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(Chicago Sun-Times)   If you're being kidnapped and the hostage takers ask "Who here is an American?", don't raise your hand   (suntimes.com ) divider line
    More: PSA  
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28915 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Oct 2005 at 4:36 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-10-03 05:38:59 PM  
2005-10-03 05:17:41 PM SumoJeb

Would you Americans please stop pretending to be Canadians when you travel. You are starting to give us real Canadians a bad reputation.

---

Nah. We won't be happy until you're hated as much as we are, ha ha and there's nothing you can do about it!
 
2005-10-03 05:42:05 PM  
"Carry a second wallet, with expired credit cards and other documents and a small amount of cash, that you can hand over if mugged."

Sounds like my normal wallet. :)
 
2005-10-03 05:45:45 PM  
SuburbanCowboy: Passport, cash and credit cards in a sling inside my shirt.


Note to self: Mug SuburbanCowboy
 
2005-10-03 05:49:49 PM  
The four or five Americans I met when I was last travelling all introduced themselves thus; "Hi, I'm from America butIdidntvoteforBush."
 
2005-10-03 05:50:22 PM  
That second-wallet tip is actually kind of useful. Even better if you print up some counterfeit money and put it in there so they get busted when they try to use it.
 
2005-10-03 05:50:53 PM  
Another reason not to visit France:

Warning: Graphic image
 
2005-10-03 05:52:00 PM  
I used to work as a military contractor. We had to go through anti-terrorism training once a year. The purpose of the training was to give you some basic tips and advice to help you stay out of trouble in the event of bizarre situations.

Among the advice:

- If on a plane that gets hijacked, conveniently lose your military ID by dropping it next to the seat, stuffing it in a seat-back magazine, etc. There is no good reason to have them find it on you and realize you're working for/with the government. It will not help.

- When choosing a hotel room, consider one between floors 2 and 7. The first floor is dangerous because of the potential for car-bombs or intruders on foot; higher than the 7th is dangerous because most ladder trucks used by fire and rescue teams don't go past the 7th story. If you're too high up and there's a problem on the ground, you may not be able to get out.

- If you manage to identify members of a foreign security or intelligence service, do not harass them. It will not earn you brownie points. Just do your normal thing and try not to give them a hard time.

- Keep abrest of local developments and for fark's sake stay away from things like local political demonstrations, mob actions, etc. The police in other nations do not handle incidents the same way that our police do.

- Whether traveling for personal pleasure or on government business, assume that the hotel room you are staying in is bugged. Don't go looking for the bugs - finding them will only irritate the security service that's monitoring you. Just assume they are present and react accordingly. No sensitive business shall be conducted in the hotel room.


- If held hostage remember that our special forces have a good track record of getting people back alive. Don't volunteer information, do not reveal state secrets, but at the same time don't try to antagonize or "outwit" your capturers. You are not in the position of power. Wait it out.

We also got an interesting rundown on Stockholm syndrome and how people in captivity can warm to an attacker; as such we were told never to discuss political ideology or religion if captured. Stay away from talking about your family. Talk about neutral subjects as needed to pass the time. Wait for rescue.
 
2005-10-03 05:52:55 PM  
bullshiat


Someone asks "who here is an american" I'd be stepping forward... like an olympic sprinter in a jousting match.

you don't go passive on these bastards... you have to meet them head on with violence. Don't wait for them to manipulate you or your country into worse damages, jump their ass and try to take them out. Groin, solar plexus, eyes and neck. If you kill one before you die you've done the world a service. There's not a rambo-terrorist on earth that can deal with more than 2 americans at once. We're bigger, meaner, tougher and faster thinkers than 90% of the people they recruit into these schemes. Even dead you do damage to the terrorists. If they kill you in front of the others, you'll have shown the rest what the worst will be and they will lose their fear of the unknown.

Think of this... only 450 people would have died on 9/11 if people on all four flights had simply started kicking windows out. There weren't enough terrorists to stop them.

Do not submit.
Do not surrender.
Do not appologize.
You are Americans from the United States, defend yourselves AND your future through your actions.
 
2005-10-03 05:53:52 PM  
#1 rule of travel.

Dont be an asshole.
 
2005-10-03 05:55:41 PM  
GodsTumor
When I was in France, I didn't have a problem with anyone. The only time you should have a problem is if you're rude or you demand they speak English to you first. If you try to speak French and butcher it, they'll be more apt to talk in English to you (if they know it) because at least you tried. If you remember you're in a different country, you should be fine.

The place I had problems in Europe is Italy. I had a problem with some men near the Pantheon, twice. One girl in my group got her money and passport stolen literally from right under her in Florence, and I met a guy from Michigan who was mugged at an ATM in Florence. It got to the point where my friends and I would just speak whatever German or Spanish we knew when we felt it necessary not to stick out.

