back to article Bill Gates offends Koreans after sticking hand down trousers

Bill Gates has managed to offend the whole of South Korea after brazenly breaking the country's strict but unwritten handshake rules. He greeted female President Geun Hye Park with the customary one-handed palm press, but neglected to remove his other hand from his trouser pocket. Using one mitt with the other stuffed in a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. ChrisInBelgium
    Holmes

    So?

    Using one mitt with the other stuffed in a pocket is considered extremely rude in Korea. It is a manoeuvre only carried out "when someone feels superior to whoever they are greeting".

    He DOES feel superior to whoever he is greeting.

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Maybe

      The Koreans should be a little more understanding, especially considering he is a 'foreigner' to them.

      We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles.

      If we can do it, so should they.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe

        Therein lies the problem.

        Certainly in the UK, we have to break backs to accommodate foreign culture and its ways, whereas if we go to 99.9% of the countries from which we receive immigrants or asylum seekers, we get fuck all in the way of accommodation for our needs and wants.

        1. oddie
          Coat

          Re: Maybe

          seeing as the president has bent over backwards to let the country know that she is (and the should be) accomodating his american ways, and seeing as the ones howling about being mortally offended by his lack of 'being exactly like us and respecting our culture' are probably the korean equivalent of the uk daily mail reader, I put to you that the uk and south korea has more in common than you would think :)

          "hold jacket in one hand, put other hand in jacked pocket, shake bum at president" icon used for obvious reasons :)

          1. oddie

            Re: Maybe

            (and the should be) = (and that they (the country) should be)

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Maybe

            Though much of James Dyson's autobiography is a fairly tedious account of his patent struggles, he did relate his experience of Japan. He sought the services of consultants who advised to learn the customs, and to work out someone's status so as to choose the appropriate greeting, and so much other stuff that he just thought:

            "Sod it... I'm never going to convince them that I'm Japanese, and anyway they want me here because I'm not one of them... I may as well act like an Englishman, and concentrate on delivering what I'm here to do."

            That's not to say that you shouldn't keep some basic human wits about you when abroad... even as a child, I remember a funeral passing through the square of small French town... and all bystanders took off their hats and looked respectful, except for one loudly dressed American family.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maybe

              " I remember a funeral passing through the square of small French town... and all bystanders took off their hats and looked respectful, except for one loudly dressed American family."

              Everybody was wearing hats? Were you a victorian child?

              Shame on the 'mericans for not changing the colour of their clothes as it went past though.

            2. Fibbles

              Re: Maybe

              My knowledge of the history of the handshake is admittedly extremely limited but I had thought that (at least in it's modern incarnation,) the handshake was a Western greeting. It's a very peculiar situation we have here then, for a Westerner like Bill Gates to be lectured by the Korean press for incorrectly performing a greeting from his own culture.

              As others have noted though, it's likely the only people kicking up a fuss are the Korean equivalent of the Daily Mail.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe

          @AC - "if we go to 99.9% of the countries from which we receive immigrants or asylum seekers, we get fuck all in the way of accommodation for our needs and wants."

          You sound like my parents, who take a box of tea bags with them whenever they go abroad. They also read the Daily Mail, much to my shame.

          1. boltar Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Maybe

            "You sound like my parents, who take a box of tea bags with them whenever they go abroad."

            Which is obviously completely unlike all the foreign visitors bringing all their own foodstuffs and drinks into britain when they visit. I mean they're british, so obviously its being insular and xenophobic, whereas a foreigner bringing what they like with them is merely them enjoying their cultural heritage. Right?

            "They also read the Daily Mail, much to my shame."

            Well don't worry, when you get around to wearing long trousers you'll find out that the world isn't quite the fluffy skip down the street together multi-culti love in you obviously think it is.

            1. Alfred

              Re: Maybe

              "Well don't worry, when you get around to wearing long trousers you'll find out that the world isn't quite the fluffy skip down the street together multi-culti love in you obviously think it is."

              Although if you read the Daily Mail, you think that women and immigrants cause cancer.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                if you read the Daily Mail, you think that women and immigrants cause cancer

                women, immigrants, and anything that affects the Editor's status as chair of the Ignore Press Complaints Commission.

            2. elderlybloke
              Unhappy

              Re: Maybe

              Dear boltar,

              Any Limey or other foreign devil who tries to bring their own food in with them when they visit New Zealand will have it confiscated and fined if they don't declare it.

              Only get it confiscated if they declare it.

              Why? Well we don't have many nasty things here like Foot and Mouth and nasty Bugs that could destroy our Agricultural industry>

          2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Maybe

            @Chris Wareham:

            I take teabags with me :S

            Whats wrong with me disliking everyone elses tea, no-one has ever had an issue making me tea with my own tea bags.

            1. Psyx

              Re: Maybe

              I take teabags with me too, because everyone else's are swill. But that's rather a different matter to not bother learning manners.

          3. MrXavia
            Thumb Up

            Re: Maybe @Chris Wareham

            So do I! have you ever tasted the tea outside the UK? vile stuff! impossible to get a decent lady grey or even earl grey.... Odd as it may sound, I always take tea to China... they may know & grow very good tea, but they have no idea how to blend it like we do!

            1. Dana W

              Re: Maybe @Chris Wareham

              I drink Twinings and I'm an American. Is that acceptable enough? If its good enough for the queen after all, or so the warrant says.

              I can't vouch for the rest of us "foreigners" but its not 1960, you can get real tea here now. Though you won't get it in a restaurant. Even in coffee houses that have had theoretically good tea, I have had VERY terse discussions with the help about the difference between hot and boiling water.

              Most restaurants end up having Lipton's or worse. Usually steeped in a glass of (sort of) hot water. And it tastes like hot water poured through a new broom. A lot of people I've known say they don't like tea, I have had to make it for them to change their opinion, because most of them have never HAD decent tea.

