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World's Rudest Countries for Travellers

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World's Rudest Countries for Travellers

Old 09-16-12, 12:19 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I've been told by Frenchmen themselves that Parisians are to blame for France's bad reputation, as many tourists visit the capital, are treated rudely, and make a judgement about the whole country based on their experience there. If one were to visit other French towns and villages, they argue, they'd receive much better treatment.

Do you agree?
Yes, I would agree with that, although there are plenty of nice people in Paris too. But really, it's no different than many other major cities. New York City, for example, is not what I would consider a friendly place, and like Paris, it is the first impression many foreigners have of the U.S.

As for not speaking French, you don't have to be fluent to be treated kindly. Learning to say "Bonjour" takes maybe 5 seconds. Your accent will let people know how comfortable you are with the language and in most cases, struggling to ask a question in French will result in a perfectly articulate answer in English! Asking first in English, OTOH, may not get an answer at all. If this sounds rude to you, try asking a stranger in the U.S. a question that's not in English and see what kind of response you get.
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Old 09-16-12, 12:35 PM
  #27  
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I'd think for cycle tourists a big factor in determining "rudeness" is the behavior of its car drivers. This probably isn't factored into this poll since it would probably move France well down the list and some others countries (mention no names...) more to the top.
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Old 09-16-12, 12:58 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I've been told by Frenchmen themselves that Parisians are to blame for France's bad reputation, as many tourists visit the capital, are treated rudely, and make a judgement about the whole country based on their experience there. If one were to visit other French towns and villages, they argue, they'd receive much better treatment.

Do you agree?
Most tourists gravitate towards the cities with the iconic tourist attractions. Put 500,000 visitors into any city on any particular day, from all parts of the world, all expecting high standards of service... then I think it's easy to understand why people dealing with them might become a bit short and abrupt.

The experience in other towns and villages often is much more welcoming, but again, that can apply in any country. And there are what might be considered to be rude people there, too.
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Old 09-16-12, 01:26 PM
  #29  
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I've visited at least 35 countries, mostly by bike. I've found the friendliest people to be in Mexico. Generally, I've found that the people in immigrant countries (e.g. the Americas, NZ, Australia) are friendlier than in non-immigrant countries. A few non-immigrant countries are certainly exceptions, as I've found the people quite friendly in Thailand, Ireland, & Greece.

I've never had any issues with Parisians, but I speak fluent French. However, I know many people who were in Paris years ago and returned more recently and found Parisians much friendlier than they remember them being long ago.

I've found western Europe to be particularly bad for petty theft, with Spain & France being especially bad. I had something of minor value stolen from my panniers in Spain. There was an unsuccessful attempt to steal from my tent while I was in a French campground, and an unsuccessful attempt to pick my pocket while I was riding the Paris metro. Also an unsuccessful attempt to pick my friend's pocket while we were walking together in Paris. I've heard lots of stories of tourists' cars being broken into in Spain, esp. Sevilla, as well as lots of pickpocketing.
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Old 09-16-12, 01:34 PM
  #30  
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Yeah, i never got the french thing, as i have never really experienced outright rudeness there. If you don't make at least an effort to try and adapt to local customs and language then I think you will encounter rude people in any country you travel.
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Old 09-16-12, 01:51 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
I've heard lots of stories of tourists' cars being broken into in Spain, esp. Sevilla, as well as lots of pickpocketing.
That's true, and bag-snatching and bicycle theft are also rife.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:18 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
And what about the other 170 or so other countries in the world not on the list?
Let's have a go at them!
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Old 09-16-12, 02:27 PM
  #33  
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Never bicycle toured, but I can comment that the French really need to improve their 'customer service' skills. The United Kingdom? With the exception of London, just stay out of the larger cities and most folks are quite nice (I've gotten more free beers in the UK than you could imagine!).

Overall, as mentioned by others, larger cities will have 'ruder' people that in small towns; its the nature of the faster pace of city life.

