Great Countries

Discussion in 'Community' started by MacManDan, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. MacManDan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2003
    All countries are great in their own way, but I wanted to know what you guys think about countries around the world that you've lived in, visited, or travelled through. This is not the place to argue with each other about why we THINK a country is great or why we didn't like it, but rather a place to share opinions and maybe let some people realize they might want to visit a country they normally would never have dreamed (dreamt?) of visiting ;) (that includes no political discussions please .. that's for a different thread)

    So without further ado, here is my list:

    Pros: My home country and where I've lived all my life. I love the country because it is what I am used to, and it's home to Apple :cool:
    Cons: Everyone else in the world seems to hate us. It's frustrating

    Pros: My father's home country and the butt of all my (bad) jokes. Great vacation spots from Cancun to Puerto Penasco all the way down to Tenochtitlan. It's a beautiful country and a great place to visit.
    Cons: I think it's considered third-world .. I couldn't live there because of so many political, technological, and economic problems they have. :(

    I haven't been there in so long I can't remember many details .. (it's been over a decade, and I'm only 18) .. I remember I thought it was a neat place though :)

    Pros: BEAUTIFUL country. It's just amazing. Vienna is awesome. Playing in their concert halls (I toured with my orchestra) was amazing. The acoustics in some of those places just blows me away. Very impressive. Oh! and the food was great!
    Cons: I was only there a couple of days, and I remember it being kind of expensive...

    Pros: Another really beautiful country. The history and landscape is just amazing. The autobahn is lots of fun ;) Lots of winding country roads to take your car to its max, and keep you smiling the whole time. The old castles are jaw-dropping (I forget the names of the two I visited). The people I met were really nice, I was very impressed with their hospitality.
    Cons: I couldn't learn German enough to converse with more people. Those winding country roads can make you sick if your tour/bus driver is a speed demon (especially when you're jet-lagged).

    Czech Republic
    Pros: Lots of history and awesome old buildings. Everything is dirt cheap (read: $4 for great beer and great steak .. not that I had any beer.. ahem..). My aunt (who married in to the family) is from that country.
    Neutral: The network TV programming is very different. I was watching the weather when a lady started stripping down, butt-naked, then getting dressed in her work clothes. Evening programming involves lots of leather-clad people with whips and spankings. heheh :)
    Cons: Communism ravaged the country. It's a mess .. and that's why everything's so cheap.

    That's all that I've been to that I can remember for now. I think that's about it though. :cool: So what about you guys (and girls)??
  2. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    Re: Great Countries

    Well since I have never left the US :( i can only say that it does seem to be the richest of countries, and as a whole better than many places economically, however I dislike America's stance as the world's police, and the fact that a lot of countries hate us...meh

    If I had money I would travel to some of the twenty spanish-speaking countries; most likely Spain, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua and probably Chile. That is my utilize my 3 years of spanish and explore the spanish-speaking world....Australia and Japan would be next....
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i've lived in the U.S., Japan and Switzerland. (Well, I lived in France, but very close to the Swiss border and actually worked in Geneva...)

    I absolutely loved Switzerland. I don't mind paying a bit more for cleaness and efficiency. All the trains are 99% on time, people are polite (little conservative and don't really open up to strangers, but...) and scenaries are beautiful.
  4. dstorey macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2002
    Did you work in Cern and live in St. Genis or Thoiry by any chance?
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    ha ha, as a matter of fact, yes. i worked at cern from 1999 to 2001 for my ph.d. i lived in st. genis...

    i had fairly flexible work schedule, so i took advantage of it and traveled a lot in switzerland. i also loved prague, but i was there for just a few days so i can't comment on how "great" the czech rep. is...
  6. dstorey macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2002
    I worked as a techie at Cern 2000-2001 and lived in Les Hautains part of St.Genis...probably seen you a frew times in the only bar in town, Charlies (well except that strange french bar no one ever visited)...though i mostly went out in the likes of Flanagans in Genf....didn't spend much time in france really.
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    USA is the country that is hated by many, but it's the country that everyone is trying to move to!
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    ha ha, i lived at les hautains too! my roommate and i called it the "projects" because it reminded us of cheap subsidised housing...

    back to on topic...
    many people want to move to the u.s. because working at min. wage in the states still beats their salaries back home. wanting to move doesn't mean they love the country/people/social infrastracture. and many people wanting to move their does not make a country "great."

    many people in asia wants to move to japan to work because in a month, they can earn as much as what they earn in a year back home. but i'm sure they don't appreciate japanese' generally closed minded attitude toward gaijins.

    i like the opportunities the u.s. provides, but i also don't like the fact some people take those opportunities for granted.

