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-- FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US
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Posted by ziptnf on Jun-04-2012 15:18:

FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

http://www.theatlantic.com/internat...?resubmit=again

I never realized Americans had such complicated customs. There are many things that foreigners do that would be considered rude in the United States, and this is a very interesting article on everything from tipping to where to not drive late at night.


Posted by Lagrangian on Jun-04-2012 15:50:

And there are many things that yanks do that are deemed rude in other countries, like talking about money or business at the table, my British friends always tell me the yanks are always in a hurry in the UK. They think the world understands why they're always in such a hurry, for example, during dinners and the such, were one spends a considerable amount of time conversing; yanks always see this is as a foreign custom, they much rather have a happy heal and go home. So sad, because the world does not work that way.


Posted by Blake on Jun-04-2012 16:53:

Wow, great find! So then, there are some countries where it's okay to sit down at an already occupied table . Even in some cafeteria settings I've found myself getting up and moving to another table if someone unwelcome invades my space. We can be a bit more uptight about personal space here though


Posted by ziptnf on Jun-04-2012 16:59:

quote:
Originally posted by Lagrangian
So sad, because the world does not work that way.

YES, WE AMERICANS ARE SO SAD AND PATHETIC, MIGHT AS WELL KILL MYSELF


Posted by srussell0018 on Jun-04-2012 17:10:

quote:
Originally posted by Lagrangian
And there are many things that yanks do that are deemed rude in other countries, like talking about money or business at the table, my British friends always tell me the yanks are always in a hurry in the UK.


There's just so many thoughts in this sentence. It's almost as if it contains the same amount of information as two entirely separate sentences.


Posted by OrangestO on Jun-04-2012 17:27:

The "Americans are this, that and the other" bit is getting old.

We all have our differences, and in most cases it's a misunderstanding and failure to communicate that contributes to these stupid assertions about one another's countries.

If you want to make fun of America, take it out on the fat people. I don't care for their kind.

Aside from that, One Love!

(Bob Marley's type, not David Guetta's)


Posted by Lira on Jun-04-2012 17:33:

Great find

It's funny that it tells foreigners to arrive on time at someone else's house, because it's the exact opposite here: You should not, by any means, arrive on time at someone else's house unless you've very close to the person and you know for a fact the person won't mind. Otherwise you may want to delay your arrival a bit (15 mins to half an hour).

As for everything else, I can't say I've ever visited the US after a "quick" 6-month visit while I was a toddler, but there's a lot we learn from sitcoms and the like. From exotic holidays (such as thanksgiving) to this strange fascinations you guys have with leaving home as early as possible - which doesn't really matter to most foreigners anyway

People mention in the comments later that the article originally failed to mention tipping, which is something dazzling for most of us abroad (here the waiters tell us how much we are supposed to tip, so there's no "hidden" maths). Is there anything else you feel foreigners should know? Other than, of course, not wearing trainers to weddings on your side of the Rio Grande


Posted by ziptnf on Jun-04-2012 17:58:

Here's one big concept that seems to be missing from the article: Americans very often tend to act friendly even to people that they've just met. Apparently this is not always so in other countries.

Something else to keep in mind is that some cities are not especially walkable. In places like New York or DC or San Francisco, etc. you can get by with public transportation, but in other cities you're going to want to rent a car. This varies from city to city, but it's important to keep in mind.

Here's a guide to cultural etiquette around the world:
http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultura...l_etiquette.htm


Posted by Lira on Jun-04-2012 18:14:

quote:
Originally posted by ziptnf
Here's one big concept that seems to be missing from the article: Americans very often tend to act friendly even to people that they've just met. Apparently this is not always so in other countries.

Agreed: Whenever there's a group of foreigners around here, Americans tend to be the friendliest. I personally think it's awesome
quote:
Originally posted by ziptnf
Something else to keep in mind is that some cities are not especially walkable. In places like New York or DC or San Francisco, etc. you can get by with public transportation, but in other cities you're going to want to rent a car. This varies from city to city, but it's important to keep in mind.

Oh, it's the same here. Don't dare walking around Brasília, the city was made for cars
quote:
Originally posted by ziptnf
Here's a guide to cultural etiquette around the world:
http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultura...l_etiquette.htm

Hah, Brazil is spot on! I particularly lol'd at this:
quote:
Brazilians are expressive and passionate conversationalists. Be prepared to be interrupted.

This seems to drive (some) foreigners crazy

My greatest pride comes from teaching people in a Japanese language school (with loads of immigrants) that it IS possible to have up to 4 simultaneous conversations at the table - and taking part in at least 2 of the convos. It took them a while, but I love the atmosphere now


Posted by Banora on Jun-04-2012 21:04:

Re: FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

quote:
Originally posted by ziptnf
I never realized Americans had such complicated customs. There are many things that foreigners do that would be considered rude in the United States, and this is a very interesting article on everything from tipping to where to not drive late at night.


The French-Australian couchsurfer at my place does not tip. At all. It drives me nuts, especially since I tried to explain why you tip and why he keeps getting dirty looks when he doesn't tip. He just doesn't get it.

