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(E) Trivia for the American travelers in Orange County Register
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  08/18/2004 | Trivia | Unrated
(E) Trivia for the American travelers in Orange County Register




This is an excerpt from the travel section of the Orange County Register
of Aug. 8. by reporter John Flinn, (San Francisco Chronicle) giving
advise to American travelers how to best endear themselves to the locals:

"Learning about history and political situation of the places you visit
can endear you to the locals.

Here is a bit of trivia I bet you did not know: When the United States of
America declared its independence from Great Britain - 228 years ago
today - the very first foreign entity to formally recognize us as a
nation was
Dubrovnik, at the time an independent city-state.

Here is another one: the White House was built of stone from the very
same quarry (on the
Croatian island of Brac) as the stone used in

I thought I'd have a little fun revealing these obscure factoids to
Croatians during my recent visit there. But I was able to surprise no
one. Every single Croat I met knew these things by heart, and several of
them seemed stunned - and a little hurt - that every American did not
know them as well. I could not bear to tell them most Americans would be
stumped if asked to guess which country Dubrovnik is in, much less locate
Croatia on the map.

It was a reminder of something Americans need to keep constantly in mind
as we venture out into the wider world: People in other countries obsess
about us, every day, even as we ignore them. ....Your new friends will go
home impressed that Americans - one, anyway, pay at least a little
attention to their country. ( I was looking for just such a
conversation-starter when I ferreted out what I thought were obscure
facts about Dubrovnik).....


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