Random Culture Thread

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Ciarán12

Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-27, 11:47

I just saw an elderly woman fall down and several people immediately near her rushed over to help her up. It was in a bar and the waitress came over with a glass of water and offered it to her. It struck me that this is something I've seen pretty much any time anyone was sick or injured - whereever possible, they would be offered a glass of water, whether or not that would actually help the situation. It seems this is likely to be cross-cultural as given her accent I could tell the waitress was not Irish. Is this something that happens in your countries as well?

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Osias » 2019-07-27, 15:43

Here it does.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Naava » 2019-07-27, 16:18

I've never heard of anyone offering something that is not clearly needed (like a glass of water if you fall down). The only thing that comes to my mind that is even remotely similar is how we're always drinking coffee. Is it morning? Coffee. Afternoon? Coffee. Break during your work day? Coffee. Visiting someone? Coffee. Weddings, funerals, graduations, birthdays? Coffee, coffee, coffee, and coffee. :mrgreen:

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-27, 16:38

Naava wrote:I've never heard of anyone offering something that is not clearly needed (like a glass of water if you fall down). The only thing that comes to my mind that is even remotely similar is how we're always drinking coffee. Is it morning? Coffee. Afternoon? Coffee. Break during your work day? Coffee. Visiting someone? Coffee. Weddings, funerals, graduations, birthdays? Coffee, coffee, coffee, and coffee. :mrgreen:


I think it's kind of a placebo; there's nothing I can do, I don't know what's wrong, I'm not a doctor, but I've got water and water's good for you (i.e good for absolutely everything always), take this and you'll feel better. And may times they do, either because water actually helped or because the placebo worked.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-29, 16:19

So here's one related to dining etiquette, specifically eating utensils.

Eating utensils (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, etc.) aren't to be touched unless you're actually using them to eat. Playing with them is considered extremely childish behaviour and will get you scolded. Pointing with them, either at people or objects, is considered very rude, as is putting them or keeping them in your mouth when they're not being used to convey food. You never share them or touch someone else's. To take something from a common dish or divide it into smaller pieces for sharing, you use dedicated serving utensils.

If I were eating with a friend and I saw them fidgeting with their silverware I would ask them if something was wrong. If they persisted in playing with them, I would ask them to stop.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Johanna » 2019-07-29, 16:58

linguoboy wrote:To take something from a common dish or divide it into smaller pieces for sharing, you use dedicated serving utensils.

This depends a bit. In really informal settings in Sweden — at least among the working class — it's fine to use your own utensils for that, as long as you haven't started eating and they thus haven't been anywhere near your mouth yet. And of course, you don't do it unless it's practical; it's not like you'd use your own spoon to scoop soup out of the pot for example.

Everything else you wrote still applies in all contexts though.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-03, 3:10

linguoboy wrote:To take something from a common dish or divide it into smaller pieces for sharing, you use dedicated serving utensils.

This is the only part I can say is true of modern Malayalee culture, and even this was not the case at least for most people until some time after independence. Traditionally, we didn't use utensils at all to eat. One or a few people would ladle out everyone's serving of food and only then sit down to eat, and everyone would eat with their right hand.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2020-06-16, 19:02

A friend of mine in Germany just posted a picture of the laundry room in his apartment dwelling. Apparently, each resident has their own washer connected to their own water and electricity, but they're grouped together in a single common room.