Also:

quote:
Danes do not like to be touched.


YES. Fuck. People in the US think its weird I loathe being touched. They assume I had some past physical trauma; no, I just don't want your paws on me unless, you know, we're fucking.

quote:
Danes are infamous for informality.


Yup. You call everyone by their first name: your teachers, your boss, hell even the Queen herself.

quote:
Dinner is generally long and slow (can be as long as 4-5 hours) with much conversation. Plan to stay at least one hour after a meal ends.


Yup. Took me awhile to get used to that when I moved back.

quote:
Danes may have an ironical way of expressing themselves. They may say, "It's wonderful weather," when it is pouring rain, or "It is a trifle chilly," when it is stifling hot.


And they love making fun of themselves. Self-deprecating humor is always accepted.


quote:
Never call a Dane a Swede or Norwegian.


Unless you want to die.


Posted by Lira on Jun-04-2012 21:18:

Re: Re: FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

quote:
Originally posted by Banora
The French-Australian couchsurfer at my place does not tip. At all. It drives me nuts, especially since I tried to explain why you tip and why he keeps getting dirty looks when he doesn't tip. He just doesn't get it.

Well, Aussies are not exactly known for being tippers

To be honest, I believe their take on this issue is perfect: you shouldn't have to tip people for doing their job. The owner of the establishment should make sure the staff receive a reasonable wage.


Posted by Banora on Jun-04-2012 21:19:

Re: Re: Re: FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

quote:
Originally posted by Lira
Well, Aussies are not exactly known for being tippers

To be honest, I believe their take on this issue is perfect: you shouldn't have to tip people for doing their job. The owner of the establishment should make sure the staff receive a reasonable wage.


While I do agree with that business that pay you minimum wage are all but saying "I would pay you less if I was legally allowed to do so."

He was telling me about the wages in Australia, and he assumed that in the US if you live in a big city the wages are better. He was pretty appalled to hear that you make the same amount in Kentucky (about $7.25) as you would in NYC. He was like "How do people live!?"


Posted by Lira on Jun-04-2012 21:22:

Yeah...


Posted by Sushipunk on Jun-04-2012 21:56:

Re: Re: FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

quote:
Originally posted by Banora
The French-Australian couchsurfer at my place does not tip. At all. It drives me nuts, especially since I tried to explain why you tip and why he keeps getting dirty looks when he doesn't tip. He just doesn't get it.


We don't tip


Posted by Banora on Jun-04-2012 22:01:

Re: Re: Re: FAO: Lira. A comprehensive guide on foreigners visiting the US

quote:
Originally posted by Sushipunk
We don't tip


You can fuck right off with your decent living wages.


Posted by Sushipunk on Jun-04-2012 22:02:

quote:
Originally posted by ziptnf
Here's a guide to cultural etiquette around the world:
http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultura...l_etiquette.htm


Quite a bit of nonsense in the Australian section, lol.



quote:
The "thumbs up" gesture is also considered obscene.


Huh? Thumbs up means good.

quote:
Always arrive on time or a few minutes early for a dinner.


Or, any time within half an hour late, lol.

quote:
Do not say "I'm stuffed" after a meal. This means you are pregnant.


Nope.

quote:
Soup should be eaten by moving the spoon away from you, not toward you.


What does that even mean?


Posted by ziptnf on Jun-04-2012 22:15:

It means you've been eating your soup wrong! I'm sure you've heavily offended all your Australian friends by now.

Dick.


Posted by Banora on Jun-04-2012 22:17:

Yeah Stu, this is why you are the worst mod ever.


Posted by Lira on Jun-04-2012 22:19:

quote:
Originally posted by Sushipunk
What does that even mean?

I'm not a native speaker, but I assume this means you should feed the person in front of you, and vice-versa.

If you're alone, then just don't have soup. Oh, about the hand gesture: maybe that's just in one area or with older folks. Eddie Murphy told me the "OK" sign was okay... until I blithely made this sign to my dad and almost got beaten up


Posted by Sushipunk on Jun-04-2012 22:40:

quote:
Originally posted by Banora
Yeah Stu, this is why you are the worst mod ever.


Worst, but still your favourite


Posted by Vector A on Jun-05-2012 00:42:

quote:
Originally posted by Sushipunk
What does that even mean?

It means that in Australia, you move the soup spoon up and forward way from your body, drop the soup by turning the spoon upside down, and attempt to lurch forward and catch the falling soup with your mouth.


Posted by Sushipunk on Jun-05-2012 01:06:

quote:
Originally posted by Vector A
It means that in Australia, you move the soup spoon up and forward way from your body, drop the soup by turning the spoon upside down, and attempt to lurch forward and catch the falling soup with your mouth.


Oh, well yeah, of course. Why, how do you guys do it?


Posted by srussell0018 on Jun-05-2012 01:09:

Rectally.


Posted by Vector A on Jun-05-2012 01:12:

Yep! Buttsoup.


Posted by Sushipunk on Jun-05-2012 01:12:

Call me


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