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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10answers
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+50

As we are all adults here, how do I politely indicate that I need the toilet?

I am from an area where people just say they need the loo to pee or poo. In formal situations, when meeting just strangers, we are a bit less open and call it 'need the toilet' but I know that in ...
7
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0answers
77 views
+50

Does Siesta time in Panama affect business travelers?

I haven't been to Panama for quite some time and now there's a chance I may need to spend a few days there to service a software client. I remember that a large portion of the afternoon is dedicated ...
1
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0answers
138 views

Are there any countries with a specific dress code for underwear? [closed]

I am aware that different places got different dress codes. This is all known and can be easily found. However, when travelling in the past and packing my clothes, I kept wondering if there's ...
8
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0answers
83 views
+100

Finding Undisclosed Restaurants on the Adriatic Coast

Along the Adriatic coast there are some bizarre looking fishing piers called 'Trabocchi'. Some of these are apparently several hundred years old. San Vito Chietino, for example is mentioned in the ...
122
votes
9answers
23k views

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

Confession time: I am from one of these barbaric countries where the use of the bidet is not widespread. So I have no idea... Question 1: What is the bidet good for? Question 2: How do I use it? ...
14
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8answers
4k views

How do you use a traditional hot-air hand dryer so your hands are actually dry afterwards? [closed]

In many locations around the world, you can see dryers like this1: These dryers are being phased out in favor of air-jet dryers that involve inserting your hand in an opening. However, many ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Photography and Running in the Christiania Neighbourhood of Copenhagen

Christiania is a autonomous enclave situated in a former military base in Copenhagen. At its entrance there is a sign which is presumably intended for tourists... Source: personal collection The ...
9
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1answer
166 views

In which city in Europe would a first-time cross-dresser face the lowest risk of harassment?

What would be the safest, most friendly city to go out as cross-dresser? Specifically, in Europe? It is not easy to come out, and I have been considering it for a while. I want to try it somewhere, ...
104
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9answers
18k views

When and why do people clap/applause after a plane lands?

On a recent flight to Romania, the whole flight erupted with applause once we'd landed. This wasn't a "difficult" flight - no turbulence, delays, or hijackings. Just a bog standard flight. On the ...
0
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0answers
57 views

No last name in Indian passport [duplicate]

As I don't have a last name , what should I fill in the last name column while applying for Dubai visa ?
17
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2answers
2k views

Travelling to Latin America to take hallucinogenic drugs: how does one do it safely?

Prompted by this... Thousands of international backpackers are flocking to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest to drink ayahuasca tea, a plant mixture made by shamans and taken as part of a ...
21
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6answers
1k views

Attire in Iran for male travelers

Are there any attire requirements for male travelers in Iran? There are many reports and advises that women should dress conservatively and we have a related question about headwear for women. But ...
3
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1answer
172 views

Visiting Japan, what foreign proofs of ID are acceptable (for non-official purposes)?

Possibly related to this question about carrying passports everywhere. In preparation for my first trip to Japan, I have my UK passport, which is of course kept on hand at all times when I'm ...
52
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1answer
6k views

Male using change tables in female restrooms in Japan

Next month I'll be traveling to Japan with my wife and two children. Our youngest (1yo) is still in diapers. I read a few guides about traveling in Japan, and saw mention that change tables are ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Men in thongs on mediterranean beaches?

So I am travelling in a few weeks to Barcelona, Cote D'azur, and to Genoa Italia and was wondering if men wear thongs on these beaches. I want to try it personally but am unsure how taboo it would be. ...
10
votes
1answer
512 views

How to verify paid restrooms in EU

I saw Long road trips in Iceland - where to relieve ourselves? and it reminded me of my first trip overseas. I'm American, the 'paying for restroom' principle is foreign to me. When I was in Rome I ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

Thailand customs and round-trip to Hong Kong

I'm going to travel to Thailand for about a month. Inbound and outbound flights are through BKK. What I want to do is a round-trip to Hong Kong for a shopping before leave Thailand. In particular I'...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

L/100 km or km/L? which one is used? I am planning travel in Mexico & Colombia by car [closed]

In America we say the fuel economy of car in miles/gallon. I know in k countries people use liters/100 km. Some countries use km/liter. My question is: Which format is used in Mexico, Colombia, and ...
6
votes
2answers
156 views

How much to tip in Mumbai or India general?

