I suppose it does have rather superior connations with it, such as beckoning to a minion, but sometimes it's just so handy!

I did suggest, as a alternative, that I just stop, cup my mouth with my two hands and shout 'COOOEEEEEE', or alternatively, jump up and down and wave my hands to get his attention.

If you know French or Arabic, it won’t be problem for you to communicate with people.

The method of greeting people in Algeria all depends on whom you are greeting, male or female, whether you know them well or hardly at all.

I still haven’t got used to the resounding ‘Walaykum asalaam wa rahmatulah/wa barakatu’ in answer to any greeting of ‘Asalaam alaykum’ whether it’s on entry to a shop, passing a policeman at a traffic stop or stopping to buy fruit and vegetables at a stall holder in a market.

To be fair in some cases people recognise that someone wearing this type of clothing will feel uncomfortable in certain cases, giving handshakes, listening to music, or being seated on public transport beside someone of the opposite sex as just some examples, and will make allowances accordingly.

But, of course, there are always those who think that, by wearing the right ‘gear’ they need do no more, and act in ways that are so ignorant and abhorrent to Islam while wearing the camis or the jilbab, and then many others get tarred with the same brush.

In that case, you give them a quick wave of your hand which is the stand-in for ‘asalaam alaykum’ and then press all the tips of your fingers to your thumb and wave that up and down signifying ‘washerak/i’ meaning ‘how are you’, and they just do the same back to you until something like a big bus, or an earthquake comes between you and you make a quick escape.

Between family members most Algerians will greet their in-laws, whether male or female with a kiss on each cheek, unless, again, you are an akhina or an ochtina.

If you want to chat with people here, you should know French or Arabic.

So it won’t be hard for you to find partners from opposite gender.

NO, not in Algeria, 'someone might think you're pointing at their house'. Another one is the beckoning of the finger when you want someone.