FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Travel Tips for an Excursion... to America?





quex
As an American by birth, I found this pretty interesting: Welcome to America: what travel books tell foreign visitors to the US

I've never considered that it's acceptable (or even normal) in any country to sit down at someone else's table at a restaurant unless you know the people sitting there very well... where is this practiced?

Sadly, I have to admit everything else is more or less true.... we are an irritable and intolerant people in some areas of the country, we have WAY too much pride in our crazy politics, and our public transportation can be a nightmare of unreliability and delays. :oops:

...but we're not ALL ****** and idiots, I swear!
ocalhoun
That's a really fun article... I now have the urge to find and read a travel guide about the US. ^.^

Getting an outside perspective is very enlightening sometimes, after all!
rogue_skydragon
I'm going to have to agree - Americans are typically quite prideful and sometimes even intolerant. It can get frustrating, for sure.
Afaceinthematrix
In many places that I have been (especially in Europe), the seat at a restaurant is yours but the table isn't necessarily. Often the table is but not always. It's partly because in some places they have long tables that might fit ten or more people. So if you and a friend are sitting on one end of it, don't be surprised if people come to join you; there may not be any other tables available. And if it's outdoors, they might start smoking. Just word of advice...

And this article talks about personal space - we love it. I remember one time I was in Paris and this guy was so impressed by my beard (at the time it was probably about 8 inches (20 cm)) that he started to touch it and play with it. I don't speak French and was trying to say stop. I was panicking because I am not comfortable with that. I eventually put my hand on his chest and shoved him as hard as I could and flew back a little and then I turn and ran. Please don't touch me like that lol.

This article also mentions how important we find punctuality to be. This, I find, is one of the best things about this place. I will never waste your time. If I tell you that I will meet you at a certain time, I will be there at least 5 minutes early. I don't waste people's time and so I do not tolerate it if they waste my time. If I am meeting you for lunch at noon and you show up 20 minutes late, don't be surprised if I have already ordered and started eating. I will give you five minutes or so but that is it. Then I go on with my business because I don't like people wasting my time.
Augustus456
I just came back from USA for business tour and we spend our weekend at some beautiful places of NY and Washington DC. It was a nice tour for me we make lots of fun here.
quex
rogue_skydragon wrote:
I'm going to have to agree - Americans are typically quite prideful and sometimes even intolerant. It can get frustrating, for sure.


You're an American, aren't you? <:3

(Me too.)
quex
Augustus456 wrote:
I just came back from USA for business tour and we spend our weekend at some beautiful places of NY and Washington DC. It was a nice tour for me we make lots of fun here.


Have you ever been anywhere to the west? America is very different on it's different sides. :3
quex
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
And this article talks about personal space - we love it. I remember one time I was in Paris and this guy was so impressed by my beard (at the time it was probably about 8 inches (20 cm)) that he started to touch it and play with it. I don't speak French and was trying to say stop. I was panicking because I am not comfortable with that. I eventually put my hand on his chest and shoved him as hard as I could and flew back a little and then I turn and ran. Please don't touch me like that lol.


I'm surprised you couldn't just say "no"... it sounds almost like the French "non" (the ending "n" is weak) and would have gotten the message across. Unless the guy was just plain crazy. They have those crazies everywhere, you know. XD

Quote:
This article also mentions how important we find punctuality to be. This, I find, is one of the best things about this place. I will never waste your time. If I tell you that I will meet you at a certain time, I will be there at least 5 minutes early. I don't waste people's time and so I do not tolerate it if they waste my time. If I am meeting you for lunch at noon and you show up 20 minutes late, don't be surprised if I have already ordered and started eating. I will give you five minutes or so but that is it. Then I go on with my business because I don't like people wasting my time.


