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I wasn't sure what to call this thread but we have a National Cuisines, so...

Being an Aussie who has never been out of the country, many of you lead, or have exposure to, lives quite beyond my imagining. While the basics are no doubt the same, we do seem to share many differences in our little group. I know I could find all sorts of tips elsewhere on the net but how much more accurate is it getting info "straight from the horse's mouth"? Do you mind that I've just called you a horse?! Big Grin

As I have mentioned previously, I will be heading overseas early next year, visiting a number of European sites involved in some of Australia's past military campaigns (as part of a school tour). We have been given a couple of tips by seasoned travellers along the way, such as: you don't want to make yourself a target as a tourist so make sure you "dress up" as the everyday standard of dress over in Europe is far higher than here in Australia, and keep your arms crossed or hands in your pockets at all times while in Paris etc as someone will place a bracelet on you and then charge you some ridiculous price for purchasing it when, in fact, you didn't.

Are these strange-sounding little insights accurate? What is life REALLY like where you live, for you and for the tourists who visit your country?

**It's interesting that Australians say "overseas" as ALL other countries are over the sea for us, however most others in the world tend to say "abroad"!**
Well, I am not very familiar with Australia so I'm not sure how local customs differ from Dutch ones. But concerning clothing: as Australia is basically a "Western country" (despite its actual location), I wouldn't worry too much about your clothing.

I go to college in Amsterdam, which sees a lot of tourists. I don't recognize them by clothes but by the large backpacks they sometimes have with them. People are often warned to beware of pickpockets in Amsterdam, but on four years I have never had anything stolen. Your be on your guard and you should be fine.

Of course, I don't know if you will be coming anywhere near the Netherlands so I don't know if this will be of any use to you. I don't travel much myself.
Which countries are you headed to, Farseer?

Hah, I got stuck with the bracelet thing in Paris once. They'll come up to you and tell you to hold your hand out and they'll braid a bracelet without mentioning a price. Then they won't leave you alone until you pay up. They probably do other things besides bracelets by now too so just keep smiling and shaking your head and keep walking. Save yourself 5 Euros. I wish someone had warned me earlier Down

I haven't been pickpocketed before in Europe, but I think the tip about keeping your valuables in multiple places is sound advice. Just don't look "loaded" as in wearing large backpacks with pockets asking to be rifled through, or wear excessive jewellry, brand name everything, keep your arm over your purse etc. Otherwise I don't think there's much to worry about.

I haven't travelled much abroad lately. But since you mentioned "customs," if you ever go visit the States, make sure you look up TSA procedures on what you can or cannot bring with you as carry on or checked baggage onto the plane. Wear slip-on shoes like clogs or loafers and jackets with zippers instead of hoodies. There's been some controversy over new screening procedures that some consider invasive where if the metal detector goes off for you, and you don't want to do a full body scan, you need to go through some full body pat down. I'm not quite sure as to how some people need to go through these screenings, but I think so long as you don't set off the metal detector you should get by pretty quickly, without hassle.

Tourists are pretty welcome in Los Angeles. I suppose many locals take pride in the city, and won't mind giving you tips and pointers. Traffic is terrible though, and as everything in LA is spread out, it's difficult to travel without a car. It's best to travel around during off hours when people are either at work or at home and not commuting. Public transportation has expanded quite a bit, so you could always try that, though I suppose it isn't as efficient as elsewhere.There are also a ton of places to eat out. Almost any sort of cuisine from around the world you can probably find a decent restaurant somewhere. is a useful website to look for places to eat or visit. Also, don't be shocked when you look out the window of the plane as you're landing: that brown stuff is just good ol smog to coat your lungs with (on the plus side, it makes the sunsets look very pretty.)

Hmmm San Francisco is also a nice town, and you won't find any city elsewhere that looks like SF. More expensive than LA, though, but with much cleaner air, and probably more health-conscious. Seattle is also interesting, but very cloud and rainy. August is the best month to visit (you see people sun bathing by the lakes in 20C weather :rolleyes:.) Wherever you go the great thing about the US is you generally don't have to worry about pickpockets.

Oh, I've forgotten HAWAII. You. Must. Go. I warn you, you'll never want to leave.
Having been to Australia I find the idea of anywhere else being 'spread out' laughable. If you expect to go anywhere there you need a car or an intimate knowledge of public transport. I've never been rich enough to use taxi's. $50 a ride is far to much for me. However having saying that I haven't been anywhere in America, though I imagine the city would be bigger then anything Australia has to offer. Love the beaches though.
Go Australia!
Hehehe Australia is definitely 'spread out' with shocking public transport , but I think Los Angeles would surely give us a run for our money????
(not that I've been to America, I am just going on TV and first hand reports!)

This is a great idea for a thread, and I am going to definitely come up with things to ask!

Someone ask me if there's kangaroos running down the street here!

Farseer I can't say I noticed a big difference in what people wore in Europe and Britain compared to Australia. Then again, there are some regional differences within Australia probably!
I can't say I recall seeing people wearing ugg boots and Target tracksuits in my overseas travels, but then again I hear it's all the rage now.....hehehe.

I don't have any good tips as my travel experiences are sadly not recent!!

In fact I want to go overseas this year and am looking for ideas now.
(Jan-12-2011, 06:31 AM (UTC))Nuytsia Wrote: [ -> ]Someone ask me if there's kangaroos running down the street here!

Any wallabies running around?

Quote:I can't say I recall seeing people wearing ugg boots and Target tracksuits in my overseas travels, but then again I hear it's all the rage now.....hehehe.

*shudders* D:
Hah you got me, we don't have kangaroos in this part of Tasmania and there ARE LOTS of wallabies running around.... 'running down the street' is of course their favourite night time pursuit.

Sorry for that visual of the trackie and uggie ensemble...

I thought of a question!! It's not really about 'customs' but I was wondering if anyone's seen the Northern Lights (or the Southern Lights, but I doubt if anyone has a better chance of that than me!)
Mervi maybe?
I'm curious as to how likely /common it is to see them from populated areas .
these beings have yet to see it, but they intend to see it sometime...
Hmmm well I guess no-one's seen it!

I heard you can sometimes see the Southern one from Tasmania, but I really don't know how often that occurs!
No sign of it yet...... I'm at 43 degrees south so that's almost as far south as you can go in Australia...
(Jan-12-2011, 09:27 AM (UTC))Nuytsia Wrote: [ -> ]Hah you got me, we don't have kangaroos in this part of Tasmania and there ARE LOTS of wallabies running around.... 'running down the street' is of course their favourite night time pursuit.

It's hard for me to imagine wallabies running around with the stray cats around here Big Grin

If you ever do see an aurora australis, TAKE PEEKTURE.
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