              I used to work a night shift job and drank Twinings Irish Breakfast to keep me going all night, and when my co-workers wound come in in the morning I'd be brewing it and they would exclaim, "That smells great! What is that?" And I'd have to explain that it was tea, and they would be shocked. Again because to far too many of the people here, sadly, tea is either Lipton's in luke warm water, or a bag of various herbs containing no actual tea usually consumed by their new agey girlfriend in college.

              I wish they still made Twinnings Queen Mary.........

              1. hayseed

                Re: Maybe @Chris Wareham

                Lipton's makes me embarrassed to be an American sometimes..

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Maybe

            "You sound like my parents, who take a box of tea bags with them whenever they go abroad."

            Mine are the same. Even when they go to France they insist on taking their own shoes, because they like the shoes they have, and might want to wear them while they're out there. Instead of getting properly into the culture by wearing a french pair of shoes the whole time they're there. Weird, isn't it?

            Anyway, got to run, need to go kimono shopping for my upcoming trip to Japan.

        3. David Cantrell
          Go

          Re: Maybe

          Yes, we do try to accomodate other peoples' cultures. That's what makes us a more attractive target for immigration than most other places, and why we, with the help of immigrants, do so much better than most other places, attracting the best, brightest, most driven people from those other places.

          1. Nuke
            Flame

            @David Cantrell - Re: Maybe

            Wrote :- "Yes, we do try to accomodate other peoples' cultures. That's ... why we, with the help of immigrants, do so much better than most other places, attracting the best, brightest, most driven .."

            And you, no doubt priding yourself on being worldly, don't give any thought as to whether those other countries might have needed those "bright" (as you believe) people? But lets not mention also the scum who come here because things have become too hot for them back home, getting away from the moderating influence of parents and family, and importing their crime and their violent political and religious feuds.

            And it depends on what you mean by doing "better". Perhaps you mean living in a place looking increasingly like an overcrowded airport lounge, sitting in traffic jams, and seeing what is left of our green spaces being rapidly concreted over to house everyone in ever more cramped living spaces.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe

          > we get fuck all in the way of accommodation for our needs and wants.

          Oh, apart from that little nicety of generally speaking to us in our own language, but I guess that's nothing?

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Maybe

            To people saying it's not offensive because Bill Gates is a foreigner, what would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU. We need to be more careful.

            1. apjanes
              Angel

              Re: Maybe

              With all due respect, the comparison being drawn is a little extreme. Slapping someone round the face and swearing (most likely with an aggressive tone that you would notice even if you didn't understand the language) is offensive in pretty much ANY culture. A better comparison might be Bill Gates dining with the queen and not stopping eating when she does. A faux pas for sure, but forgiveable.

              1. Adam 1

                Re: Maybe

                " A better comparison might be Bill Gates dining with the queen and not stopping eating when she does."

                Damn, I didn't know that one either.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: Maybe

              @NomNomNom what would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU

              Don't be stupid. The problem in Korea was an accidental infringement of a local cultural convention. There are plenty of countries where greeting somebody with your hand in your pocket isn't a problem, but I don't suppose you can instance a single one where slapping somebody's face and saying "fuck you" isn't deliberately offensive.

            3. Richard 22
              FAIL

              Re: Maybe

              {quote}

              To people saying it's not offensive because Bill Gates is a foreigner, what would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU. We need to be more careful.

              {quote}

              That only makes sense if Bill Gates genuinely wouldn't have known that to be offensive. Since that would be considered extremely offensive in America too, I think it's a particularly bad example.

            4. Felix Krull

              Re: Maybe

              What would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU.

              I'm a staunch royalists and I'd laugh for a week.

            5. Triggerfish

              Re: Maybe @NomNomNom

              Excessive use of hyperbole methinks

            6. Panix
              Thumb Up

              Re: Maybe

              Successful troll is successful

            7. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: Maybe

              > slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU.

              Point taken, but there's a world of difference between putting your hand in your pocket and physically assaulting someone.

              What is being referred to here is a cultural custom.

              Slapping someone on the face is offensive in any culture.

            8. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Maybe

              "To people saying it's not offensive because Bill Gates is a foreigner, what would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU."

              With his other hand in his pocket or out?

        5. Psyx
          Flame

          Re: Maybe

          "Certainly in the UK, we have to break backs to accommodate foreign culture and its ways, "

          Bull.

          Speak many languages, do you?

          Understands the rudiments of other world religions and basic manners in other cultures?

          Frankly, Brits are an embarrassment overseas, overladen with Imperial arrogance and an utter unwillingness to adapt to the manners of others.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Maybe

            Bull I know plenty of Brits who have made a good life abroad and live within the culture, and Americans and French and Germans etc. There's also plenty who are twats (and usually they tend not to stay long, or are on holiday and don't give a shit), nationality does not define the individual.

            1. Psyx
              Pint

              Re: Maybe

              "Bull I know plenty of Brits who have made a good life abroad and live within the culture"

              They tend to be an exception case. Most Brits living abroad long-term coral themselves into little alcohol-centred Ex-Pat groups and defiantly demand roast dinners and 'proper beer' from their walled communities. It's really sad to see people willing to earn their wage from another nation, but totally unwilling to in any way blend with local culture or people. Truth is that despite our multi-cultural national identity and the fact that a few British people are blisteringly good at fitting in elsewhere and being accepted, the majority of Brits abroad seem to be close-minded ass-hats, as I'm sure most Ex-Pats will attest to.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: Maybe @Psyx

                I don't doubt there are. Maybe also the ones I have met because you get to know the group and their friends tend to skew my perspective and so I only tend to meet those who have integrated (as much as you can in some cultures).

                But can't see why you think its only Brits, I have met the same idiots from plenty of other countries as well. Its not just some British disease.

          2. Nuke
            Thumb Down

            @Psyx - Re: Maybe

            Wrote :- "Speak many languages, do you? Understands the rudiments of other world religions and basic manners in other cultures? Frankly, Brits are an embarrassment overseas"

            My daughter goes to a "Catholic" School as it was the best around here (I am agnostic BTW). At this school she was taught more about non-Christian religions than about Christianity. Crazy.

