HOUSTON, TX - They say a gesture is worth a thousand words. So, if you're traveling abroad, watch your hands and keep your gestures in your pockets, alright? They might get you into trouble.
For instance, imagine a business meeting overseas. "Hey! I like your plan", you say at the end of the presentation with the A-ok sign. Unfortunately, in Brazil, France, Australia and Germany that gesture means "you're a zero." So, good luck closing the deal after that.
Or take the typical "fingers crossed" sign we use to wish somebody good luck. Did you ask for a raise? Fingers crossed! Applying for college? Fingers crossed! In Vietnam, your good intentions translate into va-jayjay. So, don't do it.
In conclusion, beware of your non-verbal communication because it can lead to messy situations. But if you're driving in some foreign land and you try to convey a message with your middle finger, don't worry because in that situation everybody speaks American.