“Please don’t come to my house at 8pm sharp or earlier,” a friend in France pleaded. “Here we don’t like it when people come early. A little late is better, 20 minutes is fine.”
“Older Dutch people come to dinner right on time. I hate it,” explains Melvin in Amsterdam. “Most of my friends come later, good friends come early to help.”
If you don’t want to be invited back, show up late at a dinner in Switzerland. “It’s us ex-pats who screw it up by arriving late,” said an American living in Geneva.
For a business dinner in Nigeria, you can come politely 15 minutes late. For a social dinner, you can come a half hour late. “But most arrive about one hour late,” a Nigerian businessman told us.
In Greece, show off how rude you can be by showing up on time. For one hostess, 15 minutes late is fine. If you want guest to arrive promptly, you have to justify it via the food or the restaurant, e.g. the fish hardens if it’s not eaten promptly.
“Don’t ever expect Latinos to arrive on time or leave on time,” points out a Venezuelan. “They are known to stay late, so late, there’s even a song played at parties that means, “it’s time to go home”.”
Our friend Jim who used to live in London loved their wonderful expression when inviting, “Seven-thirty for eight”. Drinks begin at seven-thirty and dinner at eight.
Italy is pretty much like many places including New York, 15 minutes late is fine. But coming an hour or more late is unacceptable, especially if all you were doing was nothing.
We're taking the month of August off, we'll start posting after Labor Day. Meanwhile, we're doing some recycling. We're trendy that way.