[LMB] foreign travel (was: Re: OT: Pronunciation of Megaera)

Katrina Knight kknight at fastmail.fm
Sat Jun 26 20:00:41 BST 2010

At 01:49 AM 06/26/2010 BlueRose wrote:
>Oh please! forgetting for a moment that thanks to the Interwebs 
>(by which we are having this conversation) that all those poor 
>parochial USians are more than exposed to the rest of the 
>world, I live on the other side of the world and I can tell you 
>that the accent most often heard here from tourists is the US 

When it comes to being exposed via the internet, you can lead a 
horse to water but you can't make it drink. Most people don't do 
much on the internet that exposes them to people from other 
places in ways that matter. People who subscribe to lists like 
this one with an international membership are in the minority. 
The vast majority of the people I know don't do things like 
subscribe to lists at all. They correspond with family members 
and friends they know in person and they do some web-browsing 
and talk about having a lot of mail if they're off line for a 
few days and end up with twenty messages waiting when they check 
their mail.

On the subjects of accents, I found it interesting that people 
didn't realize I was American, or at least not Australian, as 
soon as I opened my mouth in Australia. At various points I 
talked to a number of people who failed to realize that I wasn't 
from around there. The explanation I got for that is that so 
many people in Australia came from somewhere else that it isn't 
particularly noticable how they talk.

>Travel has never been as cheap as it is now, and I can tell you 
>for a fact its a hell of a lot more expensive to fly from NZ or 
>Australia to anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere cos of the 
>distance.  And yet one of your coasts is a mere hop from 
>Europe.  And the US dollar goes a hell of a long way further 
>than mine does - for every dollar you get a dollar plus 
>more.  I have to spend more than a dollar to get a US $ back.

Travel may be relatively cheap right now, but that doesn't solve 
the problem of people not getting much, if any, paid vacation. 
Even after years of working for the same company, the top amount 
of vacation time is often two weeks a year. Many people don't 
even get that. When you only get two weeks it is hard to find 
the time for long-distance travel. Too often it gets used up on 
family events of various sorts. I'm self-employed. If I don't 
stay home and work, I don't earn any money at all but most of my 
expenses don't just go away while I'm gone. I can afford to take 
time off with no income or to pay for traveling but not both so 
my traveling tends to happen either when someone else is paying 
or when I can figure out a way to get at least some money out of 
the trip to help cover expenses. Driving trips to other states 
sometimes get financed at least in part by doing computer repair 
work for friends while I'm away. I went to Japan for a week 
several years ago because my brother and his Japanese wife were 
living there and they paid for us to come visit. I got to go to 
Australia last year because the army bribed my sister re-enlist 
and she took me on a trip with the bribe. Even then, not earning 
money for four weeks left me poor for months. I'd love to spend 
more time in both of those countries, and a wide assortment of 
others I haven't been to yet, but I can't see it happening 
unless someone gives me a winning lottery ticket.

>  And then the US being as big and as varied as it is, you 
> could travel extensively internally and still never see it all.

I think this is the other really big reason why people in my 
country don't do as much international travel as some others. 
There are so many places to go without leaving the country.

Katrina Knight
kknight at fastmail.fm 

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