User talk:Marcool

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Hey, Marcool,
Welcome to hitchwiki and thanks for your cool new stuff! If you have any questions 'n shit, feel free to ask, but as it looks you won't need it ;-)
--Zenit 01:48, 8 July 2011 (CEST)

Thanks a lot!
I've just finished adding stuff ranging over the articles on Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and some towns in those countries. If you would like to take a quick look at them and point out anything controversial (although I did try to make the information as neutral and objective as possible), typos and such I would be very grateful.
Regards, Mark.
--Marcool 14:06, 11 July 2011 (CEST)

Cool, thanks for all that. Neutrality's definitely not a problem there. I just re-edited a few things into the Mexico article you dropped and I restored the Dallas page - you blanked it because there was like no useful info on there, right? We'd keep that as a stub because it's quite an important place and like this, it's more probable that somebody will come along and fill the article in. Anyway, thanks and stay safe!--Zenit 00:28, 12 July 2011 (CEST)

Ok thanks for that. Yeah I hoped to bring the Dallas article back to "this article does't exist" status, but that obviously isn't the right way to go about it... If you think it's better to keep the stub though that's ok, I wasn't sure what would encourage people to create something the most. About the part on female hikers in Mexico at first I wanted to include it in Personal Experiences as it is quite linked to the persons experience and that I noticed very different things in Mexico, particularly the exact oposite behavior of the one described : people picking up girls to "keep them safe", I never heard anything about prostitutes... And the fact about hiking with somebody else is debatable as you could arguably be given just as much trouble from a weird hitch-hiker who decides to stick to you than from the weird driver... Nevertheless the paragraph doesn't have a Personal Experience type of writing to it and I don't want to adapt it in that sense as that would be pointless. I agree deleting it altogether was a little harsh its just that I read the "colorfully clothed "crowds" of locals" part, seriously... people in Mexico look just like you and me and describing them as a colorfully clothed crowd just makes them sound like a bunch of typical indian people dressed with feathers to attract the tourists! Sorry I guess I just hate generalizations, and travelers do tend to generalize a lot! Never mind I can live with it! :-)
--Marcool 22:37, 11 July 2011 (CEST)

It runs in the same veine as people who say "mind your bags" or "keep your money in your bra" or "this place is dangerous"... you may have noticed I deleted a whole bunch of that too. We travelled through the whole of south, central and north america and never, never, ever, ever did anybody even try to touch us, our bags or our money. We were in slums where people were beging, in streets with jewelry shops, in places all along the social scale and throughout those places we met plenty of people that you would at first dissmis as ones who might try to mugg you because they looks like they're at the last stage of hope... It just depends on your behavior and attitude.
There are crooks everywhere, there are guys who will take a girl on the side of the road for a prostitute everywhere, and there are - fortunately - very good people everywhere. It's always good advice to mind your stuff, it's always good advice not to flash your dollars about, and it's always better to travel in numbers, hitch-wiki has a great page explaining general advice like this, it's no use repeating it on every page in the site! And I'm sure that plenty have even gone about doing the exact oposite of all that good advice and still gotten lucky...
As for specifically quoting areas where one phenomena (robbery, taking people for prostitutes and such) is supposed to be more developed than in another, please, what the hell!?
Stuff like that just discourages people from travelling to an area they might otherwise find amazing, and where they might meet some great people.
Ok I guess after a while travelling a needed to say stuff like that to somebody! I hate paranoia basically!! It paralises the world and makes so many people miserable and unpleasant when they could be happy and outgoing!
Anyhow, I'm done ranting now... thanks for reading anyhow!
Regards, and again thanks for the proof-reading!
--Marcool 22:40, 11 July 2011 (CEST)

Yeah, I know what you mean. First, about the colourful crowds, we can easily edit that out and make the whole paragraph less generalised. Then, about precautions and stuff, obviously we don't have to add things like the danger of being robbed and the possible benefit of travelling in groups to every article, that's the Lonely Plantet folks' job. But I do think that in this particular case - with the single female traveller in Mexico - there is some information that is both specific to the country and potentially helpful. I also think it does make sense to point out areas where a girl standing by the side of the road will be thought of as a prostitute more easily, you have that in Italy, too, for example. I'm gonna edit it a bit, though, and you can tell me what you think.--Zenit 15:30, 12 July 2011 (CEST) (I was thinking we could do the opposite of the LP: add a disclaimer to every warning saying that you shouldn't be scared anyhow because bad things tend not to happen to you or something)

