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(Daily Mail)   Half a million Brits face ruined vacations due to huge passport backlog. Americans ask, "What's a passport?"   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 256
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5897 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jun 2014 at 10:04 AM (13 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-09 12:14:01 PM

walkerhound: wxboy: fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires

You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.

[4x4icon.com image 800x600]

/probably obscure for you


Yeah, I know if you really want to do it, you can get through.  You just have to hack your own path.
 
2014-06-09 12:14:10 PM

CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel



A high speed rail project would fix your problem.
 
2014-06-09 12:15:47 PM

H31N0US: Rigby-Reardon: Hub to hub flights occasionally be found for an unbelievably low price.

Not usually when the kids are not in school.

I had to get extra pages put in my passport at one time, because I worked in Hong Kong and made the most of the location.

I'm USA bound in NYC Metro now for economic and domestic (family) reasons. It is not for the lack of desire, it is because I can't take time off to fly around the world, neither can my wife.


I had a few friends who preferred travel to housing, so they became airline pilots. The pay is not as great as it was in the past, but they enjoy the benefits of the occasional several day layovers in foreign countries.
 
2014-06-09 12:15:54 PM
This reminds me, I have to call the passport office, because they lost my Certificate of Naturalization... At least they sent me the passport.
 
2014-06-09 12:17:09 PM

Khellendros: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And even if that's true, he's still right.  U.S. culture is varied, but in a fairly narrow band when you compare us to South America, Asia, or anywhere in Africa.  Even most of western Europe is radically different than anywhere here.


It's only narrow to the familiar. South America to a south american is also a narrow band, asia to an asian is a narrow band.
 
2014-06-09 12:18:41 PM
i.imgur.com

// As a Brit, Honolulu felt more like New York than Glasgow felt Istanbul.
 
2014-06-09 12:20:20 PM

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


Having traveled to Toronto earlier this year, I would say yes, you need a passport.
 
2014-06-09 12:20:59 PM

vudukungfu: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

yeah, I used to spend a lot of money in Canada.
Now, fark them.
They allowed us to pull that post 9-11 bandwagon patriot bullcrap.
fark them



is Canada now supposed to be the U.S.'s EA (Empires Anonymous) sponsor?
 
2014-06-09 12:22:59 PM

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.


Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?
 
2014-06-09 12:26:06 PM
Half a million Brits face ruined vacations due to huge passport backlog. Americans ask, "What's a passport?"

Why wouldn't we know what a passport is?  There's a lot of travelling possible in the USA, and just look at our two closest neighbors.  Just because we don't have a passport doesn't mean we don't know what they are.  Subby, it's like you and a mortgage or a car title.  Doesn't mean you don't know what they are.
 
2014-06-09 12:26:52 PM
Shouldn't the daily fail feel happy about this ? It means more British will see more  beautiful turquoise waters,or some bullshiat like the benefits street.
 
2014-06-09 12:30:42 PM
Personally, I hate it when I see someone from the U.S. who has never ventured far outside of their own hometown but can't wait to get to Europe or Asia. Not that there is anything wrong with going to those places, it's just that the U.S. is huge and varied (geographically and to a lesser extent culturally). I hear way too many young people (and Farkers) go on and on about how great Europe is while they have experienced virtually nothing in the U.S. We bought a travel trailer last year and have decided that our girls will see all 50 states before they graduate. When we travel, we try to find more obscure sites to see. State parks and national forests etc. We do hit more common tourist areas as well. My hope is that my kids will have an appreciation for this country, so they won't fall into the trap of believing that we are somehow inferior to the rest of the world.
 
2014-06-09 12:33:42 PM

fireclown: I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?


There are permanent ones. Like the one in Sarita, TX, where everyone stops. Fortunately, I had my green card with me, otherwise they wouldn't have believed I was an alien.
 
2014-06-09 12:36:38 PM

Fano: Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.

but the difference between France and Monaco? Or Germany and Denmark?