Is this common in Europe? When I lived there, I was in a Studentwohnheim and we had a common laundry room with common machines that were operated by tokens. That was also the situation in all of my dormitories and rental apartments in the USA and in my first condo building. The alternative, which I have now, is that the apartment building allows in-unit washers (and dryers).
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-06-17, 2:01

Here in the bike shop where I live on the fourth floor, the washing machine is on the fifth (top) floor, which is the balcony. You operate it by putting in your laundry then pressing 電源 to turn it on and whatever the button below that says to make it actually start washing your clothes (I forget now what it actually says). There is another washing machine there meant for washing baby clothes. There is also a sink, a broom, some drying racks, a bunch of hangers, and a faucet (I'm not sure whether "faucet" is the right word - the kind of thing that a garden hose might be attached to so you can water the plants) connected to a pipe that goes down a hole in the floor that serves as a drain. When the washing machine empties water, it goes down the pipe and down the hole. However, pipes in Taiwan are narrow and get clogged easily, so a lot of water gets spilled onto the floor in the process but flows back into the hole or evaporates in the sun.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-06-17, 4:35

At least in some apartments in Sweden, Finland, and Estonia, yes, the laundry room is communal. (But having washing machines in individual apartments is another option in many apartments there too, usually in the bathroom or kitchen.)
Where it's communal, you usually sign up for a time, but can use any of the washing machines.
And they're usually in a creepy basement. :mrgreen:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby OldBoring » 2020-06-25, 13:04

In Italy I've never heard of communal laundry rooms in condominiums. Everyone buys their own washing machine in their own apartment.
People who don't have a washing machine at home take their clothes to the laundry store.

When I lived at the university dorm in China, we had a communal washing machine, and you use a magnetic token to start it.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Gormur » 2020-06-27, 18:42

vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:To take something from a common dish or divide it into smaller pieces for sharing, you use dedicated serving utensils.

This is the only part I can say is true of modern Malayalee culture, and even this was not the case at least for most people until some time after independence. Traditionally, we didn't use utensils at all to eat. One or a few people would ladle out everyone's serving of food and only then sit down to eat, and everyone would eat with their right hand.
I want to see them eat gravy with their hands :twisted:

Just kidding. I know that's not a traditional dish. It's foreign to me :hmm:

Eating rice with bare hands seems messy though. Maybe Jasmine rice wouldn't be that bad though

I make my rice in a rice cooker and it's always on the wet side, like East Asians do it. Not like fastfood rice mind you. How it's made at home :)

First you wash out the rice with your hands a few times while draining it, then fill it up with enough water to cover your knuckles. That's how I was taught to measure it

I bet there's a more sanitary way to do it, but this is the crude method taught to me by South Koreans :P :|
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Gormur » 2020-06-27, 19:35

OldBoring wrote:In Italy I've never heard of communal laundry rooms in condominiums. Everyone buys their own washing machine in their own apartment.
People who don't have a washing machine at home take their clothes to the coin laundry machines.

When I lived at the university dorm in China, we had a communal washing machine, and you use a magnetic token to start it.


Yeah that's how universities in North America work too. Coin-operated laundry machines

The ones that typically operate independently near apartment buildings are called coin operated laundry machines :)
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-06-27, 20:46

Gormur wrote:
OldBoring wrote:In Italy I've never heard of communal laundry rooms in condominiums. Everyone buys their own washing machine in their own apartment.
People who don't have a washing machine at home take their clothes to the coin laundry machines.

When I lived at the university dorm in China, we had a communal washing machine, and you use a magnetic token to start it.


Yeah that's how universities in North America work too. Coin-operated laundry machines

The ones that typically operate independently near apartment buildings are called coin operated laundry machines :)

Same here. Or as an alternative, newer ones are sometimes operated by a debit card, which subtracts an amount from the card each time it is used. You pay at the beginning of the month for the $ amount equivalent to the number of times you think you'll need to do laundry, insert the card to operate the washing machine and you refill the card again the next month (or sooner, if you end up having to do more laundry than you expected and use up your balance before the end of the month).
OldBoring, I'm curious, you mentioned that the one in the university in China required a "magnetic token". Did you have to pay for the tokens? I'm curious if the tokens were free for residents or if you had to pay per use, as is usually the case in the U.S.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2020-06-27, 21:10

ObRandom: Even though the machines in my previous building switched to card-operated before I moved, I was so accustomed to hoarding all my quarters for laundry that I only recently stopped doing it. I still have a couple hundred dollars in coins sitting around that I’ve been too lazy to drag to the bank and cash in.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-06-28, 19:12

Gormur wrote:I want to see them eat gravy with their hands :twisted:

Just kidding. I know that's not a traditional dish.

