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Does anyone have any first-hand experience with Gypsies? I'm preparing for a trip and it's really bothering me that I'm seeing so many warnings about "thieving gypsies." People actually advocate immediately shouting at anyone approaching who looks Roma to get away from you, especially small children in groups. I started to read these people's physical descriptions of gypsies and they don't at all sound different from how racists in America would describe Black people. These same people recount with glee witnessing police brutality against these people.

Is this just white hysteria and prejudice? Clearly, I am aware that not every single gypsy is a thief, I just want to know if they present a valid threat to my safety. To hear some people tell it, gypsies primarily make their money from stealing. I want to be aware of what to look out for, but I don't at all want to fit the "ugly American" stereotype.
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Travelling to Europe eh

I would not worry so much about the Gypsies as about the racial backlash against all visible minorities in Europe at this moment.

I would trust a Gypsie with my wallet the same as i would anyone else- I wouldn't. Your safety is your responsibility, so make sure you pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you, just by being aware will reduce the likelyhood that you will be a victim.

oh have a safe trip.

You could do what some Americans do and display a Canadian flag on your person and luggage(its the international symbol for saying that you are polite, respectful and mostly harmless) Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Blacksanction:
I would trust a Gypsie with my wallet the same as i would anyone else- I wouldn't. Your safety is your responsibility, so make sure you pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you, just by being aware will reduce the likelyhood that you will be a victim.


I'm pretty street smart after living in New York, but the gypsy tactics are unlike anything I've ever heard or been faced with before. I speak Italian, so I'm not too worried about not understanding what is going on around me, I just want to be prepared.

Are there Roma in Canada, Blacksanction? I don't think I've ever seen a gypsy in the US. At least not one dressed in traditional clothing.

quote:
oh have a safe trip.


Thank you Smile

quote:
You could do what some Americans do and display a Canadian flag on your person and luggage


No way! I'm not ashamed to be an American. I just want to avoid some of the less culturally-sensitive behavior people demonstrate when they visit places. And sometimes it's the Canadians "showing their ass," but anyone speaking English is automatically lumped into the Ugly American category! laugh
Frenchy
"Are there Roma in Canada, Blacksanction? I don't think I've ever seen a gypsy in the US. At least not one dressed in traditional clothing."
- yes they run some scams re frauds, and short changing stores (i.e. they ask you to change a 50.00 but by the time everything is done you're 150.00 in the hole). Ohh trust me they have been in America for a very long time (they are very clannish).

And sometimes it's the Canadians "showing their ass," but anyone speaking English is automatically lumped into the Ugly American category! - so true but in Florida its the older French-Canadians who usually engage in the boorish behaviour> i have no idea why people have to be such arses when they go away- if it were up to me the would be a special deportation rule for assholes.

PS I was not trying get you to be ashamed of being American, however there are lots of Europeans who hate Americans due to you government's current foreign policies. Apparently Canadians are not loved in the Caymans due to some shady business dealings.
quote:
i have no idea why people have to be such arses when they go away- if it were up to me the would be a special deportation rule for assholes.


Agreed! Big Grin

quote:
PS I was not trying get you to be ashamed of being American, however there are lots of Europeans who hate Americans due to you government's current foreign policies.

Oh, I understand! I wasn't taking offense. tongue
Have a safe trip, Frenchy. WHere are you going?

And from what I've read, your instinct is right about the stuff you've been hearing. Every indication I get is that the Roma are treated the exact same way as blacks in the US. Only worse even, because in many of the countries they live in, discrimination against them is still legal.

And as a side note, their example is why I don't advocate for socialism or communism as the key to equality for blacks. They've been treated brutally in Eastern Europe throughout all of their various forms of government and economics. Under monarchs, under the communists, and now in the free market, they are treated like the lowest form of life anywhere.

That's not to say you should trust them less than you would anybody else, though.
art_gurl, I'll be in Paris for a bit (haven't decided how long yet) and then on to Rome for about a week. My parents want to fit in a short trip to Amsterdam ( ), but we'll see how that goes. laugh I'm primarily concerned about Rome. I'll be there in January.

Vox, it is really frightening how openly hostile people are. Especially to small children. This a really an excellent topic for someone looking to write a paper (Roma vs. Black Americans). They are originally Indians though, right? P.S. How was Puerto Rico??

xxGAMBITxx, I won't be driving. I value my life. laugh
Frenchy, I asked around last night and the only friend who has been to Italy 'recently' went 4yrs ago. Not much help sorry.

