After more than 6 months here in Chile I do some things that are different from what I normally do in Denmark. It is these small things that Chileans don’t think about because for them it’s normal, but for me, it was something I thought about. I have collected 10 habits that I need to get rid of when I am back in Denmark (read with humor):
♥ Traffic light behavior; waiting until the signal is green which means “yes, now you can walk”. I need to stop crossing the road when it shows “red man”. It’s actually a habit I never quit after my first trip to Mexico. I only wait politely when there are kids around me and I need to be a good grown-up example.
♥ When visiting the toilets, the paper goes into the toilet. Not in a bucket. I need to be conscious about it, if not, I am going to through used toilet paper on the floor thinking there is a toilet bucket next to me. I know, because every time I have been in Mexico it takes me like 1 week to skip this habit. I’m turning my head like “where the hell is the bucket?? Ahh..”
♥ Stop putting shitloads of salt and lemon on the salad. Danish (and probably many other nationalities) actually like the taste of a good salad. Not the taste of lemon/salt.
♥ Not honking at everybody in the traffic if they are just 1 second too slow to react. Danish people get really pissed by unnecessary use of the honking horn. You only do it when it’s really necessary or the person you are honking at are acting in an almost life-threatening way.
♥ Mayonnaise doesn’t come before ketchup.. and definitely not before remoulade!
♥ Avocado is great yes, but on certain things. Putting avocado on everything including your hotdog (+ loads of mayonnaise) is still not a thing in Denmark. You know, keep that healthy stuff out of our precious fast food!
♥ Danish friends might think 10 pm is too late for meeting up on a normal labor day. And you probably need to book a day or time in their calendar and not ask same day if they are “up to something tonight”. And tonight is not 10 pm. It’s probably more like 8 pm.
♥ Respecting the unwritten rule for when you can call a person. Not between 6 pm and 8 pm because people are probably eating with their family. And calling people related to the job and other practical stuff is something you do during normal work hours, not after 6 pm and definitely not on the weekends!
♥ Stop using your face to “point” at a direction. Chileans don’t point with their fingers if somebody asks for the direction. They gesture with their lips. Back to pointing with your fingers, or else people will get confused with your weird face gestures!
♥ Stop “cheek-kissing” when greeting people (it’s actually not a kiss on the cheek, but your touch the cheek with your cheek and make a kiss sound or kiss in the air).Actually, it’s one of the most confusing things and I still don´t get it: when are we doing cheek kiss, when do we just shake hands and when do we go all the way with both cheek-kiss and a hug? If you are Chilean and think “I know when”, let me tell you: I have asked various Chileans and I get a different answer each time. I had some very awkward moments thanks to this. But well, it’s the same in Denmark. I am also pretty confused when to shake hands and when to hug. I got the same question and I don’t know. So yes, we have awkward greeting moments like this situation when someone is reaching out their hand for a handshake and the other person is opening his or her arms for a hug. Erhmm… who wins?
Can you recognize some of this? And did you like the article? Please share and I promise to give you a cheek-kiss and a hug (unless you start out by reaching your hand).