Or Greece and Norway?
 
2014-06-09 12:38:29 PM
Meh.  Other cultures are cool on TV.  I doesn't mean have to visit them.

/typical American, never had a passport
 
2014-06-09 12:40:52 PM

spittman: Personally, I hate it when I see someone from the U.S. who has never ventured far outside of their own hometown but can't wait to get to Europe or Asia. Not that there is anything wrong with going to those places, it's just that the U.S. is huge and varied (geographically and to a lesser extent culturally). I hear way too many young people (and Farkers) go on and on about how great Europe is while they have experienced virtually nothing in the U.S. We bought a travel trailer last year and have decided that our girls will see all 50 states before they graduate. When we travel, we try to find more obscure sites to see. State parks and national forests etc. We do hit more common tourist areas as well. My hope is that my kids will have an appreciation for this country, so they won't fall into the trap of believing that we are somehow inferior to the rest of the world.


I would only argue that young college age kids should take that opportunity to see the far reaches of the globe. Once they have their own family, job, responsibilities, etc. those trips are harder to take.

I agree that there is plenty to see in the US, but those trips are easier to take with their whole family later in life with the travel trailer.

I don't think a majority of Americans have an inferiority complex. I would say the opposite is true. Would maybe cut down on those we have poor people, why do we send aid money to X country posts I see on Facebook if people had a global view instead of a Merica, Hell Yeah! View.
 
2014-06-09 12:41:56 PM

mattberg: My uncle had some friends from France come to the states a number of years ago. The one lady was an English teacher, and taught her students about the states. They arrived in New York, and set off on a 3 week driving tour of the states. The teacher really wanted to see California, and could not understand why it was too far away to fit it into the trip. That is, until it was explained to her that driving to California would be like driving to central Turkey from her home. Then she understood how small and wimpy Europe is, and how large and kick ass the US is.


That's a variation of the tale many people claims to be true: dumbass Europeans come visit and expect to be able to drive from NY (or FL) to CA in a day. The story is apocryphal.
 
2014-06-09 12:46:35 PM

spawn73: dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.

No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.

Comparing different states to different countries is just moronic.


Sure, but Schengen != Europe.

Most importantly, the United Kingdom (the subject of this article) is not, in fact, part of the Schengen Area.
 
2014-06-09 12:50:48 PM

akula: ou used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport too. I did that when I was in high school. Different times then (heh, now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago this past spring... wow).


yeah, just flash a driver's license back in the day.

going to Mexico this weekend (puerto penasco, what what?).  had to get the kids' passports.  ours are from 2005 or so but only have a stamp from I think ireland.  i don't england stamped it.  fookin'ell wankers.
 
2014-06-09 12:51:05 PM

Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.
 
2014-06-09 12:51:26 PM

aerojockey: Meh.  Other cultures are cool on TV.  I doesn't mean have to visit them.

/typical American, never had a passport


That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.
 
2014-06-09 12:53:06 PM

stellarossa: That's a variation of the tale many people claims to be true: dumbass Europeans come visit and expect to be able to drive from NY (or FL) to CA in a day. The story is apocryphal


I would hear similiar stuff all the time when I was overseas. No big deal people are morons everywhere.

One time it really shocked me is when a historian from Turkey we were taking a tour from at Ephesus was planning on staying in philly when teaching at PSU. I explained it was a 3.5 hour drive, and he thought I was full of shiat, as they were in the same state.
 
2014-06-09 12:54:25 PM
more like

"what's a vacation?"
 
2014-06-09 12:54:43 PM

dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.   And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.


That hasn't been true for a long time f,or most countries in Europe just need ID what is acceptable differs slightly between nation i.e. between UK and Ireland then minimum ID like a driver licence is all that is required.
 
2014-06-09 12:54:48 PM

pkellmey: That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.


