Little did Emma - like many of us - know upon moving here that failing to have Crémant at hand when you receive visitors is akin to a deadly sin.
Between the dirty looks that people give and the prolonged staring, I have found a few things that are very acceptable, if not encouraged, in the United States, that are not so welcome here. Here are (in my opinion) the seven deadly sins of Luxembourg.
1. Wearing workout clothes anywhere that you are not working out
I just want to be comfortable. What is more comfortable than a pair of leggings and a comfy sweatshirt? Even if I am on my way to the gym and just pop in the store or walk the dog quickly! But the looks…
2. Wearing sunglasses on any day that is not over 30 degrees (Celsius of course)
I have very light green eyes and I am super sensitive to sunlight. Not only that, growing up in Florida you always had a pair or two of sunglasses on you at all times. But here it seems that if it is not hot, even if sunny, you don’t wear them.
3. Talking on the bus, train or tram
My husband and I often don’t see each other much during the week, as he works long hours at the office. So Friday night we often go out for dinner just the two of us and have so much to chat about. We have learned not to begin these conversations on the bus or tram, as the annoyed looks from others around us are enough to make you never speak on the bus again. Then again, perhaps it's just because us Americans can be a bit loud, and English stands out?
4. Asking people where they got their clothes
This lesson I unfortunately learned the hard way. A friend of mine was wearing the absolute cutest skirt I’ve ever seen. I gushed and told her it was adorable and asked where she got it. She gave me a funny look but said thank you and she couldn’t remember where it was from. I then felt very awkward like she didn’t want to tell me about it. I learned later from another American friend that it isn’t very common to compliment others' clothes.
I have to say, this one surprised me - anyone care to confirm if this is actually true?
5. Not having a bottle of Crémant in the fridge
Thank goodness my neighbour informed me of this upon arrival. I have never been accustomed to someone dropping by “unannounced” but I have learned that when it does happen, you are to have Crémant in the fridge ready to serve? Believe it when I say there is a permanent holding place for one in my fridge now.
6. Not having a glass of wine with lunch out
I’m not sure if this habit formed in college, or it’s just an unfortunate mindset that I have, but if I have a glass of anything alcoholic, I am now deemed useless for the remainder of the day. So when I refused a glass of wine at a lunch out during the workweek, the looks and “it’s just one…” that were thrown my way… did I cave? Yes. Did I get anything done that day? No.
7. Not using a grocery basket or trolley
I often now will run into the stores for just 4 or 5 quick things (as I am trying to be better about not stacking my fridge full) and then hurry home to let my dog out. If this is the case, I do not grab a basket because I can hold everything on my own and want to be super quick. But I feel like people look at me so concerned and like I am stealing things!
What have you found to be frowned upon here that is acceptable where you are from?