Americans Are Not The Only Annoying Travelers, and Other Musings

C9B37BCF-8421-41F5-8796-03EE44B59278I’ve just read through several ,”What Not To Do”, articles for traveling in Europe. I have to say that I know most of what is being said as true, Americans can be so annoying. I spend most of my traveling sitting and hearing other annoyed travelers going off about things. I keep my mouth shut, cringe at most things, get off a bus and find a place to just have a good laugh. Really, what saddens me is that people spend so much time and money to travel, that they waste time complaining about the most ridiculous things. Yeah, the airlines misplaced my luggage last year, so there are some things that can really mess with your trip. However, there are bombings going on. Some of what you are complaining about is really trivial in the greater scheme of things.

Oh, and I do realize that the people of Ireland and the UK shouldn’t be considered Europeans unless they decide to be. People are from their countries, and have cultures quite their own.

In the summer of 2016, I spent a few weeks traveling in Scotland. Of course with my luck, both the Clockwork Orange and Scotrail were not running, one with improvements, the other with strike actions. When I was heading back to Glasgow from Oban, we were rerouted on a luxury tour bus. Could have been worse. I actually got the tour bus free, didn’t have to pay £100.00 for the trip. But from the minute I stepped in the Oban train station, I heard that classic, 60 plus year old woman’s, greater London accent on a dirge of sarcasm voice. I stared at the wall, the suitcase, anything to keep my face still and silent. I love a good sarcastic rant as much as anyone, but she didn’t know when to stop.

The bloody Scots can’t keep a train going. It’s a good thing Teresa May has just got in, she’ll sort this. We’ve paid good money…

I’m sure some similar conversation was happening on the East Coast of the US, somewhere about changes afoot, the state of traffic.

To give you some context, Brexit stage 1 had just happened, and May had just entered into office. The husband of the woman said nothing the next two hours of highlands travels around Loch Lommond and down Glasgow way. Probably best, he pretended sleep I think. I tried not to grind my teeth, put the music on. Listened to the Gaelic being spoken, imagining some of it was commentary on the “woman”. I fantasized for about 20 minutes out from Glasgow about the bus driver being overcome by the passengers, and the woman being put out. Then I though the bus driver might just do it himself, without any encouragement. Bus drivers are only so patient.

Two days later in the West End of Glasgow, I was sitting in a eatery and having an Americano, I made the mistake of being friendly with the Brit next to me. Honestly, I was wondering what had happened with the Brits I was meeting, it must be this Brexit thing? True, any one I met from the north (Liverpool and such) seemed just fine. I had had great encounters all over Scotland with Scottish people. I could just turn to a stranger, smiling and a conversation would just happen. The Scots are just so happy about their country and proud of living there, always a fun conversation on just about anything. I Just avoided talking about politics unless it was brought up. But when faced with a Brit in that age range of 55 to 65 last summer, from the south, it was utter sheer annoyance that I dared to talk to them. Sadly, it got to the point where I just listened to people before uttering a word, and well you know we Americans just smile too much, tried to look aloof instead.

Guess it was the summer of malcontent both sides of the pond. Was it the age group?

Traveling This Year 

I am a bit apprehensive about this past year and political events coloring tourism for me on this trip. I love traveling and meeting people, hearing about their lives if they care to share experiences with a stranger. I try not to be offensive, and I really do not consider myself as typical American tourist. I come from Northern California, not LA. Please don’t lump me in. I’ll try not to stand there in pure wonder over a geographical location or castle with mouth hanging open. But really, shouldn’t the locals enjoy such things and still wonder at them? I am just happy to see any of it still standing, given acid rain and all.  With recent terrorist actions, can’t we all just embrace one another? Smile?

I wonder how it will be after the recent American elections fiasco and political atmosphere? Will people think I voted for current government, I can assure you I didn’t. I am a non violent person and try to respect other people’s rights and countries, and assume that I DON’T know everything. Hate to have to go around and not talk to anyone.

Don’t Go On About Your Ancestry. It is Assumed That’s Why You Are There.

Yes, I will be really be spending time in Ireland this year, and work really hard to not be annoying and ask really stupid things. Yes, the Irish went everywhere and much of the US population does have a drop or two of the blood in us. Quite a bit on my mother’s side. Can you blame me for wanting to see the country? It’s been on the bucket list for years. So was Scotland, for the same reason. I am going back this year because Scotland just has so much depth, I barely scratched the surface on the last visit. It told me to come back. But no, I will not be silly and fake an accent. Why would I insult someone? I’m going because I stood with feet on the ground last year for 3 hours and smelled the air in Ireland. It told me I was home, why are you leaving?

I come from California, but I am not LA. So I think I know a little bit about being type cast. I am hoping that if I talk to people, kindred spirits will pop up and a solidarity of humanity will prevail. There’s enough going wrong in all our countries, and many people are displaced and seeking asylum. How about some solidarity and familiarity? Oh, and I promise I very rarely use the word “awesome”, and I cringe at the words “awsome sauce”. There are so many better words to be used in this world.

