What is normal at home may be unusual or strange in another country, and vice versa. What's different and how to avoid problems.

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6
votes
2answers
552 views

Does the traditional Arabic greeting have religous meaning?

There is a greeting I have often heard among Muslims. (Thanks to Geeo in the comments for helping me find the "correct" spelling of the phrase): As-salamu alaykum To which there is a ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

What options are available for hunting feral boar on Hawaii?

I am visiting Kauai shortly and am interested in boar hunting while there. So far I have applied for my Hunter's Education Exemption and have mapped several locations that allow for bow hunting. ...
44
votes
9answers
12k 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

How to learn about funeral customs while traveling in Australia

Is there a way one could learn about the local funeral customs (irrespective of the religion of the deceased) while traveling through a country ? In NT, Australia how could one go about learning the ...
5
votes
0answers
92 views

Are there countries where I shouldn't offer to shake hands with people of the opposite sex? [closed]

I've known for a while that some people avoid shaking hands with people of the opposite sex. I don't know whether it's purely based on religion, nationality, or whether personal preference also plays ...
13
votes
3answers
423 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
253 views

In Asian restaurants and airlines is it correct etiquette to use the hot towel on my face?

In many Asian restaurants both inside and outside Asia, and also on some Asian airlines such as Korean and JAL if I recall correctly, hot cloth towels are given out to all passengers before each meal. ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

“Cheek kissing” between men in Mongolia

This afternoon in Ulaanbaatar I was sitting in a coffee shop in a shopping mall trying to make the best of the flaky Wi-Fi there. A local guy who was obviously slightly drunk arrived and joined my ...
8
votes
2answers
150 views

What is a good gift for hospitality in Nepal

I am planning an extended Motorbike tour through Nepal and India and was wondering what a good token of appreciation would be .. besides money .. to give to people inviting me for a meal or giving me ...
10
votes
4answers
312 views

Meeting other people while traveling

I tried searching on here, but didn't find any questions on this. How does one meet people while traveling alone? I would understand meeting people in a hostel (assuming they spoke the same language) ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Indian independence day greetings [closed]

What's the proper greeting for the Indian independance day? This question is motivated by the fact that we have "happy new years", "merry christmas", and "meaningful thanksgivings".
7
votes
4answers
851 views

Will wearing a bright colored jacket signal that I am a tourist?

Rick Steve's recommends wearing neutral colors. As such, I've opted to bring a lot of blacks and greys on my trip this winter. However, my rain jacket is a BRIGHT green -- it's brighter than the ...
5
votes
2answers
725 views

Is it rude to ask for toilet paper in Bangladesh?

I have read this post : Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach? Does not quite answer my question. Are toilet papers common in hotels in Dhaka ? It seems too off to ...
2
votes
2answers
249 views

Is there animosity between people from northern and southern Italy? [closed]

In an episode of "The Sopranos", the protagonists and his entourage (Italian Americans from Napoli and Sicily) react strongly to examples of Italian achievement which happen to originate from northern ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

How to stay comfortable in beds found in American hotels?

I am currently in California for a long business trip. It is surprising how often I wake up here with my feet going past the end of the bed. The double European beds are about the same size as Queen ...
6
votes
4answers
544 views

Is cheek kissing common in the US?

I am French and I was told American people usually just say hi, shake hands or sometimes hug if they know well each others. I have been living in California for the last few months and I noticed that ...
11
votes
5answers
793 views

Can I swim in Iran with my girlfriend in bikini in the Caspian Sea?

Is it possible if she is not Iranian to swim in her swimsuit or bikini in the sea? She is not from Iran, she is European as me. Is there some "police" that watches how people dress on the beach?
4
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
703 views

OK we are all adults here, so really, how on earth should I live without bidet?

This is the part four in the interesting series: "OK we are all X here, so really". You can find the past episodes here: OK we're all adults here, so really, how on earth should I use a squat ...
14
votes
8answers
1k views

Are there any man-only places in the world?

I know it is forbidden to enter to Muslim's mosques/shrines without proper Islamic cover or having your shoes during walking through temples/tombs/shrines in India and some other Hindu countries or ...
12
votes
2answers
399 views

Chinese etiquette: Most common mistakes

My question is inspired by this one: Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes? Which made me think about my upcoming trip to China. As a Dutch citizen, I have experienced a lot that ...
36
votes
6answers
4k views

Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes?

I am aware that Japan has many unwritten rules of etiquette. What are some of the most common (and offensive) breaches of etiquette made by visitors? On the flip side, what behaviors show respect ...
11
votes
2answers
127 views

How do I find out which holidays will disrupt my travel and by how much?

I'm sure it has happened to many of us: You travel to a country with a different culture, and suddenly, you find yourself in front of closed restaurant/shop/museum/etc doors (or, alternatively, you ...
4
votes
2answers
442 views

How to experience Carnival (Karneval) in Germany?

I'll be in Germany during the Carnival/Karneval time. Where would be the best place to go to experience Karneval in Germany, and what can I expect?
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Saving leftovers from restaurants in Paris

Doggy bags for saving leftovers in restaurants are extremely common in the USA, especially as portions sizes are usually too large to consume in one meal. But I have read in various forums that it ...
14
votes
5answers
892 views

Tipping in Poland: saying “thank you” when the waiter collects your money

I read that while tipping in Poland is standard, you should not say "thank you" to the waiter when he takes the cash if you are expecting change. Otherwise, he will assume that the amount overpaid is ...
13
votes
3answers
583 views

What should you do if you're really broke in a country where tipping is customary?

