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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Babel by the Pool

It’s funny but almost nobody speaks English at this Southwest Florida resort. Most visitors are from Europe. We hear a ton of German and the Scandinavian languages by the pool. There is also an Italian family and a group of cigar-smoking and rowdy Portuguese. And right now I saw a Czech couple walking next to the pool. 

And it’s not just our hotel. We went to the town centre and heard a lot of German, Dutch, Danish, and either Swedish or Norwegian (I’m not good at telling these two apart.)

What puzzles me is why Europeans travel so far and pay so much to come all the way to Florida when they have beaches much closer to them in Europe. 

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11 thoughts on “Babel by the Pool

  1. Shakti on said:

    What puzzles me is why Europeans travel so far and pay so much to come all the way to Florida when they have beaches much closer to them in Europe.
    The beaches aren’t as nice in Europe? Perhaps they want a change of beach? Or they get better deals on airfare?
    Also where are all of the Canadians (save your sister and her family and yourself?)

    I see a lot of beach vacations in Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, etc advertised here and going to the beach is very easy.

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    • The Canadians are in Cuba and the Caribbean. Only the elderly Canadians come to Florida but they have their own houses here.

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      • A friend who worked in a Florida! liquor store (1980s) said Canadians would spend huge amounts of time trying to get the most bang for the buck in taking alcohol back to Canada (where it was much more expensive). They’d stand around adding up prices and potency to get the most alcohol possible through the customs limitations….

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    • The problem with goimg to the Caribbean with small children is the water. You can’t avoid getting poisoned. But letting a child suffer through that is intolerable. I love the Caribbean but I’m not going with Klara until she’s older.

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  2. I’ll point out that traditionally a crap ton of European tourists used to vacation in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt and all that’s fallen off a cliff because of terrorism and/or other political instability. I’d love to go to Turkey but with Erdogan dictatorizing himself…. pass.

    And itlay’s dealing with the people smuggling NGOs and so that might be a contributing factor too.

    Also, I bet a lot of them are planning Disney World trips (though it’s not close at all to SW Florida).

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    • Good point about Turkey. Yes, Turkey vacations are dead right now. I would have never gone there anyway bevause I hear that men are worse than even in the Caribbean. Of course, tons ow women go to both regions precisely for the kind of male attention that repels me.

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      • Not being a woman I can’t say for sure, obviously, but western tourist coast Turkey doesn’t seem any worse for women than Spain or Greece. I don’t recall seeing Turks cat calling or following women around or anything like that. Might happen of course.

        I have heard of middle aged Polish women going to Egypt for….. young adult male company…. (being very delicate here).

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    • TomW on said:

      Lots of those Europeans are probably there for at least three weeks, so the Disney stop is probably scheduled for the week before or the week after the beach. And the Germans are probably all going to Miami at some point. The Germans have a weird obsession with Miami. It’s right at the top of many people’s must-see lists for the US and I believe it is the #3 tourist destination for Germans in the US after New York and Las Vegas. Miami is a really nice place, but I don’t think most Americans would rank it as an absolutely must-see place.

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  3. They love FL for some reason and it is true that the beaches and weather aren’t the same as any you can go to in Europe.

    This is how it is at some other places in US in summer, too. Stay at any motel remotely near the Grand Canyon, for instance (supposing you can get a room, which is not easy), and the guests will be almost all European tourists.

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    • Dreidel on said:

      The Florida beaches definitely aren’t like those in Europe. You go to Florida, you won’t find Northern European girls running around topless with hairy armpits and untrimmed bikini hair — and looking incredibly natural and sexy.

      At least, that was the fashion on Sicilian beaches some thirty years ago, when I was stationed there to guard the nuclear cruise missiles that Reagan had temporarily installed in Europe. The Mediterranean Sea was a bit chilly for swimming, but the on-beach scenery lingers after all the years…

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