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When traveling throughout the US and Canada there is always a level of expectations when it comes to amenities. We know that a particular hotel brand has comfortable beds. Or another hotel has that perfect shower-head. Most people know that there will be cultural differences when traveling outside of North America.
I never stopped to think about the reverse of my travel experiences. In other words, what do Europeans expect when they travel to America? Well I recently came across an article where the French offered advice on what to expect when traveling to this neck of the woods. What we take for granted here, can be foreign to someone who has not grown up in this part of the world.
Here are a few examples of the the types of travel advice that the French offer for traveling to North America.
We’ve seen these greetings before. Whether it’s a kiss on alternate cheeks, or a firm kiss on the lips, we find that a bit intimidating for greeting in this neck of the woods. Americans have an aggressive handshake. We know that our preferred method of greeting is a handshake. Like kissing is to us, many people from different cultures find a handshake a bit overwhelming.
Shouldn’t everybody be friendly? The French find our acts of kindness to be out of the ordinary. To the point where they’re advised to go out of their way to help those in need. Something that we just take for granted here I guess.
Okay I have to admit that I always found the toilet habits in Europe to be a little weird. But lo and behold, the French also think that our toilet habits are a little weird (i.e. wide stance in the stall come to mind?).
I thought it was just human nature not to cut into a lineup. Well, that’s an American thing (to not cut in to the line).
Okay we get it. We pile our food way too high. As the French say, believe it or not it’s okay to ask for a doggie day in the US. Why would you leave good food behind? After all, I bloody well paid for it.
For the full rundown of the French advice for traveling to the United States, you can read the full article at Mental Floss.