Tag Archives: Cultural Differences

From Gaming Faux Pas to Immigration Insights

Image: innogames.com

Image: innogames.com

Sometimes I go over my blog, to see if there is at least some semblance of balance between positive and negative posts. I don’t want to always sound angry and whiny, especially in my posts that are more directly related to being an immigrant in this crazy country. That wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of my state of mind outside of this blog. Nevertheless, anger and resentment do seem to crop up on a regular basis. How is it that I am still able to keep that up after twenty-three years? Continue reading

Greetings!

011_edited-1Vagabond Urges wrote in yesterday’s post, The Secret to Europe, about greetings in Paris shops. He observed that when a customer comes in, he or she greets the person behind the counter. Who then reciprocates and things go on from there. If you don’t start off with a greeting, you get the cold shoulder. As an American, he had to get used to that.

So I started thinking about different greetings. Continue reading

Texas Politeness and One of My Rare Better Moments

(Photo: farmwars.info)

One thing I’ve learned is the difference between Dutch politeness and Texan politeness.

To A Texan, being polite is not just a matter of saying please and thank you, holding the door open for the person coming behind you, not belching loudly at the dinner table, etc. It also means avoiding embarrassing someone. Continue reading

Living in a Hospital: The Room

As I’ve explained in previous posts, we were on vacation when our son B’s appendix ruptured. He had an appendectomy and was in the hospital in Cody, Wyoming for four days. Six days after coming home to Austin, he had pains again, and had to have a follow-up surgery, and he has been in the hospital here in Austin for six days now. And when I say that B has been in the hospital, I really mean our family has been in the hospital. Continue reading

A Bit of Uncharacteristic Mushiness

Okay, for those of you who think I’m too negative about America, let me confuse you again.

Do I seem schizophrenic to you? Well, that’s because I am. Not clinically, but being Dutch in America, I can’t help being in a permanent schizophrenic state of mind. Depending on what I’m Continue reading

The Big No-no

Brace yourselves!

I am going to commit one of the biggest faux pas you can commit in America. I’m going to correct your grammar, Americans!

Yes, my Dutch friends, it’s considered impolite at best to correct anyone’s grammar here.When you do, people think you’re pedantic, rude, or a “grammar nazi”.

I will write about the inflation of the word “nazi” some other time.

So back to you, my American readers. Let me explain myself. Continue reading

Interesting Code!

We Dutch are world-famous for our directness, so American conversations require a whole new set of skills. In my previous post, I wrote about an example of what Americans say and what they mean. There’s a lot of that. I have figured most of it out by now–at least I think I have.  But that doesn’t leave me any less mystified.

Take “That’s interesting”. Continue reading