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Thread: Americans in Europe- strange people!

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    I find the outward thrust from Americans can take me aback.
    Its not so much the words as the "I-am-now-very-present-and-in-your-life!' -ness of it. Almost like its against your will.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  2. #37
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    Default Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    I find the outward thrust from Americans can take me aback.
    Its not so much the words as the "I-am-now-very-present-and-in-your-life!' -ness of it. Almost like its against your will.


    Well, they are suddenly very present and in his life, just as the mute visitors are suddenly present in his life. Right?

    Here, and perhaps elsewhere, I am not claiming exceptionalism, many are raised with the ethos that showing up and doing ones part is a very big thing. Perhaps that plays into it.

    Kevin


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    Last edited by Breakaway; 09-26-2022 at 05:56 AM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    "Safe,sober and sorry" , is a favorite reply of mine
    when in the Caribbean, I have learned to always say good morning or good afrernoon.
    Americans DO come off as rude with our boldness
    ....and those effin belly packs.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    If I were any better, I’d be twins.
    Great line from 'Doc Hollywood'. I use it often. I also sometimes reply, "My wife says I'm about average."

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    "Medical science is doing all it can for me."
    Mind if I borrow this one? I think I qualify.

    Fitz
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    On the desk last week, greeting visitors to our museum.
    Americans always come in breezily, with "Hi, how are you".
    I confess I do not know how to reply. They do not know me, so why are they interested?
    I could list my rheumatism, my hernia, etc, etc, but I doubt they would really want to know.
    So what is the correct reply?
    I would imagine it's about the same as the correct reply to the greeting "All right?"

    What are you doing about it?




  7. #42
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    When someone (particularly a woman) asks me "How are you?" I reply, "I'm told I'm STELLAR! How are you?"

    -Leif

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    I had to explain this to some of my German friends in 1990 or so. I had been on a work assignment for three months, and then they were going to come over and help us start up a plant.

    I have to say that after three months of total silence out on the streets of Herne and Bochum with no one making eye-contact I understood how they would freak out by every single person they met in Alabama looking them square in the face and saying 'hey' or 'how are you doing?', but that's just the way we are down here. You are not being rude by invading another person's space in that way, not here.

    To be fair, after they got used to it, I think that almost every single one of the German guys I worked with wound up loving it down here, and several retired to the Mobile area. One of my best friends flew he and his now-wife over here just because they wanted to be married in Alabama.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    My response is sometimes "As well as can be expected given my age and condition." delivered in a suitably dolorous and sepulchrous tone. This at least has the advantage of sorting out the genuine enquiries from the frivolous.
    Dwedais "Gwirion", nid "Twp"

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Had a very rural Canadian acquaintance always greet me with “How are you keeping?” Always left me a bit puzzled.

    As to “Have a nice day”, I’m tempted to say, “I can’t. I have other plans.”

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Had a very rural Canadian acquaintance always greet me with “How are you keeping?” Always left me a bit puzzled.
    That is very English.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  12. #47
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    One in parts of UK which didn't require an answer was 'Ow's yer breeder?'

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    'Hi, how are you' in American English is pretty much the equivalent of 'Good morning', a polite greeting, more or less meaningless. It's a formality, almost never a real inquiry about how you're doing, and doesn't require a real answer.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    As a Brit, I find it disconcerting- they come over as if they are meeting an old pal.
    I usually mumble something like "OK, I suppose".
    Tempted to say "Do I know you?"

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Z View Post
    why is this even an issue?

    geez, keep calm and have a nice day!

    Because, interestingly, there seem to be a certain cadre of Bilge Rats who seem to have never been adequately socialized, and don't know how to interact casually in public. They are puzzled or offended by normal social interplay.
    David G
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  16. #51
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    In Namibia every single new person you meet is greeted with 'Hellohowareyou? Like, one word.

    eg. 'Hellohowareyou do you sell sim cards / Hellohowareyou I got my 1.2 Polo stuck in a riverbed / Hellohowareyou are there hyenas around? ..

    EVERY SINGLE sentence.
    Last edited by lupussonic; 09-26-2022 at 02:33 PM.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Because, interestingly, there seem to be a certain cadre of Bilge Rats who seem to have never been adequately socialized, and don't know how to interact casually in public. They are puzzled or offended by normal social interplay.
    Normal for where, is the question!

