(Click on photos to view captions)
Friday, February 26, 2010
(Click on photos to view captions)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
- New York City
- Mexico City
- Hong Kong
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Chocolate, does not need to be translated. In almost any country, if you say anything along the lines of “chocolate” or “coco,” people are going to know what you’re talking about.
It’s the universal language, such as the language of love can be universal on a day like today.
Here are 10 different languages and how to say chocolate:
- Russian—шоколадом (chocoladom)
- Arabic—الشوكولاته (sho-co-la)
- Japanese—チョコレート (cho-ko-let-oh)
Throughout my travels I have sampled Russian, German, Arab, British and American chocolates. Each separate country “knows” their chocolate is the best. This statement would be false. I am no chocolatier, however I believe I know my way around the coco bean.
Also most of the chocolate in other countries comes in many different varieties, such as caramel, nuts and fruits, white mixed with black, dark, etc. If you buy the standard Hershey bar in the U.S., you’re likely to get the standard milk chocolate, nuts in an extra occasion, dark in rare occasions but I have yet to see fruit in a Hershey bar.
Some of the popular brands have been The Saint Petersburger in Russia, Milka in Germany (also sold in many other other countries, such as the U.K.), Cadbury in the U.K., and many other brands sold internationally, but not in the U.S.
So far, for all it’s hype, The Saint Petersburger has not met my standards. In Russia it is considered the darker the better, and in the U.S., I don’t believe we’re raised in the same fashion.
I hope everyone has their fair share of chocolate on this holiday, and can one day test the taste buds outside the U.S. border.
Friday, February 12, 2010
That norm however does not continue when dealing with people from different countries. When visiting “Chinaya Lojka” (Russian for “tea spoon”) in Russia, a nice place to get an afternoon blini, it was common to sit towards the end of a longer table, and have other people sit with you throughout your meal.
After having a program with many people from Saudi Arabia, some friends of mine couldn’t help but comment on how close they would get to your face when talking to you.
Other cultures aren’t afraid to get up close and personal. To me this helps when you’re in another country to get to know the “locals.”
In congunction with this, it was noticed also a certain type of personality comes with each different culture, which is semi self explainatory. While in Russia, it always seemed at first that sales clerks were intelligent, but would give you hell for help, even though you’d get it in the end. In the U.S. sales staff is taught “the customer is always right,” and thus our society can be based on this sense of false niceness.
The combination of being in somebody’s personal bubble, and lacking the “fakeness” associated with the American culture, many better relationships can be had.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Upon meeting three British students nearly three years ago now, there was a certain amount of confusion throughout the first few weeks of their stay in the U.S. For instance, they didn’t wait in queues anymore, they waited in American lines. And they didn’t wear jumpers anymore, they wore either a hoodie or a sweater, not a crazy combination. Chips were now fries and crisps were now chips. It’s just a topsy tervy world for them.
The same was for me upon visiting the U.K. last March and May. When I sliced my finger open, nobody came to my aid when I needed a band-aid. I needed a plaster. My luggage went in the boot, not the trunk, and when we went through the mud I needed wellies, not rain boots.
The concept can be even greater when it comes to larger concepts between those students from Asian countries staying with me. Entire concepts would have to be explained, and rationalized. Through this comes the great gift of patience. A virtue which I was lacking before acting globally. A virtue, which has stuck with me since.
I leave you now with my top ten British translations:
- Arse— Ass. Simple enough, however was quite hysterical during a “Friends outtake.”
- Chips— French fries.
- Chrisps—Chips. Everything gets a little bit confusing when you order a bag of chips and get a bag of fries, and when you’re asked if you’d like chrisps with your sandwich and out comes a bag of potato chips.
- Plaster—Band-aid. Accidents happen, and they will look at you silly if you stand there asking for a band-aid. “A what?”
- Queue—Line. Don’t stand around waiting in the “line” all day, it’s a queue.
- Torch—Flashlight. They’re not that old fashioned.
- Lift—Elevator. “Taking a lift” does not involve anybody lifting you up.
- Biscuit—Cookie. These biscuits are nothing like those flaky bits you get at Bob Evans. No butter needed.
- Jumper—Hoodie or Sweater. No jumping involved.
- Pudding—Dessert. They do not have an obsession with the snack loved so dearly by the elderly. Pudding can be cheesecake, chocolate cake or any other variety of snack. Yum.
Monday, February 8, 2010
There are so many things which are part of the never-ending "globalization." For anybody who has studied Thomas Friedman in a classroom, this word is all too familiar. The definition of globalization by Friedman is as such:
The interweaving of markets, technology, information systems and telecommunications systems in a way that is shrinking the world from a size medium to a size small, and enabling each of us to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and enabling the world to reach into each of us farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before.
Through this, as Friedman states, the world becomes in an essence, smaller. In the United States, your clothes can be from Taiwan, your food from Canada, technology from Japan right before you call India to solve a problem. There are everyday international experiences, which can lead to greater worldly ones.
I hope to use my experiences to try and take a look at different ways that people interact throughout the world. Also, the meaning of this blog, Hoppipola, is "jumping through puddles" in Icelandic. It's a song done by Sigor Ros, an Icelandic band. I have taken the interpretation of this to be myself, jumping from one "puddle" to the next, taking you through the puddles of my experiences. Come along for the jumping.