The rudest folks I've ever encountered were in Buenos Aires, Argentina (but the rest of the country was great!). The friendliest folks were in LaPaz, Bolivia - dirt poor but nice folks, and always interested in why someone from a modern country would want to visit their country.

Last edited by skidder; 09-16-12 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:31 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
I've found the friendliest people to be in Mexico.
I like Mexicans, too, and Guatemalans and other people from Central America were always kind to me.

I ran into a young chilango in a youth hostel in Lisbon some years ago who was in the middle of a world tour--not the first one he'd taken. When I asked him which his favourite countries were, he didn't hesitate: Syria and Rumania. That answer surprised me, but I've since heard good things about those countries, particularly the former (what a shame they're suffering so terribly now). The Syrian people are supposed to be some of the most hospitable in the world. I think I'd like to do some cycling there once things settle down.
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Old 09-16-12, 07:02 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Okay, you've made yourself clear. You're not interested in discussing this.
It appears to me that he is interested in discussing this, and to me, has raised some really valid points.
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Old 09-17-12, 02:49 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
It appears to me that he is interested in discussing this, and to me, has raised some really valid points.
OK, can we get back to the subject of the thread now?

Where do you like to tour? Are there any countries or regions where you find the people to be particularly friendly? Are there places you avoid because folks are less than hospitable?
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Old 09-17-12, 02:59 AM
  #37  
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I think that the definition of rudeness needs to be looked at.

If an American is in China, then they probably think the spitting and smoking in restaurants is rude.

If a South Korean is in China then they probably think that picking up the bowl to the mouth to scoop rice in is rude.

One's perception of rudeness generally depends on the rules your mother taught you, and those rules should only be applied, if at all, to your own culture. In China I spit and smoke in a restaurant, and would never do that in Australia, I will also pick the rice bowl up and put it to my mouth. I would never do the latter in South Korea.

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Old 09-17-12, 09:02 PM
  #38  
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I've only cycle toured in 7 countries but have visited a couple of dozen more as a backpacker, vacationer and business traveler. I grew up in Britain but have lived in the USA for 20 years. Over the years, I must have interacted with thousands of people but looking back, can only think of a handful of cases of outright rudeness. Take US customs and immigration officials out of the equation and the number is smaller still. Painting the entire population of any one country as being "most rude", is IMHO, rather silly.

Unless of course, you went there expecting to find rudeness.
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Old 09-17-12, 10:00 PM
  #39  
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All these types of polls ever seem to do are further useless sterotypes . That said i hate everyone from Delaware.
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Old 09-18-12, 12:47 AM
  #40  
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As a Canadian, I´m glad to see us on the friendly side of the poll. (Not commenting on the data.) It is a point of pride for many Canadians to be friendly and welcoming to visitors. There are places and individuals of course which will go against this, but I'd say the vast majority of Canadian folk are like this.

Ekdog - Espero visitar tu pais un día.
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Old 09-18-12, 03:30 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Connell View Post
I've only cycle toured in 7 countries but have visited a couple of dozen more as a backpacker, vacationer and business traveler. I grew up in Britain but have lived in the USA for 20 years. Over the years, I must have interacted with thousands of people but looking back, can only think of a handful of cases of outright rudeness. Take US customs and immigration officials out of the equation and the number is smaller still. Painting the entire population of any one country as being "most rude", is IMHO, rather silly.

Unless of course, you went there expecting to find rudeness.

+1

I've lived in 2 countries and travelled in a lot more, and like you, I've really only encountered a very small number of cases of rudeness. In fact, I'd have to work at it to think of some examples.

