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Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

Richmond, Virginia
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Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

At the suggestion of the Rick Steve's Travel Book, we went to the Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg. They do have a good selection of steins and clocks and souvenirs in the small shop. The shop owner greeted our American family kindly at the door. I showed him my travel book and he gave us a special map of the city as he gives everyone. He showed us around the shop, reminded us of the discount he would give us due to Rick Steves and seemed friendly.

But, then the most shocking things happened. The next group that arrived at the door was Oriental. The owner immediately began to close the door in their faces and told them that the shop was closing. The owner turned to my son and said, "We want you to have a nice shopping experience. Those people just bump into everything and then don't buy anything." The people stood outside for a just a second and went on their way saying nothing. He then reopened the door to the shop. The next group of people was also Oriental and he also told them the shop was closing. He again closed the door on them. The next group actually got in the door. They had dark skin. The owner told them the shop was closing and asked them to leave.

My son saw all this happen and left the shop with his wife. He did not tell me what happened until we had left the shop. He was afraid to say anything while inside the shop. I am appalled by the shop owners behavior and would never return. I would suggest that others beware of this shop owner and his racist behavior!

Frankfurt
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for Frankfurt
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1. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I hope you write to Rick Steves so that they can delete this shop from the book, and then also post your experience on the Rick Steves Helpline.

Rather than stand by and watch the owner behave in such a racist manner, I guess I would have said something. Perhaps write them a letter too so they know how you feel.

Germany
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for Train Travel
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2. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

Do I believe that shop owners could be racist? Yes.

Do I believe that racist shop owners are stupid and would forego a good deal? Never.

I guess you did show quite some interest in their selection. And the shop owner feared that letting in a group would be a risk to loose a customer close to a purchase. These kind of shop owners will play the same game with any other constellation as well. I would call it "you're my best friend" method Do you really expect that he will tell you the truth why he was turning away the other groups because he is going for the "you're my best friend" method. Albeit this "We want you to have a nice shopping experience." is quite close to admit this. The rest is just blah blah. And will change with the constellation.

> and he gave us a special map of the city as he gives everyone. He showed us around the shop, reminded us of the discount he would give us due to Rick Steves and seemed friendly.

Again the "you're my best friend method". And this works better with individuals or small groups than larger ones.

Statistically the orientals have surpassed nowadays the Americans if it comes to souvenirs spending anyway. Shopping culture is a bit different than ours and this is for shop owners quite some adjustment. And for a family run service employing e.g. Mandarin speaking staff may be no option. But with shops specialized to cater for Chinese tour groups they may well close the doors for others to care about them. That's business. Not racism.

Richmond, Virginia
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3. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I did send Rick Steve's an email but have yet to hear back from them. Your suggestion to post the experience on the Helpline is a good one. I will do that. I also like your idea to give the shop owner my feedback. Thanks!

Richmond, Virginia
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4. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I appreciate your response but don't agree. It's not just business as usual. Thankfully, I've never seen this particular business practice in the form of racial profiling so boldly enforced. All the shop owner did was take a quick look at the color of the skin of the patrons coming to the door. He made assumptions about their behavior and willingness to spend cash in his shop. Those he considered unacceptable were told to leave. Yes, he has the right to refuse service to whomever he chooses. I just don't think it is reasonable for a tour book to steer folks to a shop with that policy. There are plenty of shops in Rothenburg- too many in fact. Steer the tourists to a shop that will let ANY tourist come in the door to spend their money.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

Just to give the owner the benefit of the doubt, you really do not know what experience he may have had with Chinese tourists. There have been a number of articles recently of poor, boorish behavior by Chinese toursits. It has become such a concern, that the Chinese minister for tourism issued an admonishment to his people to watch their behavior when overseas. So maybe this guy had had a bad experience that made he not want them as customers. Bad tourist behavior used to be an American-only trait, but it appears we are getting lapped by others now.

Roanoke, Virginia...
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6. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I too visited The Cuckoo clock Store, The Friese-Shop in Rothenburg Germany during April 2013 while on tour. I was greeted warmly and patiently while having all of my questions answered. The Store owner and her Son, Jurjon, were especially helpful and I enjoyed an interesting 45 mins talking with them both, but especially Ms. Anneliese who shared her stories with me of my home town, New York. We laughed, joked and exchanged stories about shopping, people and of course The Big Apple. Never did I notice any racist tones, and I did not feel uncomfortable ever!! I look forward to visiting this store on my return trip next year, God Willing, and hope to find them both doing as well as when I last saw them. I am a dark skinned American Woman from New York, born and raised, and never, ever noticed, felt or experienced anything even close to racism from Ms Anneliese or Jurjon! I say Nonsense...but if that is what you experienced and felt...I am glad I did not from them!!

virginia
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7. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I just got back from Germany. I too went to the store. The owner and her grand daughter were working. They were so sweet and told us many stories of Rick Steves. She gave us a free map and free postcards. She also wrapped items in wrapping paper. There were a few others that walked in store but not Asian. She was a delight.

Rayleigh, United...
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for Seoul, Rothenburg
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8. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

I don't really understand this- what is Oriental with dark skin? Are we talking Japanese? Indian?

Agree with abalada.

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

We recently visited the Friese shop in Rothenburg, and were warmly greeted by Anneliese, who had lived in Australia for many years, and knew not only our home city, but our whole state. We spent a delightful half hour with her, and were not only given a generous discount on our purchase but several gifts as well. A highlight of our trip which we have reported to all our friends. May I suggest that it was the group situation and not racism which caused the lockout, as friends of our gave up their small business due to the damage and theft that occurred when large groups of tourists entered their shop.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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10. Re: Shocking Experience at Anneliese Friese Shop in Rothenburg

As mentioned by abalada the Chinese are now starting to travel a lot more (to Europe and I assume not just Europe). We saw a big group this summer in Poznan, which is not near the top of the list for tourist numbers in Poland. Certainly in Barcelona the Chinese are noted for their shopping at high-end stores eg on Passeig de Gracia. So there is interest in recruiting Chinese-speaking staff, also Russian-speaking and Portuguese-speaking (for the Brazilian tourists).

Interesting that people join TA to defend the shop: Hope we get more contributions from Kitt and Pauline!