14 thoughts on “International Body Language

  1. Mr. T.

    I’m moving to Japan. Can’t stand public nose blowing or over animated hand gestures, like a fool who knocks over a wine glass at the dinner table because of it.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Agree on the nose-blowing. I was thought to be in a zoo on a recent conference call while a colleague decided to trumpet repeatedly.

      1. John E. Bravo

        Isn’t a side product of this that there is increased spitting? I remember reading as much about China at least, where spitting is commonplace because swallowing is considered unhygienic.

        This is not a sex joke.

        1. Manolo

          Closer to the Equator it is quite common to have congested throats rather than just the nose. In those places it becomes quite common to spit. It isn’t a pretty sight.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

            It’s not just there. Chinese people (men mostly) are very fond of massive oyster-phlegm hack-ups.
            I remember getting the Bart through Chinatown in SF and not being able to cope with the spitting both outside & inside the tram.
            I never knew it was because they thought swallowing was unhygienic. Splattering it on the street hardly seems like a great remedy, though.

          2. John E. Bravo

            @AYPiWE http://www.theguardian.com/law/shortcuts/2013/sep/25/spitting-in-public-disgusting-antisocial-tradition

            ” To Ross Coomber, professor of sociology at Plymouth University, spit is a many-faceted thing. He is conducting an international spitting survey and spent the summer travelling in Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai, comparing the public spitting habits of different nations. He found that “the three most significant spitting nations are India, South Korea and China”. (For would-be students of spit, the spitting in Mumbai was mainly connected to the chewing of betel nut, in South Korea it was closely linked to smoking, and in China to a distaste for swallowing.) In comparison, he says, spitting in the UK is not as prevalent as people tend to believe. “What we are seeing is an exaggerated response to a moderate problem.” For Coomber, attitudes to spitting are based upon “an argument about morality, about what people would prefer to see”. He says that links between “spitting on the ground and public health [are] almost unevidenced”.”

          3. Manolo

            You will find the same bad habits in the north of Brazil by the edges of the Amazon river, also in Peru and Colombia.

      2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

        I don’t mind nose-blowing so long as it’s not followed by close inspection of the contents.

        1. Janet

          Nose picking now that’s grim, right after you put your hand back on the train pole/hand rail thingy

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

            God. Once I was walking along the street and stumbled. I grabbed a bollard to steady myself, only to find someone had hawked a massive greener onto it, which clung to my hand like a limpet.
            I’m gagging thinking about it.

  2. Manolo

    A ship with Italian and British crew is sinking. An Italian guy starts panicking, gesturing in typical fashion and shouting that he can’t swim. Brit shouts back ‘don’t worry, just keep talking, you’ll be fine’.

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