It’s been a long time, but a former coworker was from Ethiopia and said its portrayals on charity advertisements here are pretty wacky. Yes, people live in huts in the bush, but there were also big cities and white collar jobs. We don’t really see much of that - just hunger and war.




Well if I want you to donate to homeless in the US I won't show you people who are staying at The Hilton


K but what about the Four Seasons Total Landscaping


Think how high the Walk Score must be when centred between a dildo store and a crematorium.


Well that's another story. Anyone appearing there definitely needs mental help.


Well that's a bold accusation. Maybe they just need their shrubbery pruned.


A lot of countries are like that right now, that is very much the case in Brazil and India as well. Some spots are developed nearly to the degree of first world, but huge portions are still incredibly underdeveloped


Yeah, speaking from experience the lifestyle enjoyed by Brazil's middle class doesn't really seem too different to that in the UK. It's just that poverty in Brazil is more common and more abject than in somewhere like the UK.


To be fair, Ethiopia is currently embroiled in a civil war.


Adding on to say that Ethiopian food is also really delicious. There's a lot of Ethiopian restaurants in the Bay Area of CA that are pretty popular with locals.


Kazakhstan - Borat really pulled a number on that one..


I talked with a Kazakh girl yesterday and when I asked her where she was from, she said, “Kazakhstan and don’t fucking mention Borat.”


Did you reply with “wow wow wee wa”


He said it really softly and in a sad tone. “Wow wah wee… woah…”


No, he asked if her vagina was tight as a man’s anus.




Lived in Reno 2012-2020, know the feeling. FYI, no, the cops don't enjoy the show.


They’re just jealous they don’t get boots like Dangle.


New boot goofin!


Because they can't live up to the professionalism shown in the TV show?


Was at a club one when a mate started talking to some Kazakh women. You know that record scratch sound TV shows make when everyone is shocked by something and stops talking? That's exactly what happened, just without the noise, when my mate asked them "Do you guys know Borat?". Even I walked off at that point and resigned my wingman status.


Can’t wingman if they can’t fly.


Should've asked about their fantastic potassium exports instead.


We had a Kazakh foreign exchange student with us for a year. He was very humble and sweet. One day, he got grounded because his grades were slipping. His sister emailed me asking me to lift his ban on electronics. I noticed her email signature included the name of the company, which was also his dad’s name. So I googled the company. His dad was a fudging billionaire and his son was living in a tiny bedroom of our 800ftsq house in the mountains in Utah.


Got anymore details you can share (without giving too much personal info away, of course). This sounds like a fascinating exchange.


It was an oil company that was merged with a danish pipeline construction company. His dad’s company was the oil side.


Did he seem like he came from an extremely wealthy family? How did that change your view on him? Kinda crazy thought of having a kid in your home that comes from a wealthy family.


As someone from the beautiful part of NJ, I feel that comment in my bones. Fucking Jersey shore shit.


*sad fistpumps*


At gas pumps: *confused noises*


Am a Kazakh, can confirm. We have insane corruption tho


"Where are you from?" -"Kazakhstan" "Oh like borat, very nice" -"We're not like borat, äaaaaaaasrrrghhh". Real story that guy got really frustrated (met him in england) I can't imagine how ofter you have to hear the same Borat-reference.


The Kazakh Tourism department adopted the “very nice“ phrase as its slogan a year or two ago.. Good for them, making lemonade out of lemons for sure! Here’s their ad: [Kazakhstan - Very Nice!](https://youtube.com/watch?v=eRGXq4t9wY4)


Think they fought it for a while until they realised the goldmine


We are not a third world country. We have highly incompetent and corrupt government, yes, but we aren't a third world country, we somehow developed. Also nature's very nice. edit: This did not age particularly well


The Kazakhstan tourism board has leaned into Borat with a "very nice" ad campaign. Because Kazakhstan is, after all, a very nice country. I'd love to visit someday .




