Sunday, July 1, 2007

Spain’s Sunday News Highlights: Who are more undesirable - French tourists, cats, dogs or politicians? Read and decide!



Fresh from reading El Pais and El Periodico at the beach, here are some of the items that struck me:
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Hoteliers Fear French Tourists and Idolize the Japanese.
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(By the way, this article had me, and the French friend who was with me, howling!)
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According to a survey of European hoteliers by GfK for Expedia, the Japanese are the favorite tourists, while the French — well the article said, “son groseros, quejicas y no se adapten a la cultura del lugar que visitan.” (They are rude, complaining and do not adapt themselves to the culture of the places they visit.)
.Where the Japanese were considered polite and interested in local culture and cuisine, the French were generally described as poor tippers who refuse to even try to learn a few words of the language of the host country and who show little interest in trying local culinary specialties. Only in fashion consciousness did they excel, along with Italians and Spaniards.
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The article also pointed out that the survey broke with some sterotypes; namely, that of American’s as arrogant and not interested in other languages. Although Americans ranked highest in the category of complainers and were seen as the worst dressers, they were ranked number one in the categories of trying to speak the local language, interested in trying the local cuisine and tipping.
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The Germans and British were noted for their lack of fashion sense. The Russians and the British scored low on respecting local customs.
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All-in-all, the top 5 tourist groups were: 1. Japanese; 2. Americans; 3. Swiss; 4. Swedish and 5. Germans. At the bottom of the list of 28 nationalities were: 24. British; 25. Russians; 26. Chinese; 27. Indians and 28. French.
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The article then had an interesting postscript about a Japanese doctor who has identifed something called the Paris Syndrome. Here is my translation of what was written about this condition:
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“That the words thanks and please have almost disappeared from the dictionaries of the French is not only verified by the GfK survey, which was carried out in April. It is also verified, with genuine fear, by the Japanese that land in the French capital. The cultural clash that occurs between the code of reverential conduct and hyper-respectfulness of the Japanese visitors and the aggressiveness and lack of courtesy of many waiters, sales clerks and Parisian cabdrivers is transformed, in some cases, into an illness that has been named the Paris Syndrome by Dr. Hiroaki Ota.
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“Each year he diagnoses about twenty cases among subjects of the Chrysanthemum Throne who visit the city they idealize as the mecca of culture and love. Auditory and visual hallucinations, feelings of persecution, confusion, anguish and even depression are some of the symptoms. There are some who do not overcome the clash. In the most serious cases, he opts for hospitalizing and repatriating the patient.”
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Clcik here for the online version of the article.
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This country is going to the dogs - and cats: Sticking with El Periodico and surveys, in an article entitled The Spaniard, tolerant of pets, another poll found that 53% of Spaniards interviewed were in favor of cats and dogs being allowed in hotels, restaurants, beaches and other public places, while another 37% thought this should be allowed as long as the animals behave themselves.
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Both El Pais and El Periodico had a lot of coverage of the agreement reached among the 27 EU countries on a new “treaty.” El Periodico claimed, “Europe Unblocked with Concessions to Poland” , while El Pais announced “Europe Regains Its Pulse.”
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El Pais described Merkel as having played the bad cop and Sarkozy the good in negotiations with Poland at the meeting of EU leaders in Brussels this weekend. It reported that Germany threatened to leave Poland out of future negotiations on the treaty by the Inter-Governmental Conference Group if President Kaczynski continued to hold up the agreement. The paper claimed that Merkel’s forcefulness, along with Sarkozy’s skilled negotiations over the telephone with Prime Minister Kaczynski (who was in Warsaw) were key elements of a successful strategy. It also cited efforts by the PMs of Spain, Britain and Luxembourg: Zapatero, Blair and Junker.
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Tweedele Dumb and Tweedle Dumber: The Kaczynski brothers are increasingly depicted in an unfavorable light in much of the Spanish media. A cartoon in today’s El Pais depicted them wearing identical police officer uniforms and interchangable scowls while looking down at a pair of ants on a beach. The caption read: “Polish police check with horror on the promiscuous nudity of ants on the beaches of the Baltic sea.”
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Click here to see the cartoon.
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And that’s all from me from Spain for now…

Copied from original http://myspainblog.wordpress.com/ posting by Carloz on 24 June, 2007

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