travel advice & savings
 
SAVE on RAIL PASSES LOWEST PRICES / FREE SHIPPING on orders over $449!
Now use the Trip Planner to:
  • Find and Buy Rail Passes
  • Find and Book Hostels
Already know which Rail Pass you need?
Click here and buy now!
Special Eurotrip Member Savings!
25 replies
shirts in europe?
jetaylor
jetaylor's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 35
Member: 21490
Joined: 01/20/2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.

I am leaving for europe and when people say tshirts what are they talking about. Should I go out and buy some plain T-shirts from Target or something and plan on just wearing those with bottoms? I am planning on bringing few dresses, but for the most part I think its going to be t-shirts. Are all of my logo t-shirts from random events a no-go? I don’t want to wear fitted shirts b/c I just sweat so much more.

I am leaving from Orlando with $4500 for 33 days
London, Amsterdam, Füssen, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, Rome, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, Paris, Versailles, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
DreamingOfItaly
DreamingOfItaly's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 273
Member: 21697
Joined: 01/26/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 4 weeks ago.

I’d just wear whatever you are comfortable with. Don’t bring anything that needs to be specially washed/dried or anything like that. I also wouldn’t bring your absolute favorite shirts because they will probably get grungy (when I studied abroad a couple of my shirts never really recovered- idk if it was the water or detergent or what). Make sure your shirts can be worn with several different bottoms (ie, so you can make multiple outfits out of the same shirt). I’m also bringing a couple dresses but otherwise will just wear v-neck shirts from the gap and j-crew. obviously as long as you don’t have an offensive logos/slogans on your clothes, whatever you bring will be fine.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 43 weeks ago.

I usually don’t bring stuff that shouts “tourist”…ie. planin t-shirts are fine. Shirts with Old Navy, New York Yankees, Univesity of Iowa will make you stick out like a sore thumb (and make you more of a target for criminals who target tourists)

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 7 weeks 1 day ago.

You might not sweat as much at your destinations as you do in Orlando.
I actually think plain t-shirts from Target are a good idea, but quite often I do well with all natural fibers like silk or cotton. Silk is tougher than it sounds, washes well in the sink, and dries fast.

Kayling05
Kayling05's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 518
Member: 8179
Joined: 11/02/2008
User offline. Last seen 43 weeks 4 days ago.

I agree with Cil, most of these places are nowhere near as hot as Florida summer (but certainly not all, Rome and Madrid will be up there pretty close). Plain t-shirts are fine, and you should be ok with a couple fitted ones too… just bring antiperspirant deodorant!

From my personal experience (in 2008 bear in mind), it was around 73-75 degrees F most of the time in Paris in July when I was there for the entire month, usually sunny/partly cloudy. Sometimes it got in the 80’s and sometimes the 60’s but that was like 3 days max for both. I’m from Alabama so I know about HOT weather, and it was really lovely in Paris. Amsterdam was even cooler, it was in the upper 60s, maybe 70F tops, the last weekend of July when I went there and also somewhat rainy.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $1200 for 14 days
London, Salisbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, Edinburgh, London
Requesting help with Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Rouen with $1500 for 15 days
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
I am leaving from busan, SK with $1000 for 13 days
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Bangkok

2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
2012— ????

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 3 days ago.

Although Madrid and Rome are not nearly as humid as Alabama and Florida. In fact, they’re not humid at all.

In Southern Europe, you sweat one tenth as much as you do in the eastern United States. In the Mediterranean, if you get hot in the mid-day, just find some shade and sit down. In five minutes, you’ll cool down, your sweat will dry off, and you’ll be comfortable.

In the Eastern USA, on a hot day, your skin is sweaty and damp all day even without physical activity….ugh…and when people walk into an air conditioned building, you can smell their hydration/sweat…I hate that smell. And when you step back outside, it’s like walking into a bathroom after someone just took a hot shower. Luckily, where I live in Chicago, the climate alternates in the summer between cooler days (70s), and hot/humid days. Orlando has got to be hell on earth in the summer.

In the summertime in the Med, try not to do a lot of sightseeing during the peak of the day (1pm-5pm). Try to get most of your outdoor sightseeing in the morning. Use early morning time to sightsee the Roman ruins in Rome, for example. Afternoons are perfect for museums, or grab lunch and take a siesta, or the beach. Evenings are perfect for a stroll, and getting to know the city. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much the temperature actually drops in the evenings after a hot [but dry] afternoon, because there’s not enough moisture in the air to trap heat.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

tigrouflip
tigrouflip's profile picture
Nomad
NomadNomadNomadNomad
Eurotrip Points: 381
Member: 15484
Joined: 06/27/2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 40 weeks ago.

