Author Topic: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....  (Read 9613 times)

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gramma dishes

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2013, 04:47:12 PM »
Be careful to check what the local obscene gestures are.

You really don't to wave at a Greek or make the OK gesture to a German. If ordering two of something in the UK, don't make a V sign with your palm facing towards you.

Could you be a little more explanatory (without triggering ten thousand site censors)?  I would think nothing of waving to a Greek I recognized, the 'okay' gesture to someone whether I knew him/her to be German or not, and why not the "V" sign to indicate 'two please'?

Cat-Fu

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2013, 05:37:55 PM »
Be careful to check what the local obscene gestures are.

You really don't to wave at a Greek or make the OK gesture to a German. If ordering two of something in the UK, don't make a V sign with your palm facing towards you.

Could you be a little more explanatory (without triggering ten thousand site censors)?  I would think nothing of waving to a Greek I recognized, the 'okay' gesture to someone whether I knew him/her to be German or not, and why not the "V" sign to indicate 'two please'?

Moutza is a wave-like gesture, so it's best to avoid it in Greece. The ok hand gesture means a-hole (or the other f word) in Germany (and a couple other countries, too, I think). The V sign is basically flipping someone off in the UK. Also, making a fist with your thumb between your index and middle fingers is flipping someone off!

I am totally fascinated by swear gestures, does it show? :P
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 05:43:21 PM by Cat-Fu »
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gramma dishes

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2013, 05:40:31 PM »
Be careful to check what the local obscene gestures are.

You really don't to wave at a Greek or make the OK gesture to a German. If ordering two of something in the UK, don't make a V sign with your palm facing towards you.

Could you be a little more explanatory (without triggering ten thousand site censors)?  I would think nothing of waving to a Greek I recognized, the 'okay' gesture to someone whether I knew him/her to be German or not, and why not the "V" sign to indicate 'two please'?

Moutza is a wave-like gesture, so it's best to avoid it in Greece. The ok hand gesture means a-hole (or the other f word) in Germany (and a couple other countries, too, I think). The V sign is basically flipping someone off in the UK. Also, making a fist with your thumb between your index and middle fingers is also flipping someone off!

I am totally fascinated by swear gestures, does it show? :P

That's absolutely fascinating!  I can't help but wonder how many people I've inadvertently offended over the years?   ;D :-[

Dalek

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2013, 05:42:01 PM »
Be careful to check what the local obscene gestures are.

You really don't to wave at a Greek or make the OK gesture to a German. If ordering two of something in the UK, don't make a V sign with your palm facing towards you.

Could you be a little more explanatory (without triggering ten thousand site censors)?  I would think nothing of waving to a Greek I recognized, the 'okay' gesture to someone whether I knew him/her to be German or not, and why not the "V" sign to indicate 'two please'?

Moutza is a wave-like gesture, so it's best to avoid it in Greece. The ok hand gesture means a-hole (or the other f word) in Germany (and a couple other countries, too, I think). The V sign is basically flipping someone off in the UK. Also, making a fist with your thumb between your index and middle fingers is also flipping someone off!

I am totally fascinated by swear gestures, does it show? :P

I believe George H. W. Bush once made that mistake.  :-[
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RingTailedLemur

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2013, 05:45:21 PM »
When I was in Canada a man who sold me train tickets indicated "two" with a palm-in V-sign.  I was really shocked for a moment!

Auntie Mame

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 03:23:00 PM »
I lived in Eastern Europe for a while and (thankfully was warned about this) when you buy flowers for someone always make sure it's an odd number.  Even number flowers are only given at funerals.

Oh, and if you are introducing a friend of the opposite gender, make sure to refer to them a "colleague", the male and female derivatives of the word firend mean the same as boyfriend and girlfriend when the person is the opposite gender, the words mean friend when the person is of the same gender (yeah, I know, it confused me too).  Every male I knew suddenly became my "colleague" or people would have thought I was a strumpet with multiple boyfriends  ;D

Woo boy, the intricate rules on greeting people in the Hungarian language took me months to figure out. 
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laceandbits

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2014, 07:44:20 AM »
From Cat-Fu
 "The V sign is basically flipping someone off in the UK"

Yes and no.  Done with some energy, and an upward thrust of the hand, yes.  Just holding up two fingers (any way around) to indicate you want two cakes at the bakers, no one is going to be offended.

BUT in France they will.  In France,  if you want one, you hold up your thumb, most important.  For two, thumb and index finger.  I know this from personal experience, and would not be surprised if it applied in other European countries.  The single finger 'salute' is a common insult there, and is spreading to the UK - particularly on our roads!