My cousin is getting married in Germany next summer. I hope that I won't have any problems there.
 
2005-10-03 05:59:20 PM  
As a Canadian, I doubt anyone could give us a bad rep by claiming to be one of us. Good, bad, I don't think we really have a reputation. We are not a target only because CNN wouldn't cover it. Most US media outlets have strict instructions to ignore all things Canadian. :-)
 
2005-10-03 06:02:18 PM  
"Change rooms once you arrive at a hotel, in case employees are conspiring with kidnappers to target wealthy people."

Umm, how do you change rooms without letting the hotel employees know??
 
2005-10-03 06:05:18 PM  
On a plane? I'll be damned if the hijacker makes it three seconds past "This is a hijacking" before his ass is tackled.

Taken hostage somewhere else, meh, if they kill me, they lose the bargaining chip. Just relax, understand the possible outcomes, clear conscience and all that jazz, and wait.
 
2005-10-03 06:06:10 PM  
Remembering that hijacking.. I forget the name (70's or early 80's). One where the PLO took over a couple of planes then landed them somewhere (Jordan or Egypt or somewhere) before letting off the hostages and blowing up the planes. Anyhoo... An Israeli was caught flushing Israeli passports down the toilet for obvious reasons. Pretty sure he was promptly shot and flung out the door.

Got a friend who is born and bred British but holds an Israeli passport (Mother served as a General in Israeli Army). She's only 23 but soon learned not to travel abroad on an Israeli passport - As far as anyone's concerned abroad, she's British. Likewise my sister holds American and British passports - not Jewish, Protestant Scots/British. She consciously decides to travel on her British passport.. Not so many folk are pissed off at us as they are Americans..
 
2005-10-03 06:07:20 PM  
mindbomb33: But the news tells me the whole world hates me.

Ok, there are some farked up people out there that DO hate Americans - Osama, his buddies and a whole bunch of people in a country we invaded (I'm not forgetting Poland here!) spring to mind. But on the whole I'd say (and remember I'm English) that the only thing anyone outside of the States hates about the U.S. is the government. People are just people the world over - most of them seem to realise that and will take you at face value regardless of your accent. They may, in conversation, disagree with your governments actions but that does not mean a hatred of you.
Fark has a great "Cheese eating suddender monkey" attitude to the French but I'd say that Normandy has more "Stars and Stripes" flying than most U.S. states.

/Go figure
 
2005-10-03 06:10:06 PM  
xaveth: That's disgusting. If that's true - and I am obliged to doubt it due to the source - but if it is, anyone who does that should be euthanized, and I don't care what their nationality is.
 
2005-10-03 06:12:06 PM  
deklund: Just don't go into a restaurant and order "CRAYpes". That seems to be their pet peeve over there.

I have found that just making the smallest effort to speak French/Italian/German etc is greatly appreciated and will excuse any obvious mis-pronounciations.

I make the effort even though we have Agincourt to rememeber
 
2005-10-03 06:12:20 PM  
duffman - until you get caught printing up the counterfeit money. I'm sure the officer will have no problem with the excuse, "But I'm doing it because I'm travelling abroad."
 
2005-10-03 06:14:44 PM  
xaveth: Another reason not to visit France:

That's like saying "Well, America controls Iraq and they saw off peoples heads with combat knifes there. Better not go to Wisconsin any more!"
 
2005-10-03 06:19:53 PM  
prowler8: I have found that just making the smallest effort to speak French/Italian/German etc is greatly appreciated and will excuse any obvious mis-pronounciations.

Learning the basic pleasentries of a country you are visiting will go a long way. Remember the phrases for please, thank you, and a couple of greetings are very helpful.
 
2005-10-03 06:21:35 PM  
Ah, in terms of the French..

As long as you aren't English you're fine. I remember going to France every year for holiday with my Mum and Dad and brothers and getting this reaction everywhere we went :

La Francais Dude : (upon hearing "English" being spoken) "Etes-vous anglais ??" with a serious frown and a face like thunder.. (Are you English?)

My Dad : "Non nous sommes cossaiss" (No, we are Scottish)

La Francais Dude : (Massive smile breaking across his face) "Aimeriez-vous une boisson ?" - (Thank christ for that, would you like a drink?)... sure he used a few NSFW comments beforehand..

Worked every time..
 
2005-10-03 06:21:36 PM  
prjindigo: bullshiat

I'm as patriotic and non-passive as they come, but you're exactly the kind of person that I wouldn't want anywhere near me. You're more likely to get yourself killed, rile up the terrorists, and maybe get me killed in the process.

Fark that. Your your brain. Listen, look, lull them terrorists into complacency. If you think you're going to die anyway and many more innocents might go with you, then certainly fight back. But you should wait for the time when your actions can be most effective and you have the least to lose.
 