Japan is exactly like this, only even more compulsive. There used to be (maybe still are, not sure) machines in the subway in Tokyo that print out official excuse slips for business men and students to take to their bosses/teachers if something has delayed the train... which is rare in and of itself, because punctuality is SO important the trains are only allowed a +/- interval of 20 seconds at each platform. Basically, if there hasn't been a quake or an accident at a crossing, the train WILL be there, even in the deep countryside. You can bet your ass on it. :3
Afaceinthematrix
quex wrote:

I'm surprised you couldn't just say "no"... it sounds almost like the French "non" (the ending "n" is weak) and would have gotten the message across. Unless the guy was just plain crazy. They have those crazies everywhere, you know. XD


I tried in both English and Spanish. He would have understood "no." I tried everything I could. Pushing this guy away from me hard was my last resort.


Quote:
Japan is exactly like this, only even more compulsive. There used to be (maybe still are, not sure) machines in the subway in Tokyo that print out official excuse slips for business men and students to take to their bosses/teachers if something has delayed the train... which is rare in and of itself, because punctuality is SO important the trains are only allowed a +/- interval of 20 seconds at each platform. Basically, if there hasn't been a quake or an accident at a crossing, the train WILL be there, even in the deep countryside. You can bet your ass on it. :3


I think most countries with public transportation systems worth anything are like that. That is one of the benefits of trains and subways: they're environmental, very fast, and easily predictable because they are not affected by weather and traffic. Every country that I have been to with a decent public transportation system has been prompt. I would always hear rumors about how prompt Switzerland was with their trains; I went to Switzerland and they were prompt. However, I've been on trains in North Africa that were equally as prompt. With many train systems you can set your watch by them and also for subways. How can something like that be late (unless there is a rare technical difficulty, something happens to the track, etc.)?

I've never been to Japan and so I don't know if they are better (I don't see how they could be because most trains that I have been on outside of the United States have been perfect at timing and you cannot improve on perfect) but I guess I will see in three months when I go there.
Afaceinthematrix
I should add one note in that one interesting thing about traveling to the States is that guns are legal - whereas they aren't in many places in the world. When I was a child my family hosted people from Japan twice and both times we took them out to the shooting range with our shotguns, rifles, and handguns. They loved shooting at the targets and they loved getting pictures of themselves shooting because they will get to show these pictures to their friends and it is something that their friends have probably never done. If you ever get a chance to host someone from a foreign country where guns are outlawed, see if they want to go out shooting (I know you must have guns, ocalhoun). It is both fun and different for them.
quex
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

I tried in both English and Spanish. He would have understood "no." I tried everything I could. Pushing this guy away from me hard was my last resort.


Dang crazies. ._.'

Quote:
I think most countries with public transportation systems worth anything are like that. That is one of the benefits of trains and subways: they're environmental, very fast, and easily predictable because they are not affected by weather and traffic. Every country that I have been to with a decent public transportation system has been prompt. I would always hear rumors about how prompt Switzerland was with their trains; I went to Switzerland and they were prompt. However, I've been on trains in North Africa that were equally as prompt. With many train systems you can set your watch by them and also for subways. How can something like that be late (unless there is a rare technical difficulty, something happens to the track, etc.)?


Lazy drivers, gotta stop for a cigarette break, track and train are poorly maintained so there are common breakdowns, etc. It plagues the systems in Chicago and San Francisco, and those are the only US ones I've been on. Busses are the worst, I understand.

Nice to know most other places have their acts together. :3

Quote:
I've never been to Japan and so I don't know if they are better (I don't see how they could be because most trains that I have been on outside of the United States have been perfect at timing and you cannot improve on perfect) but I guess I will see in three months when I go there.


Hah, Mazel Tov! Whereabouts are you going? I learned the ropes in the northeast, myself... if you want to know any good onsen or ryoukan up there. ^_^
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I should add one note in that one interesting thing about traveling to the States is that guns are legal - whereas they aren't in many places in the world. When I was a child my family hosted people from Japan twice and both times we took them out to the shooting range with our shotguns, rifles, and handguns. They loved shooting at the targets and they loved getting pictures of themselves shooting because they will get to show these pictures to their friends and it is something that their friends have probably never done. If you ever get a chance to host someone from a foreign country where guns are outlawed, see if they want to go out shooting (I know you must have guns, ocalhoun). It is both fun and different for them.