How much money should I give as a tip to a hotel boy in Mumbai / India, for carrying my luggage or to reception girl or restaurant waiter, for being generally nice and helpful? What amount is best to ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

How to tip in Israel?

What's the proper etiquette for tipping in taxis, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, etc.? See equivalent question for the US. I've heard many different opinions online and during my travels, so I'm a ...
4
votes
0answers
117 views

Parts of Australia that aren't dominated by white Australians that are easy for tourists to visit [duplicate]

Basically, this question but for Australia. When I visited Alice Springs, while I was able to meet and exchange pleasantries a bit with Aborigines, virtually all of the staff I interacted with were ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Parts of China that aren't dominated by Han Chinese that are easy for foreigners to access

I've heard that the Tibetan area is harder for foreigners to visit due to government restrictions, and get the impression that it is increasingly controlled by Han Chinese. Are there any parts of ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Do doctors outside of US routinely shake hands with their patients and staff? [closed]

Researching whether fist-bumps indeed would transmit less bacteria than a handshake, I found that, apparently, shaking hands with your doctor is a thing in the US, and, apparently, is expected by both ...
33
votes
3answers
10k views

What do locals call San Francisco?

I heard that San Franciscans hate nicknames like "San Fran" or "Frisco". If I want to travel around San Francisco without sounding like a rube, what should I call it?
-1
votes
1answer
106 views

Indian customs rules on bringing packed iPhone [duplicate]

I am a US citizen, who is a Person's of Indian Origin (PIO) card holder. I am planning to buy an iPhone 6s (60 rupees) as a gift for my mother (who lives in India). I would like to bring it to her in ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Taking a photo in a US supermarket

When I went to a supermarket in the USA, I was amused by the exotic vegetables, so I took a photo of the vegetable shelf. Soon, a worker came and told me angrily "You are not allowed to take photos in ...
11
votes
2answers
251 views

Is it rude to pay tips in Iran?

One of my friends, asked me if he could tip the waiter after we had a delicious Kebab :) for dinner, and I was just puzzled since I didn't know the answer. It's totally rare and not common at all to ...
84
votes
18answers
12k views

Is it rude to ask if the food contains pork or alcohol?

Some years ago, I was invited to a friend's place. The home-cooked food contained alcohol, and I don't eat or drink anything that contains alcohol (religious reasons). I was shy enough to eat it to ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

When you bring someone to a restaurant in Russia

I am curious how it works in Russia when someone invites you to a restaurant. Will the man order for both or will the parties order individually? Do you tip the waiter/waitress at a resturant and how ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

Avoid fireworks/firecrackers in Taiwan

I have ligyrophobia (the fear of loud sounds). It is possible for me to tolerate things like balloons and thunders, but fireworks/firecrackers will send me into a panic attack. I will be travelling ...
12
votes
1answer
424 views

Gift-giving rules for Japanese dinner host

I'm invited by a Japanese family for a home cooked dinner at their house. I'm wondering, given the Japanese gift-giving culture, what is appropriate to bring with me in this case and if it's any ...
5
votes
3answers
187 views

What should someone from the US know when driving in Italy?

For instance, I know one should not turn on red lights, which is different from US/Mass. rules. What are other things which can confuse a driver from US while driving in Italy? More generally, are ...
22
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4answers
9k views

Is it rude to tell the ice cream man in Istanbul not to mess with me?

I have never been to Istanbul but I am planning to go there with the kids. A friend of mine showed me yesterday a video of him buying ice cream from a traditional ice cream shop in Istanbul. He ...
8
votes
1answer
141 views

What are Samoan roadside stands selling in white styrofoam cups?