The overwhelming majority of people have been decent ... in fact, the ones that stand out in my mind are the ones who are extra kind, friendly, helpful, etc.
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Old 09-18-12, 03:47 AM
  #42  
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to me, that poll equates "rudeness" with lack of willingness/know-how to speak in another language.

a little of French is really valuable in France ... just simple greetings/numbers.
same in Germany to a smaller extent.
in Central/Eastern Europe, a little German goes a long way.
in Russia, better now Russian/a slavic language.

also, the jokes about Americans knowing one language are spot on

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Old 09-18-12, 04:38 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by gerald_g View Post
Ekdog - Espero visitar tu pais un día.
¡Ojalá que puedas!
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Old 09-18-12, 08:53 AM
  #44  
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I haven't travelled a lot, so I guess I've been lucky in not encountering any rudeness in what little foreign travel I've done. The only time I've run into blatant rudeness was in a Trailer/RV park in Florida. It was almost exclusively French Canadians living there and they wouldn't give you the time of day or even acknowledge your presence. Bonjour or not. I don't know why.
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Old 09-18-12, 09:33 AM
  #45  
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Getting robbed, maybe shot in south florida , by making a wrong turn
in the rental car out of Miami International is a bit of a harsh reception..
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Old 09-18-12, 11:27 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Never bicycle toured, but I can comment that the French really need to improve their 'customer service' skills.
Why? To suit you?

I have fond memories of trying to order a new headset in a lyon bike shop when i lived over there. It was very hard to get the shop to take my money, kept trying to sell me a cheaper one than the one i ordered. With some insistence i got them to pull out the catalog and pointed out exactly which one i wanted. That shop always told me i spoke french well, but i think that is only because i knew all the names for bike parts, thank you sheldon brown!
Now, i don't even want to go into the story about how hard it was to return an item in a shop!

Sure, it could be better based on my american experiences, and i guess i could call it rude, but that's how it is. If you grew up in that culture you wouldn't think it rude, just normal.

When i was living in budapest a hungarian friend told me she thought waiters in the US were rude because they kept asking if everything was ok, or if she needed anything else. She didn't want to have the waiter interrupting her conversation with her dining companion. Yes, different perspectives indeed. In hungary it is considered rude for the waiter to offer you another beer, for example, after you drain the first one, you should get their attention and order one. It is also rude to leave the tip on the table instead of telling the waiter what you will be tipping when you pay the bill.

Learn the local customs and adapt, and don't go around considering things to be rude you do not understand, or for people to change their culture to suit your perspective.

Learn a few words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you, excuse me, beer Those will go a long way...
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Old 09-18-12, 11:55 AM
  #47  
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The vast majority of people I've encountered while cycling have been friendly and cautious about their driving around me in every country I've ridden in. But there are always those few, in every country, who will be jerks, dangerous, negligent, etc. Since the vast majority of my riding has occurred in the U.S., naturally I've run into more of those types here. I don't think an entire country can be painted with the same broad brush. Attitudes toward cyclists seem to vary by locale and driving culture. Even then, generalizing can be misleading, IMO.
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Old 09-18-12, 12:25 PM
  #48  
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Riding a Harley,me with long hair and a beard,across the deep south during the sixties and seventies was far worse than any other country I've been too......by far.

So I guess it's the U.S.A......

Last edited by Booger1; 09-18-12 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-18-12, 12:40 PM
  #49  
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I've found people who want my business are the friendliest. Doesn't matter where I am, the nicest people are the ones who think I will buy something from them.
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Old 09-18-12, 12:49 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by simplygib View Post
I don't think an entire country can be painted with the same broad brush. Attitudes toward cyclists seem to vary by locale and driving culture. Even then, generalizing can be misleading, IMO.
Absolutely.


And the other thing to think about is what kind of day the person you are encountering has had. If you walk in after a line of people with complaints have been there, you may get a "and what do you want" sort of response. But if you walk in after the person has been given a compliment, you may have quite a different response. Same place, same person ... but different situations have occured immediately before you got there.

It's one of the reasons I suggest arriving at the check-in desk at the airport early. Try to be the first one there while the check-in person is still fresh and hasn't had to deal with 100 different complaints and issues.
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