He did say yeh, gypsies are an issue in Italy, but more so in France. However, his advice is just have your wits about you and stay street smart, and you should be fine. If you're a New Yorker, then that's probably as street smart as you can get in the west???

I suggest you take and wear a money belt inside your shirt, so you always have access to larger denomination notes/and or passport if your handbag or backpack gets stolen, plus it keeps your wallet 'slim' so you're not flashing much cash each time you open it.

Do me one favour though, huh? I haven't been to Paris, but I know there are lots of way cool black jazz clubs over there - Frenchy, you are requested to go to one of these and shake it for me! Promise?! Wink

The Lonely Planet website may be helpful also, it has a forum on it. See also: http://www.wordreference.com/

Ciao bella!
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quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
I leave for Rome in the morning. I'm so excited! cabbage And nervous.

Hopefully, I'll be back next week in one piece.




DAMN!!!!!!!!!! I've probably logged on too late, but... HOW EXCITING!!

I hope you have the most wonderful, exciting, fun, adventurous, romantic (in every sense Smile), amazing and mind blowing time. kiss

SOOOOOOOOOOO envious about all that yummy Italian food you'll be eating. Razz
Buy some extra virgin olive oil and olives to take back home to the States.

ciao Bella! Smile

...we want pics!!
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I made it back (obviously). Had a wonderful time the first few days and then I got really sick (still sick now). Nothing like trying to find a doctor in a foreign country at 2am. Frown I spend a couple of days in bed, but then I was back out on the street because I had so much I wanted to see. BUT, other than that, everything was wonderful. Yummy, yummy pasta, magnificent sights (all the monuments are sooooo HUGE! everywhere I went I felt so small and, sort of, insignificant), really friendly people, relatively calm flights (Air France has a free open bar the whole flight! even champagne!!).

The only sort of bad experience was in France. Charles De Gaulle Airport is the absolute worst place to make a connection (half the airport collapsed so have have to be shuttled around on a stupid bus and checked through security at least 4 times, before you get on another bus that will drive out to the runway and barely stop long enough for you to jump out and get on the plane) and the ground crew there is INCREDIBLY RUDE. I have never seen so many different people have the same rude attitude. Makes me not want to go back and tool around France.

art_gurl, I thought of you on my trip. I was in a restaurant one night and met a lady from Australia. I said "Oh, I have a friend who lives in Australia!" and she says "Where in Australia?" and I got a stupid look on my face and blurted out "Well, I don't really know." laugh Thank goodness the food arrived before I had to explain my way out of that one.

Glad I went. And now I am obsessed with owning a Smart Car!!!!! They have the coolest cars in Europe. All the minis are great. Most of my pictures are of the cars I liked tongue

Almost forgot! Gypsies! For the most part, they would just sit on the side of the road close to the tourist attractions with their babies with a cup for money. Which was completely heartbreaking because after sundown it gets pretty cold and you'd see this tiny little baby shivering in a thin blanket. Most people gave something. The one stereotypical experience was at the Vatican where 2 women got very obnoxious with people and started blowing their noses in close proximity to people (not in a napkin, just blowing snot onto the sidewalk), and arguing with each other. They had a small baby with them as well. They did a kind of fake crying/whine when they asked for money. So, twas all very anti-climactic.
Welcome back!
glad you had a good time. Smile

Please post any gurl goss (men, fashion, food) in vast detail in the Sista's Spot asap.

Yes, Australians love Italy and France, I'm probably the only person left who hasn't been there... lol. But they haven't been to Trinidad, hehehe.

Next time you meet as Australian just say you have a friend from Sydney - that should narrow it down, not. laugh

I want to hear ALL about the food and yep, show us the pics! Wink

The snot experience was a bit like the first time I went to Hong Kong and saw all the men spitting on the street, often. It's a cultural thing. There were all these little signs asking people to spit in special trays.
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This is around the corner from our Hotel and is exactly why you have to be an agressive pedestrian in Rome. There are very few traffic lights (which they ignore for the most part anyway) and traffic comes from every direction. You have to walk right out in front of it and they will screech and swerve and manuever around you. If not, you will be stuck on the sidewalk all day.

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The Trevi Fountain. This was my absolute favorite thing and I was so lucky that our hotel was nearby because I went to see it every single day. I love water and I love sculpture, so it was just heaven for me. It's beautiful at night. The most amazing thing is that no street directly approaches it, so you hear all this water gushing and then you turn a corner and there it is in all it's glory. My pictures of it are better, but these are my Dad's digital pics.

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