Dating etiquette by country

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I could hardly find anyone who wasn't in a relationship and who wasn't engaged in some serious PDA all over the place, complete with holding hands, wearing matching clothes, constantly uploading a super-couple-y profile picture on Facebook and so on.

It felt almost as though each person played their role in the perfect relationship, but could easily repeat it the following week with somebody else.

Up in the highlands, if you’re walking a trail or passing through a small village, it’s usual to say hello to everyone you meet.

It’s actually very common for locals, even senior officials, to say “a sus órdenes” (literally “at your orders”) as they help you out.

Guatemalans have a deserved reputation as some of the most civil, polite people in Latin America.

They’re nowhere near as upfront as many Ladinos and quite formal in social situations.

If you look deeply you can find social and cultural status are determining factors of relationships in Vietnam.

A friend of mine, a fellow European, summarized how relationships on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean work in a comical, but also pretty accurate way: “In America, the girl is Barbie and the guy is Ken.

In Europe both are both.” So how does this actually apply to the way relationships differ from each other in two continents whose inhabitants once belonged to the same culture?

Generally in indigenous areas, most local women wear a calf-length skirt, but it’s fine for foreigners to wear trousers or knee-length short pants.

By the coast or around a hotel pool, sunbathing in a swimsuit is perfectly acceptable, though it’s best to keep your bikini top on.

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