Ah, yes.  The Great European BeheadFest.  I remember it well.  It was a dark time...

/!??
 
2014-06-09 12:55:38 PM

akula


Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.


It's funny: some border/customs people try to place the egress stamp next to the ingress stamp, some look for a fresh page, and I think some look for the stamp of a country they don't like so they can stamp over it.
 
2014-06-09 01:00:05 PM

Englebert Slaptyback: akula

Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.


It's funny: some border/customs people try to place the egress stamp next to the ingress stamp, some look for a fresh page, and I think some look for the stamp of a country they don't like so they can stamp over it.


Very, very common in Southeast Asia

/I have a hard time proving I went to Cambodia
/Thanks, Thailand customs!
 
2014-06-09 01:04:19 PM

thamike: pkellmey: That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.

Ah, yes.  The Great European BeheadFest.  I remember it well.  It was a dark time...


Think "discos" and you'll realize it was a dark time.
 
2014-06-09 01:15:30 PM
Ya, no shiat "what's a passport?"... If I can't afford to drive to the Circle-K how am I suppose to afford to leave the country? Economy is toilet, prices of everything are higher than ever, good times?
 
2014-06-09 01:22:09 PM

Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:


I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.

FLMountainMan: It's completely wrong.  I think dittybopper began with a good point - that the lack of multilingualism or passport holders among Americans is less an indicator of American anti-intellectualism and more an indicator of differing geography, history, and culture.   But I think he went off course with the differences in culture.  I think there is a surprising amount of cultural variation within the United States, but I don't think it's nearly as much as the difference between, say, Big Stone Gap, Virginia and Phuket, Thailand.


You make a good point here, but there's less difference between NYC and Berlin, Germany.
I think that the important thing to realize is that US Citizens can, on average, travel further and experience more different cultures without ever needing a passport*, but by the same token getting to a truly different cultures costs proportionally more.

A North Dakotan who makes a winter vacation to Florida is traveling further than a UK Citizen visiting Portugal/Spain for much the same purpose.  There's probably less cultural difference for the US trip, but the distance is roughly double.  One doesn't require a passport, one does.

I could visit a different state or territory every year, visiting something unique each time, and never leave the country(except for flying over Canada to Alaska, international waters to Hawaii), for an entire career.  Surf in California.  Go dog sledding in Alaska(and see the Northern lights).  Visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, see the art in NYC, go gambling in Mississippi.  Visit Yellowstone in Wyoming.  Swing by the Hoover Dam on the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. So on and so forth, going by stereotype touristy things.

A lot of Americans essentially go to the same spots thought, but then again a lot of European vacations are 'go to the same beach resort every year' for numerous families.

I have a passport and have traveled internationally.  But visiting every state in the country would still be a substantial investment in both time and money, but a couple OOMs less than visiting every country in the world(and I have quite a few of those marked off).

*And if you really, really want different start visiting Native American reservations.

fireclown: What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.


It's a driver's license that also counts as proof of citizenship.  Basically you need to prove you're a citizen(with all the joy that that requires) in order to get one.  Some states required basically no documentation to hand out a license, so illegals reportedly got them left and right, and we can't have that because of terrorists.

Tigger: But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


I know I'm butting in, but I hooked onto Europe, not SE Asia.  In the USA you can get nearly as much cultural difference wandering between the states, while enjoying still speaking the same language, as you can wandering around Europe.

Going to Asia exposes you to a vastly different experience, but you can get even that if you visit certain enclaves.
 
2014-06-09 01:25:12 PM
CheapEngineer:
\I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel

Travelling via air is fine and efficient. 9-11 was 13 years ago, and security is not the hassle it is made out to be at just about any airport anymore. The TSA has done a couple of stupid things, but things have gotten smooth, and efficient for the most part in the security checkpoints.

Hell, the biggest issue with security these days is the morons in the travelling public who take 15 minutes to get their shiat through the scanner, and then walk through with various metal items all over their body.