Ok yeah it sounds pretty neutral and helpful now with the edits you've made. I still don't know about the specific areas thing though. In my opinion in 99% of cases where somebody tells you "place x is more whatever than the rest of..." it's closer to meaning "when I was in x I got more whatever than when I was in the rest of...", that's why I tend to classify it as a personal opinion. In Central America most of all we were amazed how everybody we met would tell us : "oh you're heading there! It's really dangerous there you know", I can't even remember how many times we heard the line "hay muchos maliantes alla!"...
--Marcool 12:16, 12 July 2011 (CEST)

Hey, just to join the discussion: I think that you are right somehow ... but then people often say "Italy/Spain/whatever country" is a country where hitchhiking is more difficult than in country X" and there is usually truth in that, even though it does not always proove to be true. I had some hard times hitchhing in Spain and two years ago in Italy. During the Abgefahren race most people had beautiful experiences in Italy, especially around the area we camped. On the way back going through more inhabited landscapes/cities it was definitely more difficult. Also some people said in Sines at last years' hitchgathering that hitching in Spain was great ... but many also had problems. The same might be true for the "dangerousness" of an area. But a single experience can always vary a lot from the usual/average ... I would rather keep these experiences, but mark them clearly as experiences ... like they exists in some articles already. I know we usually have the policy not to write in a first person style, but I think there we could make a difference between personal experience descriptions and rational descriptions of how to get to a great hitching spot etc. It's fun to read personal experiences in my opinion. Of course one has to keep in mind that they 'are' personal, maybe even extreme, experiences which might not at all display the usual. And about what non-hitchhikers say ... well... isn't there even an advise on hitchwiki to never listen to your drivers? ;) --N0id 18:33, 12 July 2011 (CEST)

Well, one thing with hitchwiki is the fact that we can't be super objective... because there's no empirical studies and stuff about hitchability or any of the other things that we prominently write about. In the end, it's just going to be a cocoction from the personal experiences of everybody who edits the article - and that's exactly the point why we need to keep the single women part in the mexico article. Somebody felt strongly about that, now we came and softened a bit because we didn't feel it was that important, and the next person will change it a bit again... I'm saying that nobody has the "ultimate" knowlege about hitching in any place and we just have to work on the right mix. and stuff. that goes for hitchability just as it does for dangers, prostitutes, etc.--Zenit 21:43, 12 July 2011 (CEST)

I perfectly agree with both of you, although I hadn't read the piece of advice on never listen to you driver yet! Soooo true! :-) I guess that there's something to be learned out of everybody's experience indeed, and as you say Zenit it's near impossible to keep this type of article entirely objective so in the end it's really important I think to contextualize information, and organize it inside the articles, that way what is what remains clear and everyone can give his experience AND contribute general information in different scopes. On the other hand I do retain a slightly more extreme view on the this place works this one doesn't kind of judgements, outside of a personal experience scope of course. In my opinion this type of comment, however eerily true it may turn out to be sometimes, is of the kind that alters your experience without you even knowing it. You know this kind of information that you don't really pay attention too, that sits like a seed in the corner of your mind, and then, the minute you ARE in Italie, and you ARE waiting a long time, then you remember how somebody said it was hard to hitch-hike there, and the idea becomes bigger and bigger, and so the seed germinates, and in the end flowers and the next time YOU talk to somebody about hitch-hiking in Italie, you'll have a whole new bunch of seeds to plant in other peoples heads. Whereas on the other hand had you not had that seed in there in the first place, you may never have made note of the 45 minutes or 2 hours waisted on the outskirts of Turin, and you would have told the story if Italie differently... I'm exaggerating of course but I guess you see my point.
--Marcool 03:25, 13 July 2011 (CEST)