Helpful Hints When You Travel

I ran across a little book belonging to my father INSTRUCTIONS  for AMERICAN SERVICEMEN in BRITAIN 1942.  It was issued by the War Department, Washington, DC.  It is a delightful little manual for good relations when you visit Great Britain.  I feel like I should send it back to Washington so they can reread it. Here are some of the headings:

NO TIME TO FIGHT OLD WARS

BRITISH ARE RESERVED, NOT UNFRIENDLY

DON’T BE A SHOW OFF

THE BRITISH ARE TOUGH

AGE INSTEAD OF SIZE

REMEMBER THERE’S A WAR ON

BRITAIN, CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY

WASTE MEANS LIVES

KEEP OUT OF ARGUMENTS

BE FRIENDLY, BUT DON’T INTRUDE ANYWHERE IT SEEMS YOU ARE NOT WANTED

IT IS ALWAYS IMPOLITE TO CRITICIZE YOUR HOSTS; IT IS MILITARILY STUPID TO CRITICIZE YOUR ALLIES

I think this is a nice quote ” When you see a girl in khaki or air force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic, remember she didn’t get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich”.

Well, that sort of sums up a lot, doesn’t it.

Do you have any advice to add to the list? 

33 thoughts on “Helpful Hints When You Travel”

  1. Americans stand out in Europe by being the fattest, brashest and most sloppily dressed. While being (in their own eyes) “friendly,” they abuse the reserve and personal space preferred by many continental countries and the UK. In many public spaces the Americans are the ones wearing baseball caps and clothing Europeans find entirely too casual for public attire..

    My erstwife moved to Belgium in the time George W was ramping up to invade Iraq. Europeans were appalled at Dubya’s disregard for facts (which looks now like such an innocent time!).To avoid tedious arguments with Europeans, my ex often claimed to be Canadian. My advice to Americans travelling abroad now: wear a McGill University sweatshirt. Say as little as possible and when you do speak, end every sentence with “eh?”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Minnesota is close enough to Canada to credibly pass.

      When we rented a car in the Cardiff airport, Robin asked if they had a sign we could put in the car to let other drivers know we were not native. The rental agent replied, “Oh, they’ll know.”

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I had the same thought, Bill. But since I was driving on the wrong side of the road, I kept turning on the windscreen wipers when I meant to deploy the turn signal. I figured the Brits would recognize a Yank driver by the use of wipers instead of the turn signal. I finally figured out that Brits rely so much on mass transportation that they didn’t drive as well as I did (in spite of the wrong-side-of-the-road thing). The folks driving around me in rural England were city folks on holiday, and they weren’t nearly as comfortable driving as I was.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I could not do it. I am trying to put up a post about left and right. I have become so busy with volunteer driving. Driving Sandy to for blood tests at 11. Doing a Caring Connection visit at 12:45. Driving Lee home from VINE, after I fix his walker. Then going back and Driving a new woman home. Then driving Sandy to mall.

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        1. Good for you driving. I was on a committee that donated money to groups; one of the frequent recipients was a group like you; volunteer drivers.
          I think about how many appointments my siblings and I take mom too and feel lucky we’re all here. And I think of ourselves; one child 90 miles away… could be difficult. But of course that’s all speculation at this point. Who knows what will be in another 20 years. heck, who knows what tomorrow brings!

          I’m back at work work.
          I enjoyed my summer vacation.
          I’d like to say it’s nice to be back.

          Liked by 4 people

      1. If you add together three trips, time, I’ve logged three weeks of driving in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales). A lot of it driving a Mini. Fun! I didn’t have an accident. My erstwife drove 200 yards and pranged a stone wall.

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  2. I watch lots of British TV, almost only. I read a few British mysteries as my eyes will let me. Love Vera. It overwhelms me how much of our culture they use. And our products. Certainly time to throw up some terriffs. We cannot have them eating Kellogs corn flakes.
    To name one area, they routinely wear baseball caps in the shows, not with American logos, but that kind of cap, which they call baseball caps. Baseball bats, yes, not cricket bats, are kept in bars for defense and used for murders. This is in mysteries produced for British audiences. So it seems routine. They also use a few baseball metaphors.
    They certainly display distaste for us in panel shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My dad’s book also warns against servicemen discussing their wages, since US service personnel were paid 5 times that of their British counterparts.

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      1. I’ve read there was more of a factual basis than you might guess for the Brits, especially the men, to resent American soldiers. US soldiers were sleek and handsome, with better teeth than most British men who had not enjoyed the same level of nutrition and quality of dentistry. Britain had suffered years of being a punching bag for the Third Reich. Those folks could hardly match the cockiness of US forces. At the time, Americans were impressed with the fact they had never been defeated militarily and they were eager to tear into the Nazis.

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    1. if your a young man or woman just out of high school and you are being taught a trade
      fed housed and furnished with transportation what do you need with a lot of pay?
      today the military is being presented as tradecschool with guns
      now they are arguing college athletes should be paid maybe research students should get in line and how about

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  4. When I visited Kenya two years ago, I took my Minnesota summer clothing. Walking through Nairobi the natives were staring at me everywhere I went. They weren’t friendly stares either. Finally, I asked Deb about it (she’s lived there for 25 years). She told me that in Kenya, older women cover their bodies head to foot. Here I am in spandex shorts with halter tops! The problem with packing for the weather with the only kinds of clothes I have didn’t fit the culture. Not even close. I ended up buying two long dresses that I’ll never wear again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Funny story that fits the topic.
    My CA grandson, 5 years old, talks to everyone he meets, whether they want him to or not. Most like it, the rest are tolerant. Last night on Dunkin Donuts patio he talked to for awhile with a Mexican family. He told them “You speak Spanish but I speak normal.” My son explained about English but Jack said English is normal. The family thought it was funny. My son explained that Jack has Mexican relatives.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Huh, I thought I posted this comment already:

    Bring a small dictionary of phrase guidebook with you for the native language. You get points for at least attempting to speak a little of whatever, and people will then go more than halfway to be helpful.

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