Relating to the music, art or social behaviour of a society

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93
votes
8answers
9k views

How to avoid drinking vodka?

This summer I spent some days in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There I also visited a friend at his home. We were there with its family and traditional they drunk a lot of vodka during the meal. We as ...
50
votes
8answers
2k views

How to successfully haggle / bargain in markets

While I've done quite a bit of travel now and back myself when it comes to border guards, sorting accommodation and / or transportation, one thing I still struggle to come to terms with is haggling in ...
46
votes
9answers
13k views

Do Russians smile at each other?

I'm planning to go to Russia. For my culture smiling is really common even to strangers. And I heard that Russians don't smile or laugh unless it's something funny or something that make them happy. ...
43
votes
3answers
9k views

Are Indians as pushy to one another as they appear to be to Westerners?

So I'm in India right now and and idk... it feels like I can't walk more than a few yards without being accosted by someone trying to get me to ride their auto rickshaw or buy whatever it is that ...
41
votes
4answers
6k views

I have a tattoo. Can I visit a public swimming pool in Japan?

A friend of mine is currently traveling in Japan. She has a small tattoo on her neck. Now she wanted to visit a public swimming pool but was denied entry. It was difficult to understand the reason ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there any cultures in which the “thumbs up” hand gesture is offensive?

In the USA it's common to give a thumbs up to say "Yes, this is good" or "Thanks" or convey another appropriate positive meaning. Are there cultures in which the "thumbs up" gesture a) would not be ...
25
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there any United States slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland?

We'll be spending a couple weeks this summer in the UK (Scotland and London), then a week in Ireland. Is there any slang common in the United States that we be best avoided in either country? For ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

Flashing headlights on Autobahn

What does it mean when the driver behind you on the Autobahn flashes his headlights?
23
votes
2answers
971 views

Breast feeding in Iran

We are considering a trip to Iran with a 5-month old. What is the local attitude to breast-feeding in public places? Is it legal? Are there any severe consequences? Do you need to use some special ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Vomitorium: Only common in the German-speaking world?

The first time I saw something like this in a Swiss Restaurant in Zurich I was really confused. What should it be used for? (photo by TheoPB, available under CC-by-sa) Then I was told that you ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

How do you know if a Japanese person means no when they say yes?

I have come across a few situations when a Japanese person will extend themselves beyond what they probably should to help people. I am often worried when asking them to do something that they will ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I get people to speak the local language to me?

I went to Paris 2 years ago. When I was there, I was learning the language by talking and listening to the local people. But, while I was trying to speak French with them, they would speak English to ...
16
votes
5answers
970 views

What do travellers to England need to know about social class?

One aspect that British society is known for its social class system, but how does this apply to foreigners? I will be in London and Manchester for a week, and knowing which neighbourhoods to avoid or ...
15
votes
3answers
372 views

References for tipping etiquette in different countries? [closed]

Where can I find information about tipping etiquette in different countries? I'm hoping for a comprehensive database so I don't have to ask about the countries one by one here.
15
votes
3answers
867 views

When to hug, kiss, shake hands, or even “fist bump” in Europe?

I have to ask this because I'm Asian and we don't do any of these things there. I have been living in the UK and Germany for a while and I still can't understand how to do all of that in Europe. If I ...
14
votes
4answers
661 views

Are there any women-only places in the world?

It looks like reports of a women-only city in Saudi Arabia are greatly exaggerated. But are there any other places in the world where the population is entirely or almost entirely female? The place ...
13
votes
4answers
386 views

What does this long yellow sign mean in Indonesia?

When moving around Indonesia, I have noticed that some houses have this sign sometimes: What does it mean? Is it just a decoration or does it have some meaning?
12
votes
4answers
594 views

Feeling the spirit of Helsinki, where?

When I visit a city, besides visiting the main tourist attractions, I usually like to see some places that can make me feel the true spirit of the place I'm visiting. As an example, if you visit Pisa ...
12
votes
3answers
439 views

How to cope with disgusting fellow travellers?

This summer I was in Krakow. We stayed in a hostel and did an organized tour from there. We visited Auschwitz concentration camp. We were a group of approximately 10 people and unfortunately some of ...
12
votes
4answers
327 views

Are inexpensive ryokans inauthentic?

A lot of people I talk to, including Japanese and non-Japanese, claim that ryokans are expensive. Once, when I discussed this further and said that some places that I've been to describe themselves ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Start cheek kissing on the left/right side

Cheek kissing is a very discussed topic in each site like this, because it is quite different depending on the country (number of kisses (especially), when to cheek kissing, men/women...) and it is a ...
12
votes
5answers
316 views

Are there any travel experiences in New Zealand that offer a Maori “cultural immersion”?

I am wondering if it's possible to travel to New Zealand as a tourist and immerse in Maori culture. By this I mean homestay in a traditional Maori area where people speak the language on an everyday ...
12
votes
2answers
788 views

How to find a sauna/bathhouse in Korea that allows customers with tattoos?

Apparently here in Korea there is a similar common rule to in Japan forbidding people with tattoos from using public bath houses. I was telling a couple of traveller friends in my hostel here about ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there cultures in which walking in the nude in public is not frowned upon?

Although some cultures are less prudent then others I have the impression that walking in the nude in public is frowned upon world wide. Is this a correct assumption? I know that for example going to ...
11
votes
2answers
896 views

Which countries are “Muslim countries”?

In the question about drinking beer in Dubai it arose that the term "Muslim country" can be seen as one where the laws of the country are affected by the rules of the religion (like Dubai), whereas ...
11
votes
2answers
245 views

What considerations should I make for traveling in Israel on the Sabbath?

