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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    International Differences that Fascinate You

    So, I've been drinking rather heavily (I've been doing well at my new internship, I've got plans for the weekend, and I had nothing else on the schedule, so don't be so judgmental) and I got to thinking: foreign people are interestingly weird. Now, that may sound like American hubris, but I'm genuinely interested in what makes other nations' people different and characterful. All of our TV shows seem to assume that we are only interested in things that we find weird about other countries, and not the other way around. Since RPS has a very active community spread across multiple nations, I thought this would be a great place to ask some frank (but ultimately inconsequential) questions about other nations and let others ask their own. Please, no politics or warmongering!

    1. Why is French cuisine so good? Also, do you really eat that much pork and salads, or have I been misled by the travel package I used?

    2. What is the Chinese taboo against skeletons and/or undead? I've seen this in news stories multiple times, and I'd love to know what the big deal is.

    3. Last (and again, I'm somewhat drunk) why are British men so hot? You people live on a small island nation with notoriously bad weather and awful teeth, but you really turn my crank. You should all look like Gollum-esque bog creatures! There are dozens of other countries with better climes, lower alcoholism rates, and sexier accents, so why are your men so friggin' attractive?

    What about you guys? I know the "cookie v. biscuit" thing has been well-covered, but are there any weird American foibles you'd like to know more about?
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 01-06-2012 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    You should all look like Gollum-esque bog creatures!
    Try visiting Norfolk. That's where we keep our bog creatures.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    1) Spices. All the most recognized culinary cultures of the world are adept in the creative use of spices.
    2) Who doesn't have a taboo against the dead?
    3) YMMV. I don't find Brits particularly interesting to look at.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  4. #4
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    Number 3 is actually the result of a fifteen generation long breeding program enacted by Her Majesties Secret Government. It was enacted back when the Empire was in full swing with the intention of overawing native peoples and bally foreigners with the sheer manliness of our diplomats, soldiers and international men of mystery. Indeed the length of the Empire is largely attributed by most reputable scholars to the Foreign Offices ability to have a man who looked good in a tan suit whilst drinking some form of alcohol overawing the natives.

    After the first world war, however, things took a turn for the worse as the supply of dashing young chaps had been severely depleted due to the failure of "Plan Debonair", which called for the british army to walk slowly and confidently across no man's land led by their thoroughly irresistible officers. Unfortunately the plan was an unmitigated disaster as without the proper beauty care products even the famed British Army's officer corps could stay absolutely ravishing amid the mud of flanders. The result was a massacre.

    During the second world war the boffins in charge of the project rightly suggested that putting such men into harms way again would only damage the morale of the average fighting soldier, who would rightly be distressed to see their beautiful officers cut down in their prime. Thus there charges were instead mostly confined to work in propaganda films. Roles which would later lead them to Hollywood after the empire had collapsed and budget cuts forced them out of work here in blighty.

    For a while it looked like the program would be shut down altogether, but thankfully the Cold War came along, and with it the opportunity for documentary films to follow the latest batch of stunning young men as they jetted about the world, using the same names and code names to confuse the enemy. The documentary footage was later released as the OO7 series of films.

    Indeed for the last thirty years or so the program has been increasingly focussing it's efforts on exporting it's creations to America as stars of stage and screen. Those of you who indulge in conspiracy theories may be aware that there are some who suspect this thirty year effort has been little more than a means of indoctrinating the world to respect and fear suave and beautiful British men so that when the culmination of the breeding program is reached the entire world shall willingly bow before the kwisatz haderach, or as he's known in the lab, The Perfect Chap. But frankly I think that's farfetched, just like claims that British actors are made to portray villains is actually an attempt by the opposition to reveal Britain's dastardly ploy to unite the planet under a second tea soaked empire.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BwenGun View Post
    Number 3 is actually the result of a fifteen generation long breeding program enacted by Her Majesties Secret Government. It was enacted back when the Empire was in full swing with the intention of overawing native peoples and bally foreigners with the sheer manliness of our diplomats, soldiers and international men of mystery. Indeed the length of the Empire is largely attributed by most reputable scholars to the Foreign Offices ability to have a man who looked good in a tan suit whilst drinking some form of alcohol overawing the natives.

    After the first world war, however, things took a turn for the worse as the supply of dashing young chaps had been severely depleted due to the failure of "Plan Debonair", which called for the british army to walk slowly and confidently across no man's land led by their thoroughly irresistible officers. Unfortunately the plan was an unmitigated disaster as without the proper beauty care products even the famed British Army's officer corps could stay absolutely ravishing amid the mud of flanders. The result was a massacre.

    During the second world war the boffins in charge of the project rightly suggested that putting such men into harms way again would only damage the morale of the average fighting soldier, who would rightly be distressed to see their beautiful officers cut down in their prime. Thus there charges were instead mostly confined to work in propaganda films. Roles which would later lead them to Hollywood after the empire had collapsed and budget cuts forced them out of work here in blighty.

    For a while it looked like the program would be shut down altogether, but thankfully the Cold War came along, and with it the opportunity for documentary films to follow the latest batch of stunning young men as they jetted about the world, using the same names and code names to confuse the enemy. The documentary footage was later released as the OO7 series of films.

