…I regularly hear Europeans complain that American stores are too cold in the summer. Again, the conflict lies in the cultural schemes. Americans like to be cool, even extremely cool. Research has shown that the coldest stores in America tend to be the most expensive. Since air conditioning is a necessity, we need extreme air conditioning to convey a sense of luxury.
That is from Clotaire Rapaille’s The Culture Code, a fun romp through national cultures, how the French think about seduction, why the Americans invaded Iraq, why monetary incentives work better in some cultures than others, why autistic children have trouble learning, and what makes foreigners so hard to understand.
OK, he is making all this stuff up. Publishers Weekly referred to its:
"preposterous generalizations and overstatements, e.g., Japanese men "seem utterly incapable of courtship or wooing a woman.""
It is one of the few non-fiction books I have read this year which will stick with me. Here is the book’s home page.