Is Old Navy really that bad? I go to Europe quite a bit and most don’t know about the brand, but usually think their print shirts are somewhat stylish. I was planning on bringing some of those for the clubbing since I get away with not paying a **** ton for an abercrombie logo that Europeans find beautiful. I’m talking low grade clubbing here, i’ll bring out the dress shirt for more uppety nights.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $3000 for 36 days
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Mostar, Sarajevo, Bol, Makarska, Florence, Málaga, Seville, Barcelona, Ibiza Town
DreamingOfItaly
DreamingOfItaly's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 273
Member: 21697
Joined: 01/26/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 4 weeks ago.

Yea I don’t see how Old Navy can scream tourist…their clothes are simple and basic and mostly free of logos. I almost exclusively wore Gap & Old Navy in my term abroad and I didn’t get any weird stares or funny comments.

Anyways, I found really simple, comfy and cute skirts & dresses for cheap at Old Navy and they are definitely coming along to Europe with me.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 3 days ago.

I don’t think finnegan was pinpointing Old Navy specifically, but rather, Old Navy-type clothing that’s uber-casual (and a bit plain) and will make you stick out in some situations, like for example, going for tapas in the evening in Madrid when everyone else is dressed a notch trendier. As a guy, I love their men’s jeans, which fit me far better than any other brand, and I do wear them in Europe at night. But their shirts are very plain and badly-cut, and most fo their women’s clothing is very plain. And you can find cargo shorts in Europe too, they’re quite popular….but in the daytime, not at night (except maybe in the northern UK). Not that all Americans dress like this at night…certainly not in Manhattan, for example. But there’s always that group of men (ranging from young to old) from places like Iowa, who will wear shorts in the evening with a somewhat baggy polo shirt, and they think they’re dressed rather formal, but it does scream American.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking out, but if you want to fit in, then dress a notch nicer.

For men, jeans are perfectly fine, as long as they properly fit you. Wide leg/carpenters/painters jeans are perfectly fine, as long as they’re your size, not John Goodman’s. After all, Old Navy isn’t FUBU. They have some extra room, but they’re not baggy (provided you buy your proper size). For shirts, just look nice. And again, fitted. The seam that connects your sleeve to the rest of your shirt should rest exactly on the corner of your shoulder. It should not hang below this point. T-shirts are perfectly fine, as long as they fit well. Note: fitted does not mean tight. You can’t go wrong with a trendy (even printed) tee (even an athletic brand). A collared, button-down shirt is always classic (with either jeans or slacks), but again, it should fit properly…not baggy with a t-shirt underneath, not a loud color, and the shirt should look fresh, with thin fabric and a crisp collar…it shouldn’t look like a 20-year-old garment from Walmart that’s been sitting underneath a pile of laundry. A fitted blazer with either a t-shirt or collared shirt (and either jeans or slacks) is quite trendy this year. Stay away from the baggy striped/plaid polos, please. Stay away from flannel, unless it’s winter. Stay away from sports jerseys after sundown (if you really want to fit in, wear a soccer jersey in the daytime, instead of a hockey/baseball/American football jersey). And no pleated khakis, for heaven’s sake. Nor deep V-necks…most Europeans are trendy, not metrosexual. And no shorts after sundown, please. In the daytime, of course, feel perfectly free to sport your [slim] cargo shorts, your Old Navy tees, etc, but be fitted, and please don’t wear bulky frat-boy shorts that hang below the knee.

For women, just look sharp in the evenings. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a New Year’s Eve ball, but nor should you look like a badly-dressed plain Jane from Kansas. Jeans are perfectly fine, but they should flatter your body. Not the plain, tapered Old Navy mommy jeans, please. Of course, tight jeans are coming back in style (or so it seems), but again, tight does not mean plain tapered jeans that you put no thought into when you bought them. Don’t dress like a man, please…neither in the daytime nor at night: no jerseys, no men’s jeans, no men’s shorts, no loose-fitting clothing, or anything like that. Women wearing men’s sports jerseys may fit right in at a Chicago sportsbar during a hockey game or at a New York Giants tailgate, but not in Madrid, Paris, or Berlin…the tomboy look will stick out in Europe, not like a sore thumb, but like an elephant’s toe on a cat’s foot…guaranteed. Feel free to be slightly hippy, just not with those full-length hippy skirts (unfashionable for nighttime and kind of impractical in the daytime). No jean skirts with flip-flops either, it screams whore. Short skirts look trashy if you’re over 19. Nice pants or knee-length skirts with a nice top, or evening summer dresses are always classic, and you’ll fit in just fine. In the warmer months, do show some skin on your upper body. Of course, when doing a lot of sightseeing/walking or commuting in the daytime, your main concern should be comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. But same daytime advice applies as for men: fitted. Please leave the college/sorority sweatshirts at home. For you older American women, please leave the kittens sweatshirt at home too.

