Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

Don’t Say Goodbye
to Saying Hello

by Joyce McGreevy on February 5, 2018

A man and a woman conversing in Ireland shows how saying hello is fundamental across cultures. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Saying hello is saying yes to life.
© Joyce McGreevy

Meeting & Greeting Across Cultures

In a New Yorker cartoon entitled “How to Clear a Space at a Crowded Beach,” a man says hello to all and sundry. His cheeriness so horrifies New Yorkers that hundreds collectively retreat.

Oh, I see: Some people like saying hello. Some people give hello the heave-ho.

In Galway, Ireland, (pop. 258,000) passersby often say hello to one another. Nothing fancy, mind you. A quick tap of the second syllable and you’re on your way. In Istanbul, Turkey (pop. 15 million) a local who said hello to passersby would prompt a puzzled reaction.

14 Ways of Learning
a Second Language

by Joyce McGreevy on August 8, 2017

A signpost atop Floyen, Bergen in Norway reflects the idea that learning a second language can take you in new directions. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Learning a language takes you in new directions.
© Joyce McGreevy

Language Tips for Busy People

Research shows that learning a second language is like superfood for the brain. Experts say we’re predisposed to be multilingual. So why do so many smart people think learning a second language is impossible?

Curiously, those who claim linguistic ineptitude often use complex grammar:

  • “Had I understood the benefits of learning Japanese, I would have taken classes.”
  • “If only I could have learned Spanish in high school, I would be fluent today.”

Crossing Cultures with an Urban Eye

by Meredith Mullins on July 31, 2017

View of Hong Kong apartment building by Michael Wolf from his series Life in Cities, images that show the megacity crossing cultures. (Image © Michael Wolf.)

Michael Wolf’s images are a metaphor for megacities.
© Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf’s View of Life in Cities

Human herds. The crush of crowds. Anonymity. Frenetic rhythms. Unrelenting surround-sound. Noise. Congestion. Forced verticality. Pollution.

Density in all its forms.

Much has been written to advocate for, rail against, and, ultimately, to understand life in cities. Images abound. Urban life is not a mystery.

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