    [end of political statement... no more for me before it gets out of hand.]

    by the way, one non-political thing i don't like about the u.s. is its vastness. (which has many good things about it, but...) i'm in michigan and it's 4 hours away from one culturally rich city (chicago), which it too far. (not to mention the road in between are dead flat...) i like dynamic landscape (mountains, valleys, lakes, etc.) with many cultural cities close by. so that's why i loved switzerland.
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    Not true.

    The BBC did a poll about world perception of the USA and 96% of Americans thought that, given a choice of any nation, everyone in the world would move to the US.

    In actuality, only 14% of those polled said they'd move to the US given a choice of any country in the world.
  10. sketchy macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2003
    Richmond VA

    My wife and I spent out honeymoon in Italy.

    Rome was amazing in the historical standpoint, the architecture and museums are amazing. The people, on the other hand, were quick and busy. Some not so nice.. And the non licensed Taxi's were insane.

    Florence (Firenze) was worth moving to. After spending 5 days in Rome we went to Firenze. We spent 8 days there and started acting like "normals." Florence was very laid back, most tourists show up and try to hit all the important sights in one or two days. The Duomo, The Uffizi, David, the leather market, and the outdoor markets. then they leave.

    This is not how to visit a foreign country. We went to one or two things a day, spent a lot of time at each place and enjoyed what we saw and did. We would sit outside a restaurant and drink wine and watch people for an hour or so. We spent an hour or more for dinner and walked home drunk. And we walked, a lot, watched people, talked to people. Take to time to familiarize yourself with the language, taking a few steps to learn common phrases and friendly banter will go a loooong way.

    I can speak rudimentary Italian, and can order off an Italian menu. If you greeted the wait staff at a restaurant in Italian they gave you the Italian menu, otherwise you got the American/tourist menu. Some were the same, but many were different. Needless to say - the tourist menu was usually full of generic crap. and if they see that you cannot speak Italian very well, they will usually help you and speak English.

    (and Take at least One day and make no plans. just walk around, explore, get to know the nooks and crannies of the city.)
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    good call... when my parents and bro/sis visited me in europe, we had to do precisely what you described in florence.

    we enjoyed it but we really had to cram in the touristy things because we didn't have much time. i know we didn't really get to know florence but i value the simple fact all of my family was together as well... i'd personally love to go back and just hang out in florence...

    when my parents visited me in switzerland, i had scouted switzerland enough to plan their trip well for them. i mapped out all the train routes and the amount of time spent on each city so they'd get a good feel for the country.

    just in case you guys couldn't figure it out, i'm a swiss zealot. :D
  12. tpjunkie macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Well, countries I've visited... (I live in the USA, and enough has been said in this thread about it and I don't want to turn it into a political discussion) in no particular order:

    Canada - Great skiing, good exchange rate, and the drinking age is 18. What's not to like? Oh yeah, and its close (7 hours from home in NJ, 4 from school here in NY). Just got to get used to the "eh?" after every sentence :p

    Japan - Amazing place. When I traveled to Japan the exchange rate was very strong against the yen,, a dollar would buy you just over 125 yen. The people there were actually exceedingly friendly and polite to us "Gaijin" (which by the way is uesd as a derrogatory term). The electronics available in Japan when I was there two years ago are just now hitting the shelves in the USA. (Those cell phones with color cameras? Every high school kid had one) The food there is incredibly good, the one bad thing about it is it ruins Japanese restaurants in the USA for you. I have never had anything here that comes close. And Japanese TV? Its exactly as crazy as its portrayed on shows like the Simpsons.