            I am not an embarasment overseas as I never go there.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        6. NogginTheNog
          WTF?

          Re: Maybe

          "Certainly in the UK, we have to break backs to accommodate foreign culture and its ways, whereas if we go to 99.9% of the countries from which we receive immigrants or asylum seekers"

          Utter bollocks. I think you'll find most immigrants are happy enough to fit into our society, and avoid those parts of it they're not comfortable with. We certainly don't HAVE to break our backs to accomodate anyone, it's just accomodating others is a civilised thing to do.

      2. pPPPP

        Re: Maybe

        >We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to

        accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles.

        Is that why we go to 'johnny foreigner' land, get drunk, fight in the streets, get naked, etc. etc. in our thousands?

        If you go to a foreign country you should live by their rules, or fuck off home. This includes covering up when you go to a conservative culture, and not demanding the right to do exactly that in a western culture. If you don't like someone else's culture, wherever it is, put up with it, or don't go there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe

          I agree with the "when in Rome" attitude but it should work both ways, anyone from a different culture coming to this country should not try an impose their mores/culture upon us. However in the UK we have become so tolerant with the strange behaviour of immigrants that we have lost our own identity and sight of what it means to be British.

          As to getting drunk, fighting and running naked and/or urinating through the streets, this is not only an "English disease", most cultures also know how to have a good time but ignore their own prudes rather than pay them undue attention.

          1. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: Maybe

            "anyone from a different culture coming to this country should not try an impose their mores/culture upon us. However in the UK we have become so tolerant with the strange behaviour of immigrants that we have lost our own identity and sight of what it means to be British."

            I think you'll find that by definition, being British means moving here from somewhere else and then a generation later getting stuffy about people moving here and not respecting our ways.

            Being British is about being multi-cultural. That's who we are. Ironically, it is the very people harping on about 'being British' and being arsey with other cultures who are the least British of all of us.

            1. Vic

              Re: Maybe

              > it is the very people harping on about 'being British' and being arsey with other cultures

              ...The ones who claim to be "pure Anglo-Saxon" without hint of irony in their voices...

              Vic.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Maybe

          I agree you respect the countries culture you are in.

          I have also traveled in a few Asian countries where being a foreigner means that you are not as strictly bound by some of their social conventions than you would have been if you had grown up there, they expect you not to know because you are now Johnny foreigner.

          This has included sitting and having chats and drinks with some guys and then being very surprised on a night out when local shopkeepers start bowing to them and showing far more respect than I have who was treating them as equals. Being outside of the culture does get you some leeway when abroad in some surprising ways sometimes.

          1. Psyx

            Re: Maybe

            "Being outside of the culture does get you some leeway when abroad in some surprising ways sometimes."

            It does, but it has to work in conjunction with an understanding and sympathy to local custom, or at least a basic willingness to be polite. The slightly comical, trying to be polite, open, slightly reserved but cheerful Brit persona cuts one an awful lot of slack internationally - be it in the boardroom or around a Bedouin campfire - but it wouldn't cut ANY ice at all if you were attired in an England shirt and asking for chips, while patronising the locals.

            In short: Basic manners and a willingness to treat people fairly can often shine through and provide leeway, even if one is not familiar with the exact local etiquette.

        3. Peter Holgate

          Re: Maybe

          @pPPPP If you want us to behave their way in their country, then make them behave the way we do in our country.

      3. boltar Silver badge

        Re: Maybe

        "We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles."

        The koreans appear to have had more sense than go down the route of "rainbow diversity" multiculturalism and political correctness BS that we've to put up with here thanks to all the deluded liberal brainwashing over the last 30 years, so they just say it the way they see it. Can't blame them really, if its rude there then its rude. End of. However if I was Gates I'd have just said it was my personal Gangnam Style.

      4. Psyx
        Flame

        Re: Maybe

        "The Koreans should be a little more understanding, especially considering he is a 'foreigner' to them."

        Frankly: Balls.

        It takes little effort and a passing familiarity with the idea of good manners to spend about half an hour reading up on basic etiquette when visiting another country. The idea of not bothering to do so before meeting a Prime Minister is staggeringly rude.

        He is foreign to them, but they are foreign to him. The remiss is his, as the visitor.

        Basic. Fscking. Manners.

        "We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles."

        Wow. That's amazingly bigoted.

        Clearly you're not bending over backwards at all if you refer to the rest of the planet like that and consider that learning basic etiquette is somehow a massive burden that is taking a step too far.

        1. MrXavia

          Re: Maybe @psyx

          Surely someone should have said to him, when greeting in South Korea you should use both hands or something like that? doesn't the South Korean president have advisors who are there to ensure visits go well?

          Although personally I would never shake someones hand on an official function with one hand in my pocket, I'd find that rude, and i'm British!

          But I do also agree with the post around us bending over backwards for multiculturalism... yes lets accept them into our country, but there is no need for us to bend over backwards to accomodate their culture, they should respect our culture as much as we would respect theirs when we visit their country...

          1. Psyx

            Re: Maybe @psyx

            "Surely someone should have said to him, when greeting in South Korea you should use both hands or something like that? doesn't the South Korean president have advisors who are there to ensure visits go well?"

            Maybe they assumed that such a pivotal figure already had someone to tell HIM that, or already had manners?

            To me it comes back to it being the visitor's role when visiting someone important in a formal setting to bother reading a guide to etiquette. It's not hard.

            "they should respect our culture as much as we would respect theirs when we visit their country..."

            I'm not about to let the manners or attitude of a person being rude affect my manners towards anyone else in the world, though. One can't say "It should be fine to not respect other people's customs because some people don't respect mine".

      5. Alfred

        Re: Maybe

        I did not know that it was an important part of U.S. culture to shake hands with one hand in your pocket. Learn something every day.

        1. hayseed

          Re: Maybe

          No, not really. Bill Gates was just being a geek.