Yeah it's bizarre how little Borat has to do with Kazakhstan. First, there's not much anti-Semitism in Kazakhstan, in part because historically there have been virtually no Jews there. And while domestic violence is certainly a problem in Kazakhstan, this idea that women in Kazakhstan are treated as subhuman is also ludicrous. For example, as a share of population, there are significantly more women with PhDs/ advanced degrees in math/science/medicine in Kazakhstan than anywhere in the western world. When Borat speaks "Kazakh" in the movies, he's actually speaking Hebrew (ironically), and the daughter in the second movie was speaking Bulgarian. And the village scenes were all filmed in Romania.


When Sacha Baron Cohen created the character of Borat, he chose Kazakhstan as his home country because he thought the typical interviewee on the Da Ali G Show would have heard of the country, making his backstory somewhat plausible, but know almost nothing about it giving him a blank canvas on which to create a homeland for Borat.


If I am not mistaken the scene of him leaving Kazakhstan is not even in a Kazakh place, but in Romania.


His trolling skills are epic lol


That clip from some show where he's a businessman proposing building a mosque at a Arizonian community meeting is absolutely golden


"so we'll go with the B model, then."


He got a far-right Georgia state representative to resign because he used the n-word on the show of his own volition. He got Dick Cheney to sign a water jug he said was used for waterboarding. Sacha Baron Cohen is a trolling genius. I don't think I've ever seen someone able to expose people's terrible traits the way he does.


His producer in the first movie spoke Armenian. It was all supposed to be a joke on America, and people took the Kazakhstan part too seriously.


Yeah, but given that most Americans know next-to-nothing about Kazakhstan, it's done real damage to people's perception of the country. They could have based it in "[Kyrzbekistan](https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/01/08/new-york-times-invents-kyrzbekistan/)" (the country the New York Times accidentally made up in a 2015 article), and had the same effect.


Wasn't his depiction of Kazakhstan satire? Parodying how people in the West have incredibly racist and outdated views on any country not in Europe or America? I mean, it could be a mean spirited joke about how an entire nation is nothing but backwards, toothless yokels? But that doesn't really seem in line with anything SBC believes.


Romania. Yeah, there are some shitty places, but it's definitely not a third world country as it's often portrayed as


I get dumped in Romania in GeoGuessr fairly often and it looks super lovely. Nice houses, beautiful scenery


I don't play Geoguessr but I watch a guy on yt called GeoWizard and he gets Romania a lot as well


Eastern Europe seems to be often depicted as a shithole in films and TV, but a lot of it is super nice


I went to Romania in October. It was actually a beautiful place, especially Transylvania


This was written by a vampire tryna stir up some tourists. Not buying it.


A vampire trying to rustle up some grub?


I guess Covid has been tough on everybody this year


I live in Romania and yes it is VERY beautiful. But it's still pretty bad.


Where is bad?


Our public transportation is a mess in most large cities, and in the small towns it's usually privatized and even in worse state. Our public infrastructure is terrible - highways, railroads. Just as most other Eastern European countries, corruption is rampant across all level of government: from the lowly policeman in the street, to the highest levels of senators and ministers. For the most part, people are very welcoming of foreigners... because most foreigners mean money. Honestly, the above poster is probably jaded. It's not **that** bad compared to the rest of the eastern european block. It can be bad in some areas where poverty is rampant (thinking of Vaslui here, or other very poor areas). It's not "favellas bad". There is no gun violence here. You don't have the risk of getting mugged or car-jacked at gun point or knife. You might be taken advantage of if you're a foreigner (ie: easily scammed out of your money), but that's just a general thing when you're a tourist in any poor country and stray off the beaten paths.


A great documentary to illustrate some of the problems Romania faces is called "Collective" (2019). It's about how a fire in a night club exposed deadly corruption in the healthcare sector, and that politicians and oversight committess had been getting kickbacks to look the other way.




Werewolf, vampire summit.


Pro tip from my friend whose parents are from Montenegro: if you want to travel to europe but you’re on a budget, go to a former Yugoslav country (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, etc). They’re just as pretty, they have just as rich a history, and they’re just as chock full of touristy stuff as any Western European country, but at half the price. Granted, my friend might be a little biased here.


I would agree, been to the Balkans twice and I love it, 100% going back when traveling is normal again. Although all of Eastern Europe is pretty cheap, but places like Albania are next-level cheap.


