Saturday, August 2, 2014

So -- Where're You From?

A Frank Steward discusses various national groups he has met as a Flight Attendant.  As he didn't want to devote an entire book on this subject, he generalizes so we don't have to do it.

He started with  Americans (because he is one) and says that even before we open our mouths, he  knows. Americans, according to him,  positively exude an air of friendliness.  I had to think about that one for a moment and concluded that he's sort of right.  Americans on a foreign carrier to a European destination are friendly because they're curious and looking forward (usually) to a fun vacation. 

Not so much here in America.  New York passengers are sullen and easily pissed off.  Chicago and DFW tend to be friendlier.  In fact, I have never gotten out of DFW without listening to a lengthy response to any simple question that I might ask one of them.  Example:  Me to a young woman:  "Excuse me, do you know what time it is?

Response:  "Oh, hon, no.  Mah rat boyfriend got all drunked up and he ripped it right offa mah wrist and stomped on it!  Did you evah?  Ah told him, Ah hope you'ah prepared to buy me another one, you sumvabitch."

The British
First of all, do not tell a mixed group (Brits, Irish, Scottish) airily, "Oh, you're all from Great Britain!" because you will not like what happens next.

A Frank says other than that, you will never know if a Brit is pleased or not.  I think this stoicism  crept into the gene pool just after WW2.  They also blow their noses with great gusto and if three or more do it at the same time, you will think you are suddenly in the midst of a flock of geese.  They HONK!

The Japanese
They are often the most ideal passengers.  They usually eat all of any meal given them and they do not make unusual or incessant demands.

Maybe they're like that on a plane, but we once had a Japanese reporter with us in an off-road press room who was thoroughly obnoxious - to the point that I said to my boss quietly, "Let's do a reverse on Japan on December 7th - you in?"

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