There's been a series of ads for a local (Texas) bank with a fat, cigar-smoking tycoon who constantly refers to the region as "The Pothandle" (actually, it's the Panhandle).
Similar concept. People come in from somewhere and assume they know everything important about a place and prove they're ignorant every time they open their mouth.
When my sister came here to visit a few summers ago, all of her friends commented about the lovely alpine country around Taos (Over 100 miles north of here). If it weren't for the lack of lions, leopards, elephants, etc., this part of america would resemble the Serengheti. Except we have fewer trees. And the land is flatter.
I passed through NM about 25 years ago. Very flat and Dry. Nice in that it was very different from what I was used to. The only other country I've been in was Canada. Liked it too, but wouldn't want to winter there.
------------------ Here I Come To Save The Day : Mighty Mouse
[This message was edited by The Excalibur on March 18, 1999.]
I've been in a little over 1/2 of the States in the United States, and I'd have to say that my favorite is Arizona (I _LIKE_ it dry and hot.)
Been to Canada, which had a lot of nice folks and an excellent Shakespeare theatre in.. Toronto< I think it was (been a while). When I lived in Erie PA for two years, Canadian TV was the only place that showed TNG, and also reruns of good ol' SCTV.
Financial considerations (and the fact that I have phobias both of airplanes and cruise ships) have kept me from travelling farther abroad, but I hope to visit the UK (primarily Scotland)sometime in the next few years after my folks retire.
Unfortunately, the concept of a country that's been settled for longer than 200 or so years just boggles the American synapses. To view as much continuous history as one can find in the smallest European village requires one to travel to at least three states in America.
Europe is more densely populated than most of the states, as well. From my own (somewhat limited) exposure to Germany, I determined that a traveller would be hard pressed to find anyplace he could throw a rock that would not result in injury or property damage (I exaggerate, but only a little).
To reassure himself that he hasn't landed on another planet completely, the American tourist seeks out signs of home -- typically a McDonalds. It isn't haute cuisine, but it is a taste from home, and has a calming effect (until the indigestion begins).
I imagine the European tourist may go through the same mental process upon finding himself in the hinterlands of America. Unfortunately, there aren't very many restaurants in America that offer the European traveller the tastes of home. Long John Silvers' probably doesn't offer "real" fish-and-chips and I've looked for years to find my favorite German dish, and have yet to find anything like Jägerschnitzel.
Ah, there is nothing like driving through 20 miles of National Forest with the only intersections being secondary roads and dirt roads to estates deep in the woods. The only thing that seperates you from the nature is, Your car, the road, and those invasive powerlines and poles.
------------------ I'm the only one who understands me, and I ire of my company. --Paul Cargile
We are called the Dutch because the British were stupid some centuries ago, and confused us with Germans :]
We are called The Netherlands because we are so low. We are called Holland because we are so hollow. Of course, we call ourselves Nederland not Netherlands, but then we call London Londen and Paris Parijs..
All ye Americans come to the sceptr'd isle of Britain. We speak a language sufficiently similar to your own to usually get the meaning across.
Also, everything is much closer together. I can hop in my car, here on the west coast of Scotland, and head East for about an hour and a half, to arrive at the East coast. In comparison, America is so vast it's overwhelming.
And when I visited America a few years back, it was very alien, but once I turned on the TV I felt much happier. I seem to recall one of the first nights of my stay was a soothing therapy of Mission Impossible, First-run Voyager, and then a late-night MASH.
Although I did keep giggling at the evening news, but I can't help that.
------------------ "Those are tonight's headlines..... God, I wish they weren't." - Everyday THE DAY TODAY!
An hour and a half to cross from one side to the other, Montgomery? That's a little hard to picture for a Canadian like me. To get to my hometown of Kelowna from Vancouver (where I attend university) is a four hour drive (or longer in the winter), and that's not even half way across the province!
Not to seem to be bashing Americans here (although it seems to be becoming a national past time here now), we often get a good laugh from the, er, lack of general knowledge of many Americans. One of my friends once told an american down south that he was from British Columbia, and immediately was asked why he didn't have a British accent. I could, of course, go on for a long, long time at all the ways the United States government annoys me (not the people, mind you). But I think every country has a stereotype of some sort, and so being Canadian I guess I'm supposed to be quiet and polite
All I can say is don't let the actions of a few misguided people (or complete idiots) set an image for an entire country.
------------------ "Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you." -Commander Riker, USS Enterprise