Croatia is not cheap at all


Zagreb is. Dubrovnik is New York City prices.


Dubrovnik is a tourist trap. Beautiful city, but wouldn't spend more than a day there if you're planning a trip.


Yeah, go to Montenegro, same Adriatic Sea, less expensive. Pro tip, go to Ulcinj. Sandy beaches, not full of Russian tourists (not that there's anything wrong with that).


Not full of tourists regardless of their nationality is generally a plus. Damn tourists. They ruined tourism!


The funny part is that Eastern Europe isn’t nearly as bad as portrayed, while some countries Western Europe seems to be very romanticised. Best example is imo Paris, it’s a really nice city, but it’s not one big romantic novel :D


There is literally a [mental condition named after Paris](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome) due to visitors experiencing extreme depression from shock that it isn't a utopian center of culture and beauty like they thought it was.


I’ve been to Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia and I had a blast in these places and it was nothing like I had thought it would be based on media depictions.


I went to the Balkans the first time about a decade ago, been to all of them now. Albania and Serbia were my two favourites, I was a bit lukewarm on Macedonia. Would really like to get back to Bosnia and Slovenia, was kinda rushed in both in cases and didn't see everything I would've liked. *edit -* Actually in Slovenia's case I had food poisoning so spent time in my hotel room while my friends toured around the place.


I live in Bratislava (Slovakia). I think the city offers me more opportunities and better quality of life, than I would have had in many capitals or big cities of western Europe.


A nickel..???!!!! I quit…


It's good you came in summer, in winter it can get very depressing.


Hey man, Miami Wice is number one new show!


I buy my own hotel!


I stayed there for a few days maybe 2.5 years ago-ish, I really liked it. Felt way less tourist-centric than some of the other cities around it.


As our plane descended into Croatia we were stunned by the beauty of the county from above. We could honestly have been landing in the Caribbean for all we knew. The city was full of castle ruins whose nooks and crannies had been repurposed as bars and shops. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.


You have me looking into Croatia now.


Most countries. Negativity sells more than than positivity.


Except for Japan. Japan has a ridiculously positive modern image (the less said about history the better of course) with so much willingness to overlook the negatives


No one understands the racism and sexism that exist in Japan.


Or that they are still hunting whales for "science purposes" And whale flesh isn't even that good to eat, flesh from older whales is often poisoned with mercury


On that note, Iran is made out to be the big boogeyman to the West. The greatest terrorist state in the world. Meanwhile the Saudis and UAE are our friends.


I see what you’re saying but to be fair i wouldn’t want to travel to any of those countries if I was a woman


Not as a homosexual either


I read some time back that Iran had mandatory sex change operations for their gay community. It led to a number of suicides. The government policy regarding gay men, as opposed to trans, are quite…unusual.


It's a little bit more nuanced than that, but basically yeah. People in Iran accept transgenders and accept the fact that men/women can be born in the wrong body, and as part of their universal healthcare they offer sex changes. Unfortunately being gay is not okay. So as a result, if two gay men or two gay women want to be together, one of them has to get a sex change.


I’ve heard it said lesbians have it relatively easy because it’s so common for single women of a certain age to become roommates. Also, the clerics regard lesbianism with a sort of dismissive amusement. They don’t take it seriously. The women just have to keep it quiet.


I've visited Iran. I'm a woman too for what it's worth. We stayed in urban areas and aside from the rules about dress it really felt little different to most other countries I've visited, including much of Europe. Women were working in jobs of all sorts & descriptions. Like when we landed in Shiraz Airport at 2am, the stalls were staffed by women. The hotels we stayed at had women and men working alongside each other serving all guests with women often in management positions. Our tour guide in Persepolis was a woman etc etc. We saw fewer Burqas in 10 days in Iran then I'd see in one day in London. Families picnicking in the park and strolling in the evening resembled families out and about in Spain with Dad's kicking footballs & flying kites with their kids. There's a weird lack of young couples walking around together but that was the only social grouping that felt noticeably absent.


