Spot The Foreigner

"Line? What line?"

"Line? What line?"

Now that the tourist season is almost with us once again, it’s time to dig out your old I-Spy Book of Foreigners.

It’s a simple yet enjoyable game in which you simply need to spot the non-Balt/Slav. There are of course a few obvious spots to be had by seeing people with ruddy complexions in “sports casual travelwear” loitering around tourist traps, but you only score minimum points for them.

It’s much better if you can spot someone not from round these parts using quirkier criteria. I’ve been here long enough to work out a few rules that rarely prove inaccurate, and I’d welcome any further suggestions from readers with nothing better to do.

If you’re planning on passing yourself off as a Balt, bear in mind these dead giveaways:

  1. Pointy shoes (men). Anyone with a sensible, rounded toe to their shoe is more likely than not an alien. Balts insist on a point of almost winkle-picker proportions.
  2. Flower carrying etiquette. Balts walking with flowers hold them by the stem with the blooms facing downwards. Westerners always hold them with the blooms uppermost.
  3. Precision parking. Anyone spending time worrying about parking in a marked parking bay is not a local. Such is the Balt’s love and intuition of nature that he/she cannot actually see straight lines. Consequently, parking bays are invisible to Balts.

classicparking21That’s just for starters. Surely we can drum up a few more? This is the stuff they just don’t teach you in spy school.


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