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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
0answers
88 views

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

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
106 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
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
9k 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
75 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
81
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
128 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
22
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
129 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
261 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
217 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
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
155 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
170 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
114 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
159 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
612 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
185 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?
20
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
562 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
352 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 ...
30
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How to make change (to get coins from a banknote) in Italy?

So I arrived with my rental in Verona and it turns out that you need coins to pay for parking. What is the best way to exchange bills to coins? At 1€ an hour 14 hours a day I need a bunch - not just ...
7
votes
1answer
148 views

Crossing sea border between Montenegro and Croatia

I'm going to rent sailing yacht in Montenegro and visit some towns on south coast (till Dubrovnik) of Croatia. And then come back to Montenegro. What custom procedures I have to do when leaving ...
13
votes
2answers
398 views

How am I supposed to combine items from Italian restaurant menus?

I'm from the Netherlands, where we would typically have an appetizer (soup or something else) and a main dish (usually some kind of meat, served with fries and vegetables), and when that is finished, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there public bath etiquette to be aware of in Japan for foreign women? [duplicate]

I'm in Japan now and it is simply awesome. I'm thinking of visiting a public bath. Is it separate for the two genders? Can I go in with a swim suit (after my mandatory shower, of course) or do I have ...
10
votes
3answers
612 views

What do I need to know about traveling to Dubai during Ramadan?

I bought tickets to Dubai for the summer for a small vacation (first week of July). Unfortunately, I did not realize it was during Ramadan. I have been told by a few acquaintances that the laws in ...
6
votes
4answers
780 views

Crossing roads in Berlin

I am on holiday in Berlin and I have noticed that no pedestrians cross the road until the green man is on, I was wondering if there is some sort of jaywalking rule, also some of the vehicles go ...
3
votes
0answers
408 views

Definitive list of countries where a head scarf is required for woman [closed]

Having travelled extensively throughout my life it has only become recently in adulthood that there are certain customs to which you must abide by when travelling in or through certain countries. The ...
37
votes
8answers
19k views

How to adapt to Western Toilets from Indian-style toilets?

I am an Indian and have been using Indian style toilets for all my life, Now that I have a knee injury, I am forced to go to Western Style toilets. I find it really hard to empty my bowels in western ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it rude to refuse to eat from the same plate in parts of the Middle East?

I recently visited parts of North Africa and the Middle East and had to attend several social events. I found the people extremely friendly, hospitable and generous. However I was invited ...
2
votes
4answers
528 views

Protecting ears from cold [closed]

I have friends traveling to Western Europe during winter (they come from a warm country), and they wonder how do people actually protect their ears from cold when walking outside (if they do it at ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is it forbidden to wear camouflage in some Caribbean Islands?

In December 2013 I've been to Antigua. Before arriving there I read about the island and found a reference to a law that states: Local laws and customs [...] It is an offence for anyone, ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Knife and fork handed back for next course; customary in France?

Recently, whilst dining in France I have noticed a custom that seems strange to me. Typically in the UK I will expect a clean knife and fork for my main course after finishing my starter. However, ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it a sign of being gay if a male wears a white trousers in the UK?

Long story short, we were a group of people on a short visit to London, one of us (a male) wore white jeans, then an European woman from the group told him that it is a sign of being gay to wear white ...
35
votes
3answers
9k views

“No nudity” signs in changing rooms in Doha?

The changing rooms for the gym and pool at the Doha hotel I'm currently in has a sign up saying Please respect local customs, and avoid nudity whilst using this changing room However, it's laid ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

Are women required to wear skirts to get into some tourist sites?

There is mention of not wearing short skirts; does that mean skirts are required for women when wanting to visit places like churches, the Vatican, etc.
3
votes
3answers
408 views

Dress code for tech business training in California [closed]

I am a male software engineer that works for a small technology firm. Next week (mid October) I will be heading to California (Bay area) to train on a software product we use in our company and to ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Trying local Turkish Cuisine in Istanbul

I'll be going to Istanbul in a few days. This is a travel I do because of my job (and no - I'm not involved in any of the jobs listed here). As in this case, I often get ready at the last minute and ...
10
votes
2answers
313 views

How to pass customs in time in case of a flight delay

I'm a non-US citizen flying to the US with a changing time between flights of 1:50 in Atlanta. Since this is rather on the short line according to this answer, I was wondering what to do in case of a ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Which large countries use 12-hour time format (AM/PM)? [closed]

Odd question: Which (large) countries uses/prefers 12-hour time format (AM/PM)? I understand that US, UK, Canada, Australia mostly use 12-hour (though also 24-hour in some cases). But there must be ...
6
votes
4answers
492 views

Tipping in Vietnam

I will be going to Vietnam next year for tourism. I would like to not offend locals so I was wondering if someone could tell me what the policy for tipping is over there ?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Square donuts in Dubai

I've been in Dubai some time ago and in a Starbucks I've found square donuts. Can you explain why? Is there a religious rule?
14
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 ...