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113 votes
Accepted

Does wearing imperial beard in the UK attract any ire of general public?

As a British person, I don't think I've ever seen somebody with a beard like that. Some drunk people might be snarky about it but my guess is that you'll get much more attention from people who think ...
David Richerby's user avatar
66 votes

Why is this bathroom symbol in Germany "00"?

According to the legend this tradition was started by hotels in the 19th century. Unlike today there was a single bathroom for a whole floor. This room was at the beginning of the hallway and not a ...
neo's user avatar
  • 5,108
64 votes
Accepted

Would it be ok to eat rice using a spoon in front of Westerners?

It depends on how you define "western countries", but if you think of Western Europe + UK + US/Canada, please rest assured that nobody would care whether you use sticks, fork, spoon or hands (well, ...
George Y.'s user avatar
  • 22k
43 votes

Would it be ok to eat rice using a spoon in front of Westerners?

As someone who always used to eat rice with a spoon, the first time I moved to the US for studies and saw people eating rice with a fork, I couldn't stand it. I tried it myself, but damn it - trying ...
Burhan Khalid's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

Why do US hotels sandwich the blanket between two sheets instead of putting it inside a duvet cover?

I think it's just a cultural difference. The "two sheet" system is commonly used in homes in the US. So US hotels use the same system because it's familiar to most of their guests. (The US is a big ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
40 votes

Is paying for portrait photos good for the people in the community you're photographing?

TL;DR: Yes. Here's a spin on your question: let's say you asked somebody in the West (say, a street performer) if you can take their photo, and they asked you for money. You would consider if the ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.5k
38 votes

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

Since this question is not tagged for Spain, and it is tagged for cultural-awareness and local-customs, then be aware that in some countries (including England and Wales) photography in a public place ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 9,507
36 votes

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

I've been that stranger. I once surreptitiously took a photo of (native) people in a rural Swedish village who I throught were dressed funnily. A young man noticed, and responded with a gesture of ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 57k
34 votes

Would it be ok to eat rice using a spoon in front of Westerners?

Unless you are in a situation where very specific etiquette is expected, no one will care one bit about which utensil you use. Such specific etiquette may be expected in diplomatic or high value ...
DTRT's user avatar
  • 32.7k
30 votes

What headwear are women legally required to wear in Iran?

I'll try to address this question impartially despite my strong feelings against Mandatory Hijaab for women (I'm a male, born and raised in Iran who lives in United States now) I'll define the terms ...
Arya Rasouli's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Are non-Muslims allowed to enter mosques in Malaysia?

TL; DR: Yes. I grew up in Malaysia and I am a non-Muslim. I have been inside Putra Mosque, in the capital city of Putrajaya. It was part of a class field trip I had when I was in school. However, ...
casvaart's user avatar
  • 406
24 votes
Accepted

What does this symbol on a door mean? (福)

This is the Chinese character for "Good Fortune" 福. January 28 was the Chinese (Lunar) New Year.
Paul Richter's user avatar
  • 1,008
23 votes

Why do hotels have sanitary bags?

It is so that the cleaners do not need to come in contact with trash containing bodily fluids. You could use paper, but many people throw it in the bin directly and do not bother wrapping it up. Using ...
Elias's user avatar
  • 351
22 votes

Is paying for portrait photos good for the people in the community you're photographing?

Yes it is. On a group safari in Kenya our lorry rolled into a village and stopped to replenish the water tank. Within a few minutes they had dressed up some of the women in their finest clothes and ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 12.3k
22 votes

Is it true that "in Singapore, you should assume all rules are implemented at all times"?

Any foreigner newly in a country should always assume all laws and rules can and will be enforced. This is not particular for any country or city but a worldwide general rule which should be the ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 61.1k
21 votes
Accepted

What headwear are women legally required to wear in Iran?

I visited last year. My pure understanding of the law there obviously isn't perfect as an outsider, but the following of the 'law' seemed very rough, women would wear a covering, but sometimes only ...
Mark Mayo's user avatar
  • 160k
19 votes

Does wearing imperial beard in the UK attract any ire of general public?

In the UK any larger town or city you will go about invisible, the smaller the community the more you would stand out... ie a town of a few thousand then you will look different. I have a beard and ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 191
19 votes

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

Coming from Portugal, where there are very similar laws to Spain, unless you are a well known person in a public place (actors, politicians), you have your right to privacy supported by law against ...
Rui F Ribeiro's user avatar
18 votes

Why do hotels have sanitary bags?

When waste is wrapped in sturdy plastic or paper bags, as is the case with the sanitary bags in hotels, the people cleaning out the waste will not have to see the items which are put in the bin. When ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 61.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Asian ladies and older man grabbing cheeks and slapping butts for children

The article Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia by Cordelia Newlin de Rojas at InCultureParent.com article may be of interest. I can’t speak for all Asian cultures but in Singapore and Thailand, ...
Cornelissen's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why do hotels have sanitary bags?

I think the biggest factor here is the biohazardous (bodily fluids, faecal matter etc.) waste factor. Infectious diseases can live in bodily fluids (especially blood) for a very long time such as ...
WhatsThePoint's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

When traveling in Ukraine, when is it appropriate to wear the traditional Vyshyvanka?

And the answer is: wear it whenever you feel like it, wherever you feel like it, and however you feel like wearing it Vyshivanka has become sort of a symbol of the latest Ukrainian revolution and ...
Karlson's user avatar
  • 45.2k
15 votes
Accepted

What kind of behaviours must we avoid while staying in Singapore?

I lived in Singapore for ~7 years, so I suppose I'm pretty well placed to answer this question. TL;DR, don't worry about it: if you behave respectfully/normally by Western standards in Singapore, you'...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.5k
15 votes

Are non-Muslims allowed to enter mosques in Malaysia?

Yes, non-Muslims are allowed to enter (at least some) mosques in Malaysia. See user casvaart's answer for a local's perspective.
Urbana's user avatar
  • 6,110
15 votes
Accepted

Are there any laws in Italy about head coverings I should be aware of?

In short: you have nothing to worry about. The only Italian law which is somehow related to your case is for public security, it prohibits wearing or doing things that make a face difficult to be ...
motoDrizzt's user avatar
  • 5,872
13 votes

What headwear are women legally required to wear in Iran?

Company chiefs sent out a memo informing female staff they would be required "to wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving the plane", ...
B Faley's user avatar
  • 1,780
13 votes
Accepted

Can person take a toothpick from a restaurant in Japan?

I did a bit of research and as far as I can make out, Japanese etiquette dictates that you do not use toothpicks in public i.e, you find a secluded spot to use toothpicks. However, since that is not ...
The Last Word's user avatar
12 votes

Are non-Muslims allowed to enter mosques in Malaysia?

Having been in Malaysia, I can attest that visiting a mosque is possible for non-Muslims. There were no restrictions as far I could tell and I have entered at least a dozen mosques principally around ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 44.5k
12 votes

Male visiting Iran with younger female companion

I spent some time in Iran back in 2016 with my girlfriend. My answer is based off that experience, but shouldn't necessarily be considered an exhaustive answer. As we were a couple we were advised to ...
zeocrash's user avatar
  • 3,566

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