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Another temptation I have so far resisted, when asked "Do you have a baathroom", replying "No- will a shower do?"

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Normal for where, is the question!
    Normal - with the sort of cultural variations already hinted at - among human society.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    A few years ago, I was a tour guide for Duart Castle, the ancestral home of Clan MacLean.
    Asked on two occasions by visitors from across the pond "Do you have an elevator?"
    "Sorry, this place was built in the 13th century, they were not around then, plus Historic Scotland would never allow such a thing to be installed in this historic building"

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Sometimes when people ask “how are you” I can’t help but lapse into my bad Bronx “Tony” accent: “I’m do-in Good! How you do-in?”

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Oh dear, Fred, I am afraid that you seem to fall in that small % of Americans that do not know when we are taking the mickey!
    A similar small percentage of Americans do not seem to do their homework before venturing abroad, and are surprised when things are 'different'.
    Sorry if it results in a slight snigger behind their backs sometimes.
    But for a real warm welcome, wear a MAGA hat and talk loudly. ()

    Most Europeans seem to feel more at home somehow.

    As an aside, I would hate to be a Spanish resident of the Costa del Sol, when invaded with a load of Brits arrive, with the following on their mind, order optional:
    Booze, beaches, birds, bonking.

    Have a good day (Irony meter off)

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    We have been embraced by the locals because our philosophy on this trip and in life is to embrace serendipity and love. There are two primary motivating forces in life, you can choose to live a life of fear and worry, or you can choose to live a life of love and acceptance. We chose love.


    "Drink heavily with locals whenever possible." - Tony Bourdain

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  24. #59
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by Torna View Post
    When someone (particularly a woman) asks me "How are you?" I reply, "I'm told I'm STELLAR! How are you?"

    -Leif
    Much like my "Quite good, according to the published​ reviews..."

    What are you doing about it?




  25. #60
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Its a cultural thing. Americans use "how are you" as the equivalent to "hello" but a bit more friendly. The expected response is "fine, and you?" It does not mean you are best friends, it just means you acknowledge the person before launching into the business of the conversation. Speaking with friendliness is also american culture, it does not mean they even like you, it is just meant to be polite to you. It is not one of the worst things about our culture, I say just get used to it. Bathroom is American for toilet. Its a polite euphemism, as american baths are universally located in rooms that also contain a toilet, and it is the word used for the room 90 percent of the time.

    Here in Fiji, they always ask how you are, and they expect a proper and truthful answer. It is a part of the conversation that might take several minutes. Names are also always exchanged. I'm getting used to it. It is very friendly.

    American also use big smiles in social situations, this weirds out some other cultures but to us a lack of smile is generally taken as an indication the person is unhappy with us.

    There are lots of worse things about Americans....

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    In Ireland you might hear 'Are you well?' which is a literal translation of the Irish, 'An bhfuil tu go maith?'. Its most frequently abbreviated to simply 'Well?'
    'How's i'goan?' is possibly the most common greeting between friends.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    How about “GOOD!” in a rough guttural exclamation .

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    or have a little bell that you immediately ring then wave them off with the back of your hand.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    In NE Scotland it is common to be greeted with "Fit like?" or "Fit like the day?", which translate to What like? and What like today?, which is essentially How are you? and How are you today? So what's the beef?
    Structures without reference to geometry tend toward the ramshackle

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    My standard answer to " how are you" is 'reasonably well'. My explanation is that on the great cosmic scale of life there is some poor Somalian peasant on one end and Bill Gates on the other. Since I am closer to Bill Gates than I am to the Somali peasant, things are reasonably well.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

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  31. #66
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Or Joey’s pick up line, “How YOU doin’?”

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Or Joey’s pick up line, “How YOU doin’?”
    I fully admit I'm very guilty of that - It must be a NY Joey thing
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  33. #68
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Hi, How are you?

    Reply" Any better and it'd be a crime"

    A reply I sometimes think of, but never give as it might be a bit snarky:

    Well you see this lady met this fella and they hit it off, got together and well, here I am.
    "Unrepentant Reprobate"
    Lew Barrett



  34. #69
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Howdy.

  35. #70
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    A 70 year old friend with great sense of humor likes to answer, “Groovy!”. He enjoys the momentary temporal confusion as they try to figure out in which era he’s stuck .

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