Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

The Lucky Language of Fortune Cookies

by Meredith Mullins on May 14, 2018

Man's hands opening fortune cookies, revealing proverbs and sayings that can change your life. (Image © Comstock/Stockbyte.)

What wisdom can a cookie bring?
© Comstock Images/Stockbyte

Can Cookie Proverbs and Sayings Change Your Life?

We are often drawn to a peek at the future, whether fueled by fact or fantasy, proverbs or sayings, instinct or reason.

We shake the Magic 8 Ball to answer our important YES/NO questions and get answers such as “Signs point to yes,” “Outlook not so good,” or the annoyingly evasive “Reply hazy. Try again later.” (Was this a forerunner to sassy Siri?)

We sit in silence between worlds with our Ouija board and call on the spirits to guide us. We have our palms read or consult our horoscopes.

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.

The Hidden Hearts of Bruges

by Joyce McGreevy on November 28, 2017

Bruges by night inspires the writer in Belgium, where being bilingual is just the beginning. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Bruges by night is safe and serene.
© Joyce McGreevy

Where Being Bilingual
Is Just the Beginning

So, you’ve practiced your French to visit Belgium. Well, not so fast! Here, being bilingual is just the beginning. In this country the size of Maryland, only 40% of the population speaks French.

The Other 60 Percent

Now how’s your Flemish? Because we’re bound for Bruges. Known locally as Brugge, it’s arguably Europe’s most picturesque small city.

ruges is a World Heritage city in Belgium, where being bilingual is just the beginning. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

This World Heritage city welcomes 7.5 million visitors a year.
© Joyce McGreevy

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