Do you try to look like a local when you travel?

I still tend to carry my two credit cards and my atm card in three different locations on my person. I have a wallet I carry in my back pocket with most of my cash and a credit card, plus a zippered pocket thing for change and my ATM card and I have an inside-the-belt carry case that I put the other (not used very often) credit card and my “Oh shit!” cash cache in.
But if I am in a secure area for a while, I put the hidden carry case in a semi-hidden pocket of my backpack/suitcase and leave it in my room. I seldom use the room safes. I have been lucky. I have never lost my wallet or been robbed. But I did manage to lose my drivers license in Japan this trip, still not entirely sure how.

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Two people separated by a common language. There’s another certain word that you hear pretty regularly in the UK that if you said the same thing in the US will get a completely different reaction. Pretty benign in one instance and not used in polite company in the other. Actually true with several words.

And context (and voice) can be all in British slang. I might use one phrase to a friend suggesting, for instance, they’ve been a bit silly. Same phrase in a different context might be a considerable insult to someone suggesting the world might be better off if they had not existed.

By the by, my Spanish brother in law has always said English has much the better swear words, over Spanish.


Interesting! I prefer swearing in Spanish over swearing in English. Something about the rolled 'r’s, perhaps.

Nah. I wear exclusively hawaiian camp shirts so I can forget about fooling anyone. I do try to know at least a few words of the language. I say speak like a baby. They can tell you they have to go, they are hungry etc.

Also knowing about the cuisine before you get there is also a big sign of respect. And asking for the local specials.

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I don’t even need to “try”.

I look like a tourist in my own city.


Sadly, it seems that American English has devolved into one verb, one noun and one adjective, all with a common root. We are poorer because of it.

look at what people are wearing. go into a hat shop or market and find something you like. I dont think its complicated, if you are trying to look more local, buy something local to wear. As an older woman, I find it hopeless though. We americans dress so casually in comparison to europeans.

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True. And has been for a long time.

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Although now not for a few years, we have often visted America since 1980. Something we’ve always done is shop at the malls. Most of my polo shirts (and all of my jeans) have been bought in the States - invariably from the discount rails in the likes of Sears. On the other hand, Mrs H (who is 70 this year) has rarely actually bought any clothes saying that much of what is available looks old-fashioned in comparison to similar department store offerings in the UK. Her phrase is usually that it looks the sort of clothing worn by the “mother of the bride”. On the occasions when she has bought things, it’s invariably been t-shirts and the like.

Sears is now extinct and shopping malls are close behind.

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The demise of Sears is a tragedy. I was in an “upscale” mall last week for the first time since the pandemic - much was shuttered, including a lot of the luxury stores. So much for upscale. It was crawling with groups of young people who i don’t think will bring the merchants must business - maybe the food court. I’ve seen 3 local malls go under. Two were successfully redeveloped as open air marketplaces. Everything old is new again.

I havent bought clothes in a department store in a decade, at least. I agree with your wife’s description of their fashion offerings. One interesting thing about these re-developed open air shopping centers is they all have a selection of sit-down food places, not all of them chains. Some of them are actually decent.

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Last trip was in 2018 and I recall we did go in one mall and it was all but deserted with many closed units.

I didnt know that Sears wasnt in business any longer. A shame but, I suppose, a reflection of a move to online shopping (as happened in the UK).

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Sears is a complicated story made more so by the financial engineering of Eddie Lampert. It should have died long ago but lasted a while by selling off its parts one by one until there was nothing left to sell.

Malls will continue their devolution. I was stunned than the American Dream mall finally got built. Knew some of the PMs that bought the loans and bonds to finish it. I thought they would have known better. I was shown that deal multiple times over 15 years and each time said no way am I touching that credit. $1 billion plus flushed.

I don’t mind shopping for clothes but don’t do it a lot. Used to love going to the original Barney’s when it was on 17th street. I had my guy there who knew what to show me. Have not found anything like that since. My lovely wife on the other hand keeps a small army of salespeople busy.


Husband has two he calls his “European carry-all” ( quoting Jerry Seinfeld!); both from Coach.


He also won’t take pictures.


I don’t think I really “blend” anywhere ( even in Nigeria; years ago my hosts were skeptical about me having two Black parents. 23andme says sort of ), and don’t worry about it too much. I do dress less casually.

I don’t try to figure out who is a tourist, but I always think about why people are where they are and sometimes make up stories. Even at “home”.


A brand management company now owns the rights to both the Barneys and the Brooks Brothers brand names. RIP.

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If you want to shop like a local in the U.S. you do it on Amazon.

You only go to the malls to show off what you got on Amazon, and only if you are an influencer.

Otherwise, people generally have better things to do than go to the mall. Like post on HO. :rofl:

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So incorrect! You go to the mall to get exercise (if you are an old person), hang out with your friends (if you are a young person), get your ears pierced, sit on Santa’s lap, etc.

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I hung out in two plazas in Matera on a springy Sunday afternoon and they were chockablock full of people. And I saw just 5 men wearing hats. Maybe the way to look like a local is to NOT wear a hat?
Anyway, I saw one beanie hat, not going to happen for me. One baseball cap. Not what i am looking for. One tweed flat cap, maybe? And two trilby or fedora’s. Maybe this. If I can find a squashable fedora/trilby that survives being packed flat I might get one.
Shrinkrap, your husband’s carry all looks a lot like the messenger bag I got except mine might be a bit smaller and had sections of canvas. I like the look of it and the way I can just drop my laptop in it and go. But mine is kind of heavy and did not pack small. I may be looking for a bag that is “mission impossible”.
I seem to be looking for a bag that is the travel equivalent of TARDIS. Bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.


You’re about 10 years behind the times.

My mother lives next to Northbrook.Court, one of the top tier midwestern malls in it’s day. Tiffany performed there on her tour that made her into a star. It was always jam.packed with everyone fom infants to the elderly.

Now, fully half of it is shuttered. A few bigger restaurants, the 14 screen movie theater, and Neiman Marcus are the only big players hanging on. The ONLY people I saw in it were serior.citozen mall-walkers and folks headed to the theater.

Kids now hang out online (or wherever there’s free Wi-Fi). They go to the community ice rink that hosts Santa, and they get their ears (and noses, and navels) pierced at actual piercing and tattoo shops. Which malls wouldn’t allow as they’re too ‘low class’.

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