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Off topic: Please tell me what you like most/least about the country you live in
Thread poster: Cagdas Karatas

Cagdas Karatas  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:40
English to Turkish
Aug 3, 2008

Could you please tell me if you are satisfied with the country you live in or you are a citizen of? What do you like most/least? Do you remember the last time you swore at/felt proud of it for some reason whatsoever? I know this is a broad topic but, but, but...

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-08-03 12:58]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-08-03 23:36]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:40
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
The "United" Kingdom Aug 3, 2008

What I love about it:
It's geographical variety in spite of its small area, its glorious trees and national parks, the Cornish coast, its fascinating history, its beautiful architecture, its theatre and literature, its variety of regional accents and customs ... its sense of humour ...
What I don't love about it:
Its totally unreliable weather - unwise, not to say impossible, to plan any outdoor event (if wet, in village hall).
Its government imposing ever more petty rules on us using ever more self-important civil servants. They all do it, but the present one is worse than any I've personally experienced (we're probably not allowed to say that sort of thing in these forums ...)

But on the whole, I love my homeland dearly.

Jenny


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jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 09:10
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Love for motherland Aug 3, 2008

HI. I live in India and I like it very much. Whatever your nationality may be, you do get attached to the place where you are born and bred. You body gets acclamatized to the local environment, you get attached to the culture and festivals and you develop likings for various foods which may be available in your particular region only.

What I like most about India is its diversity and unity. Few years ago, a very famous quote circulated throught India. It was: India is the largest democracy in the world where a Christian lady (Sonia Gandhi; president of ruling Congress party) offers prime ministership to a Sikh (Manmohan Singh) under a Muslim President (Abdul Kalam) in a Hindu majority country.

You may have hundreds of reasons to find faults with Indian politicians, but still truth is that Indian democracy works.

And what I dont like about India is power cuts which are unavoidable due to its growing population. However, I hope the situation will change in few years when India gets few more neuclear power reactors.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
UK: agree with Jenny Aug 3, 2008

Add to dislikes: its membership of the European Union.

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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
The UK Aug 3, 2008

I think one of the things I love most of all about the UK is the fact that it is entirely surrounded by the sea....there are many, many stunning places and people along the coast. That is not to say I don't like many of the inland places.

The thing that bugs me more than anything is the fact the British can be a bit too complacent, sure we moan, but do we actually want to do anything about our complaints i.e. improve the things we complain about?

Liz Askew


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Turkey (Türkiye) Aug 3, 2008

What I like in my country;
It's Culture, Kitchen, Climate, History, Natural Beauties which differ even from village to village
The common thing is the "Hospitality". It's the same in every town.

What I dislike:
Most of my dislikes are related to the political, social and governmental issues.
Of course I can tell my "thoughts" here freely
But I prefer not to do


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:40
English to Arabic
+ ...
UK/ Egypt Aug 3, 2008

A lot has been said about the UK already, so I'll keep it brief.

UK (my country of residence):

Like: The rule of law
Dislike: Reality TV (and the type of people taking part in them)

Egypt (my country of origin):

Like: Enjoying an evening breeze in the summer, while sitting in the balcony with my family, drinking tea and talking about everything under the sun very loudly, not bothering if the neighbours can hear us (they're louder than us anyway)

Dislike: Corruption and the absence of rule of law

[Edited at 2008-08-03 16:20]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:40
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not necessarily the place we're born Aug 3, 2008

jelly_gill wrote:

Whatever your nationality may be, you do get attached to the place where you are born and bred. You body gets acclamatized to the local environment, you get attached to the culture and festivals and you develop likings for various foods which may be available in your particular region only.


Funny thing about that...I lived for around a decade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and moved back to my birthplace, the USA, last November. I have to say that I feel like a fish out of water here. Even though there are a few more "conveniences" here than in Rio, overall I prefer everything about Rio -- the people, the climate, the music and culture in general, etc. Also, they're right up to speed with the internet, wireless, etc., and their cable TV is a zillion times better than the drek you get in the US.

