Thankfully, I do not go around feeling uncomfortable all the time, but there are those few moments where I feel the internal stomach knot of awkwardness, and general cluelessness growing, that makes me ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ like a stuttering idiot and leaves me feeling rather flustered.
Here are the latest, in no particular order …
You’re Looking for What?
I forget the right words or the correct pronunciation for things, and often have to resort to extremely gawky hand gestures to try and explain what I am asking / looking for. I usually just fluff my way through it … and then pretend I have remembered what / where it is myself.
Cracks in Doors
Public toilet doors here have a big gap down the side and you can see the person on the loo or waiting outside to use it after you. Occasionally you make eye contact with this person just as you have your underpants around your ankles … then comes this awfully awkward moment of deciding if the correct etiquette is to say hello, have a chat about the weather or just carry on like it never happened.
What Do You Call It?
Whilst deciding if I go with the French vanilla or caramel gas station coffee, I got asked, rather loudly, what ‘you Brits call lady parts’ … ummm … ahhhh …! I just about fell into my latte.
I Am Not French
No – really, I am not! I have written about this several times, but I am still being asked if I am French. This does not happen regularly as most people I encounter are well aware of the difference, but I am still getting the very odd few who say they love my French accent. I could not be more English if I tried. No, really!
British Bacon All the Way!
I get asked a few times about whether American or British bacon is best … now this can be a serious issue as bacon lovers, well we are passionate people and the debate could ramble on and get very heated … and in case you were wondering … British is best!
What about you? Ever encountered anything uncomfortable as an expat, traveller or visitor abroad? I would love to hear about it!