I admit I take it for granted that I think everyone should/does know English. While in Israel learning English is mandatory (they're taught English starting in grade school), in Italy we encountered some problems. When I asked people if they spoke English, most people answered, "A little". I learned that for a lot of words I just add a vowel on the end and the Italians usually understood. "Spinich pizza," I ask. (Italian waitress shakes head, confused). So I say, "Spinachi pizza?" "Ahh!" (Ah, now she understands!)
But forget about that. Here's things that shock me...or at least make me uneasy.
Israel: kissing people on both cheeks. In America we do the "air kiss" on one side...in Israel it's two and sometimes three and you switch sides each kiss. You never know if it's a two-kiss or a three-kiss, so you have to be ready. I swear one of these days I'm going to end up kissing someone on the lips by accident. Which actually freaks me out more than it should.
Italy: There are no numbers to the streets, even on maps. So the maps show a mass of lines to show roads, but you never know what those roads are called or where they lead. Has anyone been there? Please confess!
Israel and Italy: What's the deal with the three-hundred and sixty-five degree turnarounds every two meters when driving? Which of the three (or sometimes four) exits do you take?
Israel and Italy: Why is EVERYONE so thin? And why are their jeans so tight you think their jeans are painted on?
Israel: Military personnel all over the place, everyone with an M-16 machine gun or bigger. And why do I feel so safe around all those guns?
Italy: You have to pay for water at restaurants. Makes me wonder what's wrong with their water.
Israel and Italy: Crazy drivers! and Gorgeous men! (also gorgeous men who are crazy drivers)
Israel: Why does the McDonalds taste different. And why do they have "kabob" on the menu? Isn't all McDonald's supposed to be the exact same no matter where you are? Isn't that the whole concept of McDonalds?
Oh, I hate this one! Israel: You have to actually turn on the water heater each time you want to take a shower and the hot water doesn't last long enough for your entire shower.
Okay, enough of my babbling. Anyone else been somewhere during Spring Break where they had culture shock? (I've also had culture shock when I've been to South Carolina - me being a yankee and all)