To give you an example from my past, I remember when I was in Oxford, England for a semester, a friend and I went up to a kebab vendor on the street and asked innocently for two kebabs, gesturing with our first two fingers. The person was immediately upset and after yelling at us profusely, angrily explained that we had just flipped him off - in a most degrading way. Like dropping the f-bomb...but worse. Yes, we were welcomed to England with open arms. (Thank you former President Nixon for greeting the English in this manner many years ago. Your legacy continued with us.)
Fast forward now to yesterday. We were loading up a wheel barrow with gravel and sand, and while I was counting down the loads (we were on number 4 I think), I spoke to the one I was working with, "Two more loads!" Now, after England, I've been more conscientious about how I gesture the number two. To be safe, I held up the longhorn sign. Let's just say that apparently they aren't longhorn fans here. Fortunately, I've been working with this guy for a while, so after a frown, he burst into laughter.
He too explained that I had just flipped him off, and explained seriously that I really shouldn't do that again. Yep, gave him the bird, or Hawaiian "good luck" sign, or whatever you'd like to call it. Oops. I think I'll just avoid any gesture involving the number two!
So goes my life and the adventures (and misadventures) of Geoff and Jamie as we strive to be and share Jesus to and with our culture! Praise G-D for His mercies!!!