Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ugly American

So are you an ugly American? Here are some tips to overcome it.

Find the Local Rhythm
- Find a local bar, sit next to a local
- Don't offend people by speeding through a lunch or dinner

Make a Good First Impression
- Find out how to greet a local. Do you kiss, do you hug, what about a hongi?

Avoid Careless Judgement
- Don't concentrate on how tight someones clothes are, how small the cars are, or how compact the lofts can be. This can be offensive to someone, just as if they were judging Americans large cars and dependence on oil

Mind Your Table Manners
- Be on your best behavior at a table. Research how you should eat, and where service comes from.
- Know about local customs of tipping.

Speak the Language
- Take advantage of resources regarding the local language. You don't have to master it, but knowing a few phrases could help locals to find you interesting.
- Don't compare your native tongue to another.

Don't Overtip
- In some countries if you overtip it can be considered offensive because they may think you are flaunting your wealth. But don't forget to not undertip.

Watch Your Gestures
- An incorrect gesture can cause someone to pick a fight, give a scoul, or ignore you. Make sure you study the local customs of gestures.

Dress Respectfully
- Smart is the key word. Don't wear a fanny pack, high socks, or tennis shoes. Keep it smart, dark clothing and good dress shoes are always important. Many countries dressing casually is very pas'

Use Clear English
- Keep away from the slang and don't speak louder because they might understand you, it won't happen.

Be a Thoughtful Guest
- Think about providing small gifts as a thank you are always welcome.

So, are you an ugly American?

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