Don't go to Lancaster, PA
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aeberbach

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Or more clearly, don't go to stare at Amish people like they are some kind of zoo animal.

I went hoping to hang out in the country, hear horses trotting by, eat good food and relax. I found the most disgusting, crass, cynical exercise in exploiting tourists and disrespecting locals that I've ever seen. I watched busloads of fat retirees arrived every 15 minutes or so to gawp at people trying to go about their business. I walked through stores filled with Chinese-made crap that had nothing whatsoever to do with the locale or the locals. I was amazed that someone would erect a huge cinema offering the "Amish Multimedia Experience!" for $13.95 each adult. I had a taxi driver tell me that some people actually walk through people's homes and farms as if they are there as a tourist attraction. They don't like that but they don't stop it either - turn the other cheek is taken seriously.

Apart from that the town itself is nice enough. We saw some beautifully restored classic cars like AC Cobras, Mustangs, Cadillacs, Thunderbirds etc. at the show on Sunday and ate at a great bar (Belvedere Hotel) where the band was better than the food and the food was GREAT. But the spectacle of the exploitative tourist trade left a bad taste in my mouth. I hope the Amish find somewhere peaceful to live and the tourist-trappers are left with nothing but a lot of empty fields and 8,000 resin-sculpted toilet door signs featuring male and female teddy bears dressed as NYC firefighters, each featuring small compartments for pot pourri. The worst thing is I feel like I was a part of it.
 
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DanG

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I was there when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I'll never forget a fake-Amish "museum" with people pretending to be Amish had a barn and were wearing Amish clothes and tilling the soil behind the barn. We walked into the place where tickets were sold and this one guy dressed up as an Amish guy asks my brother (about 7 at this point) -- "Do you know that this is all fake? Do you know that this is not real? It's all a farce."

Even at that age I found it really very comical -- both the befuddled expression on my brother's face and the red cheeks of this disillusioned Amish actor. I'll never forget it.
 
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HighwayStar

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Yeah, it seems as humans we have the capacity to make a sideshow out of anything.

Everyday I get people asking me "Which way to Ground Zero ?" (I work three blocks away) I still get nuts and want to ask what the hell are you hoping to see ? I'm an amateur photographer and remember early on co-workers asking if I was going by with my cameras. For what ? To capture images of destruction and death ? I'm not a photojournalist and that's not art in any shape or form.

FWIW, I still haven't been to the site. I'm afraid I'll lose it completely I guess. I had a lot of clients in there (many made it out safely thankfully) and have been in the towers hundreds of times over the years. Even with the coming anniversary I don't think I've accepted it.

Sorry to hijack your thread, it just opened my personal can of worms...
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by aeberbach
I watched busloads of fat retirees arrived every 15 minutes or so to gawp at people trying to go about their business. I walked through stores filled with Chinese-made crap that had nothing whatsoever to do with the locale or the locals. I was amazed that someone would erect a huge cinema offering the "Amish Multimedia Experience!" for $13.95 each adult. I had a taxi driver tell me that some people actually walk through people's homes and farms as if they are there as a tourist attraction. They don't like that but they don't stop it either - turn the other cheek is taken seriously.


WOW! Right now I am sooo glad that I have led this sheltered life out here in the sticks, far away from all this sort of goings on. I am shocked to hear about this. What happened to respect?
 
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DanG

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It has to be said that the Amish, despite their objection to all things post-1800-something, do make much of their living off of tourists. They have the crappiest little attempts at tourist-trap-stores selling assorted junk from decades ago. They might not like the tourists but that doesn't mean they don't want them there.
 
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country = sticks = BAD

new york city = goooood.

stay there and you'll be okay.
 
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aeberbach

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I don't believe it DanG. The old order Amish are the big attraction and don't seem to participate in any way except to provide the spectacle. The new order and Mennonites etc. might be the ones behind the stores but I really doubt it.

(Carpentry is a business that's true but it's a long way from selling handmade wagons out of your barn to busloads from Jersey with a group booking at Enrique's Buggy Rides)
 
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john_jcb

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I think tourists are getting worse as time goes by. I visited the Amish over 20 years ago and it sounds as though things have changed dramatically. When I was there only a few stole pictures of them (which they think is wrong) and there weren't too many tourist attractions.

This is also why Americans have trouble when visiting Europe. Little or no respect for other peoples' way of life.
 
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DanG

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John, what you say reminds me of a funny enounter my family and I had in Greece or Spain. My mom or dad asked the cab driver, "do you speak any English?" And he replied "I didn't come to your country to drive around in your car."

Though I do think we're pretty good tourists compared to some Americans. And anyway, the Americans aren't the typical tourists anymore, it's the Japanese. Every year we go on vacation there are more and more Japanese, and slightly fewer Americans.
 
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John, generally speaking I agree with you. How do you think America got that way? I remember it not being this way when I was growing up, and I'm from Pennsylvania.

Just curious.
 
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