I've just spent several days driving around Samoa, Upolu to be specific. There are stands by the side of road where people sell coconuts, greens, and any number of other things, most of which I could ...
4
votes
1answer
289 views

Can I carry a poker chip set to the USA on a student (F1) visa?

As the title says - Can I carry a poker chip set to the USA on a student (F1) visa? I am going there for a masters degree for 2 years if that matters. Thanks.
3
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0answers
274 views

Why did this particular Czech toilet have no paper? [closed]

A few days ago, I visited a large, modern¹, public toilet at a Czech university which featured no toilet paper in the cabins. This wasn’t simply because the supply was depleted: There was no device ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

How should I tip for food in a UK pub? At the bar, or at my table?

I'm in a pub in England. I went up to the bar and asked for a plate of fish and chips (to be served to my table) and a pint (handed to me on the spot). My money was collected at the bar. I would like ...
1
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0answers
26 views

Kolkata India - Customs Duty on Desktop and Personal Cosmetics [duplicate]

I have come to the US on 2014 and it has been more than 1 year now and we are planning to visit India (Kolkata). I have the following things with me which I will be taking to India, all are my ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Etiquette for talking to others on public transport in Turkey

Beyond asking for directions and skipping sensitive topics like religion, politics, regional conflicts, is it considered rude to talk to strangers on Turkish public transport (trains, buses) ? Is ...
8
votes
2answers
174 views

How to avoid getting hassled in Indonesia?

Hassling is happening in quite often in Indonesia. Although not as tough as in other countries (i.e. Morocco), it can get on your nerves after a while. Does anybody have tips on avoiding getting ...
7
votes
1answer
176 views

Do Mongolians still prefer receiving hard copy photos?

The seventh edition of Lonely Planet Mongolia recommends that people taking photos of Mongolians should offer to repay the favour by printing the photos out and snail mailing it to them. The concept ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

Where is it expected to tip housekeeping?

Following on from this question about how it is appropriate to tip housekeeping where it is expected. In what countries/regions is it expected to tip housekeeping? Does this expectation vary depending ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

Are there public Midsummer's Eve events near Stockholm I could attend?

I will be lucky enough to be in Stockholm on Midsummer's eve this year, and would be willing to travel to nearby areas. Are there public Midsummer's Eve events near Stockholm I could attend?
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Do you tip in the US for getting a to-go coffee? [duplicate]

I'm not familiar with the tipping system in the US. One day I'm buying a coffee and i am presented with a machine asking me to tip 15%, 18% and 20% and no tip. I feel like I have to tip at least 15% ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Tipping in USA: do you have to fill in the tip amount or just the post-tip total?

Let's say the bill came to $34.56 and you're paying with a credit card. A 15% tip takes that to a little over $39.74. Can you simply write $40 for the total, circle it, sign, and leave the tip blank? ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Same-sex marriage in Paris?

I don't live in France but would like to get married under the Eiffel tower. Is this possible? Can someone provide some information on the rules regarding same-sex marriage in France for foreigners?
21
votes
7answers
2k views

What kind of hat to wear for business in India?

I'm soon going to be travelling from the UK to India on business. India being pretty hot, I'll clearly need some kind of a hat to protect my head and face from sunburn when I'm outdoors (I have pale ...
23
votes
2answers
955 views

What to do with the water served with hot chocolate in Italy?

I was in Italy recently, and whenever I ordered hot chocolate, it came with a small shot-glass of water. The water appeared to be normal tap water, and wasn't particularly hot or cold. What is one ...
10
votes
2answers
622 views

Meal times in Ireland

My fiancee and I will be visiting Ireland next October for our honeymoon. We will stay there for a couple of weeks, and we will stay both in cities, like Dublin and Galway, and smaller villages. What ...
31
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the purpose of this cloth in hotel?

What is the purpose of the cloth across the bed? I see it at many hotels and it does not seem to serve any purpose other than make it look nice. Any idea what it can be used for? Ps. The purplish ...