Don't Cross Your Fingers In Paraguay And Other Tips For Foreign Travel



Red-hot July is the heart of vacation time for many Americans. If your travels will be taking you abroad, here are a few hints on foreign (to us) behavior.

In Taiwan, blinking the eyes at someone is considered impolite. Be careful when nodding your head -- in Greece and Bulgaria that means no, while in most other countries, it means yes. Don't use fingers to beckon someone in the Middle and Far East, it is insulting. When in Brazil, don't use the finger circle "OK" sign, which is a vulgar gesture there. Likewise, crossed fingers may be offensive in Paraguay. While thumbs up signifies "OK" most places, in Australia, it is a rude gesture. If you are visiting Belgium or Luxembourg, don't send a gift of chrysanthemums to your host or hostess. They signify death. Here's one you will like -- in Iceland, tipping is an insult.

Payson Regional Senior Circle

The Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, will be closed from Wednesday through Sunday for the Fourth of July holiday.

The monthly member/new member luncheon will be held July 16 in the Circle's Activity Center. Robin Stamp from the Arizona Attorney General's office will be guest speaker. Call (928) 472-9290 to reserve a spot.

Shelley Thompson will present a free seminar on skin care from 10 a.m. to noon on July 18 at the Circle.

Thompson is a Mary Kay representative and Senior Circle merchant discount provider. There will be door prizes and free samples, while supplies last. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling the above phone number.

Reservations are now being accepted for an Oct. 13 trip to Snowflake. The excursion will feature tours of restored pioneer homes, a visit to the Stinson Museum, shopping at the old-fashioned Harvest Festival, lunch and a wagon ride. Bus transportation from Payson is included. Cost of the tour is $40 for Senior Circle members, $55 for non-members. Space is limited so reserve early.

Interested in learning to dance? If interest merits, classes will start in September. Basic steps to fox trot, two-step, waltz, polka and country swing will be offered in one-hour classes, from six to eight weeks. Call the Circle office if you are interested.

Also being considered is a class in Tai Chi, which would be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursdays at the Circle. Ask to be put on the interest list.

Darrel Elston is Volunteer of the Month at the Senior Circle. Darrel has been a volunteer since April 2006, filling a number of positions, including both carpentry and computer duties.

Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store

The Senior Center and Thrift Store, 512/514 W. Main St., will be closed July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

The Grandparents Support Group will meet at 12:30 p.m. July 12. Legal assistance will be available beginning at 10 a.m. July 17. Advance appointments are required and may be made in the Center Lobby or by calling (928) 474-4876. The Alzheimer's Support Group is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. July 19.

Art Cobo has been named Volunteer of the Month for July.

The Thrift Store will participate in First Friday on Main Street activities from 4 to 8 p.m. July 6. There will be refreshments, door prizes and balloons for children. Orange-tagged clothing will be 25 cents per garment; blue tags will be 50 percent off the marked price; yellow tags are 25 percent off the marked price. Selected boutique clothing will also be on sale.

Discarded, but still-working cell phones, can be used to call 911 in emergencies without belonging to a service. Sometimes these phones are donated to the Senior Thrift Store. They are checked to make sure they are usable and offered free to anyone who needs one. Call (928) 474-3205 for information or to find out if any are available.

Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens

The Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens has a new home at Desert Rays of Pinal-Gila campus, 8969 W. McCartney Road, Casa Grande. The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

It houses administration and program departments, conference and training rooms and a resource center, which will allow seniors to access state and federal resources to learn more about benefits and services available to them. Seniors from Pinal and Gila Counties are invited to visit the new facility. PGCSC has advisors available at the Payson Senior Center for assistance with Medicare and Medicaid, drug coverage, legal advice and an ombudsman program. For information, call (800) 293-9393.

Think about it

Some minds are like concrete: Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

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