Category Archives: Crazy cultural confrontations

Traveling around, you can’t help but take your cultural baggage with you whether you like it or not. This can lead to strange, challenging but nearly always funny encounters – at least after you’ve recovered from the experience.

The French revolution you’ve never heard of – in your backyard

France’s national holiday is Bastille Day, July 14th, which sparked a revolution that sent shock....

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Don’t look now, but there’s a shark at your feet

Everybody has their idea of a perfect vacation. I enjoy the ocean, but I don’t....

Munching my way to Munich, one chaotic airport at a time

There’s a lot to be said for approaching challenging situations with the right attitude, which....

The queen turned out to be a football

If all the Germans are rushing with glee to a public viewing, there's no need....

Are you sure that’s what that sign means?

A sign in a foreign country may look like a word you know. But looks....

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The trillions of cicadas last seen by Thomas Jefferson

It’s been over 200 years since these two broods of cicadas hatched at the same....

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The Superbowl is super in Germany, too

Football may be America's favorite sport, but it's gaining ground fast in Germany, too. I....

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Talk better—talk like a dog

We train dogs, but they have much to teach us. Babies are fluent in body....

Get those escargots out of my lawnmower

You know Fall has arrived when the leafblowers start blasting through the open window. But....

Quit the tomfoolery – I’m sure I don’t know you

The pandemic is over, but its effects continue - sometimes in strange ways. I got....

Munching my way to Munich, one chaotic airport at a time

There’s a lot to be said for approaching challenging situations with the right attitude, which....

2 Comments

Don’t look now, but there’s a shark at your feet

Everybody has their idea of a perfect vacation. I enjoy the ocean, but I don’t....

How to get a stranger to voluntarily show you their socks

Eyeglasses and watches used to be mundane utilitarian accessories until designers were invited to the....

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9 things you didn’t know about Chicago

Chicago was named by French fur traders who founded the city, which was destroyed by....

Home sweet home – only better

I fantasize about taking my kids back to where I grew up to show them....

The nightmare of motherhood in Germany

Germany has the reputation of having generous social programs, with vivid descriptions such as "cradle-to-grave"....

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The best show the World Cup has to offer is outside the stadiums

The news is all abuzz about the World Cup games in Qatar, but the coolest....

Noise in the modern world—from cacophonous to carefully controlled

Listen to Brenda read the story It’s that time of year again: The leaf blowers....

When life gives you lemons, it helps to recognize them

I thought my French was good enough to get me around southern France. But language....

The French girl who wouldn’t talk

Language class is where you learn to speak a language, but just memorizing vocabulary and....

800 years of history found their way into my bike lock

I thought I had a foolproof way to remember my bike lock combination. But I....

Get those escargots out of my lawnmower

French culture impacted many countries' languages and cuisine - and even the front yard.

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Italian – no problemo

I walked into Italian class and saw a room full of pensioners. But I didn't....

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Spectators turned spectacle, thanks to corona

Theaters are allowed to reopen, but only if they leave several empty seats between audience....

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Squished on the train – but it was fun

Being stuck on a crowded train gives you a close-up glimpse of its multicultural inhabitants,....