I’ve heard that anything that you do repeatedly for 21 days sticks and becomes a habit. Well, I’ve been here a lot longer than 21 days. Therefore, there’s a few things that I may do in the States that aren’t really appropriate. Consider this post warning….
If you’re a girl, I will want to kiss your cheeks and give a double hug when we greet. (Kiss right, kiss left, hug right, hug left, begin long list of greeting words women use that roughly translate: “Oh, honey, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other! How are you? I’ve missed you? How’s your family? How’s your mom? You’ve lost/gain weight.”)
If you ask me a question and the answer is no, I’ll throw my head back slightly, raise my eyebrows, and make a clicking noise. I’m not being rude. I’m saying no. Sometimes I’ll just click. If I’m emphatically saying no, I’ll throw my head back dramatically, raise my eyebrows, make a clicking noise, and throw my hands in the air.
I will probably stand too close to you. Personal space is a lot smaller here. I’ll probably get all up in your business.
Girls, I may try to put my arm through yours. If I do, take it as a sign that we’re friends. I know if a friend does that to me here, then she’s decided that she likes me. In the States that would be the time that we’d buy a Best Friend necklace or friendship bracelet or something. Boys, my hub may put his arm around you or be more huggy. Overall, the people here are very warm and touchy.
I may eat plain, un-fruited, un-flavored yogurt on my food. (But I won’t water it down, salt it, and drink it. I’m not that deep into the culture here!)
I might ask to hold strangers’ babies. Here, it’s absolutely normal and common for waiters/waitresses, store employees, or random people on the bus to hold someone else’s baby. Sometimes they’ll take the baby while the parents eat and walk around and play with him or her. The parents don’t bat an eye here. In the States, the parents would immediately call 911.
I may try to bargain with salespeople. I’ll let you know if it works.
It will be hard for me to keep my shoes on in anyone’s house. I’ll probably take my shoes off at the door. I frankly think this is one thing this culture does better. Their rugs and floors stay cleaner and everyone is more comfortable. Well, unless someone needs and Odor Eater. Then, no one is more comfortable. I’ll make sure my feet are stink-free before I kick off my shoes.
That’s all I can think of now. Sure, some of these are a bit more likely than others. I have a feeling I really will forget and kiss one of you girls. Boys, you’re safe from me. But, watch out for my hub.