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Author Topic: England Trip - a reprisal - input sought, please (Wales and Scotland included)  (Read 2131 times)

Offline FifteensAway

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4647
If on my own, no issues - it is the wife who wants to blend in, mostly.  Though I disagree on the security element, sometimes standing out as an USA person is genuinely hazardous and that includes London  - and not necessarily entirely undeserved unfortunately.  And, I swear, absolutely zero chance of me wearing the red flag, um, hat, unless it's a San Francisco 49ers hat! lol

Once 'immersed' I'm happy to have people know I'm an American - and equally happy to disabuse them that we all think we are somehow 'perfect'.  Good?  Mostly.  Great?  Sometimes.  Ugly?  Too often.  Hope I never leave that impression behind me - or even in front of me.

Traveling, done right, should broaden both our horizons and our perspectives.  While my globe trotting has been limited, I've attended very cosmopolitan colleges and interacted with people from all over the globe.  So, I am very much looking forward to discovering people as who I am.  And likely traveling, on the organized tour, with people from other parts of the planet.  And from what I hear, London is a remarkably cosmopolitan place as may be a few other places on out travels.  So, I expect not only to absorb Britain but have glancing blows with other parts of the world - though get plenty of that right here where I live: Sikhs, Persians, various Africans of various colors, Ukrainians and Russians (a 'mixed' couple right around the corner), Vietnamese, Philippines, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Mexico, other parts of Central and South America, etc.  Still haven't found that darned leprechaun, though!  :o

Offline carlos marighela

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10849
  • Flamenguista até morrer.
I swear, absolutely zero chance of me wearing the red flag, um, hat, unless it's a San Francisco 49ers hat! lol

What even after the CIA colluded with Taylor Swift to rob you of the Super Bowl?  lol

I think you're taking a pretty sensible approach to it all. Security is a complex thing but distinguishable between politically motivated violence and ordinary street crime. The  former is extraordinarily unlikely statistically, the latter largely unaffected by nationality, being typically opportunistic in its nature. Of course wearing an 'I Love Ottawa' T-shirt might help with the former, albeit alloyed with the natural desire of anyone subjected to  Michael Buble or Celine Dion to visit violence on any available Canuck. :)

I used to participate in a couple of travel forums years ago. Visitors to Brazil seemed spooked at the prospect of murder, robbery and rapine and the advice was to try to blend in*. I used to see lots of 'dress down' advice. 'Don't wear jewellery', 'Keep your phone out of sight'. All well meaning enough, invariably proffered by people who had spent five minutes on the ground and had never ventured far from the tourist traps or their hotel. It ignored the fact that Brazilians typically dress as well and usually neatly as their income allows, use jewellery themselves (often expensive like my wife) and constantly chatter on their smart phones.

The same sage advisors would also suggest keeping cash in their shoes (euugh :o!) or wearing bum bags (what you Americans humorously call fanny **packs) all the while trying to blend in. This used to cause no end of mirth in our household. Never laid eyes on any local wearing a bum bag or removing their footwear to pay their bar tab (good luck with that!). To make it doubly funny, a subset of these experts would frequently advise folk to do the poverty tourism-favela jeep tour thang, Cos doing an hours prurient tour of a poor area, gawping at locals would er give you some sort of insight into life.

It's like anywhere, watch what the locals do and if in doubt ask. Contrary to the popular view, in my experience most people in most places are helpful and often interested in visitors.

Enjoy your trip. It's been some years since I have been back to the old dart and despite its current grim travails I find myself yearning to return, at least for a visit.

* With some reason, although invariably overhyped.

** In case you aren't aware, in most English speaking countries other than the old Estados Unidos, the word fanny denotes another body part altogether. Closely located but still quite separate in form and function.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 06:16:26 AM by carlos marighela »
Em dezembro de '81
Botou os ingleses na roda
3 a 0 no Liverpool
Ficou marcado na história
E no Rio não tem outro igual
Só o Flamengo é campeão mundial
E agora seu povo
Pede o mundo de novo

Offline Cerdic

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 54
When in London don’t bother about trying to ‘blend in’. The population is so cosmopolitan that everybody looks completely different to each other anyway!

Don’t worry about opening your mouth - there are over three hundred languages spoken here. As long as English of some description comes out you will be understood.

Don’t worry about looking like a tourist - there are literally millions of them in London. In fact, that is probably the easiest way to blend in!

Don’t worry about ‘being American’. Again, there are thousands and thousands of Americans in London. Many are tourists, many live and work here. On the whole we like Americans but we do like to take the piss a bit! Just our way of being friendly.

As regards places to go…

The ‘big three’ museums for starters. Natural History Museum and Science Museum are side by side in South Kensington, British Museum is in Bloomsbury. All are huge and free to enter.

Museum of London is excellent. Located in the Barbican close to the Tower and St Paul’s Cathedral. They have some really good ancient artefacts found in the mud!

Kew Gardens is really good. I’m not interested in plants and stuff but even I enjoyed our visit! Take the District Line tube or overground rail to get there.

Theatre. Really a major part of the ‘London Experience’. Doesn’t have to be a musical, though they tend to be the big popular tourist choice, there is always something for every taste.

Finally, just having a stroll! Although London is vast, most of the touristy bits are quite compact and walkable. The path along the South Bank is always fun with a variety of things to see. Some people like to wander around the ‘posh’ bits, like Chelsea or Belgravia for example, to gawp at the extravagant wealth! Greenwich (pronounced grin-itch by the way) is also good to explore on foot.

If you feel the need for a day trip from London, Canterbury is only an hour on the train and is very historic with the cathedral, walls, and stuff. If castles are more your thing, Dover Castle is humongous with stuff to see from Roman to WW2. The town itself is unfortunately a bit of a hole, but you can stand on the top of the white cliffs and see France and make rude gestures at them…

Offline manchesterreg

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 158
If you visit the Tower Of London, ask if Beefeater Jimmy James is on duty, tell him a Scarlet Lancer sent you, you may get a good tour.


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