For both men and women: please don’t wear clothing with tacky writing on it…world’s best dad, I love grandma, I love Paris, I love London, 9/11 never forget, and so on and so forth. While we’re on the subject of patriotism, don’t wear a large American flag, large bald eagle that covers the entire shirt, pro-Iraq war slogans, etc…patriotism is great, but the rest of the world doesn’t wrap itself in their national flags nearly as much as we do, and it would come off as very arrogant (let alone tacky). The wars in Iraq and increasingly Afghanistan are also deeply unpopular outside the United States, from Belgium to Brazil to Bangladesh. A t-shirt that simply says “USA” in reasonably-sized print is perfectly fine (although the State Dept advises against this for security reasons).


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

elly_mac
elly_mac's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 154
Member: 18578
Joined: 10/14/2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.

damn, im female, and most of the clothes i wear are mens (besides all the dresses, skirts and dressy tops i find them much more comfortable. also does not help that i am tall, and have a long torso, and most womens tops are short!!!! or the pants dont accomodate for hips….

most of my shoes are also mens, as its very hard to find womens 13’s around!!!! but have actually managed to snag a few heels and dressy shoes in my size now!

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Nightlife, Sights

1992 – England and Wales
2002 – Papua New Guinea
2008 – Bali
2009 – USA and Canada
2010 – USA
2011 – New Zealand
2012 – Europe and USA

Jaclyn Anna
Jaclyn Anna's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 68
Member: 24884
Joined: 04/25/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago.

luv_the_beach wrote:
I don’t think finnegan was pinpointing Old Navy specifically, but rather, Old Navy-type clothing that’s uber-casual (and a bit plain) and will make you stick out in some situations, like for example, going for tapas in the evening in Madrid when everyone else is dressed a notch trendier. As a guy, I love their men’s jeans, which fit me far better than any other brand, and I do wear them in Europe at night. But their shirts are very plain and badly-cut, and most fo their women’s clothing is very plain. And you can find cargo shorts in Europe too, they’re quite popular….but in the daytime, not at night (except maybe in the northern UK). Not that all Americans dress like this at night…certainly not in Manhattan, for example. But there’s always that group of men (ranging from young to old) from places like Iowa, who will wear shorts in the evening with a somewhat baggy polo shirt, and they think they’re dressed rather formal, but it does scream American.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking out, but if you want to fit in, then dress a notch nicer.

For men, jeans are perfectly fine, as long as they properly fit you. Wide leg/carpenters/painters jeans are perfectly fine, as long as they’re your size, not John Goodman’s. After all, Old Navy isn’t FUBU. They have some extra room, but they’re not baggy (provided you buy your proper size). For shirts, just look nice. And again, fitted. The seam that connects your sleeve to the rest of your shirt should rest exactly on the corner of your shoulder. It should not hang below this point. T-shirts are perfectly fine, as long as they fit well. Note: fitted does not mean tight. You can’t go wrong with a trendy (even printed) tee (even an athletic brand). A collared, button-down shirt is always classic (with either jeans or slacks), but again, it should fit properly…not baggy with a t-shirt underneath, not a loud color, and the shirt should look fresh, with thin fabric and a crisp collar…it shouldn’t look like a 20-year-old garment from Walmart that’s been sitting underneath a pile of laundry. A fitted blazer with either a t-shirt or collared shirt (and either jeans or slacks) is quite trendy this year. Stay away from the baggy striped/plaid polos, please. Stay away from flannel, unless it’s winter. Stay away from sports jerseys after sundown (if you really want to fit in, wear a soccer jersey in the daytime, instead of a hockey/baseball/American football jersey). And no pleated khakis, for heaven’s sake. Nor deep V-necks…most Europeans are trendy, not metrosexual. And no shorts after sundown, please. In the daytime, of course, feel perfectly free to sport your [slim] cargo shorts, your Old Navy tees, etc, but be fitted, and please don’t wear bulky frat-boy shorts that hang below the knee.

For women, just look sharp in the evenings. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a New Year’s Eve ball, but nor should you look like a badly-dressed plain Jane from Kansas. Jeans are perfectly fine, but they should flatter your body. Not the plain, tapered Old Navy mommy jeans, please. Of course, tight jeans are coming back in style (or so it seems), but again, tight does not mean plain tapered jeans that you put no thought into when you bought them. Don’t dress like a man, please…neither in the daytime nor at night: no jerseys, no men’s jeans, no men’s shorts, no loose-fitting clothing, or anything like that. Women wearing men’s sports jerseys may fit right in at a Chicago sportsbar during a hockey game or at a New York Giants tailgate, but not in Madrid, Paris, or Berlin…the tomboy look will stick out in Europe, not like a sore thumb, but like an elephant’s toe on a cat’s foot…guaranteed. Feel free to be slightly hippy, just not with those full-length hippy skirts (unfashionable for nighttime and kind of impractical in the daytime). No jean skirts with flip-flops either, it screams whore. Short skirts look trashy if you’re over 19. Nice pants or knee-length skirts with a nice top, or evening summer dresses are always classic, and you’ll fit in just fine. In the warmer months, do show some skin on your upper body. Of course, when doing a lot of sightseeing/walking or commuting in the daytime, your main concern should be comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. But same daytime advice applies as for men: fitted. Please leave the college/sorority sweatshirts at home. For you older American women, please leave the kittens sweatshirt at home too.

