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Why Are Chinese Tourists so Rude? A Few Insights
South China Morning Post ^

Posted on 07/13/2013 10:15:34 PM PDT by nickcarraway

After almost every 'rude Chinese tourist' story, unfortunately, made SCMP.com's top-10 list, I decided to give the question some serious thought

They are seen as pushy, loud, impolite, unruly, and they are everywhere.

And although destination countries welcome the tourism dollars the Chinese spend, they loathe the chaos and hassle some mainland tourists bring upon their cities and other tourists.

“Why can’t they just behave?” people wonder, some aloud.

I have been asking myself the same question in the past months after reporting on the uncivilised, sometimes galling behaviour of some compatriots.

It seems that every time a “rude Chinese tourist" story is published on SCMP.com, it goes straight into the site's top 10 most read articles - one such article even managed to crawl back to the top months after it was posted. So I decided to give the question some serious thought.

I read up on the topic, talked to tourism experts and travel agents and chatted with some of these tourists who are now at the centre of public anger.

It soon dawned on me that the real question to ask is: “Why are the Chinese rude?”

Yong Chen, tourism researcher and post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said most “bad” tourists don’t intend to be “bad” or “tourists”, they are just being themselves - they are being Chinese.

Education makes a difference

Not every Chinese tourist is a rude one, and educated people are usually better behaved than those who have had a lower standard of education, said Chen.

This could be why middle-aged or older tourists who have been deprived of or received little education during China's politically tumultuous times tend to act more unruly. Many of them do not speak English, and some are not fluent Putonghua speakers. Their knowledge of the destination country and its culture is often at best outdated or non-existent.

This might explain the behaviour of a "rogue” mainland couple who recently visited Hong Kong with a group. They called the police and demanded HK$3,000 yuan in compensation after being made to wait two hours for their coach. The travel agency later said the coach had broken down and accused them of “blackmailing”.

Disregard for customs and rules

Jenny Wang, a Beijing-based Maldives travel agent, said uneducated tourists usually turn a blind eye to local rules and customs.

A Chinese man who was recently vacationing at a Maldives resort flipped out after discovering that the restaurant where he wanted to eat was fully booked, Wang said. He yelled threats and slurs at Chinese staff until one member was in tears.

“You cannot reason with these kinds of people,” Wang said. “They think they can do anything with their money.”

But one thing many Chinese vacationers don’t want to do with their money is tip - a custom in some places which many have ignored, Wang said.

Though most travel agents in China would educate their clients about tipping in a foreign country ahead of their trip, most people ended up tipping very little or none.

Some are not used to the idea of tipping, and they fail to understand that staff working at the Maldives resorts, who usually earn a meagre salary, rely heavily on tips, Wang said.

This has created increasing tensions between the Chinese and their hosts. Staff would naturally prefer serving guests from countries with a tipping culture. Other staff have gone after Chinese clients and asked openly for tips, a rare thing for them to do in the past.

Lawless for a reason

Students at Ewha University in Seoul, known for its beautiful campus, have recently complained about an influx of Chinese tourists, said the school.

Apparently taking photos on campus was not enough. Some camera-toting Chinese would also stride into libraries and take photos without the permission of students, according to media reports.

“As much as we want to keep the campus open to the local community,” said a university representative, “we’d like to prioritise our students’ right to study in a quiet and safe environment.”

Ewha resolved the crisis by putting up multi-language signs advising tourists to stay clear of study areas.

It seems that thousands of years after Confucius admonished his students not to “impose on others what you yourself don’t desire", the Chinese now act in quite the opposite way.

Such people, both overseas and at home, selfishly skirted rules for a reason, said Chen.

Living in China, where the rule-of-law doesn’t exist, means everyone has to look out for their own interest. It also means people have little or no respect for laws.

This is bound to happen when ordinary folk are forced to watch their laws being violated every day by their leaders, Chen said, citing the Chinese idiom, shang xing xia xiao, meaning “people in lower class follow what their leaders in the upper class do”.

How long do we have to put up with bad tourists?

China and its people are paying a price for the bad behaviour of their tourists.

A poll by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong recently found that the number of Hongkongers holding negative feelings towards Beijing and mainland Chinese is up by about 40 per cent since November.

Following that survey, SCMP.com conducted another online poll on Wednesday, headlined “What makes some Hongkongers dislike mainland China and its people?”

As of noon, more than 50 per cent readers blamed the negative feelings on “ill-behaved tourists”.

“The Chinese government and travel agencies should take the initiative to educate our tourists,” Chen said, urging co-operation from both authorities and private sectors.

While many argue that historically American and Japanese tourists were also criticised for their bad behaviour when they became wealthy enough and traveled abroad for the first time, Chen said the Chinese should not use this as an excuse.

