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Myths and misconceptions about countries and cultures.

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Originally part of Shoes for Backpacking Europe
Decribe the weirdest you have heard.
10 years ago, December 17th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #57758  
you know... someone once asked me if we have bees in europe. Reply to this

10 years ago, December 17th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #57829  
B Posts: 30

you know... someone once asked me if we have bees in europe.


LOL thats too funny! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 6th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #59053  
I have a friend who insisted there are no flies in Malta because she didn't see any on a family video of a BBQ and she recons she doesn't remember seeing any flies when she visited. She's crazy right? Reply to this

10 years ago, January 6th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #59063  

She's crazy right?


I am no expert on the sanity of others, but I dont think there are any countries without flies. And now I have probably stated another weird myth and several posts will follow this one, listing countries which have no flies. :D Reply to this

10 years ago, January 6th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #59064  
Lol! Quite possibly. But yes I was under the impression that flies were an essential part of any countries natural cycle or something along those lines. They have some great cosmic purpose. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #60257  
The best one we heard was that we have vampires in London. We were too gobsmacked to say anything in response! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #60263  

The best one we heard was that we have vampires in London.



The person who said that had to be taking the p*ss? :D Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #60310  
nope I think she had just been watching too many horror films, well that and she lived in a really remote SE Asian village where they didn't see many foreigners and probably assumed that because we looked so different we must be vampires! 😉 Reply to this

10 years ago, January 16th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #60381  
B Posts: 109
we have been a full time homestay family for four years and there are many students who think there will be Kangaroo's jumping down the streets and koala's in every tree in Australia.

One student said she prayed her homestay family would have a koala in their backyard... While you can see these wildlife in certain areas.. we live in the inner city... about 3km from the CBD.. and we do have a tree in our yard.. but no Koala's I am afraid Reply to this

10 years ago, January 16th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #60394  
Peolple often think that most Irish people have red hair.

While there are plenty of flame heads in Ireland they are certainly not most of the people there. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 16th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #60400  
B Posts: 151
I've been asked few times if I speak Australian...............

I suppose one's ear not in tune with Australian accent and colloquialism can mistaken it for a different language.

So I just replied with a smile, "No...I do not speak Australian....but I do speak English ." 😊 Reply to this

10 years ago, January 17th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #60483  
You know everyone warned me that the French hate Americans and that the Parisians are top of the game at being rude. I found quite the opposite. Everywhere in France and even in Paris the vast majority of people were warm and friendly. The Parisians reminded me of people who live in Dallas (Texas) they're not rude just busy. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 17th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #60496  
Yeah I found the Parisians quite helpful too. Of course it helps if you try to use some of their language also. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 18th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #60599  
I work in retail in Scotland, and i get two or three tourist customers a year (usually Americans) who are gob smacked by the fact that Scots don't spend 24/7 wearing kilts.
Reply to this

10 years ago, January 18th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #60605  

10 years ago, January 18th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #60606  
B Posts: 74
I've heard so many funny misconceptions about Europe when I was living in a youth hostel in Amsterdam for 6 months. The one I remember best is: 'Holland isn't that the capital of Amsterdam? Oh no. Amsterdam was the capital of Amsterdam. Holland is a different country.' Reply to this

10 years ago, January 18th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #60607  
B Posts: 102
I've encountered a few rude Parisians, but they've been the minority. I suppose that's like any place...a few bad apples in the bunch.

I think the story that amazed me the most is what someone said when I got home from my trip (having come directly from Africa). I was talking to a group of people and mentioned that I had just gotten back from Tanzania...

Guy - "Where is that?"
Me - "Africa"
Guy - "So is it really like that over there? Everyone is walking around with machine guns?"
Me - "umm....did you really just ask that?"
Guy - "Yeah, I just saw that movie about the president of Africa...that's how it is over there, right?"
Me - "umm...the president of Africa?"
Other guy - "Do you mean that movie The Last King of Scotland?"
Guy - "Yeah, that's the one."

Needless to say, this guy has several misconceptions about a bunch of things. But the idea that all Africans are just walking around with machine guns amazed me...not to mention that he thought Africa had a president... Reply to this

10 years ago, January 18th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #60612  

One of the guys who chatted me up asked me where I am from and then asked how life in Holland is. When I told him Ireland not Holland he said I will get you some beer then.


Postcards from Rome

This gave me the impression that he believed the myth, that all Irish people drink alcohol non stop. Well, it is almost not a myth, but there is the occasional very moderate alcohol consumer from Ireland, such as I am. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 21st 2009 No: 19 Msg: #60920  
"Holland isn't that the capital of Amsterdam? Oh no. Amsterdam was the capital of Amsterdam. Holland is a different country."

Hester, haha that's so true! I've also gotten questions about Holland and the Netherlands being two different countries ("If Amsterdam is in Holland, then what/where is the Netherlands?"); or when I tell people I speak Dutch, they say "Ooooh Deutschland ja?! So you're from Germany?"

Umm no, that's something else buddy haha! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 22nd 2009 No: 20 Msg: #60980  

I've also gotten questions about Holland and the Netherlands being two different countries


My boyfriend is Dutch and we often meet people that assume that the country has two names(the Netherlands and Holland).

I tell people I speak Dutch, they say "Ooooh Deutschland ja?! So you're from Germany?"


I suppose that can almost be forgiven, since Deutsch sounds so like Dutch. We get that one all the time too.

Umm no, that's something else buddy haha!


.......and you still want the bicycles back. 😉
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