Monday, December 21, 2009

There is a lady we work with – let’s call her Gail.  Her name is not really Gail, though it very well could be because all the ladies who work with Westerners like to choose basic names like Sally or Susan or Sarah.

Gail is a lovely lady and has been an integral part of our quick acclimation to Mokpo.  But she has an odd personal habit that I’ve found many people to have here, only hers is to a greater degree.  It’s this sucking sound made by keeping the tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth and letting air flap in and out through the sides.  They do it mostly when pausing to think.  Occasionally, you’ll get to hear a really long, juicy slurp when you know they’re thinking extra hard.  It’s quite gross, and with the lack of personal space here, you can imagine what having an up-front seat is like.

If you still aren’t quite sure what this could possibly sound like, just watch for Gail the Snail on the The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention episode of Season 5 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  You’ll see what I mean.

It got me thinking – I wonder what personal habits that we, as Americans, have that are jarring to the eyes or ears of other cultures.  It’s made me very aware of everything I do in a way I’ve never been before.