For both men and women: please don’t wear clothing with tacky writing on it…world’s best dad, I love grandma, I love Paris, I love London, 9/11 never forget, and so on and so forth. While we’re on the subject of patriotism, don’t wear a large American flag, large bald eagle that covers the entire shirt, pro-Iraq war slogans, etc…patriotism is great, but the rest of the world doesn’t wrap itself in their national flags nearly as much as we do, and it would come off as very arrogant (let alone tacky). The wars in Iraq and increasingly Afghanistan are also deeply unpopular outside the United States, from Belgium to Brazil to Bangladesh. A t-shirt that simply says “USA” in reasonably-sized print is perfectly fine (although the State Dept advises against this for security reasons).

I guess I should keep my “I love NY” t-shirt at home! Food for thought: I think a lot of people tend to forget that not all US citizens support being in the Middle East. Those people just say, “Can’t we all just get along?” Frown

I am leaving from USA to Italy, France, and the UK with $2000 for 18 days
Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife
I am leaving from New York, NY with $3400 for 27 days
Pescara, Capri, Castelvetrano, Pescara
I am leaving from NY with $5000 for 43 days
Rome, Pescara, Capri, Pescara, Castelvetrano, Pescara, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from London with $1000 for 7 days
London, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin

“Don’t worry about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” -Charles Schultz

DreamingOfItaly
DreamingOfItaly's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 273
Member: 21697
Joined: 01/26/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 4 weeks ago.

Thanks, luv, for the clarification on the Old Navy-type shirts confusion. While I knew alot of what you posted already, that info was very helpful and clear. I agree Old Navy clothing can be plain, but are well fitting and simple for day time sightseeing. Of course I know the dressing style to go at night is different from sight seeing in the day (as it is in most cities in the US…or least the clubs in Boston I go to..) Anyways, I have a few skirts and dresses and a pair of skinny jeans I will be bringing along for those purposes.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 3 days ago.

Ellly,

lol, you sure are tall! What I wrote is simply a guideline for fitting in, if you want to, and based on my observations. Of course, men’s jeans because that’s what fits you is fine. But completely sticking out, does make you a bit of a target for possible pickpocketers, scammers, etc, as finnegan mentioned. Not that this is a big problem, but if you can leave the oversized men’s USC sweatshirt at home, please do so. What I do highly advise, is that when you are doing physical activity in the daytime (like hauling a heavy backpack or piece of luggage from the train station to the hostel), then of course, comfort is most important. You will be doing a lot of walking, so a pair of walking shoes is a must. But comfort doesn’t mean that you have to don your men’s sport jerseys, college/sorority sweatshirts, and so on. You’re Australian though, I thought Australian women dress closer to European women? Although I’m aware Australia has its own quirks.

Jaclyn,

Actually, I ♥ NY works fine in Europe, if it’s a women’s tee that fits your body well, it can look casual-sexy. Stay away from I ♥ [the city I’m currently in] and I ♥ [the European city I previously visited]. The I ♥ NY slogan, however, was perhaps the first I ♥ [city] t-shirt ever created, and it’s now become iconic. Maybe that’s why it has become somewhat trendy recently.

On Iraq/Afghanistan, Europeans know that this was a higher-up decision and not something that all Americans support. There’s no ill-feeling toward ordinary Americans, but there is a bewilderment as to how so many Americans came to support the Iraq war in the first place. Europeans are also perplexed by American politics…for example, how much we intertwine our national folklore [“freedom”, a country that was “founded”, and so on] into political discourse, instead of debating issues strictly from a public management mindset; how much more American politics is about image and PR (for example, Obama was recently criticized within some circles in the US for “not appearing angry enough” about the oil spill in his speech and facial expressions); how much we care about politicians’ private lives and marriage status; and why so many Americans oppose the concept of public health insurance!!

Believe it or not, there are Americans who wear flag-themed or 911-themed clothing when abroad, either as an ill-thought-out homesickness/patriotic attempt to “represent”, or as a conscious affront to a perceived global hostility toward “American values” and America’s “freedom” and self-determination. Thankfully, these Americans number in the few, but they’re out there, and are highly likely to be folks that have never traveled abroad before besides perhaps Jamaica and Cancun. And I haven’t yet seen this abroad: but shirts with pro-Iraq/Afghanistan war slogans do exist, and that’s the last thing you want to wear outside the United States, except perhaps those all-inclusive resorts in Cancun where there’s nobody but Americans.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

Feicht
Feicht's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 50 weeks 1 day ago.

