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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10
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0answers
47 views

Is it ok for men to offer to shake hands with women in Mongolia?

"Culture Smart: Mongolia" (page 86) says that shaking hands has "become usual between men, and with some women". However, no other guides to Mongolian etiquette I could find mention any gender issues ...
55
votes
10answers
11k views

Why are Chinese mountains scaled by steps? (instead of winding paths)

Question: Why are Chinese mountains mostly scaled by steps/stairs instead of winded paths? Is there something traditional / practical / religious / spiritual about it that I fail to see? When hiking ...
16
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7answers
3k views

How do I safely navigate a two-lane roundabout?

In a two-lane roundabout, drivers may be expected to use the outer lane for a ¼ circle (right turn in right traffic) and the inner lane in all other circumstances. Using the inner lane requires: ...
5
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1answer
21 views

What should I expect when traveling in China during their Mid-August holiday?

I am trying to organize a short trip in China, probably a few days in Beijing. I found cheap tickets but the dates include the Chinese Mid-August national holiday (lunar calendar August, so from 09/...
6
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1answer
184 views

Why do Japanese ATMs dispense money stacked differently to those in the west? [closed]

I recently went to Japan (specifically Osaka and a few other places around Kansai) for the first time in my life, and had an amazing time. One of the many cultural differences I noticed was that ...
38
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1answer
3k views

What's the proper etiquette for visiting the German Biergartens?

I passed through Munich last year and stopped at one of the biergartens. Well I tried. It was absolutely packed, it took forever to find a seat. At least one I could sit at. Seems like there's lots of ...
10
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1answer
137 views

What to wear in Russia

What are appropriate clothing for a tourist in Russia? Specifically I mean Moscow and St Petersburg in summer. Of course locals might wear something different than tourists. Would T-shirt and shorts (...
19
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4answers
6k views

Why has this dress been met with surprise at the Oktoberfest in Munich?

We are Brazilians and we have been in Oktoberfest, so my wife made a dress here in Brazil trying to do something close to the Dirndl dress, but during the entire party the people looked a lot to her ...
18
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4answers
2k views

What was the meaning of this Indian gesture/greeting?

While on a business trip to India last week I saw two different gestures of greeting. Most people greeted me with the traditional Namaste greeting, with the hands held together, as below. However, ...
14
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1answer
138 views

Where in Sweden can I celebrate midsommar with the locals?

I live in Copenhagen and I would like to attend a midsommar celebration in Sweden on the 24th. Do you have any suggestion on where to go? Ideally, it should be in a small place, reachable using public ...
20
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10answers
8k views

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 ...
8
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0answers
107 views

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 ...
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0answers
151 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 ...
12
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1answer
123 views

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 ...
125
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9answers
24k 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
172 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, ...
105
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9answers
19k 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
183 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 ...
53
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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
267 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
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1answer
535 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
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1answer
40 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
104 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
164 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
119 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
122 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
197 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
99 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
112 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
271 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
13k 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
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1answer
169 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
469 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
199 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 ...
23
votes
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
144 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
301 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
votes
0answers
290 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
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8answers
7k 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 ...
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vote
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
181 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 ...