Hot answers tagged

104

As a white, Christian, American person I can definitely say that nobody would (perhaps should) be offended by your dietary restrictions. I have a number of friends who are vegetarians for no reason other than they decided they wanted to be. In my opinion, that is far less sacrosanct than religious reasons, and I have always made sure to accommodate them when ...


91

I'm English and lived in Glasgow for 4 years. Understanding many (but certainly not all) people will be tricky (even us native speakers struggle), but they'll be very willing to try to help you understand, and it won't cause offence. You probably won't even need to explain: as soon as they see look of blank incomprehension and hear you begin to say "Err, ...


82

Simple You don't buy it Let's just analyse this for a bit shall we? You're not paying for the ice cream, you're paying for the experience. If you like ice cream but don't like entertainment or 'street entertainment' to be specific, buy your ice cream from somewhere that doesn't do that... Do not try and get the ice cream vendor to not 'do his show' for you....


75

Bidet Who Are You? The bidet is a sanitary installation which looks like a shallow toilet bowl with water taps. The purpose of the bidet is to clean up after you've done what you came to do in the toilet. The rationale here is that sometimes toilet paper isn't enough and you can't always shower after you went to the toilet. Enters: the bidet. I feel like I ...


74

I'm Portuguese and every bathroom has a bidet. Only the really small ones don't. It is something I find in European countries with Latin roots (specially Portugal, Spain, France and Italy). From personal experience and of others, it is not commonly used, although useful on those few times. The main uses are to clean: Your feet: Sometimes you come home ...


66

It'd be like going to a comedy show and telling the comedian off for making jokes at the audience. If it's expected and part of the 'show' or experience, it's what he does for a living, enjoys doing and to be told not to do it - well it'd be considered wrong. I'd hope you wouldn't tell the waitress not to ask about your day (she's being friendly as part ...


59

Not rude here in the UK, or anywhere in the western world so far as I'm aware. It is polite, though, to tell your host at an early enough opportunity that they haven't already bought the ingredients and cooked the meal! Really you don't have to just ask them what's in the meal so much as tell them your dietary requirements - it would be inconsiderate of ...


59

This is a personal experience answer. I am Dutch, so maybe a bit more blunt than you, but my solution works well. I had that same problem last summer. I had arrived in Edinburgh one day, went to visit Glasgow the next and the first person talking to me was hard to understand. I explained to the woman that English is not my first language and I had not ...


53

There is no specific preference, it depends on the person actually. Some do not like to be interrupted while they are at their position (usually the galleys) because it is sometimes the only place where there are no people and they can loosen up a little. Here are some general tips: Good times to use the call button: During a service, do not even think to ...


44

This is what the compartment should more or less look like (pic from Wikipedia): As you guessed, there is no changing room or something similar. A pillow and sheet like you see in the picture are provided. There is some variation, but most people will sleep in comfortable street clothes or close to that. Usually at the end of the coach there are toilets ...


43

I won't add to the above answers, which have mostly covered the "What is it, how do I use it?" questions, so I'll go straight for the etiquette Bonus question: What is the social aspect of bidet usage in countries where they are widespread? Is it implicitly assumed everybody uses this device on a weekly/daily/hourly basis? It's like any other personal ...


43

The best source I can find is this picture gallery of the local newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung, in German). My advice is based on that, own experience and other sources where mentioned: You can bring your own food. (Within some limits, see below. Unless it is a "Wirtsgarten".) In case you bring food, you might want to think of napkins, cutlery, tablecloth, ...


36

I can not answer for the average USA person, but I can answer for the Dutch and likely also for those of Dutch descent who still hold most of their Dutch habits. For us the worst question is the one that is not asked but should have been asked. If you can ask before the cooking is done, like a few days ahead of time when you are invited, your question will ...


33

Last year, I was in the Middle East (in one of the countries where pork and alcohol are available, at least in major hotels) and I invited a colleague to dinner at the hotel restaurant one evening. This person happened to be deeply religious. Before accepting my invitation, he asked me, very apologetically, if I had any plans to consume alcohol at the table, ...


33

I stay in quite a lot of hotels (more than I realised when I added up the nights last year!), many of which have pools. All I can say in general is... There is no general rule! So, what I do first is to grab the guest information directory thingy in the room (normally a binder or little booklet), and check in there under leisure or facilities or spa. Around ...


