Wednesday, January 26, 2011


By now you may have heard of Travel and Leisure's Rudest Cities in a America article. Since Boston was labeled #6, I thought I'd comment on my thoughts...

#1- What does rude exactly mean? I always hear midwesterners commenting on how people are "unfriendly" because they don't talk in the grocery store line in Boston. I don't find it rude at all to mind your own business in the grocery line and that's what I generally do. However, Eric gives off some kind of "you should talk to me" vibe and people always talk to him in lines or everywhere we go! Anyway, do people really want to talk to people in the grocery store line THAT much?

#2- Can you judge the rudeness of a place where you grow up? I don't find people in Boston to be rude at all (I mean other than some people obviously!), but maybe I'm just used to it?

#3- One of the comments that someone made on the rudeness article was that some cities have people who tend to be rude behind your back. Would you prefer someone be rude to your face, or behind your back? I'm not sure... sometimes I think it's better to keep your mouth shut and then tell someone later :)

#4- I find in general rudeness/niceness stereotypes about cities/countries are completely incorrect every single time. I wonder if this is because of expectations or luck, or because some stereotypes are just wrong. Some examples:

*Australia has a reputation for kind and welcoming residents. Please know that I love Australia and it will be a happy day in my life when I return there. The people that I met and became my friends were amazing people. But I have amazing friends here in #6 rude Boston too, and I found random Australians to be relatively rude towards Americans. There was a point while I was there that my Australian friend had to stand up for me because someone started yelling at me electing President Bush. Personally, if I met someone from North Korea, I would not start screaming at them about their country/leader etc. This happened to me more than once in Australia. Oh and don't get me started on the bus drivers over there, oh boy! The accents did make them sound slightly more friendly...

*Similarly, Eric and I were told about the welcoming personalities of the Greek. Um... really? We did not find this at all. In fact, this was the only place on our Europe trip that was not at the very least amused by Eric's attempt to say hello and thank you in the native language of the country we were visiting. They would actually look at him kind of weird...

*On the other hand, we had the opposite experience in France. Everyone knows the French, especially in Paris, have a reputation for being rude. However, not one single person was rude to us in Paris. In fact, when we looked extremely lost with a map on the side of the road, a random French guy stopped and attempted to help us without us even asking! Despite the fact that he spoke no English at all, he used the map and gestures to help and didn't give up on us even when we were confused. I call this, the opposite of rude.

Did your city fall on the list of Top 20 rudest cities? Do you think that's right? If you don't live in the US- do you think your city is considered rude or not? What rudeness stereotypes have you found to be false?


  1. Number 11!! Although it doesnt really say WHY it is a rude city. I have to say I do agree with what it DOES say.

  2. I cannot stand when people strike up random conversations with me. HATE IT. if i do not know you do not talk to me. haha.

  3. Oh interesting! Minneapolis/St Paul is not on the list! I think it's really hard to assess rudeness. I didn't encounter rudeness in NYC or Paris which are 2 areas that are known for rude residents.

    There is this idea of "minnesota nice" which I totally do not agree with at all. I think that Midwesterns are passive agressive and some of the rudest people i have encountered!!!

  4. Dude. I'm from LA. People aren't the nicest people ever, but they are definitely NOT THE RUDEST. I grew up in Ohio and New York and can definitely say that New Yorkers are really rude compared to LA. But there definitely is a Cali snobbery in places. Basically EVERYWHERE has rude people and nice people, I think the survey is pretty silly. It only polled 35 city. Of course there are 20 that are considered rude. Haha.

  5. I'm with everyone else on here, it really depends on your own experience. Sometimes people also don't realise that they're the reason the other people are rude. I loved living in Tanzania and found the people very friendly, but I went out one day with another foreigner and wanted to die. No wonder everyone was rude to us; she barked at them and then complained that things weren't like they were in Australia loud enough that everyone could hear. If you take less than 5 minutes to greet a Tanzanian, they think you're rude. Complain about their country within earshot, why should they come over to the table to get your request for another beer?

