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Old 06-08-2007, 04:44 AM   #1
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Default Biggest delusion about your country/area

In today's local paper there's an article about (the German production company) Bavaria Film's Inga Lindström production. Romantic films in Swedish environment filmed on picturesque locations in my small town amongs other places around Stockholm.

Apparently these films are very popular among German middleaged women (and perhaps Sam ). Too bad they show an image of Sweden that no Swede ever would approve of: All people are blond (all extra people in the films, chosen on location are blond). Items, environments and people are made to look like it did in the 50th in spite of the films taking place in today's Sweden.

Now we even have a special Inga Lindstöm guide in our town for German tourists that want to walk in the footsteps of Inga Lindström.
<rhetorical question>Are they going to be disappointed when they arrive here?</rhetorical question>


So what's the biggest delsusion about your country or area of country?
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:07 AM   #2
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Well I was playing Command & Conquer online a few evenings ago. My opponent asked where I was from, and then said 'you have internet in south africa?'

Gosh yes, and electricity and plumbing and freaking McDonalds.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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I'm glad that you started this thread Jelena. Most people know that I'm not well traveled unlike most people here on the forums.

When I was growing up and still now sometimes people tend to have an image of people and places and the stereotype is hard to break sometimes.

Like for me, I associate Sweden with Rich Chocolate and Yummy Sweets. The Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Image is what I'm getting at. And that is not necessarily the truth.

Africa, I think of hot flat, dry land. With nothing around for miles except dirt and dust. The reason I have this image in my head is that my husband worked with a lady from Africa. She was very dark completed; her English was pretty good for only being here in the states for a few years. But also when she talked on the phone she spoke with "clicks". I asked her one time about it and she said that was her language, that she did not speak English until she came to the states. She also told me that her and her family lived in huts and had to walk for miles to get anywhere. So that is the image that has stuck with me.

For me the biggest misconception about the South is that everyone here is an Uneducated, toothless, Redneck hillbilly that works at the Waffle House and is married to their cousin. That is far from the true at least in my book.

Now that's not to say that it doesn't happen but it's mostly in the movies. The South to me brings to mind Weeping Willow trees, with Spanish moss hanging from them. Not to say that other places don't have these beautiful trees but for some reason it just makes me think of the South.

Another misconception is that everyone drinks sweet tea or Ice tea here with every meal. There may be people that do, but I'm not one of them.

Education wise, I will agree that some parts of the South are lacking in education and we need to strive to better ourselves in that area. I wish that when I was in elementary school and on into High School I wish that I had paid better attention in class. But that is my fault for not wanting to be there, I never really cared about school. But in order for me to get ahead in life I went back to school, and I got an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice, and I also completed a Child Development Degree.

So I say all of this to say that the South is a good place to live and it has its ups and downs about it but its home.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Another misconception is that everyone drinks sweet tea or Ice tea here with every meal. There may be people that do, but I'm not one of them.
Haha. It took me YEARS to give up sweetea (yes...I think I will spell it as one word). I hate to say it Bulldog, but that stereotype has its roots in the truth. ...and each Sunday, my body still wants to know why we're not having fried chicken, collards, okra, red beans & rice, red velvet cake (or pecan pie), flaky biscuits, and sweetea for dinner.

*Sigh* I have such tasty memories.

As for misconceptions? Hm. I don't really have an "area" per se, having grown up a significant part of my childhood in the air force...but let's take Alaska. I lived there for nearly ten years. I actually had people in the Lower 48 ask me if I found life in an igloo to be difficult.

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Old 06-08-2007, 07:57 AM   #5
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One word: Lederhosen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelena View Post
Apparently these films are very popular among German middleaged women (and perhaps Sam ).


Yes ma'am! Actually no, but I'm sure my mom digs that stuff. Tell me though, and please be honest and kind: What about the elks...?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
or me the biggest misconception about the South is that everyone here is an Uneducated, toothless, Redneck hillbilly that works at the Waffle House and is married to their cousin. That is far from the true at least in my book.

Holy shit, ahhh right we used to connect (our PCs) with each other and go some bowlin', drinkin' some whiskey and taking care of the lil' piggies, cuz, jeeez it was good fun! Nawww, AWEZUM fun actually. I can still hear that ole Bessy when she was chasing us with her shotgun: "I'm gonna get ya boy, I'm gonna get ya!" I'm telling ya'll, it jes went downhill from 'ere. Cuz we ended up being caught all the time. See, she was out to gonna whup us, and we always ended up being did, sure we did! I cuddint believe it!

Thanks for reminding me of that game. Good times!
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:07 AM   #6
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I always think it's funny how when people picture Texas in their head they seem to think back to those old cowboy movies with semi-arid rocky lands full of buttes, bluffs, and box canyons. Then everyone is dressed in cowboy hats and western shirts!
While it is true there are semi arid lands in Texas (see Big Bend National Park) it also has beautiful Hill Country but is mostly plains, prairie (Where I'm from), huge wetlands and coast. In fact, Houston is basically built on a swamp.
And as for the Western wear, I um... usually don't wear it. *snicker*
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacog View Post
Well I was playing Command & Conquer online a few evenings ago. My opponent asked where I was from, and then said 'you have internet in south africa?'

Gosh yes, and electricity and plumbing and freaking McDonalds.


A friend of mine from South Africa, once told me that for some reason, when he says that he is from South Africa, people ask him things like "You must have seen a lion/Giraffe/Elephant/random African animal then". The thing that annoys him is not that they are asking that specifically, but that they are asking it in a way that suggests they think all people in South Afric live somewhere in the Savannah. He has seen wild animals when visiting parks, but he lived in a city before moving to Germany, so they weren't a daily sight. I know I would find questions like that annoying as hell too.


My mother once sat in a plane beside some American woman visiting Europe for the first time, who seemed to be convinced she was travelling into the darkest middle ages with horse drawn carriages instead of cars, without plumbing and electricity.

As for delusions about Germany specifically...Sam already mentioned that.

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Old 06-08-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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All the delusions aboot my country are true, eh?
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:17 AM   #9
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In Canadia no one can hear you scream?
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
Like for me, I associate Sweden with Rich Chocolate and Yummy Sweets. The Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Image is what I'm getting at. And that is not necessarily the truth.
Lots of Americans get Switzerland and Sweden mixed up.

The Daily Show keeps implying that all British men are camp. "I just thought you were British". There's also a thing about British people and bad teeth. While we don't have as good dentists, and our teeth are probably not as good as the United States (although that's probably not including the American poor), they're not "bad".
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aj_ View Post
There's also a thing about British people and bad teeth. While we don't have as good dentists, and our teeth are probably not as good as the United States (although that's probably not including the American poor), they're not "bad".
Seems to me that it's not so much the quality of the dentists as a different perception of what "good" teeth are.

In the US it's assumed that to look good your teeth must all be straight and must be pearly white. And to get to that state you're expected to pay a bunch of money to your dentists. No crookedness or yellowing allowed. Without question every actor who looks attractive on screen has had their teeth done for lots of money.

While from what I've seen Europeans are more comfortable with the "natural" state of teeth, that is, not using painful braces to correct any crookedness or using whitening products to alter the teeth's original shade. A philosophy of "if it ain't painful, don't cap it", I'm guessing.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:36 AM   #12
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If you heard it about Minnesota, you can believe it, for the most part. Men sit in American Legion Halls at night and consume huge amounts of beer, and go fishing at every opportunity. Woman are the stereotypal housewives. At least for the majority of traditional rural folk; those filthy suburbanites from the Twin Cities are invading our towns and discrediting popular myths about how we live!

And the Twin Cities are great, pretty much everything you'd expect. The only thing bad about them is the filthy suburbanites, and they don't live in the Cities, they live in our towns. Ah well.

