Being back in Cologne I am constantly reminded of THE QUESTION! Mit oder Ohne (literally with or without) is the first Kulturschock for a naive foreigner discovering Germany. It does nor refer to anything existential but how you would like your water and specifically how carbonated should it be. Continue reading Water… with or without?
Having work experience in a country with job security and lived in the USA where hire and fire is the rule I wanted to share my observations. Work behaviors can directly be tracked to the social and economic system in place in their country. Continue reading How the social system impact the working culture
Food is the first topic of complaint of expats everywhere, it is also the first challenge they need to master directly after arriving in their host country. Finding your favorite products is not easy in a different language and items are often not at all available. Continue reading On the challenge of grocery shopping in a different country
The very first time our families met, one of my sister and nephew greeted my sister-in-law with the traditional french la bise . Basically they went straight to her and hit each of her cheeks against theirs quite quickly. She was totally taken aback believing she was getting french kissed for greeting. Continue reading East meets West: politeness and social conventions
One day this man I barely knew looked at me and asked: “last chance for the hotel”. That day I learned that most Indians use the word hotel and restaurant alternatively. So he was not making me an indecent proposal but was just inviting me for an innocent dinner. Continue reading Miscommunication and the challenge of speaking English differently
In France everyone eat a special dessert on the day of epiphany to commemorate the visit of the magi bearing gifts for new born Jesus. When dessert comes, the youngest around the table go bellow the table and assign each piece of cake to a member of the party. Inside the cake is a surprise (usually a tiny China figurine but in older days people … Continue reading Galette des rois (three Kings cake)
Once the marriage was done, I came back to work the next day and my German colleagues were asking me how they should call me now. Continue reading About giving up my maiden name… or not