My Travel Thoughts This Trip

1. Last year I did indeed go to that country where one of my favorite tele series is filmed. I did not fan girl once or mention it to anyone at all. I went to visit the country and people.

2. I am contemplating bringing my MacCallum kilted skirt and wether to wear it in Scotland. Would love to have annoying Americans come up and start talking to me and see what happens. Honestly though, I wear the thing all winter here in Portland, and well summer too sometimes because well, it’s Portland. We wear kilts. We wear anything for that matter. Oh, and the women’s is not a kilt, true kilt is worn on the right and much deeper pleats (filleadh beag). And more women are opting for bespoke men’s kilts these days. Break that stereotype.

Think I could get away with it?

Galway, Bicycles (or other) — Sentence first

 

The photo below shows the western end of the prom in Salthill, a popular walking route near where I live in Galway. It’s local tradition to kick the wall on the right before turning around and retracing one’s steps; alternatively you can walk past the gate for further shore views across the bay to the […]

via Bicycles (or other) — Sentence first

Movie Tourism: Infinity War and Star Wars Last Jedi ReDoux

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Infinity War

Just a heads up, if you haven’t already read or heard, the Marvel’s Avengers series latest installment is filming in Edinburgh, Scotland this month. Lucky enough to be traveling there this month? Keep eyes peeled in Old Town. Lucky bystanders have already seen a few characters in the streets and their stunt doubles. If you missed out on the hit series Outlander that finished filming there just recently, you can check out this film crew and if you are lucky you may spot some stars. Plus, if it’s like all the Trainspotting 1 and 2 unofficial signage I found, someone will put up a posting on some pole telling you what scenes were filmed there. Last summer I walked the unofficial Trainspotting walk. Sadly my next trip is in summer and I won’t get to see souped up spandex running around, sigh.

So how do you get to know where filming is taking place and when? In previous posts I have told you that most counties have film boards and if you keep up with checking their sites before you go, you can find out ahead of time. The country or specific city you are traveling to just may have a film or series being shot there. It’s film tourism, and a lot more people are doing it.

Many people visit a country or place after seeing it in a film or series. Movies are great tourism boosters. Countries can benefit from fees charged for filming locations and permits, in the millions with permits. Plus it’s one very big tourist advert they didn’t have to pay for. Local papers will run stories and yes, many people love to be extras. You can travel the world and be an extra if you have the right CV and set up. Great way to tour by working your way through extra  work if you can line up enough gigs and have the right visas. But this film tourism can have some drawbacks for your everyday traveller. If you had planned you visit well in advance and suddenly something you had wanted to cross off your bucket list was being used for filming, you may be really unhappy when you show up. A castle you planned on seeing may be covered in movie set. I happen to think this is fun, and many do. Oh, and don’t forget the housing. When a production rolls into town, they have to house actors and many extras if the extras aren’t all local. Some extras know local “extra” friends and well, bunk up. But suddenly you have hundreds needing housing for a film and there’s no room at the inn. Book ahead.

But if you are a purist, you should check any historical site you plan to visit prior to going. So, check with local film boards and filming locations websites. Do a query on filming in “blank” country or city and see what you can pull up before your trip. Most people love watching the filming and hoping to catch a glimpse of the magic world of entertainment. Hey, you may get lucky and get an autograph if you collect those.

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But if You Are a Star Wars Fan…

Danger there is…

So the new installment of the franchise, The Last Jedi, has wrapped on filming in Summer 2016 and in production. However… there are reshoots! What’s a reshoot? Just like it sounds. A film in production decided it needs rework or extra work to get it just right. So that means you actor tourists can get another chance at this one. Filming for the reshoots begins in May-June in both Ireland and Scotland, so check out. If you are a theatre major or just thought you would have fun, try getting on at https://www.universalextras.co.uk/.

And always wear your super suit, I do.

Star Wars Last Jedi Reshoots and Extras (May-June 2017)

Avengers filming to generate £10m for Edinburgh (Now)

Spider-Man’s Tom Holland Talks Filming Avengers: Infinity War

On Location Vacations Caters to those who like to know where filming is taking place for big films and future release news. Keep in mind that smaller or non-blockbuster American films may not get mention here so still check with a country’s film board.

British Films Directory

Irish Films in Production

Scottish Films Film Bang Directory. If you are curious how companies film in a general area, check out film directories like this to give you a glimpse in the industry.

Film Studios also list what is in production and have press releases. Check them out:

Pinewood / Shepperton / Teddington Studios

Ealing Studios

Elstree Film Studios

Wardpark Studios, Scotland

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden

Longcross Studios

3 Mills Studios

Wimbledon Studios

Ardmore Studios (Ireland)


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