#Fauxpas Friday: Nodding My Head Like Yeah!

26 Jun

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Categories: Blog, cultural exchange

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This week’s story comes to us courtesy of Anna, a current WEA participant and is a good reminder that what you are accustomed to may not be the norm in other parts of the world. 

“I was trying to get a bus in Bulgaria from Sofia to Blagoevgrad. I spoke no Bulgarian, and the bus ticket seller spoke no English. I pointed to the name of where I wanted to go, she said “Blagoevgrad?” so I nodded “yes!” and smiled thinking I was about to be on my way. She looked at me confused and gestured that she didn’t understand and so I pointed to the city name again and we repeated this process a few times before someone pointed out to me that in Bulgaria they nod the opposite way for yes and no. I was nodding up and down for yes and I should have been nodding left to right. So, unfortunately I kept saying “no” when she was asking me where I wanted to go. I’d like to sit here and tell you that I didn’t make this mistake any more times but hey old habits die hard. Of course when I got back to The States guess which way I started nodding when people asked me questions?” 

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