Posts for cultures

Body Language Differences Across the World

Travel Tips - Ross French - April 21, 2011

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By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Last night I was talking to my flatmate and realized that, although she is a very open and expressive person, when she talks about personal things, like her aspirations in life, or self-confidence she adopted a gesture of defence; arms and legs crossed, what can be understood as feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed when talking about herself.

And the thing is that body language says a lot about ourselves and most of the time we do not even realize it. So, it would be quite useful to know both, what messages are we sending to others and what messages others sending to us, especially while travelling.

–     Eye contact, which is considered positive in Western cultures, is regarded as rude or sassy in other cultures like traditional regions of Japanese, Chinese and some areas in the Caribbean, especially when done from youngsters to elderly, and women to men.

While the “thumbs-up” gesture means that something is OK, or that we like it in Western culture, it is rude in Arab countries where it is rude to use the left hand to eat as well.

–     The act of touching one another when talking is very uncommon in Japan, where people do not usually touch in public in the same way Latin or Mediterranean cultures do.

And now, let’s just take a look at our everyday life:

Imagine you have one of the apartments in Rome for a week and every time you meet the guy who is staying in the apartment next door in the lift, he smiles timidly, cannot keep eye contact, talks quickly and low, his hands are sweating, girl, he wants you! Bow chica wo wow!

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Watch out when you are talking to someone who is not looking at you all, I mean, if you see that person is keeps looking at the door of that bar, or nods all the time with the look lost and from time to time they say ”yeah”, they’re probably not very interested in your story. It’s surprising when you do this to others, how they don’t notice you want OUT of this conversation.
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And a useful tip: we can kind of fake our body gesture to seduce other people, to make them feel better. How? Just look them at the eyes; maybe touch their arm, to make them feel confident, a kind smile, and paused voice and you’ll have them at your feet. But be sharp! There is nothing sadder than a bad actor.

If you feel like starting to put it into practice maybe it’s a good idea to rent one of the Rome apartments and see who’s your new neighbour.

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Interview With the Boys from Trourist

Travel Tips - Ross French - January 7, 2011

trouristBy: Lindsay Hogg

Find Out How the Amazing Interactive Site, Trourist, Got Started!

For those of you unaware, Trourist is an interactive site for travellers. You sign up, add friends, share travel destinations and read others tips on what to do when you go somewhere. Trourist also has sweet ass projects going on all the time that you can get involved in.

1. Firstly tell us a bit about Trourist. Where did the idea for your interactive site come from? It wasn’t just a hoax to make online friends was it?

The idea of Trourist came up while we were drinking a few beers. We were discussing what our plans for a university exchange program were going to be and we discovered while surfing on the Net that no web site existed where people could check out travel experiences with an international slant.

You could say that Trourist is more than just a mere travel social network; it’s a meeting point for those who want to link up with persons and those cultures and destinations they are travelling to.

2.  Who works at Trourist? Share an embarrassing fact about each employee… I don’t know if that’s legal, but do it anyways!

I have a pretty poor sense of direction. In big cities, even when I have a good map handy, I still get lost. Several times I’ve passed the same place I was at 20 minutes before. Even though … I won’t admit it …I prefer telling people I was just trying to keep in shape  ; ) -Imanol-

During a trip to Mexico I was arrested by local police, an experience which allowed me to spend a long night in a Monterrey jail getting to know a motle crew of inmates. The worst part? They took my beer.  😉 -Mikel-

Any time I’ve had a couple of beers and there’s a djeme (drum) handy, I won’t hesitate to leap on stage and jam with the band that’s playing.  -Jokin-

3. What is your new project ‘My Story to Tell’? Did you know there was going to be so many awesome people contributing?

“My Story to Tell” is an initiative launched by Trourist aimed at creating a collection of anecdotes describing cool journeys which represent a before and after in people’s lives. A Moleskine notebook published by Trourist will travel around the world for four months and record the anecdotes of 26 travellers.

We’re thrilled with the response we’ve gotten and the group of people who will be participating in this initiative. We all share a passion for travelling and are convinced that these anecdotes will be shared by people writing straight from their hearts.

4. What will you do if someone runs off with the Moleskine book? Will you break their legs? Or just write profanity on their blog?

Losing this small treasure would be a pity for everyone. We’re taking steps to prevent this from happening, but no one can guarantee against a notebook full of memories being left behind or forgotten at customs.

5. If I could buy you a beer anywhere in the world, where would it be? (This is a hypothetical question, don’t show up at that bar expecting a free beer, you might get kicked out for not paying).

I think I would head straight for that pub in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand where you’ve been serving up some pretty inviting drafts. Everyone I know who’s travelled there has come back raving so it’s in my Top 5 of places to visit. I’m particularly interested in crossing “Abel Tasman National Park” in a canoe.

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