Good points all around, Luv Smile

I actually have seen Americans (at least, I’d imagine they were Americans) wearing tee shirts with “Operation Iraqi Freedom” graphics, and even one person who, I kid you not, sported a shirt with a picture of Bush’s face with text that said something to the effect of “Yeah I voted for him. What’s your point?”

I felt like speaking up, but then I realized it just wasn’t worth the trouble.

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Jaclyn Anna
Jaclyn Anna's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 68
Member: 24884
Joined: 04/25/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago.

luv_the_beach wrote:
On Iraq/Afghanistan, Europeans know that this was a higher-up decision and not something that all Americans support. There’s no ill-feeling toward ordinary Americans, but there is a bewilderment as to how so many Americans came to support the Iraq war in the first place. Europeans are also perplexed by American politics…for example, how much we intertwine our national folklore [“freedom”, a country that was “founded”, and so on] into political discourse, instead of debating issues strictly from a public management mindset; how much more American politics is about image and PR (for example, Obama was recently criticized within some circles in the US for “not appearing angry enough” about the oil spill in his speech and facial expressions); how much we care about politicians’ private lives and marriage status; and why so many Americans oppose the concept of public health insurance!!

Believe it or not, there are Americans who wear flag-themed or 911-themed clothing when abroad, either as an ill-thought-out homesickness/patriotic attempt to “represent”, or as a conscious affront to a perceived global hostility toward “American values” and America’s “freedom” and self-determination. Thankfully, these Americans number in the few, but they’re out there, and are highly likely to be folks that have never traveled abroad before besides perhaps Jamaica and Cancun. And I haven’t yet seen this abroad: but shirts with pro-Iraq/Afghanistan war slogans do exist, and that’s the last thing you want to wear outside the United States, except perhaps those all-inclusive resorts in Cancun where there’s nobody but Americans.

I’ll be sure to pack the I <3 NY shirt. Thanks for the heads up.

What constitutes an ordinary American? Regardless of where a person comes from in our country and their political views, when it comes down to it, we are all ordinary Americans. There is this global conception that Americans are fat, lazy, and dumb. On the contrary, a lot of Americans do not fit this image, and are actually healthy, driven, and educated. Although, yes, we do have the famous “People of Walmart.”

The spark of the war was 9/11, for New York at least. We are a very liberal state, and when that happened, I will admit that I myself supported the war. But it was for the wrong reasons. People were emotional. They were vulnerable and scared. They wanted justice to be served for those that were murdered in NY, Washington, and Pennsylvania. The Bush Administration took advantage of those feelings, and those people you speak of today. At 16 years old, all I felt was emotion. I didn’t have the knowledge that I needed to fully understand things. In our country people still feel threatened, hence why they support the war. They want to be able to live in a place that is terrorist and warfare free. Car bombings and buildings being blown up will never be accepted. Some people support the war because they feel if we don’t do anything then we look like wimps, and terrorists will continue to try to harm us. Everyone believed that Bush was seeking out Bin Laden and whoever else it was that was responsible for 9/11. At the time it made sense. They attack us, we try to get them.

The video below really shows what it felt like in NY during and after 9/11. Please try to understand why many Americans wanted to declare war. That feeling is the reason why we wear shirts like 9/11: Never Forget. It is a tribute to friends and family that people lost. To the unity our country had in such dismal times. It isn’t a way to tell other nations to piss off. It’s a way to remember those who died in vain. It is sad that people from other countries view the memorabilia in a negative light. It really represents a mourning of the dead.

The problem is not a type of American. The problem is that people do not read enough about what is really going on to understand it. We are isolated here from the rest of the world. It doesn’t help that our mainstream media sucks and preys on the blind. I should add, that these people cover the affair stories of politicians and celebrities alike. Tiger Woods and Balloon Boy dominated CNN and Fox news for weeks, rather than the war. In America, one really needs to do research and legwork to form an opinion about the war, government policies, the environment, immigration, and so on. It is not easy to find the truth anymore. I learned after we went to war what was really going on, so now I do the legwork and then consciously decide how I feel about it. Thank goodness for Democracy Now and NPR. For instance, I wanted to learn about the proposed health care reform and I tried reading the thousands of pages explaining it, but it was so convoluted that I couldn’t get anywhere. I am still trying to figure it out. This is a new idea and change scares people. A big question is where does the funding for it come from? I’ll speak for many Americans when I say that we are just as bewildered and upset about national and global issues.

As far as public image goes, the president is celebritized. This has been happening for years, but now it’s just over the top. I don’t care that Beyonce puts on a show for the Obama family, or that Jennifer Aniston supported him during the election. I think that is why people are so critical of Obama’s image now. He’s too available all the time doing things that aren’t always presidential. The American people want to see him working. As a matter of fact, for such a chatty guy, it actually took 39 days for our president, our leader, to have a press conference about the oil spill. Yeah, he may have briefly mentioned it 9 days after it occurred, but he avoided the questioning aspect of it for quite some time. The affects of this spill on our gulf coast states is going to be dramatic. People will lose jobs… tourism will go down even more since Hurricane Katrina. Animal species will die and possibly become extinct. The oceanic wildlife in that area supports the livelihoods of so many people. It’s a sh*t show. I know that the US preaches bipartisanship as well, but these days that isn’t working out. This is another reason why people may criticize and say Obama isn’t “angry enough” and that his facial expressions show something unfavorable.