32

There is nothing wrong with having sex in hotel beds. Treat it like your own bed. Don't stain the sheets too much, since someone else has to clean it. Think of all the people going on "romantic breaks", or honeymoons, or a wedding. Plenty of people have sex in hotel rooms. You should put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door.


26

Close the door. Even better, place the Do Not Disturb sign too, particularly during hours when house-keeping usually takes place. Plenty of maids open the door quickly otherwise. You do not have to make the bed after, but do cleanup after yourselves if there are any fluids left outside of you or your partner(s). As a corollary, dispose of condoms yourself. ...


26

Get Up if You Can, Call if You Can't I'd use your personal judgement on this one. What I do on long-haul flights is get up and go ask myself. For starters it makes me get up and move around a bit which is not at all bad. Secondly, I tell myself that flight attendants might be busy with something else and that my getting up might actually be helpful for them....


26

Do you need to be religious active to walk to Santiago or do any other traditional pilgrimage? Most people I have heard of who have completed a large part of the Santiago route by walking or cycling were not religiously active; and even those who were practicing Roman Catholics (RC) have never made another pilgrimage. So you will not be an exception, ...


23

I am a Christian born and living in Lebanon which is a country populated with an almost 1:1 ratio of Christians to Muslims. I have as much Muslim friends and as I have Christians and we invite each other for meals all the time, and almost always my Muslim friends ask if the food contain any alcohol or pork. This is very normal to a point that I don't ...


21

No, it would never be considered rude to inquire after the contents of food being offered for your consumption, whether for religious or health reasons, as long as you yourself are not rude in your manner of inquiry. "I'm personally deeply religious and my faith precludes me eating pork, or consuming any alcohol; may I ask if you were planning on using any ...


19

Having visited Istanbul and gotten Dondurma from such a vendor complete with the show, all I can say is it was one of the funnest experiences of the trip. I had no idea about what went on when asking for an ice cream cone and the Turks who were around when it occurred were all obviously in on the joke since they grew up with it. The showmanship alone was ...


19

Tom's answer is great, but let me add my two cents as a foreigner who lives several years in Thailand. Etiquette highly depends on location, on who you are, and who are you greeting with. In a business environment like greeting your colleagues in the office, handshaking is okay, because of the office culture is mostly borrowed from the West. If you're a ...


17

Generally, the only etiquette involves getting informed consent. If you are unsure how to get informed consent, I suggest following this script: Party #1: Pardon me. I hate to bother you. Would you like to do it? Party #2: Why yes. And it isn't any bother at all. Party #1: Then we shall do it. Party #2: Agreed.


17

My experience on French sleeper trains is that people get changed lying down on their bunk. Those who require extra privacy will slide into the sleeping blanket before removing their clothes. The top bunk will also guarantee you extra privacy since it's only visible by the adjacent bunk and not by the ones below. There is no dress code for sleeper trains. ...


17

As living in Southern Europe, bidets are pretty much ubiquitous at any home setting. Outside homes, they are only normally present in women's wcs, as it is assumed they have got to clean up themselves especially in that time of the month. I pretty much do not feel confy with them, and use only in those nasty days I go too many times to the toilet; ...


17

My brother, sister and I walked the camino de compostela in 2013 - we are all non religious. Everything is quite organized and we had no problems finding places to sleep/eat. Depending on where you are planning to stay, it can happen that the hostel belongs or is part of the church (albergue parroquial). One time we were asked if we could attend/say a few ...


14

Not rude at all! Even more : the substances you've mentioned are potential causes of an allergic reactions and conditions, so it's nothing bad in asking if there's such a substance in the food you're about to eat.


14

I know this question has been covered pretty extensively, but I thought I would put in my two cents worth: If a dish is prepared with alcohol, and there is just the taste of the alcohol left, sometimes just the taste of alcohol can be deadly to a person who is an alcoholic and is trying to stay away from abusing it. So whether or not it is burned off is ...


13

Just practice your eye-hand coordination, e.g. you can play catch with your kids. If your eye-hand coordination is good enough and you have fast enough reflexes, you'll be able to snatch that huge bulk of ice cream enough for 20 persons that the ice cream man was holding in front of the woman's face in the video.



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