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  #21  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:28
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

On the tram from Boudry to Neuchâtel late one evening, there were some teenagers being a bit boisterous and talking loudly in an Eastern European language. I was sitting opposite an elderly couple who were clearly annoyed by these noisy foreigners.

When the kids got off, the old couple started ranting about étrangers in general and "Yugos" in particular. Assuming that I would be a sympathetic ear for their xenophobic ranting, they roped me into the conversation. I replied politely without really getting involved.

The man, having worked out that I also had a foreign accent, said something like "You seem to be a nice person though, not like that lot. Where are you from?"

"Im from Kosovo" I answered. That shut him up straight away.
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  #22  
Old 04.10.2011, 14:31
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

When I lived in Northern Germany, I made a valiant attempt at learning the language and using it everyday. Unfortunately, my accent seemed to put up a wall of unfriendliness and unhelpfulness on many occasions....and I'm not the most Caucasian looking person around.

So, I changed my strategy and decided to start playing the card and began saying I was American and that my German was bad. I still conversed in German but all of a sudden it was magical how friendly everyone came across. Although still not the most Caucasian looking person, it was as if they were relieved I wasn't one of "them" - those "other" foreigners.

Racism & discrimination alive and well everywhere.
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  #23  
Old 04.10.2011, 15:37
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

Problem is Ploymi, is that so many foreigners do the ticket dodging thing (not the only ones I know, but)... and it gives all a bad name. People witness events like the one you describe and are a bit fed up about seeing 'them' getting away with it. It does not help, honest.
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  #24  
Old 04.10.2011, 15:47
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

It must be better in Geneva because the ticket cops in Lausanne are real douches--I got stuck with a big fine here (and their wrath at my lack of understanding) despite the system being opaque to outsiders.

I've not found that anyone cuts me any foreigner slack here. I get much more, "oh you poor baby!" sweetness when I travel in Italy, for example.

The first time I went to Migros, I didn't weigh my own fruit. (I always forget to do this when I come back from the U.S.!) But it was only like two bananas and she just did it herself at the register. I followed this up with a sweet and contrite desole (sorry) to which she responded with a vindictive "moi aussi" (me too)!

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Having had an interesting opportunity to play the foreign card last night, it got me thinking about how others might also take advantage of being an outsider.

Although it might earn me some groans, I think it's only fair that I start off by sharing my own story.

Riding on city transport last night, without a ticket , TPG staff suddenly stormed the tram. To get out of the 120 chuffs, I took advantage of my great ability to massacre the French language with a thick US accent (despite being fluent in French....well, Quebecois French ). Anyway, they soon became frustrated with the slow pace of our conversation and decided to let me off by buying a valid transport ticket for 3chf.

I'm sure some readers are shaking their heads, but in my defense, wouldn't you try to get out of a 120chf fine if you could?

I know, I'm terrible...

What are your foreign card stories?
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Old 04.10.2011, 15:54
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

As a Swiss, I played the foreign card in the UK walking the countryside. having been brought up in Switzerland, where the right to roam is a way of life- I often strayed off the footpaths and when admonished by a farmer, took on the strongest French accent to explain that I am Swiss and I didn't know, blablabla. Worked everytime- until some of them caught me twice with a few years apart

One of them was so taken aback, he invited me to his house to meet the wife and have a cuppa!
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  #26  
Old 04.10.2011, 16:08
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

When I was a teenager, I lived in Denmark and spoke fluent Danish. I was on my moped one evening without my helmet on and got stopped by the police. I just stood there saying "sorry I am English, I don't understand" very loudly and of course uber confidently given my age.

They eventually let me off without a fine which didn't happen very often in our area in those days.

I was very proud of myself but I never, ever did it again
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  #27  
Old 04.10.2011, 16:48
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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- until some of them caught me twice with a few years apart

One of them was so taken aback, he invited me to his house to meet the wife and have a cuppa!
That made me chuckle!!
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  #28  
Old 04.10.2011, 16:57
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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I'm financially constrained and see a gap where I can save myself some money, so I take the risk. In this case, I was able to escape but I do not suspect this will always be the case. I always pay the fare for longer trips.
And the difference between this and stealing is?? Paying the fare for longer trips, but not always for shorter, seems to be the difference between pocketing a small bar of chocolate at the supermarket, or walking out with a whole basket of unpaid for goodies. Is being "financially constrained" really a legitimate reason?
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  #29  
Old 04.10.2011, 17:42
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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Problem is Ploymi, is that so many foreigners do the ticket dodging thing (not the only ones I know, but)... and it gives all a bad name. People witness events like the one you describe and are a bit fed up about seeing 'them' getting away with it. It does not help, honest.
I'm not saying what I did was fair or legitimate. But, listen, if you could walk away from a 120chf fine scratch-free, ask yourself if you would do it. It wouldn't bother me if someone else used whatever excuse was under their belt to get out of it. Good on them, IMO.