    Britain - Well, I didn't spend much time in Wales or Scotland, so I'm gonna talk about England. England was a lot of fun, although the food was only so-so in most of the places I ate. For the money, you really couldn't beat a pub for quality vs price, although I have heard that because of the EU now, restaurants have become much better. The sights in england were amazing, I visited the tower of london, saw the crown jewels, I went to oxford, stonehenge, and Shakespeare's house, among many other things. Plus, I got to catch up on my britcoms on TV. I also saw "Who wants to be a millionaire" a year before it came out in the States. And some of the tv channels broadcast softcore porn after 10 P.M.

    Isreal - Isreal was a lot of fun, I went back in '94 though, so I was only like 11. We pretty much toured the place from the Golan Heights down to Eilat, and stayed in Jerusalem for about a week. I don't speak more than a few words of Hebrew, but most of the people speak pretty decent english. I'd say the sights in Jerusalem and the rest of Isreal were among some of the most impressive, with the Roman ruins, Judean ruins, and everything else to see.

    I was supposed to go to Italy senior year of High School for the bi-annual exchange trip we do, but that was pretty much canceled on the second day of school, 9/11. :( Now I'm trying to figure out where I want to take my term abroad, and I'm leaning towards Japan (It was just so cool!), Australia (beats the heck out of a winter in upstate NY), or Italy ('Cause now I'm starting to forget my italian, so, Io piace vado al Italia!)
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Cool, I love world culture-type threads. ;) I've been to lots of countries, but that doesn't mean I'd move to all of them.

    England - Ah yes, London. I may move there, who knows. I love the attitude. Its so much more laid back than in Canada and the USA, where everything is so politically correct and censored. You don't realize how smothered North America is until you've lived in England. The tolerance level on things is just so much higher.

    I've lived in Durham. It was *yawn*. :p

    Scotland - I enjoyed Edinburgh. I was there for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last summer (the largest Fringe festival in the world). It was spectacular, although it was pouring rain. :) It sucked. I'd live in Edinburgh or Glagow or something because it feels a lot like England.

    France - I'd move to France, but they'd hate you if you lived there and didn't speak french. I'm sure they're all tired of tourists, especially American tourists. I'm Canadian, but since I speak "like an American", my Canadian-ness doesn't shine through.
    Also, I make sure that I have a Canadian flag on my backpack or somewhere on me so that people know I'm not American. :p :cool:

    Austria - Very beautiful, very green. I wasn't there for long whatsoever (less than a day), but I only got a chance to visit the very very small town of St. Johann. It was great. I'd live there despite not knowing their industry and economy very well. The experience of living there for a year would be good enough.

    Switzerland - I didn't realize how dirty London and other cities were until I went to Geneva (and then back to Toronto). Canada really is clean!!, but so is Geneva.

    USA/Thailand/S. Korea/Mexico/China - They were all nice, great places to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there

    Hong Kong - It depends. I would live there, but I'd have to get a good job. Otherwise, the living conditions aren't the best.

    Concerning 12 or so Carribean Islands - They would be great to live at if you didn't mind NOT having a job related to your degree (Medical Radiation Physics), but great if you want to bum around as a waiter for a year. ;)
    Don't know what it would be like to actually live there, though. I've only been to the main, touristy areas. That's the problem. :eek:

    Australia - I AM moving there for about a year (from Feb 2004 - ??) to get my M.Sc. , so it should be fun. (YAY!!!!) :D :D
  14. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    usa...i love it for too many reasons to list

    japan...being a techie, i love the high tech gadjets and computers

    england...i enjoyed the history of the capitol when i lived there in 85

    wales, northern ireland...beautiful green countryside...unlike where i live which is mostly dry

    hawaii...not a country, but my paradise

    ps...thanks abstract, for pointing out this thread to me:p
  15. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I'm glad we offer something of value other than hundreds/thousnds of years of great history :eek: BTW, it's called Channel 5 (Brits will understand ;)) :D
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    That'll be Channel 5 then.... :p :p :p

    They'd broadcast it at breakfast if they could get away with it!! heh-heh!
  17. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    it's something of an institution isn't it.... :p :p :p :p
  18. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    When I went to Paris in 2001, I was actually surprized to find that while my French is mediocre, I didn't find that I they had (obvious) issues with me.

