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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What exactly is the meaning of this dress code on the Oktoberfest (München)?

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 ...
14
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3answers
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, ...
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0answers
82 views
+50

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 ...
32
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3answers
3k views

Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach?

Well, this has happened to everyone at some point - you find out there is no toilet paper just after you need it the most. Usually it's not a big deal, even in public toilet room you can wait until ...
20
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10answers
7k views
+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 ...
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9answers
25k 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 ...
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0answers
86 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 ...
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0answers
78 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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5answers
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Why are prices published without tax in the US?

On a recent trip to San Francisco it was always a surprise to see what to pay in stores. It was never as simple as just adding all the published prizes. There was always a surplus of taxes. Sometimes ...
6
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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 ...
104
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9answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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0answers
145 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 ...
43
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5answers
3k views

How can non-Caucasians avoid suspicious looks when traveling in the West?

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 ...
11
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6answers
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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 ...
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 ...
122
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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? ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
14
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8answers
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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
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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 ...
14
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5answers
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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?
8
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4answers
671 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 ?
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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 ...
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, ...
12
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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 ...
128
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9answers
10k views

Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?

In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day. At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me. In Kyrgyzstan, I was ...
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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 ?
5
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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 ...
3
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1answer
174 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 ...
8
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2answers
175 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 ...
9
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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, ...
33
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2answers
11k views

Are there any cultures in which the “thumbs up” hand gesture is offensive?

In the USA it's common to give a thumbs up to say "Yes, this is good" or "Thanks" or convey another appropriate positive meaning. Are there cultures in which the "thumbs up" gesture a) would not be ...
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
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1answer
200 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
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
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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'...
6
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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 ...
0
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2answers
102 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 ...
54
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6answers
14k 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 ...
9
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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 ...
50
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4answers
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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 ...
8
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3answers
462 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 ...
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 ...
31
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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 ...
4
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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 ...
7
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2answers
7k 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, (...
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
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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?
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1answer
107 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 ...