I must have written by now a hundred times that I love traveling, and I’ll repeat it yet again… because I do. Mostly entertaining I find some common misapprehensions and prejudices about foreigners, their language and habitat. Don’t get me wrong, such misapprehensions and prejudices are unavoidable, since no person is able to know about all cultures in detail. Yet it is amusing.
I compiled a list of 9 misapprehensions and prejudices which I find not only amusing, but which I encounter over and over again. Any suggestions or extensions of this list are highly appreciated and extremely wanted.
- The Netherlands is a German province – My all-time favorite, since I am a Dutch national and currently living in Germany. Believe it or not, The Netherlands is a recognized and separate country, with its own government and its own language. In fact, Dutch would almost have become the universal language of the United States… and they lost by one vote.
- They speak Chinese in China – Yes, and no. China has 9 official languages. If you’re traveling to Inner Mongolia, Cantonese Chinese is not going to help a lot. Mandarin Chinese is the official and political language of China, but it’s not spoken everywhere and by everyone.
- Paris is a country – No it’s not, it’s the capital of France.
- Europe is a country – No, it’s a continent.
- All Italians are members of the mafia – Sure, and so are Russians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, the Chinese, Romanians, Serbians, Albanians, Arabs, Nigerians, South Africans… you get the point.
- All there is on the Arabic peninsula is sand – Believe it or not, there are cities, coastal areas, roads…
- Germans all wear ‘lederhosen’ (leather trousers) – Sure, and they go to work like that, and they eat sausage and French fries each and everday day… actually many wear jeans and suits as well.
- Traveling to Brazil will get you killed – I have to admit, certain areas do not meet certain safety standards. But then again, the 192 million people living there seem to get along fine, and there are many areas in Europe or the United States I don’t want to be in either.
- They speak Spanish in Brazil – Not they don’t, they speak Brazilian Portuguese.
I’d love to read more…