Yep... a shame many people in the world never get an opportunity... it really is a lot of fun! ^.^
(Especially if you go to a relaxed range where you can target things other than just paper, shooting is 10x more fun when you're destroying water bottles or old appliances or something!)

Speaking of shooting-sport visitors from Japan... I knew a guy in S. Dakota who made thousands of dollars a day by being a pheasant hunting guide, providing the transportation, guns, trained dogs, everything, as well as taking them out and showing them where, when, and how to hunt... and the vast majority of his clients were visiting Japanese businessmen, willing to pay the outrageous prices because it was a kind of activity they would never be able to do in their home country.
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
Speaking of shooting-sport visitors from Japan... I knew a guy in S. Dakota who made thousands of dollars a day by being a pheasant hunting guide, providing the transportation, guns, trained dogs, everything, as well as taking them out and showing them where, when, and how to hunt... and the vast majority of his clients were visiting Japanese businessmen, willing to pay the outrageous prices because it was a kind of activity they would never be able to do in their home country.


Minor technical correction: you CAN hunt with guns in Japan if you have all the paperwork for the gun and you're shooting on your own land. That paperwork is a bitch to get, though, and to have a wide enough area to hunt in, you've either got to come from a very old family, or a very rich one.

(Other exception is permit for a defensive shotgun if you live in bear/wild boar country.)
ocalhoun
quex wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Speaking of shooting-sport visitors from Japan... I knew a guy in S. Dakota who made thousands of dollars a day by being a pheasant hunting guide, providing the transportation, guns, trained dogs, everything, as well as taking them out and showing them where, when, and how to hunt... and the vast majority of his clients were visiting Japanese businessmen, willing to pay the outrageous prices because it was a kind of activity they would never be able to do in their home country.


Minor technical correction: you CAN hunt with guns in Japan if you have all the paperwork for the gun and you're shooting on your own land. That paperwork is a bitch to get, though, and to have a wide enough area to hunt in, you've either got to come from a very old family, or a very rich one.

^.^ Well, then, for your average well-off, but not fabulously wealthy businessman... it probably still counts as something you'd never be able to do.

Also... Japan still has wild bears? Wat?
...Wasn't expecting that!
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
Also... Japan still has wild bears? Wat?
...Wasn't expecting that!


Yep, this guy. Didn't expect it myself, but living in Towa for a year, we had a bear try to break into different school buildings twice, and once a bear got stuck in a local truck yard. :/ Never had to shoot them, fortunately... they're not very brave. ^^'
Afaceinthematrix
quex wrote:
Lazy drivers, gotta stop for a cigarette break, track and train are poorly maintained so there are common breakdowns, etc. It plagues the systems in Chicago and San Francisco, and those are the only US ones I've been on. Busses are the worst, I understand.


That is because the U.S. fails at public transportation with the exception of a few places - such as Portland and Boston. And buses will be the worst - as I said - because you are affected by weather, traffic, etc. But when it comes to the street cars or the underground, there is very little that can go wrong. When something is on a track you can pretty much know that it will take exactly 3 minutes and 14 seconds to do something.

ocalhoun wrote:
Also... Japan still has wild bears? Wat?
...Wasn't expecting that!


Oh yeah. They do. I recently watched a documentary on Animal Planet called "Wild Japan." Great program. They don't just have beers, they have all sorts of other cool animals. Japan actually has a lot (well not a ton when you compare it to some places in the U.S. and Canada where there are national parks 10,000 square km and bigger) of beautiful forest and country side. When I am there, I am planning on quoting for a hike here (it's near Osaka and I will be staying with some people in Osaka. Hopefully they will take me so that I don't have to go to the effort of finding it by myself... Although I'd be equally grateful if they just provided me with good directions for getting there on the public transportation):
http://wikitravel.org/en/Min%C5%8D

I hope to see some nice waterfalls and monkeys.

