Hot answers tagged

147

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 ...


92

A cabin crew member here, and I am from a country where people do not clap after landings and I was very surprised when I experienced this for the first time, so I started asking passengers when this happens on different flights. Basically there are three main reasons: A sign of appreciation: the smoother the flight/landing, the stronger the clapping. You ...


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....


74

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 ...


73

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 ...


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 ...


53

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 ...


51

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 ...


47

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 ...


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 ...


42

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 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 ...


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

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, ...


33

In the United States, the more polite terms I hear are usually either the restroom or the ladies' room/men's room (always including room). Washroom sounds Canadian to me. British terminology (such as loo) may well be understood but would sound odd. So, I might ask: "Where's the restroom?" If I already knew, I'd most likely excuse myself without explanation. ...


32

To add to Heidels answer: Humans are herd mammals, psychologically speaking. If you pay attention to such applause, usually it starts slowly with 1 or 2 people clapping, then others joining in until eventually everyone is clapping and cheering. You don't have the entire plane bursting into applause at the exact moment the wheels touch down. Sometimes it ...


31

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 ...


31

Shake your hands to remove as much water as possible. Hold one hand with the back of the hand close to the air stream until it is dry. Swap hands, dry the back of the other hand. Rub your hands together to get the back of both hands wet again. Repeat until both hands are dry. This method is optimal because the large flat convex surface of the back of ...



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