People in the USA seem less friendly to me, the climate isn't as nice (I'm on the east coast), and it seems culturally less vibrant to me than Rio.

As for food, well, I like the food in both places. The one advantage in the USA (at least in the major cities) is the variety of international foods, which is a bit weak in Rio. Other than that, I'm happy with rice and beans and fruit and veggies.

Amy


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 19:40
English to Russian
+ ...
Amy, you are not alone! Aug 3, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

jelly_gill wrote:

Whatever your nationality may be, you do get attached to the place where you are born and bred. You body gets acclamatized to the local environment, you get attached to the culture and festivals and you develop likings for various foods which may be available in your particular region only.


Funny thing about that...I lived for around a decade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and moved back to my birthplace, the USA, last November. I have to say that I feel like a fish out of water here. Even though there are a few more "conveniences" here than in Rio, overall I prefer everything about Rio -- the people, the climate, the music and culture in general, etc. Also, they're right up to speed with the internet, wireless, etc., and their cable TV is a zillion times better than the drek you get in the US.

People in the USA seem less friendly to me, the climate isn't as nice (I'm on the east coast), and it seems culturally less vibrant to me than Rio.

As for food, well, I like the food in both places. The one advantage in the USA (at least in the major cities) is the variety of international foods, which is a bit weak in Rio. Other than that, I'm happy with rice and beans and fruit and veggies.

Amy


Hear, hear... Brazil is indeed a place that captivates your heart. I emigrated from Russia 20 years ago and made Los Angeles my home. Not a bad place to live, but would not say I love it.

In 2005, I spent 8 days in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil - and I left my hear there. May my adopted home country forgive me - people are indeed less friendly in the USA than in Brazil. It is my impression that Brazilians are incredibly warm.

My heart yearns to be in Bahia... I fell in love with the place the way I have never been in love with any man... I'd love to live and work there for about a year, and maybe even stay forever if I keep liking it after a year of living there... but at the present moment, it is simply not possible. Too many reasons: two children in college, one in elementary school, elderly mom who is sick, plus (please don't laugh!) - my eight cats - what will I do with them if I go to live abroad? But I live with a dream and I don't let the dream die.


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:40
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Brazil Aug 3, 2008

I was born in the United Kingdom but have lived in Brazil nearly all my life.

What I like most about Brazil: the weather (sunny most of the year), cultural diversity, beautiful beaches (especially in Rio and Santa Catarina), the friendliness of most of the people, the food (especially Brazil's famous feijoada - a bean stew - and the Rodízio de Massas, an endless sequence of pasta and pizza).

What I like least: long queues (especially in banks, you can wait up to 2 hours in a bank here), bureaucracy, corruption in politics and in the Police, lack of long-distance passenger trains, poor health care in State Hospitals.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 04:40
English to German
+ ...
Berlin Berlin as always.. Aug 3, 2008

hi! that is the best place I know next to berrien springs years ago. I guess the liking is matter of habit one gets used to. I like also Frankfurt, but berlin and the berliners are much different. BR Brandis

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:40
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
My 3 countries... Aug 3, 2008

Italy: ~36 years

More than dislikes: disgraceful politics (and getting worse every year), endemic corruption (now out of control), the tax system, total disrespect for the public property, brain-damaging television, cultural provincialism. Yes, Italy is full of art and monuments, but culturally is one of the last wagons in Europe.

Likes: weather and food. I also have family and friends in Italy, but I decided years ago to pack up and go to live elsewhere, and I see my family only during my holidays.


UK: ~12 years

Likes: better politics, reasonably low level of corruption which is not a social epidemic, general respect for public property, respect for other people, fair winters (they are not harsh), green countryside (due to the rain...)

Dislikes: wet all year round, outrageously expensive (in particular accommodation and food).

Brazil: ~1 year

Like: people, weather, food, music, beaches, forest...