I am planning to travel around Israel (from Oct 19 to Nov 5th), and I am wondering what effect the Sabbath will have on transport, restaurants and the sights. Should I be planning to not do anything ...
11
votes
2answers
522 views

What should we consider when buying a gift for a host family in Turkey?

In September, we are traveling to Turkey. Part of the trip is a family home stay. We will be staying with a local family who will feed and house us for the night. We want to thank the family with a ...
10
votes
4answers
726 views

Are there any standard clothing restrictions when visiting mosques?

I know from visiting many catholic churches that many require knees and shoulders to be covered, so dressing appropriately is essential for hassle-free travel. Are there similar rules that might apply ...
10
votes
2answers
235 views

Are there any travel experiences in Australia that offer aboriginal (or Torres Strait) “cultural immersion”?

I am wondering if it's possible for a traveller in Australia to immerse in aboriginal culture, or Torres Strait Islander culture. By "immerse" I mean stay in a traditional aboriginal area where ...
10
votes
1answer
88 views

Where can I see a Mbalax performance in Dakar?

I'd like to see a performance of Mbalax, a type of dance music in Senegal incorporating modern music and traditional drumming. Is it very common? Where in the city can I go (as a tourist) to witness ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the typical meals in Japan?

I'm going to Tokyo for tourism and I'm wondering what are the typical meals that one tourist may get during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, what are their costs? Notice that I'm a tourist staying ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does Agra have cows on most roads and public areas whereas Delhi does not?

So I visited Agra the other day and there were cows everywhere. On the side of the road, on the road and in one case sleeping on the road. Meanwhile in Delhi, this isn't the case. Are they there and ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is traveling for work to Saudi Arabia like?

What are the things to take into account when working for 1 - 2 months in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)? What are some of the cultural aspects that I need to take into account compared to my normal working ...
9
votes
4answers
450 views

What type of tea is used in Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan?

When travelling throughout Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and to a lesser extent, Kazakhstan last year as a guest I was always offered tea, or chai. It was typically black, sometimes green, in a ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Where to stay for London nightlife?

For those looking to travel to London and enjoy the nightlife, where would be the best area to stay? Requirements are nearby bars, alcohol and 20-something crowd all preferably within walking ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

What's a good gift to bring from Sweden for people I couchsurf with?

I will be leaving on a 22-day trip around Europe pretty soon and will be visiting the homes of 6-7 couchsurfers. I want to bring them a small gift or souvenir from Sweden as a return for their ...
8
votes
4answers
472 views

Is it better to ask a question in English or Japanese if you are expecting a reply in English?

When I was traveling in Japan I asked some Japanese people if they speak English in Japanese, and for some reason people didn't really answer my question. I wasn't sure whether it was because they ...
8
votes
2answers
290 views

Laptop/mobile device in countries with Sharia

I'm traveling to Iran and i need to bring my laptop. For western standards I do not have anything illegal on my hard drive but since I'm not familiar with the Sharia I'm a little bit paranoid. Is ...
8
votes
3answers
159 views

Dealing with aggressive touts in markets?

In many countries the markets are some of the most interesting places to visit. However, as a result of tourism, culture and competition, many of the sellers/touts are...well...aggressive. This can ...
7
votes
2answers
838 views

Can tourists meet onsen geisha nowadays?

Japan's most famous geisha are from Kyoto, Japan's former capital and still a major cultural capital of Japan. But I've also heard of onsen geisha, far away from the big cities, who are at the bottom ...
7
votes
1answer
385 views

Where can I eat turtle excrement soup?

A friend of a friend told me that he was traveling through Asia. Then once he ordered a meal in a restaurant. He couldn't understand what it was. So he first got a good stock. Afterwards a waiter ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

What are some old Irish neighbourhoods in Chicago?

I'm going to Chicago in a few weeks for a few days in June. There seems to be lots to see, but one thing I'm interested in is the Irish heritage of the city. Like Boston and New York City, Chicago was ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

What is this Season's Greetings sign for in March in India?

While being driven from Dehli to Agra on March 17, 2014, I saw a number of seasons greetings signs, as shown in the following picture: What holiday is this for? Holi?
6
votes
1answer
293 views

What to wear in Egypt to blend in?

I plan on going to Egypt around Christmas and I have always hated the thought of being a tourist. I want to blend in and experience what it is like to be there without being regarded as a tourist all ...
6
votes
4answers
773 views

What are some practical hand-out gifts you can take with you when travelling?

I happens quite often that you make new friendships while on the road or that you are hosted by someone you are visiting. On such occasions you usually want to leave a small gift such that the person ...
6
votes
2answers
381 views

Overcoming the language barrier while experiencing traditional Japanese culture

I'd like to see live performance of traditional Japanese culture. For example, watching noh theatre or bunraku, as opposed to merely seeing artworks or pottery. Unfortunately, my Japanese is fairly ...
6
votes
0answers
108 views

Are carnival-style games still available in Taiwanese night markets?

In Show them the door: Taiwan's netizens ashamed of loutish tourists, there's mention of a Taiwanese night market game: The doors, with their paper panels punched through, resembled a popular ...
5
votes
2answers
657 views

How to deal with flight attendants behaving unlawfully?

How do travelers deal with flight attendants who conduct themselves unlawfully (racist/homophobic/etc)? I have seen and even overheard flight attendants discuss amongst themselves why they are going ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Mixed-gender naked swimming pools in Finland

I've just read about Yrjonkatu, which is a Finnish swimming pool where nudism is allowed, but only on separate days for men and women. Are there any pools in Finland that allow mixed-gender nude ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Authentic Ainu in Hokkaido

During my next trip to Japan I may end up in Hokkaido. I've read something about this mysterious indigenous group called Ainu/Aynu/Aino/Ezo, but I must admit my understanding of the whole thing is ...