2005-10-03 06:21:42 PM  
All the Americans I have met around Europe have been pleasant, intelligent and moderate. However when I have visited the US I meet the type of people that gleans the USA it's stereotypes. Obtuse, ignorant and repugnant people abound. There aren't too many of them though, just more than other countries. I guess they don't travel...or travel turns then into pleasant people.

Oh and the thing about the world hating America... it's not the people at fault for the most part. The leadership and politicians are an embarrassment to their country, their disrespect, short sightedness and hypocrisy do not do the US any favours.
 
2005-10-03 06:25:43 PM  
deklund

Just don't go into a restaurant and order "CRAYpes". That seems to be their pet peeve over there.

and

TheHappyCanadian

jeez, I'm glad I'm not the only person who pronounces it as krepps


Actually, in Paris I found that they are happiest if you say "craps."

/Not making it up, for a change.
 
2005-10-03 06:31:28 PM  
oldebayer

Further to the the Crepe thing.. Asking an Italian for BrusSHetta instead of BruSKetta - soft "ch" instead of harsh "sk" (even tho it's spelt Bruschetta) is liable to get you shot - or um.. looked upon as a Nazi.

Even in Glasgow (Lot of Italians in Scotland) that one has nearly led to a fight.. Will forever remember there is no shiat in bruschetta..
 
2005-10-03 06:34:51 PM  
TheRealShadowspawn: yea, uh huh.

people SAW a fighter jet that day, and i guess people believe that a 4 ton engine can roll uphill. for 8 miles. after impact. and be intact.



and i suppose the pentagon was blown up from inside and we never landed on the moon?
 
2005-10-03 06:40:17 PM  
"No speako englisho"
 
2005-10-03 06:43:28 PM  
Less likely to have French spit in my food.

Great, we liberate the French from the Germans and now they spit in our food. Next time they'll just have to start getting used to Oktoberfest in Paris.
 
2005-10-03 06:43:29 PM  
2005-10-03 04:46:32 PM FishyFred

To those claiming Canadian citizenship to save themselves (at least save themselves some trouble): I vacationed in Mont Tremblant this summer and I would not be able to understand how someone could fail to tell the difference between an American accent and a Canadian accent. It's HUUUUUUGGGE. Eh.


I thought the same thing until I moved to the mid-atlantic.

/minnesooootan
 
2005-10-03 06:55:58 PM  
OR HOW ABOUT WE AMERICANS AS A WHOLE JUST BITE THE THROAT OUT OF KIDNAPPERS, PROTESTERS AND JUST ABOUT ANYON ELSE THAT GOT IN OUR WAY, SURE A FEW OF US WOULD DIE AT FIRST BUT THEY'D START TO CATCH ON PRETTY DAMN FAST.
 
2005-10-03 07:00:04 PM  
#1 Stay at home and mind your own damn business! Problemo solved.

#2 If you can't manage #1, join the Army.
 
2005-10-03 07:11:47 PM  
Paranoid_Android
#2 If you can't manage #1, join the Army.

Join the Army, visit new places, meet differently coloured people, kill them.

//I'd take an aisle seat on my one way trip to hell, but what if it gets hijacked?! :)
 
2005-10-03 07:20:43 PM  
prowler8: That's like saying "Well, America controls Iraq and they saw off peoples heads with combat knifes there. Better not go to Wisconsin any more!"

Not really, because the jurisdiction in Iraq is mixed. There's lots of ambiguity as to what America controls, what the Iraqi government controls, what the clans control, and what the insurgents control. However, make the same argument five years from now, and I'd blame the Iraqi government (assuming it's a stable entity).

moonspirit: That's disgusting. If that's true - and I am obliged to doubt it due to the source - but if it is, anyone who does that should be euthanized, and I don't care what their nationality is.

I agree with you (RE: the lack of credibility with the source)... I hope we're right.
 
xia
2005-10-03 07:21:26 PM  
... "CRAYpes"....

... krepps ....

..."craps."


You mean it's not "creeps"?

/don't touch my food, man
 
2005-10-03 07:23:18 PM  
Well, here's my observations on the international relations thing:

In Australia, people were polite and friendly when they found out I was an American. They were polite and friendly before, so I don't think they really cared. The only time they weren't polite and friendly was when they were drinking, which is when I almost met death by misadventure (although they were being friendly even then)

A couple New Zealanders were extremely friendly when they asked, 'Mate, are you a Kiwi?' When I said I was an American, they were embarrased but still friendly, as if I'd just admitted to having Down's Syndrome or something.

The Thai were extremely friendly all of the time. Thai women are both hot and friendly.

The Saudis seem to be very friendly when they're trying to sell you something. Other times, not so much.

Of all the places I've been, the Swiss of all people seemed to be the most unfriendly, although that was in a 'You dumb American, you're too stupid to comprehend the depths of my loathing for you' sort of way.

I don't get the Swiss thing either.
 
2005-10-03 07:24:39 PM  
Ain't Islam great?

See: www.thereligionofpeace.com
 
2005-10-03 07:33:34 PM  
In Australia, people were polite and friendly when they found out I was an American.

That's because the Aussies love us.

We could announce plans to invade Australia and they'd send troops to help us out.
 
2005-10-03 07:38:29 PM  
Shadowlore
Don't you think it's likely white Christians have killed more people than Muslims? A quick look at your profile shows you think the 'war on terror' (or whatever it has been officially renamed) is purely in self-defense. Isn't it possible that our (i.e. the west) interference has caused at least some of those deaths listed on your linked site?

I gotta scoot off to bed now, sorry I can't stick around for a fight ;)
 
2005-10-03 07:38:52 PM  
xaveth: Not really, because the jurisdiction in Iraq is mixed. There's lots of ambiguity as to what America controls, what the Iraqi government controls, what the clans control, and what the insurgents control. However, make the same argument five years from now, and I'd blame the Iraqi government (assuming it's a stable entity).

Ummm, 130,000+ troops in country would kind of indicate the U.S. running the place - in name at least. How many French troops in Reunion Island?

toraque: I don't get the Swiss thing either.

Try Austria for really farked up!
 
2005-10-03 07:50:08 PM  
Shadowlore: Ain't Islam great?

I might be stupid, but I can't figure out how this is in any way related to the article or the discussion. Did you just ejaculate this into the thread because your random Muslims fantasies gave you a little stiffy?
 
2005-10-03 08:01:32 PM  
In Europe, I found that people don't really care you are American. As long as you aren't being an asshole, it's not a big deal. If I was just chatting with someone and they asked where I'm from, I gave them an honest answer.

However, if you somehow find yourself in a bad situation, you're Canadian.

I was lucky enough to not put myself in any bad situations, so I didn't have any problems.
 
2005-10-03 08:06:03 PM  
j_hat-Some parts of Africa are very nice places to visit. I was just there 2 years ago visiting Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa and didn't have any trouble.

You, sir, are an anomaly. Not so sure about Zambia, but both South Africa and Tanzania have extreme crime problems. Hell, I think I'd rather hang out in Detroit...
 
2005-10-03 08:07:28 PM  
Why are so many Americans so afraid of the rest of the world? If you have half a brain in your head and don't vacation in the middle of a war zone, your likelyhood of getting taken captive is about the same as getting hit by lightning while simultaneously winning the lottery.
 
2005-10-03 08:24:32 PM  
As a yurpean I must say I love meeting septics (septic tank = yank). Like it or not, you do tend to stick out; something to do with attire. And I include mr./ms/mrs "hey I'm too coool to stick out" dude.

Americans abroad, favourite to least favourite:

Jewish
Hispanic
Southern hick
Californian (yes, the cliched-type)
African-American
Midwest
Jo and Betty Loud
 
2005-10-03 08:28:42 PM  
svejker_14
Awwww man, can Chicago have special placement out of 'Midwest' seeing as we are an island of city in the ocean of soy farms?

Pweeze?!
 
2005-10-03 08:32:11 PM  
And so I went into the restaurant. And I say I wanna da crepe. The waiter say go to the toilet. I say I no wanna da crepe in the toilet, I wanna crepe on the table. He say get out, you sonna ma bich.

By the way, I have never heard anyone ever pronounce New Jersey as "Joisey", aside from those mocking the accents. The strongest accents I've heard from the north of the state sound more like "Jeh-zee" to me; from the south of the state it sounds like "Jurr-zee".

Or, to put it simply, north New Jersey = New York City accent, south New Jersey = Philadelphia accent.
 
2005-10-03 08:37:47 PM  
NEWSFLASH!


Driving from your home to your office is more dangerous than visiting the middle east.
 
2005-10-03 08:40:24 PM  
Looscannon

svejker_14
Awwww man, can Chicago have special placement out of 'Midwest'


No special treatment. Sorry.
 
2005-10-03 09:10:40 PM  
JuicePats: That's because the Aussies love us.

We could announce plans to invade Australia and they'd send troops to help us out.



Sad but true. I think you'd find though that there is significant anti-American feeling amongst the populace here. Not so much on a personal level, but just because our government has sold out to the Yanks, and because our culture is slowly losing out to MTV-McDonalds-Starbucks-"Cookies"....

/when this whole Bush-Howard ting blows over
//can we still be mates??
 
2005-10-03 09:36:22 PM  
When you're doing something embarrassing, pretend to whisper this to your mates loudly, "stop it, don't embarrass CANADA!" Then introduce yourself as American, it works most of the time.
 
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