Vall

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2014, 08:12:44 AM »
I lived in Eastern Europe for a while and (thankfully was warned about this) when you buy flowers for someone always make sure it's an odd number.  Even number flowers are only given at funerals.

(snipped)

Would the florist or bouquet-seller count the flowers automatically when making the bouquet or would the customer be responsible for doing it?  Would two roses and three carnations be okay since the total number of flowers is uneven?

Carotte

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2014, 08:19:08 AM »
BUT in France they will.  In France,  if you want one, you hold up your thumb, most important.  For two, thumb and index finger.  I know this from personal experience, and would not be surprised if it applied in other European countries.  The single finger 'salute' is a common insult there, and is spreading to the UK - particularly on our roads!

Actually, I'd say that was an odd occurrence. No one in France is supposed to be offended if you signal "one" with your index (palm facing outward). That's also the sign for "wait a second please", for raising your hand in class "I have a question/I have the answer" and for asking someone to shush (placed in front of lips).
Palm facing you would be a little odd (and not natural gesture), it does resemble giving the finger/flipping the bird, but that's done with the major here too.
Plus if you're not doing it vehemently and out of nowhere there's no reason to confound the two (asking for one thing and flipping the person.)
Now, I can't speak for the entire country, there might be a few places down south where this mean something else, but that would be 5% of the country so...

Signaling one with the thumb would be seen as saying "ok". But if you are counting stuff yeah, you start with the thumb, then index, major...

I'm always startled when someone point at something with their major but even then it's not an insult, it's just the way they point...

Teenyweeny

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2014, 08:31:31 AM »
Yup, the V-sign made 'palm inwards' is rude in the UK. The rudeness is enhanced by the aggressiveness of the gesture, but you'd not find any British person making that sign to indicate two of something, at least not IME.

There's a nice story, although it's completely untrue, that says this originated with (what else?) English archers making rude gestures at the French. The English used the longbow, and if an English archer was captured by the French, they'd cut his first two fingers off. Showing the fingers was a sign that they were still able to fight.

Of course, there are several reasons why this story makes no sense, but it's a good story all the same.



RingTailedLemur

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 08:59:23 AM »
Just holding up two fingers (any way around) to indicate you want two cakes at the bakers, no one is going to be offended.

I completely disagree with this, I would find it very offensive and so would others I know.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2014, 09:08:08 AM »
Just holding up two fingers (any way around) to indicate you want two cakes at the bakers, no one is going to be offended.

I completely disagree with this, I would find it very offensive and so would others I know.

Ditto. I mean, maybe 'very offensive' is a bit strong, but I'd be as taken aback as if somebody used their middle finger to indicate that they wanted one cake. I'd assume no offense was meant, but it would certainly get my attention!



gramma dishes

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2014, 10:11:45 AM »
This discussion is absolutely fascinating!!  I've "always" known the significance of the middle finger salute, but had absolutely no idea that all these other fingers and combinations could be considered offensive.  I've honestly never heard of that, even from friends who travel quite extensively. 

We really get an education on here! 

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2014, 10:42:26 AM »
In Turkey, instead of shaking the head to mean "no," people will raise their chin, look upward and make the noise that Americans call "tsk!" and British, "tut!"  If you aren't familiar with it, it looks like the kind of eye-rolling gesture someone might make to indicate "what a stupid idiot."

Shaking your head sideways is "I don't understand."

In many countries, if you want to indicate that someone should come toward you, you hold your hand palm down, and make a sort of clawing gesture with your fingers.

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menley

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Re: Travel Etiquette I would have never known....
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2014, 02:46:23 PM »
I lived in Eastern Europe for a while and (thankfully was warned about this) when you buy flowers for someone always make sure it's an odd number.  Even number flowers are only given at funerals.

Oh, and if you are introducing a friend of the opposite gender, make sure to refer to them a "colleague", the male and female derivatives of the word firend mean the same as boyfriend and girlfriend when the person is the opposite gender, the words mean friend when the person is of the same gender (yeah, I know, it confused me too).  Every male I knew suddenly became my "colleague" or people would have thought I was a strumpet with multiple boyfriends  ;D

Woo boy, the intricate rules on greeting people in the Hungarian language took me months to figure out.

Huh. I live in Hungary now and haven't had any of this happen! I did ask a friend and she said that it's generally the older people who still stick to the odd-numbered flowers (people under 40 she said wouldn't think anything of it). People have also always been introduced to me and by me as "friend" and it hasn't meant that they're dating.