Hot answers tagged

71

I found, when in Europe, that going "beep beep" when trying to get through would instantly get both a way through and a smile from the former obstructors.


67

There is only one location that checks all your boxes, and no others come close: Istanbul. The west part of the city (its historical center) is considered to be in Europe, the part on the eastern side of the Bosphorus strait is in Asia. There is a bridge that you can drive over, the city is extremely scenic with many beautiful mosques and the Hagia Sophia, ...


51

Well I think in case they are polite Asian people, you should say more than just 'excuse me'. Because in Asian language, 'excuse me' does not mean anything rather than just an opening of a conversation. So my advice is next time you should add more information like: Excuse me, can I get through please? or Excuse me, can you clear a path for me so ...


44

I live in Sydney. When you say "Asian", I think you mean mostly Chinese people since Chinese people are our largest immigrant group by far. In Australia, we currently have over 200,000 international university students living here and 136,000 are from China alone. Many people arrive in Australia with virtually no English language skills at all, and while ...


38

To deal with the situations you faced, I will share some tips. If all she does is nod or say something like "Ah~~~", then it is likely that she either doesn't understand English, or is so obsessed with the smartphone that she doesn't hear what you are saying. Then you should just step in to check what you want while putting your hand forward. She will ...


37

For that list of countries, the answer is none: English is more useful than Chinese in all of them. The only country in Asia outside greater China where Mandarin is an official language or spoken by a majority of the population is Singapore, but even there English is the lingua franca spoken by all. While there are significant Chinese-speaking minorities ...


32

These are used to wash the private areas after using the toilet, it is the upgrade to the jug, so instead of filling a jug and use it to wash you use the hose directly. To use it, hold it with one hand (the dominant) and press, water stream will wash away things, you also can use the other hand (non-dominant) to clean while aiming the stream to the private ...


29

Nowhere in China. American Chinese cuisine (and its relatives in Australia, Europe, etc) is heavily adapted for Western tastes: "Chinese-American cuisine is 'dumbed-down' Chinese food. It’s adapted... to be blander, thicker and sweeter for the American public" Some dishes are localized versions of actual Chinese dishes (eg. Kung Pao chicken, which ...


28

Istanbul is a massive city. If you wish to visit the European-Asian border but big cities are not your thing, you can take the train up to the Arctic Circle in the Russian Polar Ural. (source: wikimapia.org) Asia-Europe border. Source: Wikimapia. In Northern Russia, there are trains between Vorkuta (infamous for its history as a penal labour camp) and ...


27

Crimes should be reported where they occur. With the exception of very major crimes, countries will generally not enforce the laws of other countries, although in certain cases they will agree to extradite their residents or citizens abroad if they have committed crimes elsewhere. This even applies with subnational boundaries. For example, if you get ...


25

There are two types of travel adapter plugs commonly used: Plug adapters. These just convert the physical plug into one of a different shape, but do not perform any voltage conversion. It is perfectly fine and common to use one with a power strip (with surge protector). As Aganju points out, you should be careful not to overload any circuits, as a power ...


24

This is the Chinese character for "Good Fortune" 福. January 28 was the Chinese (Lunar) New Year.


23

I'm pretty sure your best option would be Malay. It's an official language of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, and mutually intelligible with Indonesian, which is a designated "working language" in East Timor as well. So that's five countries right there, all easily reached from Australia, quite distinct and full of tourist attractions. Malay/Indonesian is ...


21

It depends on the crime and on the European nation - the EU does not have a single judicial jurisdiction yet, those powers still reside with individual nations, and thus the situation is the same for EU as it is for non-EU nations. France for example considers any felony and some misdemeanors* committed by, or against, its citizens to be within its own ...


19

I wish to hear answer from a female person as well – MikkaRin Here's the female from India. I haven't yet seen a toilet paper so there is no question of me knowing how to use it. I don't carry nor I know of anyone carrying a secret towel. Here's how I do it: 1. I don't directly place the shower's head towards my bottom since the water may splash towards ...


18

In Thailand, there's a superstition that wai'ing someone younger than yourself takes a year (maybe years?) off of their life. A couple of times when I have wai'ed Thai friends that were noticeably younger than me, I was chided (mostly jokingly) that I had shortened their life.


17

Yes, it is correct and fine to wipe your hand, face, neck with it, be it with hot or cold towels. You can see that pretty much everywhere in Asia. In Japan, you will be given one at hairdressers to specifically to wipe your face with it. Specially when it's hot and humid outside, a cold towel on your neck is something very nice!


17

I've read through all the answers and comments and, if I'm not mistaken, they seem to be always written by men. Using a squat toilet is surely much more complicated when wearing trousers, as most men do around the world, so I appreciate your points and debate. Squat toilets are not as much of a problem from a female point of view, if we think of women ...


17

Different countries have different social norms. How do queue up for a line, how close to you stand to people in a public spot or in an elevator, when do you engage in conversation, etc. Combine this with the language barrier and different communication style, you have ample opportunities for confusion. Simple example: American often say "Hey, how are you?" ...


15

According to Wikipedia: the modern border between Asia and Europe remains a historical and cultural construct, defined only by convention. The modern border follows the Aegean Sea, the Dardanelles-Sea of Marmara-Bosphorus, the Black Sea, along the watershed of the Greater Caucasus, the northwestern portion of the Caspian Sea and along the Ural River and ...


15

People from densely populated culture (e.g. China, Japan, and many large cities) generally think that if they've left you enough space to squeeze yourself through that that would be good enough. They generally wouldn't care if you accidentally brush on them when the train is crowded. So if the train is crowded, just push yourself through, most likely they ...


14

We in the Middle East follow international standards :) Shaking head means no, nodding means yes, thumbs up means thumbs up, middle finger means the same as in the US, same as in the V sign. That's not the case for "crossing fingers", which could be interpreted as vagina, but only when the context is about that. Also, the "OK" sign means "I will kill you ...


13

I'll add a short answer to address the central point in the question: "trousers seem to be blocking an important thoroughfare! How the hell is this supposed to work??!!" I traveled in Asia for a while and at first had the exact same problem. For the first few months there, I would actually completely take my trousers off before using a squat toilet. But ...


13

Blossom viewing is common to all East Asian cultures, and the cherry blossom is the most prominent spring blossom in Korea. I would not say it is central to the culture the way it is in Japan, however. As with everything in East Asia, it is not untouched by complicated history. Some of the more famous stands, such as at Changgyeonggung Palace in Seoul, were ...


12

Follow your polite 'Excuse me' with a neutral 'Can you please step out of the way' followed, if needed, by a sharp 'I have to be where you stand now'. If that does not work, get rude and push. When leaving trains I will never ask, I just walk out. Elbows out if there is not enough space for two people at a time, everybody traveling in trains in the western ...


12

I just spent a week in Seoul and many stores there seemed more fluent in Mandarin than in English. This was especially noticeable in touristy areas such as the Myeongdong area and Noryangjin fish market -- in fact, nearly every vendor at the Noryangjin fish market spoke Mandarin (I look Chinese so everybody tries to speak that to me) and it took quite a ...


11

You most likely cannot do so in any reasonable manner through South-East Asia since you would have to eventually cross either through China, Pakistan or Afghanistan. China is impossible (the do not allow foreign license plates), and Pakistan and Afghanistan are not safe enough to do so. Just from the countries that you can drive through, you might have to ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible