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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Word copy/paste is bad

On the blog itself

I had tried to make it a bit more stylish by having embedded hyperlinks within my text. I was typing it on word then copy/paste over to the blog. It lost all of my hyperlinks. I don’t know why or what happened but that’s the end of trying to do it in the nifty way. I will start checking the blog more closely to see if stuff is working. Thanks to Jamas for pointing that out.


Foreign currency

I ordered some foreign currency today from my bank for Prague. According to Jana, they are using Koruna’s (the currency of the Czech Republic) over there rather than the Euro – though I’m sure they accept the Euro as well. I like having some currency for whichever country I am going to when I show up. Nothing screams ‘rob my ass’ like going to a currency exchange in the airport or train station. When I get to a foreign country, I like to immediately get to where I can check my bags and such then go wander over to a bank or currency exchange or something. It’s a bit more low key than showing up with bags and backpacks in tow and fumbling through that crap. Plus, if you get some of the money in the US from your bank, the fee will be less and you won’t have the extra 2% Visa charges for getting money withdrawn from your credit card. On top of that, you’ll probably get a better exchange rate. I’m not saying to get all of your vacation funds changed and to walk around with a bag of money. But enough for a day or two at least is probably not a bad idea.




Learning a bit on the etiquette of the country you are going to (as to make slightly less of an asshole of yourself while you are there)

England
Holland/Netherlands
Germany - Read it - seems about right given my limited knowledge of the customs
Czech Republic

In general, things that seem to crop up on all of them:

When meeting with someone, it is formal. The older person (probably me with most of the surviving people out there – I am old) has to offer to let them go with first names before it is done regularly. Don't assume that it is cool to jump to first names unless they say it is. Eye contact, quick firm hand shake seems to be the way to meet someone in all of the cultures.

In the excessively unlikely event that we are invited to dinner in someone’s home, the safe gift to get is a box of chocolates and wrap it. All of the cultures seem to like that. Flowers seem a bit risky.

Everyone in Europe eats 'continental' style (fork in left hand, knife in right). Probably because they are European – where the custom seems to either have started or got a damned firm foothold. Eating this way is a problem for most Americans. Fortunately, I already do since I am left handed. Seems none of the cultures like the cutting of greens but folding them. I don’t cut them but usually just get a bunch on my fork and stuff them into my gaping maw. Probably a social faux pas there.

As to removing of shoes – I don’t anticipate being invited into people’s homes. Should it happen it is not hard to figure out if they are into having no shoes in their house. Watch the host. If they take off their shoes and there are a bunch of them near the door take your shoes off. In America, it often astounds me how many people are in such a haze they don’t even notice that sort of thing.

Safe conversation topics are not about their family or jobs unless they bring it up. When I lived in Germany, I was told I was being too personal when I asked what a girl did for a job. Since I think she was a spy anyway, I dropped it. However, it is a good idea to not ask about their jobs or families. A very safe topic is probably interesting bits about their country. Being that Europe actually has history and interesting stuff (unlike the USA) I haven't met a European yet who would consider taking interest in their country to be offensive.

And in Germany, don't mention the fucking war.

For God's sake -

Don't mention the war.

[Note: To me this is not a huge deal - I have the [s]Hitler[/s] History Channel for all I need to know about the war and much much more. I mention it only because there have been a lot of successful comedy routines involving avoiding this 'elephant in the room' topic.]




It’s interesting to read other cultures customs then go read up on American customs. We are way down the ladder in terms of politeness. Here’s a couple examples from Wiki.

“Eye patches are an exception to said rule if wearer has a medical reason or is dressed as a pirate for Halloween.”

“Passing gas in the presence of others should be avoided.”

“Pointing with the middle finger is an obscene gesture and should be avoided unless expressing intense moments of anger at someone or something.”

Gosh, we’re suave!





Logan’s Language Woes

I got freaked out yesterday because in the coffee shop I normally go to had a couple who were speaking in German and I couldn't figure out what the hell they were saying. I asked them (in German) what dialect they were speaking and they told me 'Swiss German' - thank God, I thought I was losing my mind. Native German speakers have a huge problem with that pain in the ass dialect. I wish I could understand it better but I think my German overall will have to massively improve for that.



Andechs Monastery


In a nutshell:


* Cool looking monastery
* Reachable via the u-bahn (subway)
* Most people go there for the beer - they've been brewing it for over 1000 years - literally.
* Big pretzels!
* They apparently have some sort of dead pig that is a delicacy.
* They have appelweissebier - something I have never heard of in my life.
* According to some guides I was reading (assuming I'm translating correctly) it's only 45 minutes from the inner city. This would work for lunch or some such.


Might be fun for a short trip.

There's a 3-5KM hike to get to the monastery but you can take a bus/cab that takes 10 minutes. I'm delighted to do so; screw hiking.

Funny enough I found an error on WikiTravel incorrectly listing which u-bahn line to take to get there.

Hours-
Weekdays:
10:00 a.m. - 05:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays:
09:30 a.m. - 06:30 p.m.

1 comment:

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    http://weblogs.about.com/od/offlineblogeditors/tp/Top5OfflineBlogEditors.htm
    http://weblogs.about.com/od/offlineblogeditors/ss/LiveWriterTutor.htm

    (search on
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    ReplyDelete

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