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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1answer
432 views

Swimwear customs on Côte d'Azur?

I will travel to Porquerolles on Côte d'Azur in France. I struggle about swimwear: I use to wear speedo-style swimwear and I don't really like shorts. However, I haven't been to a beach for ages, so I ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
379 views

What is the proper etiquette at Japanese onsen?

Japan is a volcanically active country which means it has a plethora of onsen (hot springs) all around the country. Visiting these onsen is supposed to be a popular vacation destination for the ...
9
votes
1answer
212 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
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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
votes
1answer
740 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
184 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
890 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
918 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
220 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
223 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
1answer
165 views

How much is it appropriate to tip in Palm Beach?

I'm going to be traveling to Palm Beach in two weeks, and I wanted to make sure I don't offend anyone, specially people I may need to ask for favors later :) From the van that'll transfer me to the ...
6
votes
1answer
670 views

Dominican Republic accepted currency and tipping

We are flying from Toronto, Canada to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. My question is regarding the currency that is accepted in DR. Resorts mainly, gift shops, on-resort grocery store, and tipping, ...
6
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
626 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
340 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
73 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
187 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
421 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
573 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?
4
votes
1answer
308 views

Tipping etiquette in different countries [closed]

What are the tipping etiquette in different countries? How much tip should I give to a waiter/waitress?
3
votes
1answer
598 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?
3
votes
0answers
842 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
80 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
193 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
369 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Entering the EU with a packaged netbook, duty and taxes

How much do the customs charge for entering the EU with a packaged and sealed netbook? (maybe it will be a smartphone). Am I better off limiting the price to a certain threshold? (when it gets ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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".
2
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...