Today I went to my "Grande Debutante"(very beginner) French conversation group at the University. The other people in the group are all English speakers, but from all sorts of interesting countries. Today, it was just me, a Nigerian man, a Chinese woman, and the French and English speaking instructor from Romania. After class we had (in English) the most hysterical conversation involving the word 'dude.'
Nigerian man: It's like an American word that men use for other men.
Me: Well, actually....
Instructor: Oh good I don't like that word at all! I would hate to be called that!
Me: *quietly* Well... In America girls use it too...
Instructor: Ohhh, don't call me that! It sounds so ugly!
Nigerian man: Do they really?!
Me: Welllll yeah... I might occasionally use it myself.
Nigerian man: But you only call men 'dude' right?
Me: Um... No you can call anyone 'dude.'
Nigerian man: *very excited* So I could walk up to you and say, "What's up, dude!?!" ?
Me: *laughing* Yes. Yes you could.
I'm not sure if anyone else will find that conversation as hysterical as me, but I left that conversation with my heart especially warm. It's fascinating to see how other people view my culture, and discussing its many oddities is sometimes the quickest way to connect with people. In other words, if you go to France and make fun of America, they'll love you in a second. :)