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.
The Germans and British were noted for their lack of fashion sense. The Russians and the British scored low on respecting local customs.
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.
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:
“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.
“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.”
Clcik here for the online version of the article.
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.
Click here to see the cartoon.