In fact, the Communist Party's Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilisation and the China National Tourism Administration have recently issued a 128-character-long rhyme to remind tourists of behaving in a “civilised manner” on the road. The topic has also been a big hit on China's social media, where bloggers discuss and criticise the uncivlised behaviour of their compatriots.

But many are not optimistic that the situation will change any time soon.

“Chinese tourists have a long way to go before they will be respected by the world,” said Wang.


TOPICS: Travel
KEYWORDS:
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I never noticed this.
1 posted on 07/13/2013 10:15:34 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Sum Ting Wong.


2 posted on 07/13/2013 10:17:25 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: nickcarraway

They’re not rude so much as they come from a culture that has 1 billion people trying to negotiate the same right of way and theft doesn’t carry the same conscience as it does in the West.


3 posted on 07/13/2013 10:22:37 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s also my understanding that Chinese tend to be abrupt when they want to be informal and friendly. For example, if they want somebody to pass the salt, they will point to a person and simply say, “Pass salt.” It’s only when they are acting more formal will words like, “Please”, or “Thank you” will enter the conversation.


4 posted on 07/13/2013 10:22:55 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: nickcarraway
Ewha University was Ewha Women's University back in the old days when I was stationed there. Like walking through a beauty pageant.
5 posted on 07/13/2013 10:25:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's next run. What'll you do?)
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To: nickcarraway

“You cannot reason with these kinds of people,” Wang said. “They think they can do anything with their money.”

In fairness, I’ve seen that from all sorts. I’ve seen plenty of American and British tourists make arses of themselves overseas. I still remember my first trip abroad - visiting Ireland in the late 80s. It was one of those guided tour things. I was mortified at the behavior of many of the people on our bus. I remember some bint named “Chickee” who hailed from Queens telling our tour driver he needed to learn to speak English like an American. That sort of thing.

Money can’t buy class, no matter where you’re from.


6 posted on 07/13/2013 10:26:33 PM PDT by DemforBush (Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!)
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To: nickcarraway
I had an altercation with an extremely rude Chinese family at Universal Studios. Universal Studios staff gave my family a bunch of free tickets and stuff to make up for the POS’s.

Seems US has had this problem with the chinese before, they were very understanding.

7 posted on 07/13/2013 10:27:06 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: nickcarraway

I was a tourist in China, not Chinese.

My Chinese guide told me if I wanted something, even as simple as buying a coke, I needed to be a little pushy. This was only because with so many people( in the small but overpopulated city I was in) to get service for anything without waiting for hours you needed to get yourself to the front. It felt weird the one time I did it, but nobody got mad, it was just the norm.


8 posted on 07/13/2013 10:27:32 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: nickcarraway

They own this country now; they can be as rude as they want.


9 posted on 07/13/2013 10:29:43 PM PDT by hawkeye101 (GOOGLE IS EVIL!!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

I have noticed that in my travels to Hong Kong (where SCMP is based) that folks in public come off rude, but it is not intentional. It is a cultural thing, but on steroids. It is the difference between NYC and some town in fly over country, but people from China are ten times worse than NYC. Folks in NYC can be very friendly, and the same in HK. But look out if you are getting on public transportation or if you have no idea where you are going.


10 posted on 07/13/2013 10:30:39 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA (.Molon Labe - shall not be questioned)
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To: nickcarraway

Wow, I can’t believe some people who travel haven’t run across this.

Travel the tourist spots in Hawaii. You’ll be convinced in no time, I assure you.


11 posted on 07/13/2013 10:32:43 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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To: nickcarraway

It is just a false perception caused by Americans watching too many Benny Hill reruns.


12 posted on 07/13/2013 10:34:42 PM PDT by ThomasThomas ("We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.")
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To: nickcarraway

...And then there’s my MIL, 100% Irish, who told a group of Chinese people, in China, they needed to speak better English if they wanted her money.... As I hid behind my husband...!


13 posted on 07/13/2013 10:35:32 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: MacMattico

haha love it :)


14 posted on 07/13/2013 10:36:58 PM PDT by TsonicTsunami08
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To: Jonty30

When I was a yute I had a PhD Chinese colleague at JPL. I taught him a little English, he taught me a little Mandarin Chinese. Nice guy, but he was genuinely mystified when I asked him to teach me the Mandarin word for “please”. He had never heard one.


15 posted on 07/13/2013 10:38:52 PM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: nickcarraway
My son's in China. He's having a blast. Ive never met a Chinese I didn't love.
16 posted on 07/13/2013 10:39:37 PM PDT by DManA
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To: nickcarraway

Even the so-called educated Chinese at my company are rude and racist. I have lost respect for Chinese due to my colleagues’ behaviors.


17 posted on 07/13/2013 10:41:34 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: DManA

They’re small and cuddly and ready to please...