Actually, it kind of is. For instance, when we make chicken curry, we cook the chicken in its gravy.

We use bread or rice (depending on which one we're eating - we don't usually eat both at the same meal, and people tend to prefer one or the other depending on which part of India they're from) to soak or scoop up the gravy. You can also just slather your fingers (or hand) in it and lick it off.
Eating rice with bare hands seems messy though.

This is also kind of true. That is part of the reason why we wash them before and after every meal.

Traditionally, in Kerala at least, we eat parboiled rice, so the grains are very separate and it is not sticky at all.
I make my rice in a rice cooker and it's always on the wet side, like East Asians do it.

That is how I made rice in Austin whenever I was having Chinese food (and had or chose to make rice to eat with it), too. Now that I am actually in East Asia, I don't have a kitchen or rice cooker, so I have never made rice here.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby OldBoring » 2020-06-29, 16:56

Huh, can't imagine living on eating outside every day.
In Mainland China they usually arrange "proper" apartments for English teachers who come from overseas, with a living room and a kitchen.

Gormur wrote:
OldBoring wrote:In Italy I've never heard of communal laundry rooms in condominiums. Everyone buys their own washing machine in their own apartment.
People who don't have a washing machine at home take their clothes to the coin laundry machines.

When I lived at the university dorm in China, we had a communal washing machine, and you use a magnetic token to start it.


Yeah that's how universities in North America work too. Coin-operated laundry machines

The ones that typically operate independently near apartment buildings are called coin operated laundry machines :)

No, my two paragraphs were talking about different things.
First paragraph was about Italy. I literally meant laundry stores, i.e. private stores on the street where everyone can pay to wash their laundries. They are not meant for use for any specific apartment.
Automatic laundry stores also exist in Italy: they are named laundromats.
Second paragraph was about universities in China.

Linguaphile wrote:OldBoring, I'm curious, you mentioned that the one in the university in China required a "magnetic token". Did you have to pay for the tokens? I'm curious if the tokens were free for residents or if you had to pay per use, as is usually the case in the U.S.

In my university yes. We had to pay 30 RMB (around 4 USD) for 10 washes. After we finish 10 washes, we pay 30 RMB again and the reception tops up the magnetic token.
I've heard of other universities where the mashing machines are free of charge.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Gormur » 2020-06-29, 17:05

Laundromats are the same thing, just not the specific machines :)
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2020-06-29, 17:14

OldBoring wrote:I literally meant laundry stores, i.e. private stores on the street where everyone can pay to wash their laundries. They are not meant for use for any specific apartment.
Automatic laundry stores also exist in Italy: they are named laundromats.

I'm not quite sure what the distinction is you're making here.

In the USA, "laundromats" are places that offer laundry machines which customers pay to use. A place where you bring your laundry and have others wash it for you is called a "laundry". A "laundry service" will actually come to your door and pick up the laundry, then drop it off again when it's finished.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby OldBoring » 2020-06-29, 17:21

linguoboy wrote:
OldBoring wrote:I literally meant laundry stores, i.e. private stores on the street where everyone can pay to wash their laundries. They are not meant for use for any specific apartment.
Automatic laundry stores also exist in Italy: they are named laundromats.

I'm not quite sure what the distinction is you're making here.

In the USA, "laundromats" are places that offer laundry machines which customers pay to use. A place where you bring your laundry and have others wash it for you is called a "laundry". A "laundry service" will actually come to your door and pick up the laundry, then drop it off again when it's finished.

Gormur corrected me with the phrase coin operated laundry machines, but not all laundries are automated with coins. A lot of laundries have staff that work there.
Then he said "near the apartments", but not all laundries are near apartments, for example many are inside shopping malls or near offices.


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