1. In India it is usual for guests to take off their shoes when entering their host’s house, while in Thailand it is the opposite.
No Thai guest would ever uncover the soles of their feet because this is the “lowest“ part of the body.
2. In Austria, men should avoid paying women the compliment : “You are really looking great“
In turkey it is perfectly normal and in no way offensive to mention the fact that a lady has become a little heavier since you last saw her. But in Austria caution is advisable. The apparently appreciative plaudit “Gut schaust du aus“ (“You’re looking great“) will be understood as “You’ve put on weight“
3. Mexicans never give a lady red roses !
In Mexico red roses are only used to put on graves. White roses by contrast, are in no way problematic. In China all flowers end up in the cemetery, so a box of chocolates is a much safer bet.
4. In Japan, no one is bothered if the person they are talking to falls asleep!
In Japan, if someone closes their eyes while other person is speaking, this is not a sign if boredom or fatigue but if interest and concentration! If the boss falls asleep during a meeting, it is not considered bad leadership. In fact it indicates that he has complete confidence in this staff!
5. In most countries, the thumbs-up sign is a gesture of approval. But in Australia, it’s a different story.
Down under, many foreign hitchhikers are surprised that no one ever seems willing to give them a ride. In Australia the classical thumbs-up gesture for getting a lift means “Get Lost !“ The sign itself originated in Italy. Thumbs-up and thumbs-down were the gestures used by Roman emperors to decide on the fate of gladiators in the arena.
6. In France it is absolutely not a done thing to pay separately in a restaurant.
In France restaurant bills are never split up. Either one person pays or the sum in question is divided up among the number of people present.