      6. Hungry Sean
        Thumb Down

        @Lars G

        "We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles."

        Funny, on my only visit to Seoul, I was amazed at how friendly and accommodating the South Korean people were. My friend and I visited some hole in the wall restaurants and the owners went out of their way to help us, even though they spoke no English and we spoke no Korean.

        The South Korean government even has instituted international cabs to bend over backwards and accommodate Johnny Foreigner-- these are specially licensed cabs whose drivers are required to be proficient in one or more foreign languages and are required by law to give the best rates to their customers.

        Maybe you ought to take a peek out from under your bridge and visit some places. It's a big world out there, and many of the people in it are kind and worth knowing.

        1. ian 22
          Thumb Up

          @Hungry Sean Re: @Lars G

          Thanks, good to know. The impression I'd had of the Koreans was derived from the press (NOT the Daily Fail!) and they seemed the most xenophobic lot in existence. Not that I could blame them, having been enslaved by the Japanese for much of the 20th century.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'twas an itch

      He had an itch and needed a scratch.

      Come on guys, how many times do you get an itch and need to readjust or have a scratch and your sub-conscience kicks in and without thinking......

      Until you hear someone yell, 'stop scratching your balls!'

      1. Wilseus
        Go

        scratching your balls!

        ...or "playing pocket billiards" as my ex used to call it!

      2. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Eric Pode got it right

        > He had an itch and needed a scratch.

        One of The Burkiss Way's more memorable passages had Mr Croydon being asked:

        "Are you feeling up to it?" which brought the reply

        "Naaahh, I was only scratching my leg"

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. andy 45

        Re: So?

        Come on, it's pretty slack and very informal to shake anyone's hand with the other in your pocket -- especially in the world of business.

        It just shows contempt.

      2. csumpi
        WTF?

        Re: So?

        Don't South Koreans have more important things to be worried about? Like how about that bubbling shit bucket just north of them?

    4. h3

      Re: So?

      If you are working with high voltage stuff keeping one hand in your pocket might save your life.

      Subconsciously training yourself to do it is absolutely necessary.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He DOES feel superior

      Chances are that he's wealthier.

  2. Bush_rat

    That title is VERY misleading...

    It should say "Republic of Korea"

    1. Platelet

      Re: That title is VERY misleading...

      or

      Worst Korea

  3. Khaptain Silver badge
    Happy

    67 Billion Reasons

    It is easy to understand why one could easilly make such a faux pas when 67 Billion little devils push you into the trap. I doubt that he disrespects the Koreans I presume that is just his normal behaviour he must be walking about in a permanent high..

    Now if someone would provide me with even half of his bank account I would be happy to do some testing to see whether or not I fall into the same pot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 67 Billion Reasons

      You spelled "billion" wrong. It's "beelion" on this web site. Or so it seems.

      1. Lionel Baden
        Mushroom

        Re: 67 Billion Reasons

        ~Wow 67 BeeLions !!!

        i would care about putting a hand in my pocket if i had 67 flying BeeLions I would be planning world domination !!!!

    2. ian 22

      Re: 67 Billion Reasons

      If I had 67 Beelion in my pocket, I'd keep my hand in. Bloody yoinkers are everywhere.

  4. Bob Vistakin
    Unhappy

    Steve Blamer offends millions of Windows users

    By sticking unusable new Windows "upgrade" down their throats, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Steve Blamer offends millions of Windows users

      You are Eadon and I claim my £5

      1. Bob Vistakin
        Happy

        Re: Steve Blamer offends millions of Windows users

        Nah, Eadon would have said welcome to Microsofts new R&D dept, where Blamer shoved his hand down the back of his trousers, rummaged, squeezed and grunted for a while before popping out a Windows 8 handset and a puppet, both of which he then sent over to Nokia telling them to get on with it.

        :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Steve Blamer offends millions of Windows users

      I've always had the feeling, when booting windows, that it is shaking hands with me with one hand in its pocket.

  5. graeme leggett

    could have been worse

    he could have had his hand down the front of his pants as the headline implied. Hey! that actually works for both sides of the Atlantic.

    1. Shasta McNasty
      Meh

      Re: could have been worse

      People need to lighten up. He left his hand in his pocket when greeting someone. I doubt it was maliciously done, even if the media is reporting it as if he's pulled down his trousers and shat on the floor.

      Maybe he was just playing pocket billiards and was struggling with a tricky pink?

      1. davtom
        WTF?

        Re: could have been worse

        If someone had their other hand in their pants when they were shaking my hand, I certainly wouldn't like it.

        Other hand in trouser pockets, on the other hand, would present me with no concerns.

        Well, seeing as this is a UK site...

        1. Ian Yates
          Coat

          Re: could have been worse

          It would also be slightly rude if they had both hands in their pockets

      2. Bob Vistakin
        Holmes

        Re: could have been worse

        Ahem - you mean pulled down his trousers and excreted a Windows 8 handset on the floor. But then again, how would anyone tell the difference?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Flugal

    Then the south Koreans need to understand (and the majority may well do) that when a non South Korean does it, it is NOT considered rude.

    Bill does far more good than harm with his position and wealth. I guess tall poppy syndrome is why some want to criticise him for a faux pas any westerner there could have made.

    1. Raumkraut

      Rude is as rude does

      You're meeting the president of a country (which happens to be very favourable toward the company which is the source of your staggering wealth), and you either don't seek, or ignore, any advice about polite protocol? I'd most certainly call that rude, and arrogant to boot.

      Should you invite someone from Elbonia to dinner, he may throw mud at your wife, fart in your face, and dry hump your daughter. If that's just a normal welcome in Elbonia, surely it couldn't be considered rude, right?

      1. tkioz
        Pint

        Re: Rude is as rude does

        Social protocol is a minefield mate, even if he was taking lessons it's likely they only covered the 'big' stuff, not how one holds themselves while talking, or where you place your other hand during a handshake.