[edit]If you're interested in animals and nature in Japan, you might want to check out some of the Wiki pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C5%8Dkai_Nature_Trail

So there's a nature trail about 1,700 KM (1,000 MI) that takes 40-50 days to complete and that ends in Mino where I am going to see the waterfall. I don't know what camping rules are in Japan (can you just pitch a tent anywhere where there aren't people?) but if I had the time and money I'd pack my backpack up again with my tent, sleeping bag, survival gear, and some basic food and hit up the entire thing. That isn't possible at this point of my life (although I'm going on a ten day trip next week). But I found some nice pictures out and there seems to be a decent (albeit not too large) forest in that area that would probably have wildlife. Although I think most of the bears are to the north of the country.[/edit]

quex wrote:
Hah, Mazel Tov! Whereabouts are you going? I learned the ropes in the northeast, myself... if you want to know any good onsen or ryoukan up there. ^_^


I am going to Osaka for 8 days and Tokyo for 4 days. One of the old foreign exchange students that my family hosted many years ago is returning the favor and letting me stay with her and her husband and child for the 8 days in Osaka. I am excited because I will be with a local and so I am sure that they will show me Kobe, the Golden Pavilion, and all the other stuff around there. Then I will go to Tokyo for 4 days by myself. I am not sure what I will do there. I usually tend to magnetize towards the karaoke and booze without too much difficulty! I also know someone that just moved to Tokyo to teach English and so I will probably try to contact him and see if he can show me cool places.
quex
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
They don't just have beers, they have all sorts of other cool animals.


Best damn beers in the world, you betcha. XD (Actually, not bad beer, but not great.)

Quote:
Japan actually has a lot (well not a ton when you compare it to some places in the U.S. and Canada where there are national parks 10,000 square km and bigger) of beautiful forest and country side.


There is a very good reason for this, and that reason is inaccessibility. Mountains -- mountains everywhere.

Quote:
When I am there, I am planning on quoting for a hike here (it's near Osaka and I will be staying with some people in Osaka.


Do you speak Japanese already? If so, there are great publications put out by Japan Rail Group that you can snag for free at pretty much any station... even my tiny backwoods town of 1000 people had a full selection of JR Hiking guides at the rail stop that changed seasonally. There are English ones, too, but to get those, you'll probably need to visit a bigger station (Osaka central is great) or visit a travel agent (there are thousands everywhere). By the way, have you considered getting a Railpass? (Can only buy them from out of country, great value if you intend to travel widely.)

Quote:
Hopefully they will take me so that I don't have to go to the effort of finding it by myself... Although I'd be equally grateful if they just provided me with good directions for getting there on the public transportation)


Those fliers, again, are absolutely great for finding your way to hiking and walking trails. Public transport also tries to make access to popular places very easy -- you might find low-cost shuttles from the station to take you farther inland if you need to reach a trailhead (better bid than taxi).

Quote:
I hope to see some nice waterfalls and monkeys.


I'm sure you're well above smart enough to avoid this anyway, but just because I can't forget how much it sucked... don't offer the monkeys anything. All it took was ONE guy in our group to dangle something at them, and we got mobbed. I only lost a glove and some cheap sunglasses, but somebody in our group lost her cellphone and they broke our leader's glasses. They're small, but when they get a grip on anything, it's gone. (Zipper pockets are useful if you remember to zip them as soon as you see monkeys.)

Quote:
So there's a nature trail about 1,700 KM (1,000 MI) that takes 40-50 days to complete and that ends in Mino where I am going to see the waterfall.


HOLY CRAP, MAN. o_o That... that is a serious trail. That's like a freaking pilgrimage trail without the temples and hostels.

Quote:
I don't know what camping rules are in Japan (can you just pitch a tent anywhere where there aren't people?)


It's kinda like that in Hokkaido, but that's the only place I know... basically, as long as you don't look suspicious and you aren't like 50m from somebody's house, you'll be allowed to stay a night in your own tent.

Quote:
Although I think most of the bears are to the north of the country.


That's where there are the most of them, but they exist all the way down to Fukuoka.