    And the number of people who told me not to bother with Switzerland on my first trip to Europe... "you're a social person, you'll find them very cold and distant." Yes, they were proper in their interactions, but it's the only country where locals bent over backwards to help me on multiple occasions. It's become one of my favourite destinations and thankfully I'm still in contact with people I met on that first trip because it's EXPENSIVE!

  6. hahahah. i think rude is a relative term. i do think that boston is a bit standoffish as a city but i like it when i can talk to people / strangers and not feel like i'm intruding and bothering people. and lots of boston people keep to themselves. but i'm a southerner in a bostonian's life hahah

  7. I've always grown up hearing that "Americans are rude". But I LOVE all my American friends and haven't had that problem nor have I found any Americans that I've met to be more rude than some Canadians I know!

    They LOVED US in Greece. Maybe it was because you were American (no offence!!!) because people assumed we were American and as soon as we said "no, Canadian" people were SO FRIENDLY to us. One guy took us in his shop and showed us postcards from all of his relatives in Winnipeg. Lol!

    On the other hand, we definitely had a problem with the people in Paris. They were super snooty to us!

    Oh, and finally, the older couple we met in Cinque Terre and visited with for 2 hours were from Boston and they were SO NICE and friendly! So my limited interactions with people from Boston make me believe it is not a rude city :D

  8. I must have what Eric does because all the wack-a-doodles try to talk to me in line...or on a plane...I'm used to Boston and love the little chip on our shoulders! We've earned it!

  9. I don't find LA to be rude by any means. I think it's cliche and accepted as a norm...just like its thought that we're all tan, blonde, and big breasted...which I am none, ha!

  10. I would like to know exactly how they determine what's rude and what's not. I do believe to some point it is generalizing of some sort. People have a bad experience and generalize that all people from that city are like that. I will admit, that I feel that people from Philadelphia are rude only because from my experience, the people that I came across wanted nothing to do with tourists. It's like they were annoyed by them asking about good restaurants, places to see, etc. I know for a fact that if you were to walk up to someone here in ND or MN and ask a person their opinion of a good restaurant for lunch or directions to some place of interest, they would be more than happy to help. That's my interpretation of rude. :)

  11. The closest city to me on that list was Orlando which I can kind of agree with. (Tourists CAN be annoying, ha!) I think it's all relative, though. Every city has rude people! Although, I have to say I hate when people strike up conversation with me in the grocery store. In fact, maybe I would be one of the people considered rude! Ha, I just don't like small talk with strangers!!

  12. I'm from Baltimore and we were ranked #7 (this is by the way the same company who ranked Baltimore as #1 for city with the ugliest people).
    And I have to say that this list is a crock of crap. First of all, I love my city, and while Baltimorians are a little rough around the edge and have weird accents, we're really nice people.
    And I've visited Boston and NEVER had one person be rude to me. Not once.
    And furthermore, I've visited a lot of those cities on their list and the people seem really nice to me (seriously? San Fransisco? That was probably my fave vacation ever because everyone was SO nice to me as I traveled by myself). Maybe whoever is writing these articles is just a big old meanie.

  13. This was interesting, I wonder how this was determined. I didn't expect to see my city in there, since we are a fairly small city. :) I wasn't surprised to see Chicago, I have never been impressed there but I still loooove the city! I have spent some time on the East Coast, although not in the Northeast (I would LOVE to though!) and the people just seem so different. The best way I can describe it is more skeptical. Here it seems like everyone is just a little more trusting. Which can be bad!

  14. I think lists like this are so subjective, and pointless. These are all big cities, where many people have traveled, therefore they have had more opportunity to note the "rudeness" of these cities. Stupid. Even if Columbus was the #1 "rudest" city, it wouldn't be listed because not as many travel here and know about the people as compared to a place like...NYC, LA, or Boston! And trust me, I've met PLENTY of rude people here!! Every day, in fact (with my job...).

  15. I would think it'd be easier to judge friendliness than rudeness! I never noticed people in Maryland were ruder than in NC until I saw how friendly they were down here ;)