        Honestly the whole thing reads like a slow news day beat up.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Rude is as rude does

          not how one holds themselves while talking

          Most cultures would frown upon someone 'holding themselves' while talking :D

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Manners

      Actually, greeting anyone where you use a formal hand-shake does sort of imply you don't just slouch in with your hand in your pocket like some grouchy teeneager.

      It's disrespectful whoever you are meeting, Korea or not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      round Dave's for a BBQ and a beer or two, definitely not rude.

      Meeting a head of state, even if not rude, is decidedly inconsiderate - implies lack of attention as much as lack of attention to detail.

  8. Dr Scrum Master
    WTF?

    HFMD

    Never mind Gates' hand, what about the Indian Foreign Minister's shoes?!

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. dogged

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      (And the less said about the Weaknesses of windows the better)

      Shut up about it then.

    2. Tchou
      Devil

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      I hate your post but I had to up-vote anyway.

      1. pPPPP

        Re: Gates vs Politician

        >I hate your post but I had to up-vote anyway.

        And I down-voted it. A lot of politicians go into the job because they do actually want to contribute to society, rather than just serving their own interests.

        At the same time, a lot of engineers are dicks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gates vs Politician

          " A lot of politicians go into the job because they do actually want to contribute to society, rather than just serving their own interests."

          Name one, and give an example of behaviour which supports your claim.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gates vs Politician

            Well, Andrew Tyrie opposed the Iraq war and is unlikely ever to be a Minister.(despite being far better qualified to be Chancellor than the present recumbent). He's just exposed the HBOS scandal for what it was. And Dennis Skinner seems to have made a career out of trying to get Ministers to tell the truth, despite easily having the ability to become a Minister in exchange for a little compliance. I can't think of any Lib Dems, though.

        2. Vic

          Re: Gates vs Politician

          > A lot of politicians go into the job because they do actually want to contribute to society

          [Citation needed]

          Vic.

    3. jonathan1

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      I've never met Bill Gates, so I can't say whether I like him or not. I've just grown up with his influence like most others.

      True it can be considered that he was a ruthless businessman of that their is very little doubt, but he has also done wonders for philanthropy. Not only spending vast sums of his own money but also encouraging other super rich to do the same. You can be a cynic and say well he has got the money to spend and its a tax dodge but I actually don't think so. He wanted to make a difference to the world, he did and he is using his vast fortune to continue to do so.

      He maked a gaff, lots of people do some worse than others. We have a teenage former Youth Crime Commissioner wondering where it all went wrong.

      1. jonathan1

        Re: Gates vs Politician

        Buggering balls I used the wrong "there" sorry all.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gates vs Politician

        "I've never met Bill Gates, so I can't say whether I like him or not"

        Why not?

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. dajames Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      But on the other hand, he can program a computer - so therefore he IS superior, any engineer is superior to any politician is a good rule of thumb methinks.

      Calling Gates an "engineer" is perhaps an unnecessary kindness to him -- he dropped out of college, after all -- and he must take some responsibility for the poor engineering standards that are obvious in so many of Microsoft's products.

      President Geun Hye Park (or Park Geun-hye, as Wijipedia would have it) on the other hand, has a bachelor's degree in electronic engineering from Sogang University, which trumps Mr.Gates any day of the week in my book!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gates vs Politician

        Apprentice engineers don't even get anything above a college education - by which I mean in the UK meaning - it's possible to learn on the job, you know?

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gates vs Politician - college is not necessarily good. Brunel.

            You're really full of it, Eadon.

            I'm willing to put down money that says you don't actually know any teachers or engineers, outside of IT engineering, and certainly that you don't know about how to teach and modern teaching methods.

          2. Ian Yates
            Stop

            Re: Gates vs Politician - college is not necessarily good. Brunel.

            "they knew more by 10 than modern teaching teaches kids by 18. Brunel had mastered Euclid's elements by 8 years."

            You mean, those that could afford it? Brunel had by no means a standard education of his day

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Gates vs Politician

        ".....he dropped out of college, after all...."

        Some of the best people I've worked with either dropped out of college or never went there in the first place.

        It's only recently that HR departments slavishly copying Yank practices have meant that you must have that all-important degree in basket-weaving to get an IT job. Fortunately there are still a few people around who recognise that someone who knows WTF they're talking about and has several years of experience of it, is to be preferred to someone crap who has a thesis on Nietzsche's snotballs under their belt.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      Programmers are superior is exactly why the KDE project nearly lost all their code recently - They relied on replication for backup. Any infrastructure guy would have never done that, likewise an infrastructure guy probably can't program that well. Are either superior to the other? Not necessarily, they just have different skill sets.

      Do you think that there may be an element of "I'm a programmer, those politicians are all idiots, therefore programming is more highly skilled than politicing?" about you comment?

    6. Chicken Marengo
      Alert

      Re: Gates vs Politician

      >>any engineer is superior to any politician is a good rule of thumb methinks.

      Bloody hell, I'm in agreement with Eadon about something, have an upvote.

      I feel dirty now.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not a geek, he's a dork!

    Dollar Bill has been offending consumers worldwide for the past 25 years. Why not offend everyone he can? Oh wait, he does. Never mind.

  11. Gordon Pryra

    Its not a mistake

    He has done it before, as mentioned in the article. Do you really think someone of his status and among these people of all people, he did not know what he is doing?

    Maybe he feels no disrespect, but he was telling her it was a meeting of equals.

    Same old power trip

    Then again, who gives a monkeys? He may have billions and the ability to fill a bedroom with the worlds top 100 women, but hes still a dork with glasses.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Its not a mistake

      Maybe he doesn't think it's right he should kow-tow to other's customs, that is hardly an unusual view amongst nerds - as is general contempt for social convention.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its not a mistake

      I wish he would keep his hand in front of his face as I am so fed up with it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about our Queen?

    Can the French president plant a peck on her cheeks when he comes calling? After all, its in their culture. The whole Royalty sucking class will be up in arms, trigerring another Anglo-French war. Royal cheeks (chicks?) are more valuable than Bill gates' Dollars?