Quote:
I am going to Osaka for 8 days and Tokyo for 4 days. One of the old foreign exchange students that my family hosted many years ago is returning the favor and letting me stay with her and her husband and child for the 8 days in Osaka. I am excited because I will be with a local and so I am sure that they will show me Kobe, the Golden Pavilion, and all the other stuff around there. Then I will go to Tokyo for 4 days by myself.


SO COOL. XD Double-plus thanks to you and your family for hosting exchange students; we need more like you. :3

Quote:
I am not sure what I will do there. I usually tend to magnetize towards the karaoke and booze without too much difficulty! I also know someone that just moved to Tokyo to teach English and so I will probably try to contact him and see if he can show me cool places.


Oooooh yess. X3 Bravo, sir, have an AWESOME time.
thesmithy
Get travelers insurance. and stock up on medication.
quex
thesmithy wrote:
Get travelers insurance. and stock up on medication.


Is this advice for coming to the US, or going to Japan? Because it's a bad idea to take any meds into Japan without paperwork, and there's not much you can get OTC here that Japan doesn't have already. But yeah, if you have prescriptions, fill them here and at least bring a photocopy of them with you to customs... there's more detailed paperwork to be filed if you need to bring more than a 30-day supply.
dharmin
very nice article. btw what is the legal drinking age in america?
do bars ask for age proofs before serving you a drink if u look a bit young?
quex
dharmin wrote:
very nice article. btw what is the legal drinking age in america?
do bars ask for age proofs before serving you a drink if u look a bit young?


It's 21 years old to drink any alcoholic beverage in the USA, and bars are supposed to ask for your ID even if you don't look at all young. If the police raid a bar and find that there are underage people drinking there, the bar can get in trouble, so they'll usually check... which is why college students often make or buy fake ID cards.

You might even have to show your ID to buy beer from a grocery store. I'm 28, and they still ask to see my card... Confused
marierogen
rogue_skydragon wrote:
I'm going to have to agree - Americans are typically quite prideful and sometimes even intolerant. It can get frustrating, for sure.



hii..

I want to correct you in some things.Americans is not intolerant.they r tolerable ..and mange the things easily as compared to others.How can u say that americans is intolerable..don't tell this thing one americans has not behave well with you.So,you r blaming whole americans.its not good.All americans are not same in nature.

thanks
deanhills
@marierogen. As far as I know rogue_skydragon is from the United States. If you check through some of the blogs on the Internet of people from the United States you'll notice that there are no people in the world as hard on themselves as Americans are. They are very self-critical. Sometimes I do admire this honesty in self-assessment although in some cases it could be a little harsh as well.
marierogen
deanhills wrote:
@marierogen. As far as I know rogue_skydragon is from the United States. If you check through some of the blogs on the Internet of people from the United States you'll notice that there are no people in the world as hard on themselves as Americans are. They are very self-critical. Sometimes I do admire this honesty in self-assessment although in some cases it could be a little harsh as well.


I am little bit agree with this things,but some Americans are innocent.they are not involving such types of activities.Can you tell me one thing ?what about this innocent people ?why they suffer from this ?they have no mistakes,only mistakes is that they are Americans,this is not good.
deanhills
marierogen wrote:
deanhills wrote:
@marierogen. As far as I know rogue_skydragon is from the United States. If you check through some of the blogs on the Internet of people from the United States you'll notice that there are no people in the world as hard on themselves as Americans are. They are very self-critical. Sometimes I do admire this honesty in self-assessment although in some cases it could be a little harsh as well.


I am little bit agree with this things,but some Americans are innocent.they are not involving such types of activities.Can you tell me one thing ?what about this innocent people ?why they suffer from this ?they have no mistakes,only mistakes is that they are Americans,this is not good.
Well strictly speaking I don't think it's a good idea to stereotype people like this. All countries have their good and bad in people. Their politicians are also generally the same.
c'tair
ocalhoun wrote:
That's a really fun article... I now have the urge to find and read a travel guide about the US. ^.^

Getting an outside perspective is very enlightening sometimes, after all!


