1. Read books in another language. Whether it’s a book of Pablo Neruda love sonnets or the subtitles of Amelie, gain exposure by practicing the rhythm of the language.
2. Listen more than you talk. Though it seems obvious, people struggle with this, but the truly cultured have a knack for it. This includes directions around the Alps so you don’t find yourself hightailing it vertical.
3. Keep an eye out for cultural events, and actually go to them. Of course Modern Family was really funny last week, but that new jazz band at Hunter Gatherer is playing. Choose the latter. For all you know, a cute girl may be there too, trying to become more cultured like you.
4. Learn to love futbol. Over half the world’s countries love soccer, from Uruguay to Papua New Guinea. You are sure to make friends if you know what “PK” stands for in soccer.
5. Recommend ethnic food restaurants to people, and throw in dish examples like chicken tikka-masala, paella, haggis and dim sum.
6. After going on a date to that indie film you chose (good job!), use words like “niche,” “art house film” and “esoteric” to describe the message you got out of it. Make-out session will follow.
1. Remember when you lived in Europe? Nope. You were studying abroad. For a semester. Don’t try to convince potential friends that you are native to another country. Once they’re on to your game, you’ll spend the rest of the conversation “covering” your Norwegian accent.
2. Don’t not wear shoes, unless you are taking them off to enter the home of your Indian friend’s family as a courtesy. Not wearing shoes in any other circumstance is a no-no.
3. Don’t order Bud Light in a bar. Go for imported drafts like Stella Artois. It’s the affordable way to seem classy. They both taste like urine anyway so you can give your PBR a rest tonight.
4. Avoid bumper stickers displaying the confederate flag, “Get ‘er Done” and “These Colors Don’t Run.” It becomes apparent you’ve never crossed the Mason-Dixon line.
5. Don’t give in to the desire for mac & cheese-stuffed wings when you’re partying with your foreign love interest in Five Points. Yes, they are delicious, but they jeopardize your cultured persona.
6. Don’t quote funny Youtube videos. It’s the easiest way to sound stupid across the map. There’s not much culture in cats, babies or large women falling off of tables, unless you count baby-talk as a foreign language. Don’t.