As a writer it is always important to tell a good story, but a large part of that is world building. If you do not portray a
believable backdrop, accurately reflecting the place and culture your characters live in, then it doesn’t matter how great your plot is or how dynamic your characters are… your story will fall flat.
Today is guy day and in honor of all the sexy, diverse men of the world I thought we’d give it a more international twist. I have called on friends throughout the world and they’ve agreed to help by answering a few probing questions about the culture they live in, their daily routines and their views on marriage and family. So let’s give these brave men a round of applause for being so forthright with their answers and see what they have to say.
1. What would you typically have for breakfast in your country? Lunch? Dinner? Snacks?
Argentina: Breakfast: coffee, tea or mate with milk, toasts or croissants with butter and jelly
Lunch: pasta, beef or fish; salad, potatoes or rice; as dessert fruit or ice cream Dinner: idem lunch/ Snacks: fries, peanuts, cheese, olives, salami….
Japan: Breakfast: steamed rice, miso-soup, grilled fish, milk
Lunch: pasta, salad
Dinner: steamed rice, soup, fish or meat
Snacks: rice crocker, cakes, etc
The Netherlands: Breakfast: Slices of bread with butter and chocolate sprinkles or with cheese or jam with tea or coffee or milk.
Lunch: Sandwich with butter or cream cheese and thin slices of meat and cheese.
Dinner: Meat and vegetables
Snacks: Fruit, peanuts
Scotland: Breakfast: Toast, cereals, porridge
Dinner: Meat potatoes and vegetables
Snacks: Chips, chocolate, etc.
2. In your country how is your time usually divided over a typical day? (Work hours, breaks, lunch, dinner, etc.)
Argentina: Work hours: 8 am to 5 pm / Lunch 12 pm to 1 pm / Dinner 9 pm
Japan: 6am – wake up + breakfast
7am -go to work
9am – start work
noon – lunch
1pm – back to work
6pm – go home or have dinner with friend
11pm – go to bed
The Netherlands: Working hours are in general between 8am and 5pm with a coffee break around 10am. Lunch at noon for 30 minutes. Dinner at 6pm and coffee at 8pm. People go to bed between 10pm and midnight.
Scotland: Usual work day approx 8-5 with an hoor fer lunch. Dinner usually aroond 6-7pm and bedtime aroond 11pm-midnight.
3. What would you typically wear on a workday?
Argentina: Coat and tie or military uniform
The Netherlands: Business suit
Scotland: Depends on yer job.
4. What would you typically wear on a weekend or holiday?
Argentina: Shirt, jeans and sneakers
Japan: Pants style or Uniqlo wear, casual
The Netherlands: Casual, jeans t-shirt and sneakers
Scotland: Jeans, t-shirts, sweats, etc.
5. What do you do for fun?
Argentina: I do travel, work out, go to a shopping mall, watch movies or have dinner out.
Japan: Gardening, travel, singing
The Netherlands: Sports activities
Scotland: TV, movies, play and watch sports, pub
6. What is your favorite sport to watch or play?
Argentina: Professional soccer
Japan: Figure skate, football
The Netherlands: Soccer, field hockey, track
7. If you find a woman attractive and you want to take her out, what would you consider a perfect date?
Argentina: A fine dinner at a cozy restaurant.
Japan: Take her out to his familiar bar or restaurant to show she could be special for him. The first date would be a weekday, if it was fun he would make the next date for the weekend.
The Netherlands: Dinner with good conversation and good wine.
Scotland: Dinner, pub or movies, or all 3.
8. Is it acceptable for a man to date more than one woman at a time? If so, would it also be acceptable for a woman to date more than one man at a time?
Argentina: If they are not married it would be acceptable to date more then one in any case.
Japan: It depends how serious the relationship is for them. If it’s serious, both man and woman would be upset if we found out that the other was dating someone else.
The Netherlands: Yes, if both agree and vice versa.
Scotland: Nae really acceptable although obviously it does happen, both ways.
9. Is it socially acceptable for a man to date a much younger woman? And would it be acceptable for a woman to date a much younger man?
Argentina: It is more acceptable for a man dating a younger woman than vice versa.
Japan: Yes for man, recently it is getting popular here. Sometimes for woman. Its interesting when woman gets young man, its still negative feeling or jealous among neighbor.
The Netherlands: Yes it is.
Scotland: Definitely more popular for men tae have younger partners and, aye, I’d say it’s acceptable fer both…just rare.
10. After marriage, what is the general feeling about infidelity in your country? Is it accepted or not? And if it would be considered acceptable for a man to have a mistress, would it be equally acceptable for a woman to have a lover?
Argentina: The general feeling about infidelity after marriage is rejection. It is generally not accepted. It would be almost equally not acceptable to have a woman or a lover.
Japan: Generally ‘not acceptable’ for both, after marriage they believe they need to be faithful but it happens everywhere.
The Netherlands: No, that is not acceptable.
11. Beyond conception what role does a man typically play in child rearing in your country? Would he actively participate in raising children? (Changing diapers, feeding, taking children to sports or activities, helping with homework, etc.)
Argentina: A man does play an active role in child rearing.
Japan: Changing diapers, taking bath together with children, play with children. Most of the case woman needs to take care of children in all field so man tend to help mothers rather than taking care of child.
The Netherlands: Yes, he will help out with everything in the household.
Scotland: I cannae answer this fae personal experience as I dinnae have any wee uns, but fae what I’ve heard, men play some part in everything nowadays. Apart fae breastfeeding – that just does nae work!
12. Is it socially acceptable for a man to be a stay-at-home dad in your country?
Argentina: No, not much.
Japan: Some men stay at home with their children or work from home but this is not popular, especially belonging to company. There are many stories of men losing their positions in companies because of working from home or taking leave for a child.
The Netherlands: Yes, if the wife has a fulltime, good paying job he will stay home.
Scotland: Nae sure if I would call it socially acceptable but it does seem tae be happening more.
13. In your country is it acceptable for a married couple to have independent activities, interests and friends? Or is it more typical to do everything together?
Argentina: It is more typical to do everything together. Although this behavior is lately changing and couples tend to be more independent between each other.
Japan: Of course, yes! If we have child, we tend to do together as family but we also could have own leisure time.
The Netherlands: Everybody does their own thing. Some couple have the same interests and do their sport activities together, others have separate interests.
Scotland: Aye, that’s pretty normal tae have independent interests.
A huge Waterworld Mermaid thank you goes out to all the men who made this interview happen! 🙂