Don't make up bullshiat excuses. Just admit you are too poor or are scared to fly.
 
2014-06-09 01:26:18 PM

thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.


Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

img.washingtonpost.com
 
2014-06-09 01:34:20 PM
Firethorn:
Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:

I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.



I work with several co-workers who talk about their extensive international travel, which is mostly flying to another airport and then proceeding to the ship so they can view coasts of other countries without actually requiring anything but minimal interaction with the culture. I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.
 
2014-06-09 01:37:48 PM

Rixel: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


Canada's population and cities are more diverse than the US, without question. However, I would agree that the US has greater regional differences from place to place than Canada. So in a way you could say that it is more diverse while being less diverse, if you know what I mean. :)
 
2014-06-09 01:39:12 PM

Rigby-Reardon: When my wife and I got married we decided to have the ceremony in Puerto Rico because it was about $300 round trip from Minneapolis at the time (lots of guests flying too, wanted tropical on the cheap). Miami flights were $100 more. Cancun was $200 more.


One thing to be aware of with 'lots of guests' is that it might actually be cheaper to charter a flight, and that way you fly directly to your destination and don't have to worry about baggage limits and such so long as you don't overload the plane.

I'd set the bar at no less than 50 though if you're looking at people buying coach sets.  Didn't make sense with 12 for a trip from Florida to NY(though I did check for my family).

It's really nice when it happens for work because I'm USAF and thus have generally have a runway less than a mile away to/from anywhere I go.  No transfers, no TSA, no long drives just to get to/from the airport.
 
2014-06-09 01:44:21 PM

Rixel: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


Yes.

I've banked at Canadian banks. I can even claim heritage there if need be. But the US extends from the tropics to the poles, has deserts and rainforests (both tropical and temperate), and ranges from alpine mountains to sub-sea level. Canada does not.
 
2014-06-09 01:49:37 PM

pkellmey: I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.


When I say 'touring Europe', I mean it.  We hit up a lot of the castles, but that's because I like castles.  We deliberately went for small bread&breakfast places, ate at local restaurants, etc...

Though I'll admit that sometimes food can be touchy and you want a taste of home.

And don't most cruise ships make regular calls on various ports where they let the guests off to see the sights and such?
 
2014-06-09 01:51:26 PM

The Southern Logic Company: monoski: The Southern Logic Company: It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.

You may know what it is but 3 months means you were doing it wrong.

When I finally got my acceptance for working in China I had 4 months to get my passport, get my approval from the PRC to get a visa and then get my actual visa.  I applied the day after my acceptance and mailed it off.  About a month later I got a letter from the State Department (iirc) saying I needed further information before they could process my passport.  I had it checked out by a lawyer and the document was legitimate; I had to provide more personal details including the hospital name where I was born, my Father's employment when I was born and then I had to list every address I have ever lived at for more than a month.  Boy, that was fun since my dad was in the Navy until I entered High School and I had moved 16 times total.

The process of getting my passport nearly cost me my job.  After paying the cost to have it expedited, getting approval from China for entry and paying a shady Chinese Visa processing company nearly 500$ so I could get the sticker in my passport I was two weeks late and had to cancel classes.  White Knight a more deserving agency next time.


That sounds like a mess. I don't knight for the passport agency at all, as with most govt agencies they are a mess. My only thought was there are expediters out there like attorneys who specialize in the crazy post 9/11 red-tape and if I needed one fast I would have started there.
 
2014-06-09 01:51:26 PM

pkellmey: I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.


Visit one in Delhi.  For real.
 
2014-06-09 01:51:40 PM

Firethorn: Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:

I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.


I chaperoned my daughter's middle school trip to Washington DC a couple of years ago. For some of the students in my group, it was the first time they had ever left my town.
 
2014-06-09 01:53:54 PM

uttertosh: spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.

not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.


Hmm yes indeed. That's a consequence of the Scandinavian passport union though.
 
