When traveling, or really anytime, if you meet strangers, you're always going to come off better by speaking positive about someone as opposed to negative. So, for example, meeting some randoms from another country and saying "Our mayor is a crook!" or "Our Premier is a thief" or "Our Prime Minister is a fascist!" will make you seem like a dick. On the other hand, saying "Our Premier is inspiring" or "Our Prime Minister has been the steady hand we need" or whatever is a much better conversation starter.
Quote of the Day:
So Elizabeth Smart is one incredible woman. This is from an interview with her:
Terry Gross interviewing Elizabeth Smart, who wrote a book about her abduction as a teenager by a messianic loon: "I don't mean to be flip, but the only thing worse I can imagine than being raped repeatedly as a 14-year-old is being raped by someone who won't shut up."
Smart: "It was hard to decide which was worse, the rape or the talking. I still debate that." Here's the interview: http://m.npr.org/news/front/230204193