Thank you, for what?

Thank you for the food. That´s what we say in Norway after a meal, well, we say “Takk for maten!” to be correct. But they don´t do that here in Portugal, not because they´re not grateful, but because it´s so obvious that you get served food. No need to say thank you.

I say it without thinking. In the beginning my portuguese just said; Thanks? For what? It can cause a lot of trouble when cultures crash. It´s not always the religions that cause all the problems in the world, no, not here. I´m brought up to say that I´m sorry if I do something wrong or not so nice. Then I move to England, where they say sorry for everything, all the time, even if somebody else bump into you! When I moved to Portugal, my portuguese just looked at me and say; Sorry, for what?

It sounds like a small insignificant difference, I know. But can make you wonder; why am I sorry all the time? I´m not really sorry, but after living in England I say it even more, just for small things. Sometimes he says; Can you stop saying sorry!

It makes you think about why we do the things we do, is it by choice or habit?