Hot answers tagged

142

I live in a very corrupt country - Ukraine. Let me give you some advice. First, try to avoid looking like stranger. Try to look like the locals. That is often difficult, I know. It's the only advice about how to avoid corrupt police. They often search for strangers just to get some money from them, because strangers are easy meat. All the other advice is ...


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 ...


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 ...


69

Most locals just call it the City, when it's clear from context that you are talking about the local area. You could say: "I'm staying at a nice hotel in the City". This will be understood to mean "within the San Francisco city limits." (Incidentally, this is a smaller region than most outsiders might guess). In writing, capitalization is optional. ...


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 ...


62

Take name cards with two hands when given to you, give them with two hands. Look at the received card, put it in front of you on the table while you are talking to the person(s). You CAN punch with one chopstick into food and hold it with the other if it's something hard to eat (dumplings, potatoes etc). Don't stick both in however. Do not soak your sushi ...


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 ...


57

Yes, it's true. In general, Russians never smile without a reason. No, you will not insult anybody in Russia if you smile. But, in some cases it can be assessed as rude or strange. For example, if you smile at a stranger he or she might think "Why is this guy looking at me and smiling? Do I look stupid?" Smiling when you say "Hello" is OK. In addition: ...


56

In defense of @MikkaRin's answer, I offer a contrast of cultural norms regarding emotional expression in Russia versus USA. This may not clearly represent differences between Russian and global norms (to whatever extent these exist), but hopefully it'll help. In psychological literature concerning culture and affect, opposite norms have been described: to ...


52

First, in problematic places I would try to avoid interacting with the police as much as possible. Another strategy is patience. Usually, corrupt police are just trying to make quick money off an easy victim. Tourists are an obvious target because they tend to have more money and are more likely to be unfamiliar with the local language and customs. If you ...


49

I just found this gr8 (well, not very great) workaround. . Didn't try it yet, but looks like it may work.


48

A bed runner is a small, long piece of decorated cloth used to enhance the appearance of an otherwise plain bed. While some prefer the look solely for aesthetic reasons and would choose it even if it were more expensive than traditional decorative bedding, the primary reason to use one in the hospitality industry is to reduce costs while keeping the room ...


46

Yes, TRUE. A good Canadian friend of mine had a Chicago cubs (u.s. baseball team) tattoo on his right arm. Kind of silly, but apparently any tattoo has yakuza (Japanese mafia) undertones, which makes many Japanese, especially older people, uncomfortable. Attitudes seem to be changing and I even knew a few younger Japanese with tattoos, but the perception ...


41

I had the same problem after arriving to the UK. There are two basic techniques: Plug the sink, pour the water and wash yourself in this water. I think this was how it was meant to be used when this system was first introduced years ago. You can mix it in any other container as well, depending on your needs. One potential downside to this method is that ...


40

As a French native, I discovered this practice in North America. I never asked for a doggy bag in France, nor have I seen someone do it. So it is likely restaurants don't even have boxes. You can obviously take out food from fast-food restaurants but for regular restaurants I don't think it is correct behaviour. I usually finish my dishes, I only order what ...


40

It is quite rare these days (even inside trains) for the changing tables to be in the women's section, usually they will be somewhere in between the two sections, or inside the separate large restroom with the wheelchair icon (yes, you can use it too). If you do encounter such a case, though, it's not different than elsewhere. An apology (shitsurei ...


39

Cows are considered holy in Hindu religion, not India as a whole per se. North/East/West India are primarily Hindu-majority regions and thus you're highly unlikely to find any beef, except perhaps at dodgy places in Muslim-dominated parts of those towns. Dodgy places because in those three parts of India cow slaughter is frowned upon and you don't find ...


38

Tattoos or Irezumi as they are called in Japanese were criminalized in the beginning of the Meiji period (some time after 1868) as a way to make a good impression on the west. (A bit ironic in this case...) It was legalized again after the war in 1948 but still retains its image of criminality. For many years, traditional Japanese tattoos were ...


36

As an Iranian I can tell you that breast-feeding in public is NOT a crime (at least in Iran) and you don't need to expect any severe consequences for this. Mothers do feed their children here whenever/wherever needed and it's none of anybody's business to question them why they are feeding their children. It's however usually a good practice for breasts to ...


36

Funnily enough, I read an article on askmen.com about the top 10 Japanese etiquette mistakes. Boiled down to bullet points, we have: Blowing your nose in public Pointing with your forefinger Don't pour your own beer Wearing toilet slippers outside of toilet Giving gifts in multiples of four Failing to wash first before entering a public bath Passing food ...


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, ...


30

I can't say that I completely understand your situation (I am, after all, of European descent), but you should not be surprised to find out that Some people are stupid have prejudices I have indeed been treated sometimes differently for being Eastern European (and proud of it!), and the thing that I found works best is to just ignore them and pretend that ...


30

What people usually do is putting on their boxers/underwear in the shower cubicle then come out and put on the rest. Some people do what Burhan described in the other answer as well.


30

You don't need a hat. If you're traveling for business and are in the IT industry, you'll spend all your time in air-conditioned offices, hotels and taxis, and will spend very little time outside. As a rule, only the poor walk in India, and the campuses of Indian IT firms are generally in suburbs that are virtually unreachable by public transport anyway. ...


29

Refusing to eat totally is indeed very rude. In fact, it might be taken as an insult if you were the main guest. However, you can always ask for a plate and a spoon, fill the plate and eat the way you are used to. This will totally save the situation and will be understood positively since people know how foreigners eat, but not eating at all is something ...


29

Look for unmanned automatic laundry places. Since the washers/dryers there are usually coin-operated, you'll find a coin dispensing machine to convert your notes into shrapnel. You're likely to also find similar machines at self-service car-washes, or in any other business providing coin-operated services. They usually look something like this: Cassa per ...


29

Will the man order for both or will the parties order individually? If it is a romantic/dating encounter, the man and woman confer over their choices and each makes their own selection, but then the man does the talking. The man will select the wine and propose the selection to the woman. If it is a business encounter each person talks individually to the ...


28

Mount Athos, in Greece, does not permit women to enter. Wikipedia explains the rationale behind this prohibition as Monks feel that the presence of women alters the social dynamics of the community and therefore slows their path towards spiritual enlightenment. However, you may want to refine your question. For example, most restrooms are divided on ...


28

You can probably use Wikipedia to determine the exact implications of the gesture. From the information: In Afghanistan, Iran and parts of Italy, the gesture is regarded as an obscene insult equivalent to what the middle finger signifies in most of Europe, especially when combined with a sweep of the arms. In these places, it roughly means "Sit on my ...



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