants in Paris and the workers wouldn't even acknowledge you. like you were bothering them for trying to order and stuff like that.

I have. I used to visit France often doing bits of business.

I was once lost a few miles into the countryside near Calais, I stopped and collared a local on a bicycle for directions. It went like this.

"Hello, do you speak English?"
"No"
"Sounds like you do?"
"No, really, I don't"
"You obviously do, I only want directions"
"Learn French!"

And off he went. Arrogant bugger.  :chuckle:

 :chuckle: I suppose that attitude is what makes ‘France’ unique. For better or for worst.

For Europe, I particularly like Porto and Prague. Those two would be serious consideration if Europe is in our sights.

But as of right now, either Turkey or Costa Rica are in our minds. We recently came back from CR not too long ago.

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2023, 12:28:30 PM »
You got any funny stories of encounters in France?  I just remember going to restaurants in Paris and the workers wouldn't even acknowledge you. like you were bothering them for trying to order and stuff like that.

I have. I used to visit France often doing bits of business.

I was once lost a few miles into the countryside near Calais, I stopped and collared a local on a bicycle for directions. It went like this.

"Hello, do you speak English?"
"No"
"Sounds like you do?"
"No, really, I don't"
"You obviously do, I only want directions"
"Learn French!"

And off he went. Arrogant bugger.  :chuckle:

My French is decent, anyways I am the buyer so I tend to get my wishes.

In Paris one time I needed to buy a Hermes scarf for my mother and got a few items for myself, as an impulse I including a leather belt, that I was uncertain that I really wanted. Complete with electronic security tag I might add. In the check out line a shall we say Parisienne woman cut in front of me with several bags from other stores. No matter what and how much I complained she would not go to the back of the line.

I decided that I did not need the belt and deposited it into one of her bags. Upon paying I watched her get stopped by a security chap who was a good six feet tall, black as the night and formerly from I guess Ghana. I smiled to her as I departed and she was bellowing loudly as he inspected her purchasers.

Worth noting from the multiple European cities I have visited Prague/Prag/Praha is my favourite.
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Offline andrewfi

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2023, 05:31:18 PM »
I have never experienced the issues that some complain about in France. However, while my French is execrable, I do try to use it. The results tend to be positive.

I'd suggest trying one's best schoolboy or girl French and see what happens. One might be surprised.

For context, imagine how monsieur Frog might get on in the UK if he tried speaking in his native tongue almost anywhere in our sceptered isles. My guess is that the results might be similar to anglophones in Frogland.

The worst I have ever experienced is being described as a rostbif over there. But I respond with a bit of froggy stuff and we smile as equals and proceed in a friendly manner.
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Offline Manny

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Re: The Joys of Europe
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2023, 01:08:11 PM »
I'd suggest trying one's best schoolboy or girl French and see what happens. One might be surprised.

I can do that in Germany, as that's what I did at school. It's always a good outcome.

I always found Holland the most friendly European country. I used to spend LOTS of time in Scheveningen and Den Haag. Occasionally Rotterdam and Amsterdam. People there have always been great with me.
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.