MS. BEHAVING sees that language is on your mind this week, so let's travel talk!
A READER WRITES: During my spa message, the technician kept up a steady stream of comment on my skin's condition, with many hints about products I should buy afterward. This ruined my alpha state. What to do next time?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: I know how you feel. Massage-interruptus chatter – about products, personal lives, world hunger, etc. – is a bore, and Ms. Behaving has the perfect solution. At the beginning of your treatment, say that you are looking forward to a quiet and relaxing time, and ask that any comments be saved until after the treatment is over.
A READER WRITES: My first visit to Australia is next month! But friends say I should watch my language Down Under. Meaning what?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Not there yet, my dear, and already you have done a no-no! The charming, affable citizens of Australia absolutely detest the “down under” term, which brings up … oh, I don’t know, but they don’t like it. Many common terms in American English have way different meanings in Oz (they like that term, BTW). Aussie English is colorful, robust, creative. For instance, you definitely want a “shout,” which is not a loud noise but an offer to buy you a drink. You don’t come from “abroad” but instead from “overseas” as everything is overseas from there. And you should never say that you are “rooting” for their cricket team, as that term means to be with someone in the Biblical sense. Go to Wikipedia or somesuch for tips, booklets and books that will have you not only laughing but speaking Aussie without fear before you know it!
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .
Photo above: Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot.