Does bloke stand for -snip- with no fashion sense?
I will define everything for your understanding:
Sandles and socks: when in ....... country in ....... city, dress as the people in ...... city in ....... country dress if you lived there for 6 months like I did. And when you are passing through as a traveller, dress as you would in your home country, but abide by the cultural norms and expectations of the local countrymen.
(And by the way, middle aged men should NEVER wear sandles!!!!!)
(And by the way, about thermals- read that paragraph again before you ever assume anything about what I write.)
"Remember that Europe is rich and varied and tastes vary widely." - That is the most pretentious judgement you can make about a European, and, sweet cheeks, I am one.
I lived with German girls in Germany who would instantly say the following quote and swear it is true, "All German girls not only shave under their arms, but they shave their legs, too."
Do you date cavewomen, bloke?
Here is a packing tip for blokes (like you): wear colors and get a black backpack so you don't get depressed.
[ Edit: Let's keep it a little nice at least.... ]
Now now Steph, that post didn't seem like your nice usual self?
I can vouch for Stevieh in that socks and sandals are really frowned upon (if not laughed at openly ) in most parts of the world I have ever been. I remember in Australia when doing orientations for big groups of backpackers we always used to make the ones with socks and sandals stand up and tell them that was 'not done' in Australia. It seemed like a very canadian thing to me, I wasn't aware it was done in Germany too. To each, his or her own of course but you can definitely expect comments if travelling Europe with socks and sandals
Funny comments about the shaving. I have heard that one before stevie, but it is a pretty overgeneralised
Sorry about the flame, Sam. I felt really misunderstood. I'll explain the sandles and socks a little nicer, then. When I was living in Germany, a girl who had a severe fear of feet complained about me in the college residence I was living in because I ignorantly walked around in bare feet. Another girl explained the gross bare feet thing that I originally wrote about. So I made sure to ALWAYS wear socks, no matter what. I really detest thongs (sandles that make you put a strip of leather between your toes), and I bought Birkenstock sandles while I was there. German people really do look at you funny if you wear sandles without socks, at least in the parts that I lived in and travelled in- and that was most of Germany because you only need to step out onto the platform in any train station in any major German city to realise that. It is plainly fashion sense to not offend a culture with your sense of fashion and that was not a paradox that I just said. I have a German background and I lived and went to school in a German college where I got a diploma taught in English. Honestly, anyone who does not want to listen to my advice has absolutely no business travelling! Simply don't offend cultures out of ignorance, please.
I am going to change my advice for people who don't care enough about other people to conform to their culture- Don't buy Birkenstock sandles and don't wear sandles in Germany. You WILL offend someone because Europeans can be sensitive about this. And politely say no to any invitation, no matter how sincere, to be invited in for hospitality. And trust me, German hospitality is not to be missed. Have enough self confidence to care about people you aren't related to, if you don't want to miss out.
Yeah, I wouldn't be caught wearing socks and sandals. I did see quite a few people wearing them in Europe though - more than in Australia, that's for sure. And almost everyone in the US wears socks under their sandals it seems. It's definitely not the fashion in Aus though. The woman at the Birkenstock store in Melbourne (I totally agree that Birks are the best!!) made a special point of recommending against wearing socks under sandals, unless in the privacy of your own home My wife only took two pairs of socks with her for 4 months and seemed to get by ok. Mind you, occassionally my supplies did seem to dwindle
Hey Steph, you make a good point that it is sensible to try and blend in sometimes. I must say that socks and sandals are kind of associated with Germans in my mind. Interesting to read how strongely they feel about it and some of the rationale.
Fashions do vary widely from country to country in Europe. I'm personally a fan of just being yourself and wearing what I feel comfortable wearing. It's important to be respectful of other cultures (ie.. no bikinis in Saudi Arabia), but Europeans are pretty used to seeing people from the other side of the border.
I wasn't implying at all that you must wear socks in your sandles in Europe. If you feel so uncomfortable about it that you would argue on a message board, then obviously you should do the most normal thing and just wear sandles without socks and glare at Germans who think you will catch a cold doing so. I can say this because of my background. I'm not trying to offend Germans because I am a German who lives in Canada and not an emmigrant.
Realise, please, that I hate arguing.