Iran is weird because historically and presently it’s not only highly-valued education and input from technocrat elites but also religion, so it’s kinda interesting how these two fused into the current theocratic structure.


Thanks you for your reply cause I recently followed a woman on Instagram who appears to live in Iran and dresses pretty gothy without any head covering and I was curious if laws changed (google stated otherwise) so my takeaway from your post is that sharia law is more lax around urban areas ?


Dated a guy who’s Persian. He previously told me that the head covering law has gotten pretty lax in the country as a whole and they only have to wear it in public areas so maybe if she isn’t in public areas she just doesn’t wear it for pictures?


Fair enough but you really can’t compare Iran to the Arab countries. For a time Iran had affirmative action in place for men applying to their universities because women were getting degrees/professional jobs at a far higher rate. As opposed to the Saudis who just recently permitted women to drive. While sexism is prevalent in both countries, the views of the populations towards women are not even comparable.


Iran has a really weird place compared to the rest of the Middle East. Its astonishingly literate compared to its neighbors, has no real regional threats to, is massively more industrialized and frequently tops the charts for STEM Graduates - especially among women. Whilst its technically a theocracy, there's evidence that the population itself is much more philosophically diverse. Plus, this is the only century in all of human history where Persia *hasn't* been at least a regional power. Geographically, the region is unassailable. Iran to me has always seemed right on the cusp of revolution - only to unaccountably be rallied back around a common enemy every few years allowing the theocrats to cling to power. I'm no diplomat, but I can't shake the feeling that if the rest of the world just ignored them for a decade or two, we'd have a secular moderate Iran in no time at all... All the foundations are there. It just needs a nudge to take it over the edge. But instead, *someone* comes along a blows up a General and a pair of civilians. Or whacks their flailing economy with sanctions and gives the reigning government the perfect scapegoat for their inadequacy. ​ Honestly, I think the West deposing the democratically elected government and installing the Shah (thereby directly instigating the Islamic revolution against him a few decades later) might have been the biggest own goal of the last century. Imagine if instead of cozying up to the Saudis, we had a democratic, secular Iran for an ally... Oh, I've no doubt it wouldn't have its own problems. I'm not suggesting it would be perfect, but it would have been a great improvement.


And like a lot of places, the *governments* may not get along, but the people are wonderful. I've heard the Iranian people are great and would like to travel there, but of course a lot of family members are terrified. Sigh.


The people are awesome. The ones in Tehran, in particular, are quite cosmopolitan with a biting wit. I had a professor who recently went there and said “it’s not NY but it’s definitely better than Pittsburgh!”


Antarctica. The media makes out that it's very cold there, but that situation is improving.


Oh man I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at this comment.. maybe both.


In 20 years I'll be moving there to enjoy its temperate climate and lush vegetation.


The new New Zealand


South South America


South South Africa


Ant Antarctica




It'll be the new tropical "hot spot"!


Despite a troubled history, Rwanda has progressed to be one of the cleanest, safest, and most visitable country in East Africa. I felt safer in the capital city Kigali at night than I do in many American cities.




I’ve gone to Rwanda semi regularly for years (about once every two years) and it’s astounding that every single time feels like an entirely new place. The roads are incredible and I cannot emphasise enough how clean it is. I actively tried to spot litter in Kigali streets and couldn’t. Not even a single cigarette butt or loose receipt. And unlike other places that achieve something marginally similar through extreme fines and enforcement, it apparently is just through a general call to the public to adhere and they all pitch in and take that effort seriously. It’s also really interesting how they handle the discussion on the genocide - very much a never forget and also a we won’t let it define us - simultaneously. A lot can be said on how that will hold - especially politically, but there is a very real spirit on the ground that they are proud of the progress being made and are eager to build something beyond.


Seriously. My old man was there when it got *bad*, and growing up (and into adulthood) Rwanda really isn't mentioned other than the genocide. It was really astonishing when I eve tally saw what Rwanda is like today.


I have a friend from Rwanda. He kind of echoed this sentiment. He said that when someone would cry or get upset people would bust their chops by saying you better cut it out or Americans are gonna come video tape you for a commercial.


Now *that* is fucking funny!