I know this is a super long post, but I felt obligated to explain things, from my perspective at least. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. Smile

I am leaving from USA to Italy, France, and the UK with $2000 for 18 days
Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife
I am leaving from New York, NY with $3400 for 27 days
Pescara, Capri, Castelvetrano, Pescara
I am leaving from NY with $5000 for 43 days
Rome, Pescara, Capri, Pescara, Castelvetrano, Pescara, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from London with $1000 for 7 days
London, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin

“Don’t worry about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” -Charles Schultz

Jaclyn Anna
Jaclyn Anna's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 68
Member: 24884
Joined: 04/25/2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 33 weeks ago.

Feicht wrote:
Good points all around, Luv Smile

I actually have seen Americans (at least, I’d imagine they were Americans) wearing tee shirts with “Operation Iraqi Freedom” graphics, and even one person who, I kid you not, sported a shirt with a picture of Bush’s face with text that said something to the effect of “Yeah I voted for him. What’s your point?”

I felt like speaking up, but then I realized it just wasn’t worth the trouble.

Well, that’s just tasteless. These people are instigators and are making themselves targets for aggression from others. Concerning 9/11 memorabilia though, it really isn’t supposed to be taken offensively by others. Again, it is a way to mourn the losses of those tragic events.

I am leaving from USA to Italy, France, and the UK with $2000 for 18 days
Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife
I am leaving from New York, NY with $3400 for 27 days
Pescara, Capri, Castelvetrano, Pescara
I am leaving from NY with $5000 for 43 days
Rome, Pescara, Capri, Pescara, Castelvetrano, Pescara, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from London with $1000 for 7 days
London, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin

“Don’t worry about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” -Charles Schultz

elly_mac
elly_mac's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 154
Member: 18578
Joined: 10/14/2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.

luv_the_beach wrote:
Ellly,

lol, you sure are tall! What I wrote is simply a guideline for fitting in, if you want to, and based on my observations. Of course, men’s jeans because that’s what fits you is fine. But completely sticking out, does make you a bit of a target for possible pickpocketers, scammers, etc, as finnegan mentioned. Not that this is a big problem, but if you can leave the oversized men’s USC sweatshirt at home, please do so. What I do highly advise, is that when you are doing physical activity in the daytime (like hauling a heavy backpack or piece of luggage from the train station to the hostel), then of course, comfort is most important. You will be doing a lot of walking, so a pair of walking shoes is a must. But comfort doesn’t mean that you have to don your men’s sport jerseys, college/sorority sweatshirts, and so on. You’re Australian though, I thought Australian women dress closer to European women? Although I’m aware Australia has its own quirks.

hahahah i do wear hooides, but they are generally band hoodies, which im guessing you could see a lil bit over in europe maybe…nto sure…i know my friend who is over there atm was wearing her ac/dc singlet in rome as for australian women…..im not like them i prefer to dress comfortably, and most of the girls over here in melb dress ridiculously (no offence to those who dont), one thing for sure i will never do is wear leggings as outer wear. they are worn udner clothing or if you are working out. its tasteless i find my typical outfit when i head out (mainly to gigs, or nightclubs with my type of music being played is black dickies shorts (end up below the knee) a band shirt, or a singlet, a hoodie on top if cold, and either dc shoes or converse. but if i am going to a club or bar where they have dress codes, i do have the kind of clothing that would suit the place ( i have plenty of skirts and dresses, need some more girly tops though :S ) spent most of my child hood in trackies and tee shirts, very tomboyish i was

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Nightlife, Sights

1992 – England and Wales
2002 – Papua New Guinea
2008 – Bali
2009 – USA and Canada
2010 – USA
2011 – New Zealand
2012 – Europe and USA

Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 2 days ago.

I wear stuff made in 3rd world child labour sweatshops.

elly_mac
elly_mac's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 154
Member: 18578
Joined: 10/14/2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.

Don wrote:
I wear stuff made in 3rd world child labour sweatshops.
nike?

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Nightlife, Sights

1992 – England and Wales
2002 – Papua New Guinea
2008 – Bali
2009 – USA and Canada
2010 – USA
2011 – New Zealand
2012 – Europe and USA

Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 2 days ago.

A lot more than nike.

elly_mac
elly_mac's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 154
Member: 18578
Joined: 10/14/2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.

havent worn nike since i learnt about how it all made in industry and enterprise in year 11.