A good friend of mine showed me a pamphlet, about 50 pages long (small format thought) about America, printed by the American Embassy in Poland back when communists were in power.
It had all sorts of good propaganda such as "the average American eats x kilograms of oranges and y kilograms of meat per year" and I remember this one fragment about geography - "We start our journey at the eastern coast and make our way west, going over the majestic Appalachian mountains and on our right hand we have the stunning Great lakes..."

It also touches about many social aspects such as equality, work, unions, freedom of speech... however the tone is very rich in propaganda.

I wish I hadn't forgot about it, it's a true gem and makes for an evening full of laughs. I might pick up next year when I visit again.
marierogen
deanhills wrote:
marierogen wrote:
deanhills wrote:
@marierogen. As far as I know rogue_skydragon is from the United States. If you check through some of the blogs on the Internet of people from the United States you'll notice that there are no people in the world as hard on themselves as Americans are. They are very self-critical. Sometimes I do admire this honesty in self-assessment although in some cases it could be a little harsh as well.


I am little bit agree with this things,but some Americans are innocent.they are not involving such types of activities.Can you tell me one thing ?what about this innocent people ?why they suffer from this ?they have no mistakes,only mistakes is that they are Americans,this is not good.
Well strictly speaking I don't think it's a good idea to stereotype people like this. All countries have their good and bad in people. Their politicians are also generally the same.



i do agre with you.but firstly change your opinion about all Americans people.
marierogen
deanhills wrote:
marierogen wrote:
deanhills wrote:
@marierogen. As far as I know rogue_skydragon is from the United States. If you check through some of the blogs on the Internet of people from the United States you'll notice that there are no people in the world as hard on themselves as Americans are. They are very self-critical. Sometimes I do admire this honesty in self-assessment although in some cases it could be a little harsh as well.


I am little bit agree with this things,but some Americans are innocent.they are not involving such types of activities.Can you tell me one thing ?what about this innocent people ?why they suffer from this ?they have no mistakes,only mistakes is that they are Americans,this is not good.
Well strictly speaking I don't think it's a good idea to stereotype people like this. All countries have their good and bad in people. Their politicians are also generally the same.



i do agree with you.but firstly change your opinion about all Americans people.
deanhills
quex wrote:
Sadly, I have to admit everything else is more or less true.... we are an irritable and intolerant people in some areas of the country, we have WAY too much pride in our crazy politics, and our public transportation can be a nightmare of unreliability and delays. Embarassed

...but we're not ALL ****** and idiots, I swear!
Think all of those traits are universal! Including the good ones. Very Happy
marierogen
deanhills wrote:
quex wrote:
Sadly, I have to admit everything else is more or less true.... we are an irritable and intolerant people in some areas of the country, we have WAY too much pride in our crazy politics, and our public transportation can be a nightmare of unreliability and delays. Embarassed

...but we're not ALL ****** and idiots, I swear!
Think all of those traits are universal! Including the good ones. Very Happy

Hello

I do agree with you,most of people are intolerable and irritable who are Americans either belongs to any other country.
walsh
I any one wants to see,visit and live in America then you are welcome but keep on thing in your mind as a advice that please do not engage your self in any crime and illegal activity in USA because if you catch red handed there then there is no space or remedy for you except strict punishments and fines.Law and order is very regulate and strict here.
testsoc
Some things that I plan on seeing on a US trip:

- Yosemite NP
- Yellowstone NP
- Glacier NP
- New York City
- Appalachians
- Small town USA (likely crowded with rose tinted glasses)
- A forest in full autumn colours in New England
raubymartin
Useful Post....!!!


Thanks to sharing your informative post.
Related topics
America and guns,
Tips for travellers (airplane or otherwise)
how can one learn English?
ANYONE THINKS TIME TRAVEL IS POSSIBLE?
The Last Movie You Saw?
travel in america
Travel: Costa Rica
Malaysia
Ecuador
US Thanksgiving Travel
Why don't Americans travel abroad?
Extraterrestrial life.. how would we know..
Africa mercy America on the help
Share your travelled destination with all
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Travel and Countries

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.