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  #41  
Old 16.12.2010, 11:57
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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dude...

3 words: Dukes Of Hazzard
Daisy Dukes Shorts
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  #42  
Old 16.12.2010, 12:18
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Hmmm... between Daisy Duke's shorts and vocabulary confusion, I can't decide if I'm terrified or excited...
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  #43  
Old 16.12.2010, 12:33
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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What enormous social mistakes should I avoid?
Don't stand up in a restaurant and announce to the table that you're "off to t' toilet."

Unless you're prepared to handle the hard stares and mumbled, "What's upset him?"s.
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  #44  
Old 16.12.2010, 12:33
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Hmmm... between Daisy Duke's shorts and vocabulary confusion, I can't decide if I'm terrified or excited...
as long as it is not you wearing them....

I knew I saw that somewhere...


Last edited by Ouchboy; 16.12.2010 at 12:48.
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  #45  
Old 16.12.2010, 12:39
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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dude...

3 words: Dukes Of Hazzard
Apparently you can get all 7 seasons on a single box set DVD collection

Apaprently, so I have been told
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  #46  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:04
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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and vocabulary confusion, I can't decide if I'm terrified or excited...
Just learn to pronounce yeh, nah, dunno, uh-hunh, unh-unh, uh, eh, shur, ok, WTF, whoa and whut all about the same, and you'll be fine.

...on the other hand they may all be on their tippy-toes attempting to speak the Queen's English, so as long as you don't smirk, snicker or choke and spew your percolated coffee, all the honors will go to you.
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  #47  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:06
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Avoid anything, verbal, mannerism, dress, anything, that could ever so remotely be taken as ghey.
I'll have to second this. The distinction between "amusingly camp young man" and "screaming queen (who may or may not burn in Hell but more importantly who will never give us grandchildren)" is not commonly made. You don't have to glower or be ostentatiously macho - but don't ever lithp unleth you mean it.

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In a restaurant, it's considered bad manners to eat everything on your plate (not that you could anyway).
Instead, adopt the local custom of allowing the restaurant to pack the remaining left-overs on your plate so you can eat them cold for breakfast.
...but do eat all the food at home, and take seconds if possible. Your new MIL will be mortally offended if she gets the idea you don't like her cooking. (Don't worry, whenever it is my turn to set the table I will sneak you one of the smaller plates. That way you can take thirds and really ingratiate yourself.)

I would add: about the exchange rate / cost of living. Unemployment is still around 15% where you're going; nobody wants a Swiss millionaire (or even a thousand-aire) swanning around exclaiming over the treasures he can get for a few paltry glass beads. It's OK to explain that you are buying X because it is cheaper here - makes you look appropriately frugal even - but don't go on about how much cheaper. Buy your stuff, save your receipts and exult about them once you are safely on the flight home.

Admire the old stuff (and by old I mean anything pre-1920.) They will be anxious to show it to you. Europe is seen as chock-full of "history" and "heritage" and "culture" and Americans can be a tad insecure about that sometimes. And by Americans I mean your new FIL.

Bone up on the stereotypes about neighboring states, particularly those to the south and east (you know the ones.) Foster the impression that these states' inhabitants' particular shortcomings of character and heredity are common knowledge in Europe. Do not under any circumstances get these states mixed up with the one you are in.

This part of the country is full of Irish and Germans. Most of the Germans have been here for 150 years or more, so you can probably mention the war; Oliver Cromwell is a riskier proposition. By the way, Margaret Thatcher is well loved and not a word will be heard against her. The best you can say is that she presided over some probably inevitable but extremely painful social changes at home and that the English are 'a bit conflicted' about her because of that.

You'll be fine!
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  #48  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:12
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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I'll have to second this. The distinction between "amusingly camp young man" and "screaming queen (who may or may not burn in Hell but more importantly who will never give us grandchildren)" is not commonly made. You don't have to glower or be ostentatiously macho - but don't ever lithp unleth you mean it.

...and never ever evar, nevar, ever mention Rock Hudson the fallen hero role model, or any movie he ever played in...and while your are at it, skip Doris Day for the sake of your own sanity.
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  #49  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:16
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

They still unconditionally luuurve Tony Blair.