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Nightlife, Sights

1992 – England and Wales
2002 – Papua New Guinea
2008 – Bali
2009 – USA and Canada
2010 – USA
2011 – New Zealand
2012 – Europe and USA

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 3 days ago.
Jaclyn Anna wrote:
What constitutes an ordinary American? Regardless of where a person comes from in our country and their political views, when it comes down to it, we are all ordinary Americans. There is this global conception that Americans are fat, lazy, and dumb. On the contrary, a lot of Americans do not fit this image, and are actually healthy, driven, and educated. Although, yes, we do have the famous “People of Walmart.”

lol…. believe it or not, most people I have encountered outside the United States actually do not have this view of Americans. Although it is true that Americans are among the most overweight people on earth. People who have been to the United States are far more likely to hold these stereotypes of Americans, whereas people who have never been to the US base their stereotypes on what they see on TV (soap operas, Baywatch, etc). For those who have been to the US: their stereotype of “fat Americans” is based in large part on reality. I’m not saying that most Americans fit this description, but when you have a very large proportion of Americans (around one third) that are considerably overweight, it’s certainly gonna affect how visitors see us. But again, there are many people who have the opposite stereotype of Americans, based on the beautiful people they see on American films and television programs that are exported abroad.

A freind of mine who lives in Greece and knows the United States pretty well once pointed out to me something that I had never thought about before with great depth. There are two Americas. There’s the America of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco…of Harvard, Yale, U of Michigan, Northwestern, and Stamford…of scientific achievements, NPR, NASA, Kenneth Cole, DKNY, and Acela…of child labour laws and consumer protections, middle class and labour unions, Greenpeace and ACLU. And then there’s the other America: Nascar and NRA, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachman, Fox News…of people that don’t hold a passport, of homophobia and world-hating, evangelicals that fuse patriotism with religion, supersized fast food meals and double-fried twinkies. I disagree that you can easily categorize most Americans into one of the two categories (I would argue that there’s a spectrum)….but I would say this is how the United States is seen in Europe: as two countries in one (and Europeans feel comfortable with the first one, not the second). Going back to the “fat” stereotype: here is one area that I would agree epitomizes the “two countries” concept. We have one of the highest proportions of overweight people in the world, but we also have one of the highest proportions of people that regularly attend a gym. Whereas most Europeans are just thin, Americans tend to be polarized: most of us are either overweight or athletic.

Jaclyn Anna wrote:
The problem is not a type of American. The problem is that people do not read enough about what is really going on to understand it. We are isolated here from the rest of the world. It doesn’t help that our mainstream media sucks and preys on the blind. I should add, that these people cover the affair stories of politicians and celebrities alike. Tiger Woods and Balloon Boy dominated CNN and Fox news for weeks, rather than the war. In America, one really needs to do research and legwork to form an opinion about the war, government policies, the environment, immigration, and so on. It is not easy to find the truth anymore. I learned after we went to war what was really going on, so now I do the legwork and then consciously decide how I feel about it. Thank goodness for Democracy Now and NPR. For instance, I wanted to learn about the proposed health care reform and I tried reading the thousands of pages explaining it, but it was so convoluted that I couldn’t get anywhere. I am still trying to figure it out. This is a new idea and change scares people. A big question is where does the funding for it come from? I’ll speak for many Americans when I say that we are just as bewildered and upset about national and global issues.

Yes, yes yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. We are very isolated. I was just having this discussion witha Brit coworker, and it brings me back to the “two countries” duality that defines America. On one hand, we have a history of attracting waves of immigrants, and I’m talking since the creation of the American state in the late 18th centiry (not the Anglo invasion of the East Coast the preceded the American Revolution). But contrary to popular belief, the US has tended to attract immigrants off and on throughout its history, not continuously. But nonetheless, there’s a strong tradition of immigration here. Ironically, the American society is highly isolated. When I lived in Greece for a year, I would turn on the TV and I could watch American movies, Brazilian soap operas, and Japanese cartoons. Here in the United States we almost never air foreign-produced content, with a handful of British shows on PBS being the rare exception, or Canadian shows on marginal cable channels that don’t attract a large audience. Let alone how little CNN, NBC/MSNBC, ABC, Fox, etc, tell us about the outside world. In Europe, turn on your tv, and watch Iraqi civilians that have had their limbs blown off…something that would NEVER be shown on American TV. Until you actually travel abroad, you don’t realize to what extent American television and mainstream newspapers not only censor but also distort news about the outside world (like all the lies we heard about Britain’s NHS). Let alone news that are manufactured by PR firms hired by the White House…like the famous toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad (it wasn’t spontaneous, it was organized by the United States)…we are bombarded by propoganda. Combine that with our cultural isolation, and we’re living in our own fantasy world that’s starting to crack.

Jaclyn Anna wrote:
As far as public image goes, the president is celebritized. This has been happening for years, but now it’s just over the top. I don’t care that Beyonce puts on a show for the Obama family, or that Jennifer Aniston supported him during the election. I think that is why people are so critical of Obama’s image now. He’s too available all the time doing things that aren’t always presidential.

