In the part of the U.S. that I grew up in, it was taught to us since childhood, that one must be conscientious about where one blows their nose. Not in front of large groups, not in public, and definitely NOT at the dinner table. Preferably, one would go to the bathroom to blow their nose, or somewhere private where hot water and soap is readily available (perhaps this is one of the influences of our Puritan ancestors?). When I arrived in Germany three weeks ago, I was shocked to see that people of all ages and all levels of education/income blow their noses everywhere and anywhere! You could be in the middle of a conversation and boom the man you are conversing with has suddenly whipped out a used kleenex and is emptying his mucous into it, while you can only watch, mouth agape, horrified. People do it at the dinner table, they do it in the street, on the bus, anywhere!
I find this hilarious, because my German mother always went on about how mannerless we U.S. Americans are, and here I am in her homeland, noticing all the things that we in the U.S. would consider rude. Is anyone right or wrong? Are there truly good or bad manners that can be recognized globally? Or are there are there just "different" manners?
Any other experiences on "different" manners here in Germany, that is, manners differing from your homeland?