Nationality spotting at airports: today’s challenge – where are the ladies on the photo from? (no prizes I am afraid)…

IMG_3427To the extent that I have to travel,   I love business lounges. I like the peace and quiet, the drinks, the comfy chairs, the clean restrooms, the drinks, the food, and in BA lounges the feeling that my granny is taking care of me, but then I love BA for that anyway. Swiss is efficient, LUFTHANSA is charmlessly efficient, and I always worry that an air-hostess will come out wearing leather and carrying a little whip, to ensure that all passengers adhere to protocol, whereas if you get onto a BA flight the air-hostess (they aren’t called that anymore are they?)  will take one look at you, before you have even found your seat, and say ” it looks like you need a drink” and then bring you one. This happened to me after a grueling meeting in Buenos Aires and I still remember the lady with a smile. So  If you have to travel, it is nice to have a haven of peace to retire to, and where you can work  if you must,  or watch movies on your IPAD, that works really well too.

Business lounges are also great places to  people-watch and hone your nationality identification skills. It is fun to watch groups and try to figure where they come from. Some of my observations:  there are nationalities whose members travel in baggy sweat-pants, regardless of their income level. I once saw a lady with very large pneumatic breasts, blond hair and very large lips, with suitcases from Louis Vuitton, flanked by 2 bodyguard type men, who was wearing a designer track-suit in a business lounge (no it still didn’t look stylish), there are nationalities whose members really like elongated shoes, with flat tips (the English, you can usually spot a British business man by his shoe shape), nationalities, where the men wear pink shirts, or lilac shirts, with aplomb (Italians or Spanish), nationalities where some of the top execs resemble perfect Barbie and perfect Ken. Hair, lips, make-up etc are perfect from 4am to 9pm, they pride themselves on needing no sleep, and hit the gym for an hour every day, regardless of the time-zone (I’ll let you guess that one) and then there are travelers who carry 3 Hermes shopping bags, some Gucci shopping bags and Louis Vuitton, back from their trips to Europe, also easy to guess. There is the group, usually hailing from the East, where the woman is slim, with tight clothes, lots of jewellery and make-up but despite having all the right accessories, she somehow still manages to look as though she only just escaped the village (I’m not sure why this is), and the man has on a tight T-shirt, a thick neck, and imposing,  impossibly large biceps, a number of simple, inexpertly inked black or blue tattoos, often in the area of the hands, and tight stonewashed jeans. An interesting couple, you look at the mans buzz-cut (but not directly, you are not that brave), rough hewn face,  sharp cheekbones and chilly blue eyes and are involuntarily grateful that you are not in a dark alley, just you and him. There are many more groups, if you fly Easy jet, or package tours back from Spain, you will know, every time I do it I swear I won’t fly those routes again……  And then of course there are the rare travelers, who despite traveling long distances still look great and un-disheveled. Going back to my last blog about women who dress well and just have that special something:

Case in point the ladies above. They were celebrating a business meeting with lattte macchiato in a business lounge (if you are curious which one check out the clue in the picture). There are no prizes for guessing where they are from, it’s just too easy…..



25 thoughts on “Nationality spotting at airports: today’s challenge – where are the ladies on the photo from? (no prizes I am afraid)…

  1. Haha great post. I don’t know where they are from but I too enjoy trying to guess where people are from when I’m in airports. The funny thing is that because I’m of mixed nationalities myself, no one can usually guess where I’m from. Lately people think I’m Brazilian, which even though I am not, it’s actually a great guess considering that many people from Brazil are mixed too. I’m not sure my dressing style conforms exactly to where I live either…
    Ok these ladies look like they are wearing the same outfits (so are they airline hostesses?). Ok, just to take a really wild guess, are they Greek?

    • 🙂 thanks so much for chipping in with a guess Sofia, I really like that. If you are mixed nationalities it is harder, agree, also if you are from big cities it’s harder because there everything is more on trend. Brazilians often mixed too. True.
      The ladies on the photo are of course ITALIANS 🙂 and nope they are business traveling Italian ladies with one boss and 3 of her team. I guess they work in some conformist industry, so either banking, or consultancy as you spotted they are all wearing dark suits and white shirts. That means they are not in pharma 🙂 – I love this game. Happy Sunday

      • ps I have just been told that yes the Italans are more colourful, but these ladies were in Germany (see the beer mat on the right hand side of the picture) on a business trip and I have been informed that likely they were dressing to fit in. The things I learn late on a Sunday

      • I thought they were in Germany because of that beer logo (not a bad detective, huh?). Ok if they are dressing to fit in. After I have spent most of my life dressing to fit in and mostly in black clothes, I have suddenly reached a point that I am making a point to dress to not necessarily fit in and add a tad of colour. I hope my phase lasts! 😉

  2. And I always wonder what on earth they do. You should see South African Airports. All the tourists arriving in kaki bush/ hunting gear. Ready to see the big 5, even in Cape Town. Also don’t forget the ones with the sandals with sox…..

    • giggle – hilarious – bush hunting gear?? Probably they have read too many books set in the bush 🙂 I actually have an offer from a travel agent in SA – my goal at some point is the garden route and vineyards – not the big 5 🙂 – oh dear goodness me, I forgot the sandals and socks, paired with a yellow shirt, and capri pants on a man…….no prizes for guessing nationality on that one. In the spring months switch sandals with timberlands, no socks, shorts and a T shirt with a budweiser advert and you have an American who is immune to the cold. Thanks for adding in the extra tourists!

  3. Haha yes great post and now I have to scroll up and enlarge the pic…nope no idea dark haired and Latino looking? You would be able to tell me right? Hah I love people watxhing but you truly have made it an artform really you have gosh! Great post poli poli x

    • hello there – thanks so much for your comments 🙂 you made me laugh as usual, and thanks for the compliments much appreciated. I am always really happy when someone reads a post to the end, makes me very cheerful!

      • but my dearest – they are of course Italians, could they honestly be anything else?? wearing black and sombre business gear, because they are on a business trip to Germany (see the little beer mat in the bottom right hand corner: Fraziskaner weissbier – the Beer of Munich :))!

      • apparently I just need to find different and more interesting tests for you to do and you wouldn’t need a magnifying glass – lets say I had a naked leprechaun hidden in the photo holding the numbers for tomorrows lottery win, just as an example. I suspect you would suddenly find your eyesight dramatically improved 🙂 happy MOnday

      • Me out of the box?? nope I try to stay in as much as possible, as a policewoman friend once said to me its important to confuse the environment and camouflage yourself and I am guessing she knows what she is on about. Regarding – Daniel Craig – yes well, I anticipate there might be a combustion there……but I wouldnt be there to see it 🙂

  4. Another fun post Poli!! When we lived in southern Spain, we’d try to guess where obvious tourists were coming from, and sidle up closer to hear them talk to see if we were correct. We’d be freezing in the winter there and the Germans would come down in short pants and sandals– enjoying the warmer weather…

    • Hello there – I feel less alone now, I sidle up to people too trying to figure out what language they are speaking, I have, I think, on occasion asked them, when I just couldn’t figure it out…..I see the short pants and sandals look is ubiquitous for those who live in colder climes once they get to warmer playgrounds 🙂

  5. Recognised them immediately as Italians! Living in Italy I always feel like a scruffy urchin with my innate British ‘who cares if my shoe has holes in it?’ attitude. Great post, and observations.

    • AHA Frankie – of course you did, what else could they be :)!! I agree for me there is nothing else they could be either, from the smile, to the clothes to the body language :). I have been looked up and down disapprovingly by ladies like this in Milan …

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