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And the difference between this and stealing is?? Paying the fare for longer trips, but not always for shorter, seems to be the difference between pocketing a small bar of chocolate at the supermarket, or walking out with a whole basket of unpaid for goodies. Is being "financially constrained" really a legitimate reason?
The difference between this and stealing is that this service will be operating regardless of whether I ride it or not. I just hitched a ride. If I steal a candy bar, that is foregone profit for the supplier. Of course, me not buying a ticket is also theoretically foregone profit, but their service is being provided whether I take the tram or walk. And in any case, I don't do this all the time. I don't treat it as a free service, but I know that enforcement is relatively lax and I decide to take advantage of that. Different strokes...
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  #30  
Old 04.10.2011, 17:44
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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I know that enforcement is relatively lax and I decide to take advantage of that.
And you're proud of it, aren't you?
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  #31  
Old 04.10.2011, 17:44
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

Thought this thread was about playing jass.
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  #32  
Old 04.10.2011, 17:56
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

I don't think that you are using sound logic when you say that it's not stealing because the service will run regardless. Stealing is just plain old unauthorized taking. (I mean, I don't care, cause that's between you and Jesus--but, let's call a spade a spade.)

I could equally say that taking food from a buffet isn't stealing because they are just going to throw away the extra food. Or sneaking into the circus or a concert isn't stealing because they will have the show regardless.

Furthermore, most metropolitan transport decisions are made based upon the number of paid customers. If enough customers ditch paying, then the services will decrease.

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The difference between this and stealing is that this service will be operating regardless of whether I ride it or not. I just hitched a ride. If I steal a candy bar, that is foregone profit for the supplier. Of course, me not buying a ticket is also theoretically foregone profit, but their service is being provided whether I take the tram or walk. And in any case, I don't do this all the time. I don't treat it as a free service, but I know that enforcement is relatively lax and I decide to take advantage of that. Different strokes...
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  #33  
Old 04.10.2011, 17:58
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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Thought this thread was about playing jass.
Jass doesn't have a foreign card, unless it's an SVP jass, where the foreign card always loses.
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  #34  
Old 04.10.2011, 18:00
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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And you're proud of it, aren't you?
Of course I'm happy I got away with it. And yes I'm proud that I had the nerve to put myself on the line in front of authority. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. Yet I wish I were in a situation where I weren't nickel-and-diming every decision and picking and choosing where not to spend money. I'd love to not think twice about buying a ticket. As I said, I don't do it for the adrenaline rush. I make a rational decision, albeit risky, where I think I can save some cash.
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  #35  
Old 04.10.2011, 18:06
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

Who never made a mistake should pitch the first stone!

I am very surprise to see so many people on this thread who never ever took a free ride on a system or an other, no matter the situation or weight of ''how bad'' it was...

You are all going to heaven!
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  #36  
Old 04.10.2011, 18:10
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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Who never made a mistake should pitch the first stone!

I am very surprise to see so many people on this thread who never ever took a free ride on a system or an other, no matter the situation or weight of ''how bad'' it was...

You are all going to heaven!
Huh? Maybe we did, but we try to feel and not about it. I certainly don't see me as some kind of urban warrior who has "the nerve to put [him]self on the line in front of authority" because I don't buy a tram ticket.
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  #37  
Old 04.10.2011, 18:12
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

Chalk up every one who had a GA or an annual pass on that list and you shouldnt be that suprised
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Who never made a mistake should pitch the first stone!

I am very surprise to see so many people on this thread who never ever took a free ride on a system or an other, no matter the situation or weight of ''how bad'' it was...

You are all going to heaven!
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  #38  
Old 04.10.2011, 18:24
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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Who never made a mistake should pitch the first stone!

I am very surprise to see so many people on this thread who never ever took a free ride on a system or an other, no matter the situation or weight of ''how bad'' it was...

You are all going to heaven!
Look, I wasn't really judging until he felt emboldened enough to even deny it was stealing. Of course there are shades and degrees to everything, and different levels of seriousness in stealing (this one being rather petty).

But you can lie to the metro cops but you should never lie to yourself!
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Old 04.10.2011, 18:34
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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But you can lie to the metro cops but you should never lie to yourself!
OP was quite honest about that part!
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Old 04.10.2011, 18:43
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Re: Playing the foreign card - stories?

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OP was quite honest about that part!
I don't think he is being honest with himself. In fact, my only objection was to his coming up with an elaborate rationalization/justification about why it is "not stealing"...see his argument below.


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I'm not saying what I did was fair or legitimate. But, listen, if you could walk away from a 120chf fine scratch-free, ask yourself if you would do it. It wouldn't bother me if someone else used whatever excuse was under their belt to get out of it. Good on them, IMO.

The difference between this and stealing is that this service will be operating regardless of whether I ride it or not. I just hitched a ride. If I steal a candy bar, that is foregone profit for the supplier. Of course, me not buying a ticket is also theoretically foregone profit, but their service is being provided whether I take the tram or walk. And in any case, I don't do this all the time. I don't treat it as a free service, but I know that enforcement is relatively lax and I decide to take advantage of that. Different strokes...
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