Same. Things sometimes get a little sketchy when you get right up against the DRC border, but even then things aren't too bad anymore.


Kigali blew me away. Best African capital I've been to


The Geography Now episode on Rwanda changed my perspective on that country, really on a lot of countries to tell the truth.


I love GN, great content, you can learn quite a bit about the country in question


I dug into some crime stats recently for a conversation in another thread. I was surprised to find Rwanda to be the 15th safest country in the world in [terms of crime rate.](https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/crime-rate-by-country) There is less crime there than Finland, South Korea, or Denmark- countries that are generally considered safe. Also lower than the tough on crime authoritarian states like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan.


Never would’ve thought of Rwanda, but it definitely has been portrayed badly. Off to research it more now!


aren’t they also aiming to be the Singapore of Africa?


New Zealand 🇳🇿, we’ve finally dealt with the Orc problem…


But you fired your wizard!


Nah he just returned to the West.


What is this New Zealand you speak of? It's not on my map.


Probably every country. It's what's being done to every country that's what's bad.


New Zealand is often portrayed as some Liberal utopia, but it is really far from it. I love my country, but as a young person I'm looking to move in the next few years.


Isn't it basically being bought up by billionaires for their apocalypse shelters?


Honestly not a problem - they're buying on the hills in the middle of nowhere, which we have a ton of. What we don't have is many apartments in cities. The problem is our housing crisis is among the worst in the world, with a range of rather bad consequences.


Their mistake is they all congregate where you'd struggle to grow anything other than grapes


They’re probably trying to achieve that “powerful person resting while being fed grapes” image


I once saw an SNL skit poking fun at Lithuania and was totally gobsmacked- it’s the most beautiful country I think I’ve ever been to! It’s not perfect of course (where is?), but it’s a really lovely country that people either know absolutely nothing about or have completely wrong impressions about.


I married a Lithuanian- it’s a lovely place. Like a mix between Poland and Finland. Has some wonderful beaches on the Curonian spit and a lots of lovely lakes.


Best thing Lithuania ever did was let the Grateful Dead sponsor their Olympic basketball team. Uniforms are 🤌mwah


All 3 Baltic countries are awesome places. They are also developing like crazy since they kicked Soviet shit out. Especially Estonia is a shining star in IT sector.


My wife is from Colombia, and that country is *beautiful*. If you see it portrayed in TV, then it's dangerous jungles, guerrilleros, and cocaine. But the area is beautiful, the people are kind and welcoming and polite, and crime is way down. I've been to several departments and I've never felt in danger. Colombians have been trying very hard to redefine their image.


I'm Colombian. If you don't travel to really dangerous areas, and don't come to do illegal things while you're visiting you'll be fine.


Was in Medellin and surrounding areas about 10 years ago. Absolutely beautiful. Then when you get back to the US and tell people where you were, they don't even ask about how dangerous it is like when I got back from Vietnam. They just have wide eyes. Not everyone, of course, but many... It's silly.


Northern Ireland


Shush there. Half the reason is so nice is so many people don't realize it.


Thanks to uni, I have a fair number of “Norn Iron” friends, great country, even better mates.


Mexico. Yes the cartels exist but they're not a problem most people need to think about. Most of the country is fine and the dangerous areas are well known enough that you wouldn't likely go to them.


Serious question, how would one find out what the dangerous areas are?


https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Mexico.html Has a list of states in order of travel risk. If you click on a state, it has specific details about dangerous areas.


>Kidnapping: Mexico experiences high rates of kidnapping. If you believe you ... [have] been kidnapped, please contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate immediately. Wow, the kidnappers there must be really considerate of their victims if they even let them have a phone call.


