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Questions tagged [local-customs]

Something normal at home may be unusual or strange in another country, and vice versa. What's different and how to avoid problems.

2
votes
1answer
65 views

USA Customs duty: multiple small packges vs one large package [closed]

When shipping (by an international courier company) to the US items purchased abroad, is there any difference in the US customs duty, between sending the items in multiple small packages versus one ...
23
votes
9answers
8k views

Is it considered rude if I present a list of pre-translated sentences?

I am about to visit Spain, mainly Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid. The problem is I do not speak Spanish at all. I am thinking to prepare a few pre-translated sentences in Spanish beforehand and ...
13
votes
2answers
303 views

How do I find out which holidays will disrupt my travel and by how much?

I'm sure it has happened to many of us: You travel to a country with a different culture, and suddenly, you find yourself in front of closed restaurant/shop/museum/etc doors (or, alternatively, you ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

How many medications can one take on a plane?

I have a sick dog and unfortunately the drug is not available in Poland because there is a break in production till June. It is relatively cheap and available in USA and my friend is flying back to ...
43
votes
5answers
13k views

Is it rude to tell the ice cream man in Istanbul not to mess with me?

I have never been to Istanbul but I am planning to go there with the kids. A friend of mine showed me yesterday a video of him buying ice cream from a traditional ice cream shop in Istanbul. He ...
26
votes
2answers
9k views

What to do with the water served with hot chocolate in Italy?

I was in Italy recently, and whenever I ordered hot chocolate, it came with a small shot-glass of water. The water appeared to be normal tap water, and wasn't particularly hot or cold. What is one ...
19
votes
1answer
5k views

How do North Americans use toilet paper? [closed]

I saw a joke on an American late-night show about that Germans fold their toilet paper. I got confused. As a German myself I thought "Wait what? What's wrong with that?" and I assumed North Americans ...
37
votes
7answers
9k views

Saving leftovers from restaurants in Paris

Doggy bags for saving leftovers in restaurants are extremely common in the USA, especially as portions sizes are usually too large to consume in one meal. But I have read in various forums that it ...
21
votes
4answers
48k views

What are the rules surounding alcohol in Morocco

I will be in Morocco for New Year's: what are the rules surrounding alcohol? Firstly is alcohol even available? If so do I need a permit or is it just a case of showing your passport at the store? ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

Tipping in Poland: saying “thank you” when the waiter collects your money

I read that while tipping in Poland is standard, you should not say "thank you" to the waiter when he takes the cash if you are expecting change. Otherwise, he will assume that the amount overpaid is ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Are there any man-only places in the world?

I know it is forbidden to enter to Muslim's mosques/shrines without proper Islamic cover or having your shoes during walking through temples/tombs/shrines in India and some other Hindu countries or ...
39
votes
4answers
9k views

Should I declare chocolate as “food” when entering the US?

It is being customary we bring a few authentic Russian chocolate bars/sweets to the US but we are always struggling whether we should check that "food" checkbox in the "Customs Declaration" form? It ...
99
votes
12answers
34k views

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

I've heard some people talking about Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh City. Besides the fact that those people usually were French (I'm French myself as well) I was wondering if that could be considered ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How much to haggle for a hotel room in India?

I need to book a hotel in Delhi, India for mid-November. Someone suggested to me that I should haggle over the price for the room. Is it considered acceptable to haggle over hotel room prices in India?...
38
votes
3answers
8k views

Should I put toilet paper in airplane toilets?

During a recent international flight my 4 year old daughter informed me that I shouldn't put toilet paper in the toilet but should instead use the bin provided. My gut told me she was wrong, however ...
15
votes
1answer
778 views

Is it normal that people in front of the bar demanding keys to my car?

While I was visiting Mykonos (a Greek island), I've rented the car for few days. I've visited many places across the island, however I've experienced unusual situation with few of them (such as ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Meal times in Ireland

My fiancee and I will be visiting Ireland next October for our honeymoon. We will stay there for a couple of weeks, and we will stay both in cities, like Dublin and Galway, and smaller villages. What ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What duty fees can I expect to take a new bike into Bangladesh?

Can I buy a bike in India while I am travelling here, and take it back to Bangladesh? If yes, then how much will be the duty charges for a bike? (Price ₹60000-70000)
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Eating while out on a public street in Japan

I have read somewhere that in Japan, it is rude to eat anything while walking in public. However, is it also rude to simple be eating something while standing out on a street corner?
11
votes
1answer
256 views

What are Samoan roadside stands selling in white styrofoam cups?

I've just spent several days driving around Samoa, Upolu to be specific. There are stands by the side of road where people sell coconuts, greens, and any number of other things, most of which I could ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

How/Where do I make local friends in a short-term (1 month) stay in Japan?

Not sure if I should ask here or in Interpersonal Skills, but the situation arises because of travel, so I'll try here. Feel free to move it if needed. Last year I travelled for 1 month with a couple ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Sending a new laptop into japan for 1 month stay

I want to order a new laptop to be delivered to my airbnb in Japan. Basically the same as if I were carrying it with me in the airport, and leaving a month later (in which case customs need not apply) ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Do I tip a bellhop for services other than transporting luggage?

I'm staying at a nice (U.S.) hotel for a conference. When I check out, they're going to let me leave my luggage there for a few hours until my flight in the evening. The concierge has informed me that ...
59
votes
9answers
19k views

Is it rude to speak Swedish in Norway?

