East meets West: politeness and social conventions

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

Miscommunication and the challenge of speaking English differently

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

Seeing a full or an empty glass is not just about individual attitudes

3 years ago, I changed job and joined another team in the same company where I was the only non-German. I had already lived in Germany for about 3 years by then and spoke the language fluently so I assumed it would not be a big deal and guess what I was super wrong. One of the first challenge I faced in this position had to … Continue reading Seeing a full or an empty glass is not just about individual attitudes