18 posted on 07/13/2013 10:41:55 PM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: AlmaKing

Welcome to Silicon Valley...


19 posted on 07/13/2013 10:42:36 PM PDT by null and void (Republicans create the tools of oppression, and the democrats gleefully use them!)
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To: null and void
I posted this on his facebook page - Alex, get one like this.
20 posted on 07/13/2013 10:46:01 PM PDT by DManA
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To: nickcarraway

Hell...... I think they’re all rude. Just go to one of their restaurants. You will quickly find that the customer is NOT ‘always right’.....


21 posted on 07/13/2013 10:52:51 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: nickcarraway

“I never noticed this.”

Go stand in front of the Mona Lisa, see if you notice anything.


22 posted on 07/13/2013 11:10:56 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve met Chinese tourists in the UK. They didnt seem rude to me. Quite the opposite in fact.


23 posted on 07/14/2013 1:40:35 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: nickcarraway

It’s not just Chinese tourists. a good percentage of the mainland Chinese are very rude as well. My younger brother and his wife visited China a few years ago. They said they’d never go back. My brother’s wife was actually pushed out of her place in line waiting to make an order at a fast food restaurant by a Chinese women. They got into an argument, and the restaurant’s manager apologized to my s-in-law. They experienced other instances of very rude behavior by the locals. And they said off the beaten path China is exceptionally filthy. However, they loved S. Korea and Japan and would like to go back to those places.


24 posted on 07/14/2013 4:56:31 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: nickcarraway

I sure have.
Try getting off an airplane when a half dozen Chinese are on board.


25 posted on 07/14/2013 5:14:06 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: nickcarraway
I never noticed this.

You either fogot to insert the tag or you have never been to downtown Vancouver, (HongCouver). Ask any big city Canadian dweller.

26 posted on 07/14/2013 5:27:26 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: KoRn
Hell...... I think they’re all rude. Just go to one of their restaurants. You will quickly find that the customer is NOT ‘always right’.....

LOL. That reminds me of when I had a roommate who was 350 pounds and he went into an Italian chain restaurant that offered an "all you can eat" buffet with a teenaged friend who ate the way many teens do.

During their third trip through the buffet line, the Chinese manager came rushing out to them and in broken english told them "that's all you can eat".

Huh? My roomie reacted. "No, all-you-can-eat means we eat until we decide we are full".

"No," insisted the manager, "That's all you can eat."

I think the manager was afraid the two were going to eat him out of his business but it was hysterical to think that the concept of "all-you-can-eat" was the decision of the manager and not the customer.

27 posted on 07/14/2013 5:28:29 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Howdy to all you government agents spying on me.)
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To: martin_fierro

I will laugh about your post all day.


28 posted on 07/14/2013 5:32:19 AM PDT by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: DManA

The world today seems absolutely crackers,
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There’s fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It’s depressing and it’s senseless, and that’s why...
I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they’re always friendly, and they’re ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There’s nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You’d better learn to like them; that’s what I say.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they’re cute and they’re cuddly, and they’re ready to please.

I like Chinese food.
The waiters never are rude.
Think of the many things they’ve done to impress.
There’s Maoism, Taoism, I Ching, and Chess.

So I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese thought,
The wisdom that Confucious taught.
If Darwin is anything to shout about,
The Chinese will survive us all without any doubt.

So, I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they’re wise and they’re witty, and they’re ready to please.

All together.

[verse in Chinese]
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Wo ai zhongguo ren. (I like Chinese.)
Ni hao ma; ni hao ma; ni hao ma; zaijien! (How are you; how are you; how are you; goodbye!)

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
Their food is guaranteed to please,
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees...


29 posted on 07/14/2013 5:33:59 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: nickcarraway

A Godless culture breeds just animals who have no morality.


30 posted on 07/14/2013 5:34:46 AM PDT by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: Jonty30
It’s also my understanding that Chinese tend to be abrupt when they want to be informal and friendly. For example, if they want somebody to pass the salt, they will point to a person and simply say, “Pass salt.” It’s only when they are acting more formal will words like, “Please”, or “Thank you” will enter the conversation.

In addition, voice inflection is part of the language. What may sound to us as terse and gruff is a normal part of the dialect.

31 posted on 07/14/2013 5:36:08 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve traveled China...I never noticed anything but courtesy (and some curiosity). I think this is way overblown. The real “traveling jerks” are Americans...they’ve embarassed me more often than some Chinese tourist.


32 posted on 07/14/2013 6:01:18 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag ( EVERY DIME Obama Spends is given to him by the Republicans in the House.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Ewha University was Ewha Women's University back in the old days when I was stationed there.

Yes, I remember, too. While in Seoul, courtesy of the U.S. Army, in 1961=62, I had a little Korean girlfriend who attended that school. Her father was very rich and this very pretty girl (21) even paid for all our dates...wouldn't let me pay a dime. I felt like a kept man.