And after Christmas dinner, if you fancy a smoke - do NOT say you are going out because your are desperate for a fag (yes, done that!). And if they admire your pants, it does not mean they've xray vision. If you are off for a walk, they might offer you a fanny pack to keep your banana and picnic!

Surely the Germans will be of Lutheran stock, so should be on Cromwell's side?
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  #50  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:27
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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They still unconditionally luuurve Tony Blair.

And after Christmas dinner, if you fancy a smoke - do NOT say you are going out because your are desperate for a fag (yes, done that!). And if they admire your pants, it does not mean they've xray vision. If you are off for a walk, they might offer you a fanny pack to keep your banana and picnic!

Surely the Germans will be of Lutheran stock, so should be on Cromwell's side?

The Irish are the ones with the Cromwell hate.

A German Irish mix, drunk and efficient.
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  #51  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:35
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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You'll be fine!
Frustrated

Insecure

Neurotic

Emotional
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  #52  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:03
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Get used to drinking piss water beer. UNLESS, your in-laws are in relative distance to a micro-brew resturant. Then you should find some of the best beers on earth. God I miss American micro brew
Eat lots of smoked ribs, steaks and Mexican food. Then pay the tab for the whole family and it should be cheaper than a dinner for two anywhere in CH.

Oh, and bring a small travel size portion of vasaline. This will be used shortly before you get to immigration, customs, TSA, DHS....etc,etc.

Bring your marriage certificate and you and your wife can go through the U.S citizens line. 60% of the time it works everytime with my Swiss wife.
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  #53  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:11
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Learn the difference between:

Ye'all

And

All'ye
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  #54  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:16
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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60% of the time it works everytime with my Swiss wife.

I'm confused....
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  #55  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:20
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Bring your marriage certificate and you and your wife can go through the U.S citizens line. 60% of the time it works everytime with my Swiss wife.
Hadn't a clue!
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  #56  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:49
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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There's quite a lot of America-bashing on this forum, which is all fine and dandy, except I've got to go there next week, and I'm starting to get a little worried. I won't be in New York or Los Angeles or anywhere fancy like that, but a small town in the Mid West where, I'm told, it's quite chilly at the moment.
Enjoy yourself. The Midwest is loads of fun...

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  #57  
Old 16.12.2010, 17:02
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Thou shalt recite a few Bible verse, in Old King James, preferably from the Pentateuch.

Prepareth thyself to answer questions about the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zepellin.


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Avoid anything, verbal, mannerism, dress,
And on this point..

Admit not to any affinity for fine wine. That is strictly for the turtleneck wearing crowd, not real men. Talk about beer! And how you like it 1 degree above the freezing point.

Last edited by Phos; 16.12.2010 at 17:25.
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  #58  
Old 16.12.2010, 18:27
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

Be bland, easy-going and polite at all times.
A part from pleasant smiling it's cool not to show much emotion
Do not have any strong opinions, especially political, religious or financial or anything too liberal (your future depends on it)
Quiet smiling appreciation at the dinner table with compliments to the cook (the food is always delicious so 2nds and 3rds will not be a problem)
Offer to wash up. They probably won't let you, but they won't forget that you offered either.
Inquire about what your wife used to like as a child. Most new in-laws do love to tell family stories. Show interest in the family tree.
Do spend a few hours looking at the old photo albums with mil or grandma (those acquired brownie points will last you a life time)
Do enjoy the ball game with Dad and brothers (brush up on their favorite team first)
Do ask them how they would like to be named and do not be surprised by their (perhaps) very old-fashioned response. There's still a lot of Mr & Mrs, Sir & Ma'am, Mom & Dad (for in-laws) in conservative country
Praying before dinner is common (and expected)-

Most of this applies at the in-laws but also when they take you out to introduce you to their friends and family.... they now have a proper British gentleman in the family.

Do enjoy, people are genuine in the midwest and they are very friendly.
They will like you very much

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  #59  
Old 16.12.2010, 19:35
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

'n don't be sceered now.

Just shut off the motor, toss the keys out the window 'n place your hands flat on the dashboard in plain view.

Yule be fine.
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  #60  
Old 16.12.2010, 20:45
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Re: America: Why it's brilliant, and all that.

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Talk about beer!
I would really, Really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY advise against following this particular bit of advice.
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