    Protocol, what protocol?

    Get over it, guys.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about our Queen?

      Thankfully it was not the ex Italian president. Just think what might have happened... on second thoughts, don't go there!

    2. mike2R

      Re: What about our Queen?

      Didn't Michelle Obama commit some faux pas with the queen? Which was a handy way of identifying people who enjoy getting upset over fuck all.

  13. Andrew Moore
    Coat

    He was shaking hands...

    ...Grabnad Style.

  14. adnim
    Joke

    Perhaps

    he was feeling a little cocky.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't aware of this particular social nicetie, but would automatically remove my hand from my pocket when greeting someone anyway.

    But then USAians do seem a little less formal in their greetings then those of us on this side of the pond and I wouldn't neccessarily assume they were being disrespectful if they didn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      USians still haven't learned to eat properly..... I've not met one who knows how to use a knife and fork at the same time...

      Give them time, they are a new nation, eventually they will realise they need to be polite... maybe...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "USians still haven't learned to eat properly..... I've not met one who knows how to use a knife and fork at the same time..."

        You've never been to the south then I take it? It's too bad all everyone sees is the new USA of MacDonalds double speak (IOW, complete and utter BS).

      2. Psyx

        "USians still haven't learned to eat properly..... I've not met one who knows how to use a knife and fork at the same time..."

        Maybe because half of America considers it downright rude to do so?

        I don't practice spitting in public - and so am not very good at it - for similar reasons.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bill is getting old

    Bad manners are only the start. The bad personal habits, fits of racism and then outright fascism will follow. Getting old sucks.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presumably Koreans don't normally shake hands at all

    Except with foreigners. So it's odd for them to have their own strict rules about how to shake hands.

    1. Sceptic Tank
      Alert

      Re: Presumably Koreans don't normally shake hands at all

      It may have its roots in older traditions. Down here in the South of Africa it's considered rude under some of the race groups if you shake hands with a firm grip - it implies aggression. But then some other groups again view a bunch of limp viennese sausages as a sign of weakness.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite

    I, citizen of three Western countries and having lived in non-Western too (UK born and brought up), also thought that to greet someone, especially formally, with even one hand in your pocket is bad manners and betrays a lack of respect or consideration, much like failing to stand up to shake hands or greet a newcomer to the room.

    I know American manners are different. They (and sadly now soem Europeans too) seem to think one should wear an ugly "baseball" cap on all occasions and especially indoors. Americans, or at least a large number ot them, seem to think it is fine to say to a waiter, "Give me a coffee!", without a trace of Ps and Qs or even human respect in the tone (I've seen this in UK and on the continent and seen the recipient twitch, grimace and struggle not to give the American something different and more direct). I watch them (living as I do in a non-English-speaking country) speak fast, in broad American to some hapless shopkeeper or receptionist without a thought that, perhaps, the other is not so wonderful at English or at least may appreciate the courtesy of some warning that a foreign language is coming (e.g. "Excuse me, do you speak English?").

    Manners are a social lubricant and really it is not so hard to choose an common subset and find the specific differences of importance, especially if you get obscene amounts of money and should be able to show a little respect to the people who make up your customers in return for that money.

    Manners are really just a formalisation of being considerate, hence the severe lack of them in this forum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite

      "I, citizen of three Western countries .."

      You're collecting?

      As a connoisseur, which citizenship would you recommend to the rest of us?

    2. Loggie

      Re: Quite

      IMHO you lost all credibility when you said they speak broad 'American'. Never heard of such a language.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: Quite

        If you've never heard someone speaking American then you've never met many people from the U.S. We have successfully mauled English into an entirely new language.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Quite @Don Jefe

          Don't jump to too many conclusions. In many cases, it is British English that has changed, and American English that has stayed the same (I'm not talking here about unbearable brashness, street talk or Spanglish here - they're American!).

          Many words used in America are hangovers from older forms of English, and some of the spellings that we think of as American are just archaic use of English.

          Indeed, I've heard it said that if you want to find out how people spoke in 17th Century England, you should visit the southern Outer Banks in North Carolina, where people have lived with few outside influences for several hundred years. Just be quick about it, because they've got satellite television now!

          1. Don Jefe
            Happy

            Re: Quite @Don Jefe

            I'm originally from far East Tennessee & our teachers always told us pretty much what you are saying. One thing is for certain though, when the Englishmen I've met say something it (usually) sounds classy and very 'British' and is easily understood. If I say the exact same thing I sound like a complete idiot and no one can understand me: Due to my horrendously Southern accent.

            For example I once asked a visitor from London if he would like ice cream. He looked at me in pure horror. It took a bit of conversation to work out that he thought I offered him 'ass cream'...

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
              Happy

              Don.

              It's not all that clear cut here in the UK. Considering how small the British Isles are, there is a huge variation in regional dialect, from Scots to Welsh to Cornish, with the industrial regions of the Midlands, Liverpool and the North East all having broad and very distinct accents, some of which are as difficult to understand as your brand.

              What Americans often think of as British English is an artefact of everybody wanting to talk like the Royal Family (often called the Queens English) that is mainly promoted by the BBC since Radio and TV came along. This is a real effect, but even around London, we have Cockney and Estuary English. Accents and dialects are slowly dying, but they're not dead in England yet!

        2. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: Quite

          The first key thing to remember in fitting in with American culture and not looking like a bit of a boorish dick is that a (partially) shared language is NOT carte blanche to assume the etiquette is remotely similar. In the words of Akbar: It's a Trap!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite

      "They (and sadly now soem Europeans too) seem to think one should wear an ugly "baseball" cap on all occasions and especially indoors."

      ...an ugly wig on all occasions and especially indoors...

      Yes, manners are a social lubricant and "please" and "thank you" and the like are present in most languages. Therefore I assume this is a some what basic human reaction/emotion/etc. I say some what. Because I have lived in countries where it was absent from their language - the expressions actually did not exist.