Dislikes: still studying the situation... Will report with more details in 4-5 years time...


bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2008-08-04 23:44]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:40
Portuguese to English
La Comunidad Valenciana, Spain Aug 3, 2008

What I like most about this part of Spain's Mediterranean coast, where I've lived for the last 10 years, is that people have a healthy lack of respect for officialdom. They (we) park on pedestrian crossings and immediately under No Parking signs (frequently), smoke in non-smoking bars (sometimes), walk through doors marked "Do Not Enter" (almost always), and declare impossibly low annual earnings for tax purposes (everybody except me, you understand). The anarchism that has been a part of the Spanish character for centuries is alive and well here. Laws and regulations, my new fellow countrymen would argue, were made to be broken and that - in my view - is a healthy approach to the citizen-ruler relationship. We know in any case that all politicians are self-serving rogues and villains.

This is a very welcome contrast to my native land - the United Kingdom, which must now qualify as the least free nation in Europe - the country where - among other indignities - local government officials trawl through and weigh your trash from time to time, and impose heavy fines on you for throwing away too much or putting a lettuce leaf in the wrong coloured bag. This isn't - I would argue - what the British fought for through the various extensions to popular democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries. And all the politicians are self-serving rogues and villains in just the same way.

And yet, the British are themselves largely to blame because they are a (uniquely?) censorious and self-flagellating nation. The phrases "The Government should put a stop to it" (whatever "it" might be) and "There should be a law against it" are never far from some British people's lips. And - again perhaps uniquely in Europe - their preoccupation with limiting their and their fellow citizens' freedoms is egged on by a cheap tabloid newspaper culture that appeals to readers' crudest instincts.

Pace Jenny Forbes, we also have (rather more) wonderful national parks, mountains, coastlines, art and architecture, history and literature - but without the petty bureaucracy. I now have to walk the dog so it can do its "business" against a sign saying "No Dogs".


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
"Home is where the heart is" Aug 3, 2008

I was born and brought up (38y) in the UK.

Likes: The lack of Government interference in areas that don't need legislation; the general respect for the rule of law (I'm convinced these two go together); Christmas; Indian food and fish & chips available everywhere
Dislikes: The interference of the Church in everything (education, politics, state affairs); the lack of respect for the family and children in particular (try booking a hotel with a 1-year-old); the weather of course; the "I'm all right Jack" attitude of some and the snobbish display of wealth of others who are always so ready to tell you how much they spend on their hobby, car etc

Then I spent 3 years in the Netherlands.

Likes: The logical approach to problems, sitting round a table and finding common ground rather than hurling insults from the trenches; public transport you can set your watch by (in Den Haag at least); an easygoing respect for others (eg naturist beaches and areas in parks; voluntary euthanasia); an amazing place for kids with freebies in all supermarkets and other shops, free educational farms, free educational science workshops, free open days by the security services (breathing apparatus, scuba-diving, police motorbike rides, 747 escape chutes etc etc); great awareness of the need to "do the right thing" in recycling etc
Dislikes: the food, although Indonesian food is great; the price of eating out; the basically flat scenery

And I've been in the South of France for the last 12 years.

Likes: The importance of the family unit and tolerance towards kids (even though there's very high divorce rates the family unit remains important - it's just more complicated); the lack of snobbishness - people value time, food, drink, family above their cars and swimming pools; the split between Church and State, meaning that education and politics are secular, and one's religious beliefs are one's own private business; the cuisine and the weather of the South of France
Dislikes: The interference of the state in just about everything, especially in the world of work where some politician in Paris tells you how many hours you can work, how much holiday you must have, when you must retire, ...; the general lack of professionalism (I'm sure these two are linked); the wasted time and money inherent in an over-administered state.

In short, paradise doesn't exist but the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. I tend to whinge most about France because that's where my current problems are, but I wouldn't go back to the UK to live for all the tea in China. I'll either stay for the rest of my life in France or go to St Martin: a Caribbean island that is half French, half Dutch, with English as its official language. Hang on, maybe that's my version of paradise.


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