And the fact that you're not *quite* sure if you have, in fact, been kidnapped


_Desculpe, señor. Am I being kidnapped? Cause if I am, I'll have to make a call_


Jokes aside, women are encouraged to have an active gps location when using a taxi (even from Uber and other apps) in case the driver takes a suspicious route. They may pretend like everything is in order until they're far from highly populated areas, and it may be easier with a foreigner than with a local as it prevents a panic attack, attempts of self defense or to scape in the middle of the road. Since they won't be aggresive right away calling (or pretending to) someone (friend, local, the embassy) could make the kidnapper forfeit without incidents. The government would also prioritize tourists than locals on these cases. Further tips: always sit in the backseat, behind the driver if possible, check your gps and try to know highway streets or reference points, use this information in case you feel like making a call, you can also ask the driver to pretend to be less suspicious. Self defense items are illegal, but law is rarely enforced, so pepper spray that bitch if you're certain you're in danger. I've lived in a small town all my life and in a metropolis for 5 years and the worst I've ever faced was a mug, just don't walk in low transitated areas and you'll enjoy your visit.


> you can also ask the driver to pretend to be less suspicious. Excuse me Sir, you’re making me uncomfortable. Would you please pretend to be less suspicious?


“Uh… US Embassy? Uh… I’ve been kidnapped… or I’ve gotten in a taxi… or both. Send help… or not… I’m just not sure.”


Can't ransom them if no one knows they've been kidnapped.


Mostly if you go to the places that are popular for tourists or places that are trendy with YouTubers it should be ok.


Any touristy spot is usually fine. Just don’t be a hipster -> “I want to explore and live the authentic Mexican experience” unless a Mexican friend is taking you around.


> Any touristy spot is usually fine. Tourism is big business, security is pretty insane in touristy areas. I don't think they have guards with submachine guns on every corner in the working class parts of Playa Del Carmen like they do on the tourist strip. But Isla Mujeres is probably the ultimate safe place in Mexico. Tiny island with ferry access only, and there's a little navy base there as well. I was there for New Years once and there were small numbers of revelers on the streets and a lot of jeeps with Navy guards parked everywhere. And they were extremely courteous and tolerant of drunk-ass tourists wanting to take pics with them.


Ask locals or even here in r/Mexico


I just recently went to Guanajuato. I do not speak Spanish but everyone was so accommodating and went out of their way to help me when my cousin/translator wasn’t around. I look forward to going again


I've been to Guanajuato many times and love it too. I haven't been in years but I've been playing Forza Horizon 5 and it makes me want to go back.


Mexico City far exceeded my expectations.


Mexico City is super underrated. Very diverse, lots of culture, great food, and a ton to do.


Every tourist I know, says this. I've been in a lot of citys around the world, and Mexico City is my favourite one by far.


The cartels exist and are definetely a major problem, but they are segregated to certain states and cities more than others. You just need to avoid these states and cities if you go visit. Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Michoacan, most of Guanajuato, among others, are a big no.


Tijuana has huge cartel issues, but I have been there a lot and lived there for a year. If you aren't trying to score a kilo of coke and don't drive in rough areas in the middle of the night, you are fine.


They also tend to leave tourists alone. The biggest issue for tourists and cartels is getting caught in the middle, or being in a wrong place at the wrong time situation. I worry much more about the cops extorting me.


Cops extorting you in Mexico, is experiencing the Mexican culture. Embrace it hahahah


The cops my husband and I encountered in downtown Cancun were fucking relentless. Kept saying they’d throw us in jail. Husband offered everything in his wallet but they kept saying “no, no…” It wasn’t until my husband realized the bit and told them in Spanish, “I have more money at my hotel” that they looked at each other and agreed to drive us there to fetch it. Then they had a polite conversation about our home lives on the drive there as one cop used my phone’s gps to get us there. I ran in, grabbed an additional 4000 pesos to the 500 they had already taken, they counted it slowly, gave back our phones and told my husband to get out. I about had a heart attack.


They are scum. I am Mexican from Mexico City. You have to negotiate if possible. (They ask foreigners for more since they know you have more). E.g. when you went back to the hotel you could have said you found 1,000 pesos or less and they probably would have let you go. (I’ve given them 100 pesos sometimes in a take or leave it scenario haha) They once drove me to an ATM, they also make up laws on the fly. I don’t recommend pissing them off though, even though they might not throw you in jail, they can make your trip miserable. I live in the US now, and while the police is not perfect here, this shit would never happen.