      However, clothing, standing, sitting, dancing, singing, sneezing, farting, eating, etc., are quite a bit more vague from place to place. Perhaps in a nuclear apocalyptic future you'll become more open minding and keep your "hat" on. Not to stress you though. You're obviously too old to understand what a forum on the Internet is. You press the button to talk, and you can do it anytime - pretty much. You don't need to be considerate and wait for your turn to speak. But shouting, now you know about that, RIGHT? There is netiquette. But I won't berate a n00b over that. Point them in the right direction.

      Having apathy for others may result in one being rude. However, one can be quite polite and still have utter contempt for others. So called "manners" and social mores have nothing to do with it.

  19. Promotor Fidei
    WTF?

    Little Mss. Manners

    I suppose this is a cultural thing.

    But I was also taught not to keep any hand in any pocket when addressing someone unless the occasion is really informal, like a passing greeting in the hallway. It shows a lack of respect for the other person as a person, never mind social status.

    Shaking hands is always formal.

    Manners really are the grease on the wheels of society. Having a set of simple rules to follow makes the simian mind feel more at ease and able to concentrate on the content of the situation, not the form.

    Makes me wonder if it has something to do with the different views on society in the states and the older and more densely populated European/Asian countries. The USAsians divide people into "Me" and "Everybody else" while Europeans have more complicated and graded relationships with persons. The tribe model is still a part of the mindset.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Little Mss. Manners

      "But I was also taught not to keep any hand in any pocket when addressing someone unless the occasion is really informal, like a passing greeting in the hallway. It shows a lack of respect for the other person as a person, never mind social status."

      Well if it was that informal you wouldn't shake hands. It's the contradiction between formality (hand-shake) and relaxed informality (hand in pocket) that disturbs the mind.

      1. Promotor Fidei

        Re: Little Mss. Manners

        Yeah, that's where the line

        Shaking hands is always formal.

        comes in.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Little Mss. Manners

        "It's the contradiction between formality (hand-shake) and relaxed informality (hand in pocket) that disturbs the mind."

        Now that's gansta! (See the old flicks.)

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: Little Mss. Manners

      "Makes me wonder if it has something to do with the different views on society in the states and the older and more densely populated European/Asian countries. The USAsians divide people into "Me" and "Everybody else" while Europeans have more complicated and graded relationships with persons. The tribe model is still a part of the mindset."

      Americans have a class structure and social models, too. It's just you don't notice them because it's second nature to you. In very simple terms, the key determinant in American class is personal wealth and earnings. There's more to it than that, but it's a good starting indicator.

  20. malfeasance

    Re: Quite

    Hmm, it's not really that apparent you know, cultural and social norms will have an impact on how the language is used.

    If you want to take a transaction in a coffee shop as an example, all the Americans that I know and socialise with would say something like "Coffee thanks", whereas the Brits would say "Coffee please"; in cantonese I would say: "Coffee, thank you".

    So, it may seem to a Brit, the yank isn't being polite, but he is, he just doesn't use the word please; nor do the cantonese (I've personally never used "please" when I speak cantonese, I'm not even sure there is a word that fits that concept).

    From the point of view of transactional efficiency, it's actually far more efficient for you to say thank-you beforehand, rather than to say please, and then waste time saying thank-you afterwards...

    1. Laurie

      Re: Quite

      @ Malfeasance (great handle by the way)

      The British "please" is an expression of desire so:

      Question, "Would you like tea or coffee?"

      Answer, "Tea please!" means "I desire some tea."

      This must always be followed up with a "Thank you" when offered the cup, as the provider of the requisite beverage has fulfilled his guests desire.

      The Americans with "Coffee thanks" have simply abbreviated this process, and are not impolite, though they are thanking some one for asking a question as opposed to thanking them for the coffee itself (which could be awful or may not actually arrive).

      1. Psyx

        Re: Quite

        "Answer, "Tea please!" means "I desire some tea.""

        To be fair; that's informal. You'd say that over a friend's house, not to paid staff, where it'd seem a little abrupt.

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: Quite

      "From the point of view of transactional efficiency, it's actually far more efficient for you to say thank-you beforehand, rather than to say please, and then waste time saying thank-you afterwards..."

      Efficiency has nothing to do with manners, though.

      If you look at the *entire* transaction, the British way is massively laden with politeness, with there being about 5 exchanges of it. Anthropologically it's due to our culture being very class-based but pretending we're not and hence not wanting serving staff to feel they are less than equals, hence treating them over-politely.

      I recommend reading 'Watching the English'.

  21. NomNomNom

    Bill Gates is a very strange man. I still don't understand why he hasn't bought Gateshead and the Golden Gate Bridge

  22. mark 63 Silver badge
    FAIL

    surely even in western culture its rude to meet people with hand(s) in pocket , even if its not shaky time.

    What is he a fking schollkid?? did he even bother putting a tie on?

  23. Himalayaman
    Holmes

    TBH it is very easy to insult Koreans. Many small details you have to keep track of.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Missed the obvious gag here...

    He's holding it wrong.

  25. joejack
    Go

    With $67B

    ...he could hire someone to help prep him to avoid foibles like this. Or build a protocol bot.

    Americans are fairly lax about protocol, though if I'm shaking hands right after sneezing, I wipe the [potentially wet] hand on my jeans first.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could be worse: could be LBJ

    At least Mr. Gates doesn't pull all the crap that President Lyndon Banes "Look at my HUGE" Johnson did (http://www.cracked.com/article_18945_6-presidential-secrets-your-history-teacher-didnt-mention.html among others).

    Talk about your ugly Americans! (one of my least favorite presidents; it goes to show the idea of "I'll put this guy in as my VP so he cannot hurt anybody" is a really mindblowingly bad one (yes, I went there.))

    1. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Could be worse: could be LBJ

      +10 points for the Cracked.com link. El Reg and Cracked are probably my favorite sites in the Internet.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it really matter?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No one in England can comment on manners FFS, when have any of you lot shown any?