    In fact, my m.o. in French is to sort of do a quick run through in my head of how a certain conversation might go, then [approach shop owner/call bartender/whatever]. But my then-girlfriend would immediately shout "Excusez-moi" (the only thing she really knew) and then point to me when [whoever] came over. Hysterical. That one sure kept me on my toes.

    Paris -- city of lights. France has some greatness in it.
  19. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    LMFAO! Isn't it funny how we both thought of the exact same channel out of all that are available on Sat/Cable :D Just shows the crappy rep they have in the U.K, if you can pick the damn channel up that is ;) :D :eek:
  20. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    like there's any other choice for that late night freebie-fleshy-fix!! heh-heh!!

    and the next thing that came into my mind was "How'd the hell he get a picture??" :p :p :p

    I think it's because they have their transmitters hidden and driven around in the back of Transit vans just incase the broadcast authority trys to close them down!! :p :p :p
  21. thebossisback macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2003
    Providence, RI
    I live in Providence, Rhode Island and it is nice, but the houses here are too expensive. If you dont have $400,000 to buy a house than you are screwed
  22. Foucault macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2002
    Pasadena, CA
    PROS: Beautiful beaches, beautiful women, cheap beer, warm weather, and warm oceans.
    CONS: Humidity, overcrowded, too many hungry kids begging for food, dirty, and smelly.

    PROS: lots of ravers, people just wanting to have fun, great weed, nobody cares about anything, everbody wants to party, Full Moon Party, and Koh Samui.
    CONS: Too many phreaking tourists, lots of drug smugglers, and the water makes me puke.

    PROS: Eiffel Tower, beautiful french chicks, and croissants.
    CONS: Rude frenchies, nasty weather, bad food, bad body odor, and people speaking french.

    PROS: Tijuana, cheap liquor, beautiful beaches, beautiful women, tequila shots, and prostitutes.
    CONS: Some prostitues are guys, donkey shows, kids selling chiclets, horrible weed, and bad hangovers.
  23. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    isn't your town full of great schools for the kids?

    just curious...i read somewhere that it was one of the best for that as well as many other things

    in california, salinas was named great on all counts in two different articles i read as highest rated city in california...good weather, relatively low crime rate per population, racial harmony, highly rated schools, but strangely no four year universities within 15 miles of the city center

    i live near salinas in the general region around it, but i would rather live almost anywhere else but salinas...but salinas is whre the biggest businesses are, the car dealerships with the best prices, and the county court system

    when a survey says san francisco is a great american city, many agree that the outlying areas like marin county and burlingame are actually a better place to own your house...and then commute to the inner city in san francisco

    for los angeles, studio city and calabasas are nice townships near the inner city without the traffic, crime, and urban noise
  24. billyboy macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    Having travelled or worked for extended periods in Sudan, Nepal, California, France and England, and visited all over Europe, I am now living in and will hopefully never leave Castilla y Léon in Spain.

    It is for me the perfect mix of Africa and Europe, which isnt a bad combination. Africa is a continent that hits you straight in the heart and never leaves you. The sense of family, the strength of character of people absolutely living on the edge, and the wildness are amazing. On the other hand, although much about Europe is nothing to be proud of, (ie the state of Africa´s economy) the genuine freedom we enjoy as Europeans, as opposed to the illusion of freedom I felt exists in the States, and the 2000 year-old culture, suits me fine.

    You still have to slow down for the donkeys and goat herds crossing the roads, but there is every mod car and mod con you can ever need, and the cost of living outside Madrid and Barcelona means that it is still possible to live a very simple life outside the rat race, if you so desire.

    And BTW Channel 5 has nothing on the gooey offerings you see on Spain´s Channel 6 on a Friday night. ;)
  25. thebossisback macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2003
    Providence, RI
    Well yes, the private schools are good but they cost at least $13,000 a year and there is also Brown university. But as far as public school goes, they all suck here. They are overcrowdedand under supervised. At one of the local highschools, they have police in the lunchroom everday because there are always fights. And just last month someone brought a gun to school.

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