Author(s): Mark McCrum
The International Guide to Doing the Right Thing
Why shouldn't you offer to pay for your share of the meal in China? Or say 'chin chin' as you raise your glass in Japan? Or use the 'thumbs-up' sign to mean 'that's OK' in Sardinia? In China, your host will lose face if he doesn't pick up the tab. In Tokyo, 'Chin chin' is slang for 'small penis'. In Sardinia a raised thumb means 'Sit on this!' - try that in a traffic jam in Cagliari. The world is not, in fact, flat; and as travel becomes ever easier, understanding the way things are done in other societies becomes ever more crucial. Going Dutch in Beijing aims to help its readers avoid minor international incidents by offering a light-hearted but informative look at everything from first greetings to last rites, covering key minefields of misunderstanding along the way. If you want to know what not to say, what not to wear and what not to do when you are invited round for dinner, all around the world, it's as well to get up to speed before you find yourself in the local police station.
Mark Ellingham, Founder, Rough Guides - 'Makes travelling a piece of cake.'John Simpson - "A delight to read, and full of funny, helpful and thought-provoking information. Airline staff should hand a copy out with each boarding-pass they issue; that way we might all understand more about the places we travel to, and do a little less damage"Danny Wallace, author of Yes Man - "A funny and fascinating reminder that the British Way is definitely not the Only Way... this is essentially the Rough Guide to Not Getting Beaten Up Abroad."John Simpson, BBC World Affairs Editor - 'A delight to read, and full of funny, helpful and thought-provoking information.' Wanderlust - '[A]n invaluable look at global etiquette.'
Mark McCrum has written travel books about Southern Africa, Australia and Ireland, and on travel for publications ranging from Conde Nast Traveller to the Sunday Times. His account of Robbie Williams on tour in Europe in 2001, Somebody Someday, was a No 1 bestseller in both hardback and paperback, and last year he ghost-wrote The Meaning of Tingo. He lives in London.