  29. SirDigalot
    Coat

    manners

    As I have aged I have tried to be more respectful to other people that I meet, even if I am not particularly fond of them, on a personal or professional level.

    Simple things too, when I am wearing sunglasses I take them off when I am talking to someone (this can be bent a little if it is bloody sunny out, but I used to keep them on when in a store and grabbing a couple of things all through checkout, I realized it is actually quite rude, and adds a nice personal touch to the interaction)

    (I also try to park my shopping trolley out of the way when we are shopping, so as not to block aisles, not stopping next to someone else, not barreling out of an aisle into the flow and causing people to stop... yes rather like driving, I seem to notice a strong correlation between how people push a shopping trolley and how they drive and pay attention to their surroundings - I drives the trouble crazy because she will just stop leave the cart and wonder off down the aisle to find whatever causing a pile up behind or a traffic jam...

    shaking hands, not wearing hats indoors, opening doors for other people (and especially ladies) letting someone else through instead of barging by them always wanting to be first, and my biggest personal bugbear of late TAKEING BLOODY EARPHONES OUT WHEN TALKING TO SOMEONE! yes you little spotty twit, (usually kids but also more adults I have noticed) that means you! NO DO NOT LEAVE ONE IN YOUR EAR! I do not care if the music is "off" chances are it isn't which means you just lied to me too! oh waiting for an important "phone call" well one interaction at a time, the phrase "excuse me I need to take this call" is a very effective way of letting the other person knows you need to take a call, they will often understand (unless it is a social call then they realize you do not have very good priorities).

    <<<<< it has a "get off my lawn" emblazoned on the back

    1. Matt Piechota

      Re: manners

      "Simple things too, when I am wearing sunglasses I take them off when I am talking to someone (this can be bent a little if it is bloody sunny out, but I used to keep them on when in a store and grabbing a couple of things all through checkout, I realized it is actually quite rude, and adds a nice personal touch to the interaction)"

      You wear sunglasses indoors? Hmm, that's... rude.

      1. Mike VandeVelde
        Meh

        You wear sunglasses indoors?

        because its always sunny in doucheville

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Not "regretful", "regrettable" .

    if you are going to lecture us ignorant western capitalist running dogs you have to get the language right.

    Or you just look like a git.

  31. Dr. Heinrich Backhausen

    Rude manners

    Well, in the west I'd consider someone who gives a handshake with his other hand doing what-so-ever in a pocket at least as very unpolite.

    But Bill Gates is American, o.k., Americans are rude and not civilized, we know that.

    But e.g. HRH Prince Philip does the same, right.Well, he's excupated too, as his family stems from some german nobility, which in general is known for rude manners.

    Regards

    Heinrich

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rude manners

      German Lineage? I though his Old Man is Greek and some Russian blood too. I've aslo heard that the Queen herself also has some Negro lineage !

      He is a right Royal Cocktail of an Idiot. And Cocky too.

      1. elderlybloke

        Re: Rude manners

        I don't know if it was rude , but the late Lady Dianna(formally Princess) referrered to the Royal Family as "The Germans".

  32. MatsSvensson

    So they are married now?

    Or how does it work?

  33. Richard Cartledge

    Sounds like these Koreans should be forced to attend an Equality and Diversity Awareness re-education event.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Maybe we should be offended by Asian peoples stupid little cultural foibles.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Frickin copycats

    I was going to say frickin Asians, but it possible other parts of the world do it too. One group copies so much of another group's culture and merges it with theirs then accuse the group they copied of not conforming to their culture. Good to know it's not only the Japanese that do that. I didn't see it in Africa or India though. That would be like us Germans going around being offended by people who don't know how to make a real kebab? It might have something to do with being landlocked. I think English do it to some degree as well, though in all fairness I don't recall them making a national issue over it. Though I'm sure someone here will.

  36. elderlybloke
    Facepalm

    It is worse in NZ

    At those formal greeting occasions where an unfortunate visitor meets a Maori (usually jumping up and down and sticking his tongue out) he will be expected to rub noses with him or some other Maori.

    I can't think of anything worse than this sort of greeting/behaviour , but in another century or two the Maoris may have became civilised.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: It is worse in NZ

      So basically you'[re one of the immigrants who doesn't want to accept local culture that half the people on the thread are sneering at?

  37. Sceptic Tank
    Coffee/keyboard

    By George!

    Could have been worse... At least he didn't throw up in her lap the way George Bush did in Japan that time.

    <<< Bush's keyboard??

    P.S. When I was in primary school there was a drawing in a book of a happy family enjoying the outdoors. Our teacher was mortified by the picture though, as the father stood there smoking a pipe WITH HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKETS. Argh! I could never figure out what crime against humanity was being committed by putting one's hands in one's pockets but it was considered as vile a gesture as spitting your chewing tobacco on a lady's shoe would have been.

  38. MigMig

    The double edge of mental illness

    S Koreans are by nature, obsessive compulsive and do toss fits about many things we consider trivial. Last time I visited, one of them called the cops on me for leaving some toilet seat up in some public restroom. But in all fairness, it's the same mental illness that gets them to make us such awesome toys.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: The double edge of mental illness

      Maybe if the entire culture *except you* is doing it, it's not them who are mentally ill...?

  39. json

    AS they say...

    .. if it itches.. it will be scratched!

  40. JeffUK

    Socially Awkward Man is Socially Awkward

    He's also president of the tautology club :)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In character

    This is really a minor gaffe to which I would say, "meh."

    But it really seems like it is in character. Another uber-wealthy business titan might have been advised about protocol by a knowledgeable consultant on his staff. But Gates doesn't seem like the sort to seek advice or presume to need any. Humility is beneath him.

    Just look at his ham-handed philanthropic work in education reform, one of the causes he likes to dabble in.

  42. SpaMster
    Holmes

    "Using one mitt with the other stuffed in a pocket is considered extremely rude in Korea. It is a manoeuvre only carried out when someone feels superior to whoever they are greeting."

    So what exactly did he do wrong then?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021