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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
So, it seems, there's a forum for people to share their travel experiences. Even though my travels were all within the USA, I have encountered different levels of friendliness across the country.
Florida is where I encountered the highest levels of friendliness. Even in the larger cities such as Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and of course Fort Myers.
New York City and Newark, New Jersey were a lot better than I expected. I originally imagined New York City people as being the type of people that would call 911 the first time I were to approach within 100 feet or less of them. To my surprise, people in especially New York City were actually quite friendly to me, even right in Manhattan, and even at Times Square.
My parents own a summer trailer in rural northern Wisconsin, and while the people are sort of friendly in Wisconsin (friendlier than in Illinois), they are not as nice as people in Florida. Also, the area my parents and I stay in is more family oriented instead of social. I mean, it's not like, for instance, Fort Myers Beach or Key West's Fantasy Fest, and such. Also as it appears, the ladies in rural northern Wisconsin are either allready taken, or they are overweight/obese (unattractive).
By far, the worst hospitality in my encounters is right in Northern Illinois. Chicagoans are not nice or social people, but it actually gets worse, not better, the farther west I went. It's like in Northern Illinois, the farther I get from Chicago proper, the less friendly the people get. The safer and more quiet a neighborhood is, the more hostile and cold the people of that neighborhood are towards non-neighbors. Around DuPage County, you start getting into areas where women would call the police on you for trying to interact with them. Heading out into the satellite communities, the social atmosphere literally appears to bottom out. In October 2004, my parents and I went to a pumpkin festival in Sycamore, Illinois, some 60 miles west of Chicago and surrounded by miles and miles of endless cornfields save for DeKalb, some 7 miles southwest. There was a parade and lots of artwork created exclusively with pumpkins. I was walking around saying "Hi, how are you" to people, and outside a group of uniformed cheerleaders handing out fliers for an event of some sort at Northern Illinois University, only three (3) locals even said "Hi" back to me at all! The rest of them either ignored me like I was thin air, or they gave me that cold, mean stare. After that day, I literally figured; the entire State of Illinois is one huge social desert, and the social desert stretches all the way west to the Mississippi River.
Then in March 2006, when I went to New York City and encountered a surprisingly friendly atmosphere, I gained a mindset that the rude/antisocial capital of America is not New York City at all. It's Illinois! It's Chicagoland! The rude capital of America; DuPage County, Illinois! Of course, my thoughts lately for rude/antisocial capital of America have been leaning more towards DeKalb County, Illinois, as apparently fewer people per capita were nice to me in DeKalb County than in DuPage County, even when I also, in 2004, took 3 bicycle trips to Northern Illinois University.
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As a long time resident of New York City, I can definitely say that you will meet some cool-as-f**k people here. Compared to the rest of the country, people here can be more open. But, having said that, you wouldn't want to live here as you will see the darker side of people, and the rudeness and hostility begin to surface. You were only there for a short time so don't take the initial friendliness as a sign that all New Yorkers are like that.
Are the people in those cities in Florida really that friendly? What about Miami, I heard the women there are unfriendly and anti social. Are there a lot of single women in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Meyers?
DuPage county is where the far western suburbs of Chicago are located. The people tend to be aloof and unfriendly, most people don't talk to their neighbors. However, it is a very safe area to live and raise a family.
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Yes, they very much are friendly, in Fort Myers, Key West, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale, although it seems people in Cape Coral are not quite as friendly as in Fort Myers. Miami people, while they are usually nice, a lot of them speak Spanish. There could be singles in those cities.
DuPage is indeed a safe, low crime area, very safe to live in, even safe enough to go for a midnight bicycle ride without ever hearing a single gunshot or encountering any weird people wearing ski masks when it's 80 degrees outside and/or dealing illegal drugs. But as it appears, that safety actually hardens the locals' hearts even more towards other people. The satellite towns of Sycamore and DeKalb, being 60 miles from Chicago proper and surrounded by 20+ miles of endless cornfields, I wouldn't be surprised if that entire area had never, ever seen a single shooting other than the 2008 Valentine's Day Massacre at NIU, or even an armed robbery. But the people in the Sycamore/DeKalb area are the absolute worst bunch of anti social people I ever ran into. And in fact when I think about it, I'd say the social atmosphere in the Sycamore/DeKalb area is worse than in DuPage County. Once, I was on a storm chase tour from College of DuPage, and one of the ladies on my trip was from DeKalb. And man was she unapproachable, especially at the end! I tried to get her phone number on the last day, I tried to give her a goodbye hug when the trip was over, and she said "No!" flat out.
Also, on my third bike trip to NIU, the college campus was quite crowded with students, but a total of only maybe 3 or 4 people on campus even interacted with me at all that entire day, even when I stumbled across a party of some sort on that large grassy area near the Stevenson Towers dormitories.
I can imagine that, if a violent tornado were to hit Sycamore/DeKalb, the death toll would be easily in excess of 300 people because, due to the intense hatred and the brutally cold, icy hearts of the people in DeKalb County, nobody would be likely to even bother helping neighbors trapped in collapsed houses, businesses, and such. My guess is, over 99.9 percent of Sycamoreans and DeKalbans would likely deliberately leave their neighbors to die in the rubble while they feed themselves and salvage only their own lives.