Say you're travelling on a shoestring budget, say at the end of a long trip where you've spent almost all your money but still have time before your flight home. Sometimes people you meet travelling ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

Are patrons expected to tip at restaurants in Paraguay?

So I finish my meal at a restaurant in AsunciĆ³n, and I'm getting ready to pay when I notice at the top of my receipt it says, "propina no incluida" ("tip not included"). I thought tipping was not ...
10
votes
3answers
510 views

How much to haggle for a hotel room in India?

I need to book a hotel in Delhi, India for mid-November. Someone suggested to me that I should haggle over the price for the room. Is it considered acceptable to haggle over hotel room prices in ...
16
votes
4answers
410 views

Does one tip in the US/Canada for bad service?

In Aus/NZ you don't tip, it's not generally part of the culture. In the US/Canada you seem to tip for almost everything, but it's meant to be for a good job. However I've also found some workers ...
12
votes
2answers
618 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
347 views

Male nerd here, how on earth can I listen to an “otohime” / “sound princess”?

The other day, I read about "otohime", also known as "sound princess": Many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination (see paruresis). To cover the ...
8
votes
1answer
422 views

What are the polite ways to draw attention of a waiter around the world?

I would usually call the waiter by trying to catch his eye or raising my hand eventually. But I suppose there are other customs depending on the region of the world. What are those? Is snapping ones ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Taking photos in Japan

I plan on taking photos of everywhere I go in Japan and am wondering if there are certain places, e.g. airports or possibly temples, where photos are not to be taken. A link to online resources would ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How to avoid suspicious looks when you are in the Western side of the world

Being an Arab with Arabian looks, after September 11 things have changed dramatically when Arabs or people with similar looks (Indians, Pakistanis, Turkish, Kurdish, Iranians...etc) go to the west ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to use Turkish toilet tap?

I was in Turkey a while ago, and encountered sit toilets with taps (edit: taps controlling a nozzle a wee way below a normal western sit-toilet rim, making a little fountain from the back to the front ...
10
votes
1answer
416 views

Exchanging business cards in Japan

In Hong Kong (and I believe other parts of China as well), one offers his business card by holding it with both hands with the text unobscured and oriented so that the other person can read it. After ...
16
votes
2answers
519 views

If you go to the pool and find all the sunbeds have towels on and you have nowhere to sit, what do you do?

When I've been staying in a hotels in Spain I often go down to the pool in the morning and find that there are no sunbeds to sit on because people have reserved them with towels. I'm never 100% if a ...
2
votes
1answer
505 views

Why do the Japanese wear masks like Surgeons in Tokyo? [closed]

In Japan, Tokyo it is common to see Japanese people walking around with masks like the kind Surgeons wear during surgeries. Why do the Japanese wear masks like Surgeons in Tokyo?
16
votes
3answers
513 views

In which cultural regions is taking pictures of people considered offensive?

I have the impression that in Muslim countries taking pictures of people is often not welcome. On the other hand there are other countries where people really enjoy it (and also sometimes expect some ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Can solo travelers go to a mixed gender onsen?

I'm planning on going to a mixed gender onsen (konyoku), and one place suggested to me in Nyuto onsen village, Tohoku, has a male only section, a female only section, and a mixed section. If I'm by ...
5
votes
3answers
266 views

Visiting villages in Kerala

How do I visit and spend a couple of nights in non-touristy villages in Kerala between Kochi, Alappuzha and Kollam? Do I just hire a boat and ask them to take me to such a village? Could you ...
10
votes
1answer
186 views

In Costa Rica - Invite Strangers to Dinner?

We are traveling in rural, southwest Costa Rica. We were walking down the road and began talking to two local guys in their 20s. They offered to give us surfing lessons, and eventually said "you can ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there a month when everyone goes on holidays in Balkans?

I'm planning a motorcycle trip around the Balkans/Southeastern Europe (former Yugoslavia/Greece/Albania/Romania/Bulgaria etc.) this year. We're planning on going in June, July, August or September for ...
27
votes
7answers
10k views

Can I eat a beef burger in India?

I always heard that cows are holy in India. So I assumed that you can't eat any meat made of cows in India. But recently a friend told me, that it depends on the region. Not everywhere in India cows ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to go with a mixed group of people to bathe naked at the Abanotubani sulphur baths in Tbilisi?

There is a very old and traditional sulphur baths in the old town of Tbilisi, Georgia called Abanotubani. I assumed it would've been originally a Turkish hamam and have only segregated sex bathing. ...
22
votes
2answers
832 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
181 views

Is researching dating tips for a specific country worthwhile, useless or counterproductive?

I'm planning on visiting Japan for two weeks. While dating isn't the purpose of it, I hope to socialize a bit with people my age, including some apres-ski, and wouldn't mind if it resulted in dating. ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the rules surounding alcohol in Morocco

I will be in Morocco for New Year's: what are the rules surrounding alcohol? Firstly is alcohol even available? If so do I need a permit or is it just a case of showing your passport at the store? ...