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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4answers
540 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
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1answer
86 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".
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k 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
1answer
455 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
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1answer
441 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
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4answers
2k 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 ...
13
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5answers
2k 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?
14
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5answers
2k 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 ...
19
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9answers
2k 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
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2answers
822 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 ...
49
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6answers
12k 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 ...
12
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2answers
158 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
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2answers
694 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?
32
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
17
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5answers
2k 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k 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
240 views

Are patrons expected to tip at restaurants in Paraguay?

So I finish my meal at a restaurant in Asunción, 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
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4answers
1k 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
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4answers
794 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k 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
459 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
896 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
775 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 ...
36
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
859 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 ...
21
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
665 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?
15
votes
3answers
868 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
12k 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
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3answers
370 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
34
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8answers
19k 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
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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. ...
24
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
236 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 my trip, I hope to socialize a bit with people my age, including some après-ski, and wouldn't mind if it resulted in ...
14
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3answers
8k 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? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What game can I eat in South Africa?

When I was in South Africa, I wanted to try some game meat but when I asked people what I could have I got replies with answers like 'Game' or 'you know Game Kudu, Zebra etc' or was just shown the ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding or minimising altitude sickness?

From my personal anecdotal experience, I've seen first-hand some horror stories with altitude sickness. I will always tell people now to acclimatise, drink fluids, and follow the local tricks like ...
45
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Will I get in trouble if I drink beer in public in Dubai?

As far as I know, Dubai is a Muslim country. And as far as I know, it is forbidden to drink alcohol in Muslim countries. Is this also true for Dubai and tourists? So as a tourist can I drink alcohol ...
22
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
21
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2answers
6k views

Dealing with the 'unclean hand' when travelling (if you're left-handed)

"Among Muslims, the left hand is reserved for bodily hygiene and considered unclean. Thus, the right hand should be used for eating. Shaking hands or handing over an item with one's left hand ...
46
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6answers
10k views

How to use sink with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
12
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3answers
495 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 ...
20
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5answers
2k 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 ...
3
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0answers
943 views

Differences in mentality of Japanese and Korean people [closed]

What is the difference between Japanese and Korean people, from the mentality/behavior perspective? Please list as many differences as you know, or provide link to a good article/discussion, as I ...