I speak Swedish quite well, but my active Norwegian is very basic, although I can understand most of it if I concentrate. I'm aware Norwegians can usually/always understand Swedish. I'm told ...
12
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
50
votes
6answers
32k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to meet my Persian girlfriend in Iran and have privacy while not being married?

I plan to visit my girlfriend in Iran. She's Persian (from Tabriz), I'm French and we’re not married. We're planning to see each other for a week. We don't know yet where but Tehran would be nice ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

What types of entry points for travelers are available at Incheon Airport and what are their respective terms of use? [closed]

For example, there usually are counters for citizens / PR and counters for foreigners. What exactly does Incheon airport have? Per the suggestion by the community, “immigration entry point” could be ...
28
votes
6answers
12k views

In a restaurant in Italy, should I be seated when my food arrives?

I sat at the table, ordered the pizza. While it was being prepared, I decided to go to the bathroom for a short visit. An employee came (the griller) and while I was in the middle of my business, he ...
21
votes
7answers
18k views

How do I safely navigate a two-lane roundabout in the UK?

In a two-lane roundabout, drivers may be expected to use the outer lane for a ¼ circle and the inner lane in all other circumstances. Using the inner lane requires: Crossing the outer lane to the ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

How to organise a homestay in Myanmar?

My wife and I are planning a trip to Southeast Asia over a long period (~5 months). One of my goals of this trip is to try and engage with locals, to learn about their language, culture and just ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Etiquette for talking to others on public transport in Turkey

Beyond asking for directions and skipping sensitive topics like religion, politics, regional conflicts, is it considered rude to talk to strangers on Turkish public transport (trains, buses) ? Is ...
41
votes
5answers
19k 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?
35
votes
5answers
12k views

How to deal with other tourists taking pictures of my children?

Disclaimer: I am not sure if this question belongs to this site or to interpersonal.SE. However, I only lived the situations described below when traveling and people taking photos were for sure also ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

Dos and don'ts at a Vietnamese wedding

I'm invited to a wedding in Ho Chi Minh City. I know virtually nothing about Vietnam, I'll be there for the first time in my life. I know a little about Asian culture, but the only country I've ...
5
votes
1answer
615 views

Same-sex marriage in Paris?

I don't live in France but would like to get married under the Eiffel tower. Is this possible? Can someone provide some information on the rules regarding same-sex marriage in France for foreigners?
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Do I need to go through quarantine at Sydney?

I am travelling from Bangkok to Melbourne via Sydney with a 2 hours 20 mins layover. The journey is on a single ticket. From BKK to SYD it is Emirates code share with Qantas and from SYD to MEL it is ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What could be the Customs duty at Chennai (MAA) airport for Panasonic 55 inch used (>3 years) TV [duplicate]

I bought a TV (Panasonic 55 inch NON-Smart TV) like 3 years back and using it. The airline says, extra baggage will be $200 which I can do, but I'm not sure how much will be the custom duty at Chennai ...
27
votes
8answers
7k views

Attire in Iran for male travelers

Are there any attire requirements for male travelers in Iran? There are many reports and much advice that women should dress conservatively and we have a related question about headwear for women. But ...
12
votes
2answers
672 views

I'm a man with long hair. Am I likely to encounter harassment or other problems in Moscow?

First of all, I am really sorry if what I am asking seems prejudiced or offends someone. I really have no intension to cause any harm. I will be for a summer school in Moscow for about 3 weeks, from ...
2
votes
3answers
378 views

Two letters of my first name transposed on boarding pass. Should I be worried?

My wife made a typo on my ticket where my name reads Micheal instead of Michael. Other than this everything is OK. I was able to use the ticket when leaving the USA, as I did not need this ticket to ...
8
votes
3answers
488 views

Is it appropriate to wear a knee-length yukata on summer festivals?

My friends and I are planning to attend a natsu matsuri, a summer festival, in Japan. We all have bought our yukatas online, and unfortunately two of our yukatas are only knee-length long. Is this ...
53
votes
5answers
7k views

How much to tip in the United States?

Tipping customs in the United States can be surprising for people who travel there for the first time. It happened to me when I used a shuttle van service out of LAX a few years ago. To sum up the ...
149
votes
11answers
95k 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? ...
15
votes
1answer
365 views

The purpose of glass goblets with coins in Italian cafes

In many cafes in Italy there are glass goblets with coins in liquid on the counter. What is their purpose? Is it for tips or some local tradition (for luck or fortune or whatever else)? If for tips - ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Guide for how to behave or what to expect at a Panto in England?

I have been invited to a Panto in England. Now have I been told quite a bit about it, but I think it is going to be quite a shock for people who have never been to such a theater performance. Is ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Facilities around the Loony Dook

We are a group of Germans travelling to Edinburgh for New Year's. We're taking part in the Loony Dook and we're wondering about facilities around the event. Our number-one question is: where do you ...
179
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
22k views

Why is it forbidden to wear camouflage in some Caribbean Islands?

In December 2013 I've been to Antigua. Before arriving there I read about the island and found a reference to a law that states: Local laws and customs [...] It is an offence for anyone, ...
28
votes
3answers
10k views

4 people in a cab in London? Is that allowed?

I have found that different cities have different regulations and I have been in places where 4 persons can travel in any cab (3 in back seat, one in front seat) while other cities don't allow front ...