Baci! This is a perfect opportunity to avoid the daily confusion and embarrassment on how to greet your friend. Just greet the Italian way! Friends in Italy kiss each other on the cheeks – that includes male friends amongst each other too. In the North it’s two, in the south it’s three kisses. It generally starts out with the left check – good to know to avoid unwanted meeting in the middle.
Siesta! The Spaniards know a thing or two about the quality of life and one of them is the siesta. If your day allows it (or even if it doesn’t), why not try to hold a siesta between 2pm and 5pm? It should start with a long lunch with friends and family and finishes with a 15 to 30 minute powernap in bed (with pyjamas on).
Fika. This Swedish custom is not much more than meeting for a coffee (and chit-chatting while maybe eating something sweet). But the Swedes don’t just have their own word for it, fika, which can be used as a verb or a noun, they’re also among the countries with the highest coffee intake worldwide, which says a lot about the status of fika-ing. What they also like: candles! Apparently, Swedish love sitting in candle lit rooms!
Bom apetite! If you want to go really European today, why not have your fika in a Pasteleria, a portuguese patisserie? They do amazing pasteis de nata – egg tart pastries – that go well with a galão (white coffee).
Prost – drink german beer: That’s an obvious one, but what I’m talking about here is a non-alcoholic German wheat beer. And why should you drink it? German researchers have found that athlete’s health benefits from the consumption alcohol-free wheat beer. And what’s good for them can’t be bad for us! Even bigger stores of a big supermarket chain (the orange one) store it.
Bien sûr – After such a European day, why not throw a French movie in to round it off? The favourites of our office-French: L’Auberge Espagnole, Le Prénom, Intouchables and Les Petits Mouchoirs.