2014-06-09 01:55:19 PM

thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.


Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.
 
2014-06-09 01:57:42 PM

Rixel: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

[img.washingtonpost.com image 850x418]


That's an interesting graph.  Got a link to the original article?  I'd like to see the methodology for measuring diversity.
 
2014-06-09 02:00:41 PM

Cheesehead_Dave: I chaperoned my daughter's middle school trip to Washington DC a couple of years ago. For some of the students in my group, it was the first time they had ever left my town.


There's a difference between a middle school student never having been out of town and a grown woman with children, getting ready to be a grandmother, never having been.

Meanwhile my family is strewn all over between New York, Florida, and Alaska.
 
2014-06-09 02:00:45 PM

Firethorn: ...
Going to Asia exposes you to a vastly different experience, but you can get even that if you visit certain enclaves.


Sure, you can experience Asian cuisines in the various Koreatowns, Chinatowns, Little Indias and so forth in major American cities. but nothing here can replace walking on the Great Wall of China (a lot steeper than you might think) or seeing the grandeur of the Forbidden City or the Taj Mahal for yourself. There's also the little cultural experiences that can't be replicated in the US, like  sleeping in labyrinthine squalor in Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong, or trying fried snake in the Taipei night market, traveling between rural villages in the :Philippines by jeepney.

Europe can wait til you're older because getting there isn't difficult and the cities can accommodate older people. SE Asia or India or North Africa really .should be done by the young who can handle the stress and the hassles more easily and who have the freedom to spend months backpacking
 
2014-06-09 02:00:55 PM

spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.


How did you reach that conclusion about Belgium and the USA? How does having a French speaking minority make Canada diverse?
 
2014-06-09 02:01:14 PM

Firethorn: Rigby-Reardon: When my wife and I got married we decided to have the ceremony in Puerto Rico because it was about $300 round trip from Minneapolis at the time (lots of guests flying too, wanted tropical on the cheap). Miami flights were $100 more. Cancun was $200 more.

One thing to be aware of with 'lots of guests' is that it might actually be cheaper to charter a flight, and that way you fly directly to your destination and don't have to worry about baggage limits and such so long as you don't overload the plane.

I'd set the bar at no less than 50 though if you're looking at people buying coach sets.  Didn't make sense with 12 for a trip from Florida to NY(though I did check for my family).

It's really nice when it happens for work because I'm USAF and thus have generally have a runway less than a mile away to/from anywhere I go.  No transfers, no TSA, no long drives just to get to/from the airport.


We did look into this, but we had guests flying from many different airports mainly Minneapolis and Chicago. 65 total guests. Did not make sense for us.

Now mother-in-laws round trip direct flight was $208.00 from Chicago to San Juan. Could not believe you could fly 2000 miles for that little. (4100 round trip).
 
2014-06-09 02:05:14 PM

spawn73: uttertosh: spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.

not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.

Hmm yes indeed. That's a consequence of the Scandinavian passport union though.


hmph... okay, you're correct about me crossing the bridge, but my standard ID card takes me to everywhere else (UK excluded), and I'm sure that the Danish driver licence allows Danes to do the same. The passports I hold I've only used to get into (and out of) the UK. The funny thing is that often when arriving back from the UK, I grab my bag and walk out without showing ID to anyone.
 
2014-06-09 02:06:45 PM

spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.


Yeah, I think bringing up the population discrepancies muddies the water.  Los Angeles and New York City are more diverse than Belgium and have about the same number of people.  Canada's "diversity", outside of a few metro areas, consists of honkeys vs. injuns or Franco vs. Anglos.
 
2014-06-09 02:13:04 PM
I love all the, my neighbor is from China, and I rode in a taxi which was driven by a guy from India posts.

Yes that is correct, you were in a car with a guy from India for 10 miles, now you can cross "see the Taj Mahal" off your bucket list.
 
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