Actually, for the most part, that description fits all the places I've been, at least what small parts I've seen of them. Florida is mostly nasty, rich, snobby golf players, like some of my extended family; Maine is similiar to Minnesota, really, and Kentucky.... well, Kentucky is just bad. No hiding that. It's hicks, snakes, rusted-out cars and humid weather all the way.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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Well, judging by some of the comments from my overseas friends, they think that all Americans are rich, white, spoiled, uneducated, uncultured, gun-toting, SUV-driving Bible-thumpers who support Bush and live in the suburbs.

And of course, while there probably *are* Americans like that (Bob help us), it discounts the wonderful variety of people and cultures in this country. So I spend my time trying to re-educate my pals.

It's especially funny considering I grew up in Massachusetts, where we're strongly Democrats, and there's an almost silly large number of universities, museums, historical homes, symphony halls, art houses, and other meccas of academics and culture, considering we're a pretty small state in terms of population and size.

As for Massachusetts misconceptions specifically, the one that comes to mind is more of an *omission*... namely that nobody knows that anything other than Boston and Cape Cod exist. It was always fun trying to tell people that, no, my hometown of Pittsfield was not near Boston, and was in fact clear on the other side of the state, three hours in a car away. Oh, and they think we all have the Bostonian slang and accent, too (although, admittedly, I have been known to be fond of using "wicked" when the occasion applies).

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Old 06-08-2007, 11:27 AM   #14
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People think we sit in huts up in the mountain, eating fish put in lye and soft bread. Oh, and we only know how to move about with skies on our feet..
One example is the Kim Possible movie where Ron moves to Norway..

We only have snow half the year you know..
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giligan View Post
Florida is mostly nasty, rich, snobby golf players, like some of my extended family.
Basically. And what's more we can't even vote right.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giligan View Post
Florida is mostly nasty, rich, snobby golf players, like some of my extended family;

Actually, I had the feeling Florida was the retirement home for half of the country. So many old people!

Of course, it can nasty, rich, snobby golf playing old people.



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Old 06-08-2007, 01:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazhara7 View Post
Actually, I had the feeling Florida was the retirement home for half of the country. So many old people!

Of course, it can nasty, rich, snobby golf playing old people.



-

Actually, both descriptions can be applied to Florida. 50% of my remaining grandparent factors live in Florida, along with family, and they're retirees.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:45 PM   #18
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OK but in all fairness, now that the ol' Florida prodding is done, that is only a portion of Florida. Down South there are some massively rich communities, and some upper middle class Jewish communities and whatever. There's also Miami, a sprawling urban center with a massive Hispanic population, and a lot of slums and some beautiful locales (like Coral Gables). And there's also Miami Beach and Daytona Beach (which is in east-central Florida) which have a shit-ton of beautiful "young adults" running around. Daytona is also really seedy. Then there's Jacksonville, my home turf, which is pretty nondescript, a city that's always excited when we're put on the map. Tallahassee is pretty dirty and even has its own strain of Herpes. And Tampa is pretty cool, housing both the largest vinyl record collection in the world and the largest collection of wine. Also, there's the University of Florida, and we are basically one of the two counties that vote democrat (the other being Miami-Dade), buncha young idealistic college kids...and frat-boys. Florida in a nutshell, as far as cities are concerned. We also have some hicks and some beautiful marshland, and fucking manatees!
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:14 PM   #19
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We do all live in boats and live off of fish. Seriously, we do.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Like for me, I associate Sweden with Rich Chocolate and Yummy Sweets. The Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Image is what I'm getting at. And that is not necessarily the truth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj_ View Post
Lots of Americans get Switzerland and Sweden mixed up.
Yes, perhaps that's not surprising. Two small, European countries starting with Sw, none of them in NATO, both having lots of snow in the wintertime. For the record Switzerland is a lot smaller than Sweden.

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Tell me though, and please be honest and kind: What about the elks...?
Yes Sam. We have lots of elks.
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