Traveling is sort of a conversation with universe.
People in different countries have different mentalities when communicating. Communicating gives you quite a good idea of the society, the mentality and the way people treat each other in that specific country. It’s interesting. Even without hitting the gender issue.
Malaysia is interesting. But this is also common in throughout Asia. . Me being caucasian, I know my friend are laughing their buts off right now, from Sweden, I look at people when talking to them. Going to a local chinese restaurant is a display of distance. The customer ordering while looking at something random, the waiter answering looking at something different but certainly not looking towards the customer. If you are lucky the waiter will write the order down. But if not, the order will be shouted out loud throughout the whole place to the person who is supposed to prepare the food. You can literally see the words travel across the room. That means everyone in the restaurant knows what you ordered. Not that anybody cares. Unless you are the only caucasian in that place. Then people would look past you as if they are looking at something or someone else but noticing that order belongs to you. Fair enough, I am ok with that.
Malaysians in Malaysia will look at you while you order and walk away when you are finished. Then a second waiter will come and listen to you while you place your order. Most of the time the second one knows English. Better. I am surprised that the knowledge in the English language is
In Indonesia people are extremely polite. Not only in Bali. Ok, so I have only visited Java and Bali and can’t have an opinion of the rest of the country but I have heard politeness runs in the family. You are looked at and acknowledged, you don’t always get what you asked for but that is also applicable to life itself.
In Thailand communication is also very polite. I experienced that today while trying to find Terminal II. Bus station Terminal II. I asked where to find the place, the lady talked constantly for 5 minutes, telling me where to go. When she stopped I asked if she speaks English, she nodded, smiled and continued in Thai.
Many years ago, while being self employed, I attended a seminar on communicating with business partners from different countries. Never look a Japanese in the eye and always look a person from Spain in the eyes.
There is a whole manual to read on the subject. We are aware of the differences nowadays, but sometimes I wonder if we use our knowledge when communicating.
Then we have the gender way of communicating. Gender and different societies. That’s when it gets interesting. And extremely complicated since that also involves others form of stereotypes. That alone can form the basis for a book.
Last but not least there are all the things that were not articulated, not said. The hidden communication. That is another story.
And there is the hidden communication I discovered today. When in Thailand some of us might want to buy a local SIM card. It’s easy to buy one at the airport. Those are apparently traceable. This is what happens.
A friend of mine sends her local number to me. I text that person on iMessage. The reply I get is Do I know you? We text back and forth, I apologise for disturbing, say goodbye. My friend shows me the conversation on her mobile apart from the fact that she wasn’t the one to answer me.
Communication is diffficult. Written and oral. That is why I years ago decided to never trust words but always trust action.
Action speaks louder than words in any language and in any country.
I trust action before words.