Yo le di 20 pesos a uno el mes pasado, son mamadas


Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Oaxaca, all fantastic cities


I want to see Guadalajara so much! One of the centers of mariachi music.


Love Mexico—food, culture, music


Movies do Mexico so dirty, one of the most colourful places on earth and every movie depicts it as boring brown gray desert.


I think that perception comes from the fact that the area of Mexico bordering the US (where those movies are made) *is* mostly a boring brown grey desert.




There is no single country that is not nearly as bad as the media portrays it to be, because the media portrayal of any given country will always be biased and incomplete. Every country has its good and bad aspects, and it's up to each individual to decide which one they want to live in.


Culture and history would be nice to explore in various countries. Sure, I could google and watch documentaries, but I’d rather see it with my own eyes and talk to local people. However, there are some countries, due to political reasons, I would be hesitant to step into as an American.


If you want to experience culture you have to live in a country. This thread is full of tourists who spend a week or two in a “bad” country and say it’s not so bad. Most places aren’t bad if you are there for a short time and are bringing in money.


A country’s government =/= a country’s citizens


Colombia, Bogota 🇨🇴 it’s a very beautiful city although crime has definitely tone down since the late 90’s and 2000 most of the city is good and locals will obviously let you the dangerous areas that are very well known that you obviously won’t go.


After moving here for a PhD, I've realized the US is not all that bad.


the United States. talk with almost anyone here, we don’t hate each other. it’s just the fury and divisiveness people feel from media and social media


anywhere in africa. the media presents africa as just being villages, deserts and absolutely zero modern civilisation, all super poor etc however, i grey up in zambia and kenya, with time spent in other african countries and they’re all incredible


I’ve been to Kenya and so so many people warned me about Nairobi that it was impossible for me to relax and enjoy any time there. I did, however go to the coast where I spent about 3 weeks. I still dream about it.


Serbia...actually all of Eastern Europe is beautiful, not only in landscape and architecture and history, but in hospitality and food.... but is depicted as savage.


I'm Russian and I always enjoy listening/reading languages of Eastern Europe. It's a very interesting mix of familiar and unfamiliar.


Whenever I hear Serbian, I feel like I should understand, but somehow can't. Like why is право straight?! And трудна is pregnant. I've had some strange misunderstandings with my Serbian in-laws. :P


In serbian, понос means pride and in russian it means diarrhea, and that caused a few funny situations among our officials, or so my teacher said


Australia with nothing but desert and spiders and fly swatting crocodile Dundee's. But it's actually a lot similar to the US in appearance and culture, unless you're in the outback or rural.


Do people actually honestly think that Australia is just rural outback towns? Like I’m fairly certain most people are aware of cities like Sydney and Melbourne at the least…


considering the amount of people who say "I'd love to go to Australia but I'm scared of all the spiders and snakes"


Realistically, the only spider there that actually wants to fuck your shit up is the funnel web. Even then, that's just a "Get the fuck out of my land and don't come back" sort of thing, like when an old guy tells kids to get off his lawn


and you might see them occasionally as someone who lives here (I've been in Sydney my whole life and I've seen maybe 3 funnel webs). As a tourist, the likelihood of running into anything is very low


I lived in really desolate parts of West Texas and Arizona, I almost imagine desert portions of Australia are a bit like that!


Ah, but they're not because we don't have many people living in the most remote regions of our lands... There's towns of our first nations people's stuck living remotely where we've left them more or less be (lets not start talking about those bloody centrelink cards) But compared to the "civilisation" i saw in remote american desert states, we just don't have that level of infrastructure...? idk how to best explain it, but yeah. Not similar at all.


Lebanon is a lovely place


I absolutely love Lebanon but from what I’m hearing from friends still there, things are looking pretty bleak. Which is a real shame - it’s been forever one of my favourite places - beautiful beautiful country, with incredible food, and some of the most genuinely welcoming people I’ve ever met.


People seem to think everyone in the Netherlands is a weed junkie but it's more just the tourists


I moreso think that everyone in Netherlands rides a bicycle.


That's just true though


Walking by the train station in Amsterdam, I was fairly sure most people have more than one bicycle. How could there possibly need to be so many bikes parked there?!