33 posted on 07/14/2013 6:19:39 AM PDT by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

Having traveled China, I can say (accepting some cultural differences in behavior) the Chinese weren’t exceptionally rude or disconcerting. I have experienced proportionally more rude Americans (especially in large urban areas here).


34 posted on 07/14/2013 6:29:18 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Try getting off an airplane when a half dozen Chinese are on board.

You have nailed it! Try getting off, as I have, surrounded by about 40 of them in the rear section of the plane.

35 posted on 07/14/2013 6:30:10 AM PDT by Salvey
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To: Salvey

This is not the way of Japanese...


36 posted on 07/14/2013 7:05:22 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: warsaw44

Ping


37 posted on 07/14/2013 7:08:20 AM PDT by warsaw44
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To: OrangeHoof

At a Chinese buffet (one trip, not all you can eat), my brother was told by the Chinese manager that he piled his plate too high.


38 posted on 07/14/2013 7:18:40 AM PDT by reformed_dem
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To: DemforBush

How like a Dem to bring up some unflattering story about an American. Do you think that we don’t know that there are actually rude Americans? It’s just that Chinese are culturally pervasively rude. And we can actually have a conversation without downing Americans! Imagine that.


39 posted on 07/14/2013 9:40:53 AM PDT by Shimmer1 (Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people.)
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To: nickcarraway

One of my good friends took their kids to England to visit the WWII cemetaries and attend the Memorial Day service this year. She told me the other day at lunch that the Chinese tourists were stomping all over the graves and were standing around laughing and openly mocking the ceremony for our fallen WWII vets.


40 posted on 07/14/2013 10:37:55 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: nickcarraway

They are from a nation—that they call—The Centeral Kingdom. They believe ALL Civilization comes from China. There is a sort of natural arrogance to the “Han” Chinese. History also gives them a dislike of other nations that once dominated them, like the Europeans and the Japanese. To the Chinese we Americans are seen as the illegetimate sons of the British Empire.


41 posted on 07/14/2013 11:48:29 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Shimmer1

Um, yeah. Sure thing, dude.


42 posted on 07/15/2013 4:03:04 AM PDT by DemforBush (Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!)
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To: DemforBush

Dude??? Like, what EVer man. You’re just so, like, COOL (well, LIKE cool, but not quite cool)


43 posted on 07/15/2013 1:51:19 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people.)
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To: Salvey; Eric in the Ozarks

Heck - try getting off an airplane with ANYBODY on board.

One of my favorite pastimes is watching the people on an airplane JUMP up and get their carry-ons as soon as the plane almost stops, only to stand packed like sardines in the aisle and wait 10 minutes to begin to move.

I just sit there and wait comfortably, getting up after most have left, and pleasantly walk to the baggage claim, where all the “jumpers-up” are waiting for the bags to start coming from the carousel. It sure is a good thing they got there before me, so they can stand there longer...


44 posted on 07/15/2013 2:31:26 PM PDT by HeadOn (Be ready at a minute's notice to saddle up.)
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To: nickcarraway

Perhaps it might be that the Chinese who have the money to be able to go abroad and be tourists are disproportionately from the Chinese ruling class (Chinese Communist Party) and are used to being rude to underlings.


45 posted on 07/15/2013 2:36:47 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: HeadOn

I’m past that frantic stage of airplane hopping every week or two.
Thank the Good Lord...

I think the funniest event I experienced was a trip from Mpls to Chicago with about 25 or 30 Japanese guys on the airplane. As we rolled toward the terminal, a Flying Tigers 747 freighter passed us on the opposite runway. There was an audible “oh-ahh” from the Japanese.
Sadly, Flying Tigers is gone...


46 posted on 07/15/2013 3:18:21 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Shimmer1

Um, yeah. Sure thing, dude.


47 posted on 07/16/2013 4:46:06 PM PDT by DemforBush (Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!)
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To: DemforBush

Ok ma’am


48 posted on 07/16/2013 5:19:55 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people.)
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To: nickcarraway; a fool in paradise
Very far away in a foreign land
Live the yellow woman and the yellow man
He's been around for many a year
They say they were there before we were here

Eatin' rice all day
While the children play
You see he believes in the family
Just like you and me

Oh, yellow man, oh, yellow man
We understand, you know we understand
He keeps his money tight in his hand

With his yellow woman he's a yellow man
Got to have a yellow woman
When you're a yellow man


 [RANDY NEWMAN - YELLOW MAN]

49 posted on 07/16/2013 5:25:21 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Shimmer1

Um, yeah. Sure thing, dude.


50 posted on 07/16/2013 5:29:58 PM PDT by DemforBush (Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!)
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