Have you ever felt the feeling of offending someone without understanding why? Well, it can happen to the best of us, especially on a trip abroad trying to discover the ins and outs of a new culture. But do not despair! Follow the tips below, share them with your fellow travelers and try hard not to find yourself in a difficult situation.
And remember, no matter what your home town and the culture of the country you visit, a sincere smile and good body language will be your best allies, even if you make a mistake!
Beware of your coffee | Do not order cappuccino after lunch. Cappuccinos are supposed to be enjoyed in the morning and espresso after the meal.
Get to know the culinary rules | do not order extra ingredients for your pizza (the combinations on the pizza menu have been carefully thought out!). Also, remember not to put Parmesan cheese on pasta that contains seafood – this is considered a “crime of lèse-majesté” in this culinary paradise!
Respect the rules of the game | Wait for the light to turn green before crossing the street or you may attract a lot of disapproving looks, but also a fine.
Give yourself a place | Do not hesitate to sit at an unoccupied place in the restaurant, without waiting to be installed at the table of other guests you do not know (the Germans like to eat together!)
Be polite | If you speak German, be sure to use the courteous form of “Sie” instead of the more informal term of “Du”, when you are talking to people you do not know.
Try to speak French | Try not to start an English conversation in the first place and, if you use English, make sure the other person speaks English by asking the fateful question: “Do you speak English? “
Forget the meat “well cooked” | Think twice before ordering your “well cooked” meat. In the worst case, you can order it at the right time; otherwise, consider tasting your steak “blue” or “bleeding” – that is to say, the French!
Use the titles of civility | Always use the titles of civility during your conversations with French people. Try to use “ma’am”, “miss” or “sir” as often as possible and with the right person, of course!
Respect the queue | Respect the queue or do not do it at all. The English take their queues very seriously and not following the strict rules of the queue will be worth you … say … a few reprimands.
Speak little but speak well | “How are you? Is a form of greeting that does not necessarily wait for an answer. “Fine thanks, and you? Would, however, be the proper courteous answer.