    Indeed for the last thirty years or so the program has been increasingly focussing it's efforts on exporting it's creations to America as stars of stage and screen. Those of you who indulge in conspiracy theories may be aware that there are some who suspect this thirty year effort has been little more than a means of indoctrinating the world to respect and fear suave and beautiful British men so that when the culmination of the breeding program is reached the entire world shall willingly bow before the kwisatz haderach, or as he's known in the lab, The Perfect Chap. But frankly I think that's farfetched, just like claims that British actors are made to portray villains is actually an attempt by the opposition to reveal Britain's dastardly ploy to unite the planet under a second tea soaked empire.
    I was actually going to edit my original post, as when I sober up I will assuredly be embarrassed. But your response must remain, sir. The truth must be known.

    @Nalano: I said British men. I don't have any opinion on British women, so unless you meant to be more specific in your response I don't know that it entirely answers my question. Frankly, I believe the answer is that I like skinny white guys with a certain level of wit, and this particular combination is, for whatever reason, produced in England at higher rates than in other nations.
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 02-06-2012 at 12:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    @Nalano: I said British men.
    Them too.

    Supercilious snots. :P
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I like this thread because
    Quote Originally Posted by G.K. Chesterton
    in international relations there is far too little laughing, and far too much sneering. But I believe that there is a better way which largely consists of laughter; a form of friendship between nations which is actually founded on differences.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    A frankly bourgeois concept, Berzee. Thing is, most people are more or less okay with most people, but you can imagine why there are plenty of governments out there who would rightly harbor deep resentment against the United States or, for that matter, the United Kingdom.

    I mean, the general view that Americans are loud, brash, uncouth, violent bible-thumping bumpkins is more or less on key. :p
    Last edited by Nalano; 02-06-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Something that confuses me about Americans is how illogical phrase adaptations came to be prominent. For example, "all Xs are not Y," when it is meant that "Not all Xs are Y." Or, "I could care less" when what is meant is "I couldn't care less." It's so obvious when looking at them that the opposite is what is meant, it confuses me that the wrong version gained a foothold.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Because it isn't at all cliche for a Brit to castigate Americans on their usage of the language. ;)

    Also, funny pic. (Funnier comments)
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  11. #11
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    We worship idols. Fun times.

    I am deeply amused by the general American portrayal of Communists as blood thirsty, godless people who would kill off their entire family without the slightest tinge of remorse. Because those are not Communists. They are homicidal maniacs.


    Also love Americans when they defend the disreputable actions of soldiers in Iraq, as "understandable"..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathPig View Post
    Also love Americans when they defend the disreputable actions of soldiers in Iraq, as "understandable"..
    Then you must love pretty much every country that has been in an armed conflict. Americans may be the biggest assholes in the world but the rest of world does try its best to keep up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Then you must love pretty much every country that has been in an armed conflict. Americans may be the biggest assholes in the world but the rest of world does try its best to keep up.

    Of course. The recent news from Africa about blood diamonds, and slave runners keeping and raping sex slaves, hacking off limbs when the feel like it, and making children fight, had me wonder at the spate of our planet, and the people in it.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathPig View Post
    Of course. The recent news from Africa about blood diamonds, and slave runners keeping and raping sex slaves, hacking off limbs when the feel like it, and making children fight, had me wonder at the spate of our planet, and the people in it.
    Speaking of ridiculous armed conflicts, how's fighting in the mountains working for ya?
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  15. #15
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    Pakistan and India are talking about withdrawing troops from the glacier after about a hundred Paki troops got killed in an avalanche.

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    Siachen?

    As the above post says, complete demilitarisation of the glacier id being planned, after an avalanche pwned an entire Pakistani camp.

    However, issues like terrorism keeps popping up. That said, the only reason India and Pak are holding onto the glacier is for the LoC, since the whole conflict there was based on the fact that some Pakistani maps showed up with their LoC over Indian territories.

    And at the rate the talks are going, both parties will be like "When you pack up and go, we'll follow suit" as neither of the parties trust each other enough. The cost of upkeep is ridiculously high, and the overall fatality rate on both sides just not worth it.

    Other issues have cropped up with the US wanting to initiate a naval base at Bangladesh, as a part of it's programme to keep China in check.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    Just to clear things up by international we're talking about the next town over, right?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathPig View Post
    since the whole conflict there was based on the fact that some Pakistani maps showed up with their LoC over Indian territories.
    Uum... you do know that more than 40% of the Kashmir region is under Pakistan's control, which until the 1980s included the Siachen glacier, and has its own president, prime minister and stuff, right?
    Last edited by Shane; 02-06-2012 at 09:38 AM.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    The OP said "Fascinate". I just feel like the full scope of that word has not yet been explored here. =P
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Uum... you do know that more than 40% of the Kashmir region is under Pakistan's control, which until the 1980s included the Siachen glacier, and has its own president, prime minister and stuff, right?
    Right, my bad again.India made the first move on Siachen. Not the other way round. And the lame defense for this movement by politicians was "Pakistan used to be a part of the Mughal Empire"

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