I think your sources cherry-pick instances where he’s being human, and they try to amplify them to make it seem like this is all he does. When you’re president, you’re always under the media’s eye. You can’t be “presidential” 24/7. Eventually, you’re gonna have to listen to music, eat ice cream, have sex, or take a shit in the White House bathroom. Even Fox News hasn’t dwelled on these things (at least not that I know of), preferring to go with the narrative that Obama is turning the United States into the Soviet Union, but that’s a whole other thread.

Jaclyn Anna wrote:

The American people want to see him working. As a matter of fact, for such a chatty guy, it actually took 39 days for our president, our leader, to have a press conference about the oil spill. Yeah, he may have briefly mentioned it 9 days after it occurred, but he avoided the questioning aspect of it for quite some time. The affects of this spill on our gulf coast states is going to be dramatic. People will lose jobs… tourism will go down even more since Hurricane Katrina. Animal species will die and possibly become extinct. The oceanic wildlife in that area supports the livelihoods of so many people. It’s a sh*t show. I know that the US preaches bipartisanship as well, but these days that isn’t working out. This is another reason why people may criticize and say Obama isn’t “angry enough” and that his facial expressions show something unfavorable.

I know this is a super long post, but I felt obligated to explain things, from my perspective at least. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. Smile

No problem, just remember not to get defensive at Europeans’ perspective of America. While, to you, the criticism of Obama “not appearing angry enough” may seem perfectly valid, and you feel you need to jsutify it, you’re still understanding it within the cultural context of someone who grew up in America. And that’s one thing to remember, is that no matter how much you educate yourself, how much you travel, you will always be an American….despite this fun and feel-good national narrative that tends to dominate American public discourse, about immigrants coming to our shores and “becoming Americans” (well, no, you can’t just “become” American. You can become an American citizen, but you don’t suddenly become culturally American…ie hot dog-eating, Thanksgiving-celebrating, take-me-out-to-the-ballgame American just by passing a citizenship test, and vice versa….you can’t just move to another country and start calling yourself Mexican, British, Pakistani, Peruvian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, or what-have-you). You can’t shed your cultural upbringing…and you will always see the world from a certain lens. Whereas someone from Brazil, or Sweden, or Spain, or Taiwan, may see the same things with a different lens. Are they wrong? Are you wrong? Let’s just say that different cultures have different expectations. Not having had a press conference for 39 days doesn’t mean that you weren’t working hard on this crisis…the only thing the Obama adminstration failed at, in my view, was the PR game. Obama hasn’t fully embraced traditional American politics because it’s BS (and I agree with him), but it’s unfortunately hurting his presidency. As I noted earlier, America is the country that defined PR and perfected political narrative. Touring the Gulf coast and meeting locals and holding babies and holding a press conference about BP/terrorists/insurgents/communists/nazis/killer clowns/mutant flies or whoever is the bad guy of the day, isn’t exactly work that alleviates the crisis. It’s just PR…ie psy-ops on the American public to make it appear that the administration is working hard. But again, you gotta take into consideration the culture you’re working in, and if holding press conferences and shedding fake tears is what you’ve gotta do, that’s what you’ve gotta do. And I’m saying this as a center-left-leaning environmentalist and labour rights sympathizer.

I’m gonna give you an assignment take note the “fake tears” aspect of American culture. I don’t literally mean people pretending to cry. Whenever something bad happens (a good example is that crazy guy in Washington state that shot all those police officers) Americans tend to “shed fake tears”, so to speak, because we have this fear of being seen as insensitive or as a sympathizer of the bad guy. Not that this wasn’t a horrible event that should have been prevented (if it could have been prevented), and not that the killer doesn’t deserve punishment, but that fact that people the next day at the office will bring it up and repeat it consistently, making it their mission to let others know how sensitive they are…it’s a bit much. We do this a lot, it’s just part of American culture. Take note.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

Ads
Ads's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 112
Member: 199
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 3 years 37 weeks ago.
Jaclyn Anna wrote:
Concerning 9/11 memorabilia though, it really isn’t supposed to be taken offensively by others. Again, it is a way to mourn the losses of those tragic events.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Jews wearing T-shirts about The Holocaust, perhaps they aren’t/weren’t mourning?

Perhaps I am missing your logic/justification?

Ads
Ads's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 112
Member: 199
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 3 years 37 weeks ago.

Back on topic….DO NOT wear Biege shorts. They scream of tourist Smile

Adski

guineapigface
guineapigface's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 9
Member: 27230
Joined: 06/29/2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 42 weeks ago.

luv_the_beach…

For shirts, just look nice. – Like a wife-beater?

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking out, but if you want to fit in, then dress a notch nicer. – Like wog sandals? Smile

Oooh child!

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 25 weeks 3 days ago.

I’m going to roast your pet guinea pigs, and then we’ll see if you find wog sandals funny.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat