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210 votes

Took airline plane blanket by accident; didn't realize it was forbidden. What should I do?

To avoid any lingering feelings of guilt, you can call the airline and ask them what they'd like you to do with the blanket. Explain that you took it by mistake because you were not fully alert when ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 134k
166 votes

Took airline plane blanket by accident; didn't realize it was forbidden. What should I do?

We live in a strange world where manufactured goods (like blankets) are very cheap, and people's time is very expensive. Our moral (and legal) codes haven't caught up with this: so we feel bad at ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
  • 1,840
158 votes
Accepted

Dress for First Class?

If you've been on a plane before, I'm sure you've walked past first class; nobody cares. If you want to dress up, sure, but I'd prefer to be casual and comfortable.
casual_flier's user avatar
148 votes

Took airline plane blanket by accident; didn't realize it was forbidden. What should I do?

Or should I just forget about it, having learned my lesson? Just forget about it. No one is going to come after you for stealing a 2-euro blanket. Keep it as a souvenir and don't steal any in the ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.6k
145 votes
Accepted

Should I not use double things in a double room if I have booked it as a single guest?

Being a supervisor at a well known 3/4 star hotel I speak from experience. If a consumable/expendable amenity has been provided in your room, it is yours. This includes personal care products, snacks,...
Konner Rasmussen's user avatar
144 votes
Accepted

How would Japanese people react to someone refusing to say “itadakimasu” for religious reasons?

Outside of a temple, or perhaps dinner with the Emperor, "itadakimasu" has zero religious connotations. A reasonable translation would be "thanks for the food" said to no one in particular. The after-...
peter's user avatar
  • 879
126 votes

What is way to eat rice with hands in front of westerners such that it doesn't appear to be yucky?

Do you have some kind of roti or some kind of flat bread that can go with the rice? People may be less edgy if they think of it as eating taco or burritos by hand. It might come down to whom you're ...
frostshoxx's user avatar
  • 1,153
118 votes

Should I say hello to the passport control officers, or just quietly give them my passport?

I’m a former Immigration Officer myself (in the UK). Saying “hello” (or “good morning/evening” etc) is entirely appropriate, just like any other encounter in the English-speaking world. It ...
Chris Melville's user avatar
112 votes
Accepted

Is it offensive to the chef/host to finish all food on your plate in Italy?

I would say it's the other way around. Italian chefs don't like to see leftovers on the plate as it could signal that you didn't like the food. Once, in a local bar in which I have lunch every day, I ...
hatef's user avatar
  • 3,269
110 votes
Accepted

Are sweatpants frowned upon on flights?

You won't win any fashion contests, but that's not what you're aiming for anyway. I can't tell you anything about East Asia, but I've travelled plenty around Europe (including Eastern Europe). Jeans ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 12.4k
105 votes

Do I have to whistle really loud to hail a taxi in NYC?

I've lived in New York City for most of my life, and I've never whistled for a taxi. I have, however, hailed many taxis by silently raising my arm or indeed just making eye contact without any ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 134k
100 votes
Accepted

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

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 ...
JoErNanO's user avatar
  • 52.7k
96 votes
Accepted

Is it rude to bring bottled water into a restaurant in Germany?

they can exploit it in their favor Everything in restaurants¹ is more expensive than the pure cost to acquire or produce it. This is how the waiting staff and location is paid. The only difference in ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 2,686
95 votes

How can I avoid ordering multiple bottles of water at a restaurant?

In France it is required by law to provide tap water to a customer, for free. It is very common and acceptable to ask for tap water in a pitcher in a restaurant. Don't hesitate to ask for a refill.
Subert's user avatar
  • 841
92 votes

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

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 ...
Edu's user avatar
  • 1,011
91 votes

How would Japanese people react to someone refusing to say “itadakimasu” for religious reasons?

Itadakimasu means, literally, "[I humbly] receive". Yes, the origins of the phrase may be about giving thanks to the gods, but at this point it's about as divorced from that as telling someone "bless ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
85 votes

Dress for First Class?

and just wanted to experience it at least once. Dress up, dress as nice as you like and comfortably can for a flight and make it a whole experience. You want to enjoy it so enjoy it to the fullest. ...
Hanky Panky's user avatar
  • 32.9k
81 votes

How am I supposed to keep a toilet bowl clean without a toilet brush?

You're not supposed to do anything. Cleaning the toilet is housekeeping's job, and in better hotels in Asia it's common to have several visits per day: once in the late morning and once more around ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
74 votes

How do I politely refuse to lend my pen?

Let's be honest, refusing a pen will never be polite in the eyes of people! It's your right for sure, but no one will understand, they will always think "it's just a pen, how rude!". Besides, people ...
Nean Der Thal's user avatar
73 votes

What is way to eat rice with hands in front of westerners such that it doesn't appear to be yucky?

A bit of open mindness will not kill you, the same open mindness you'd like to receive from other people who you think find your habits disgusting. Follow me: First and foremost, you can eat the way ...
motoDrizzt's user avatar
  • 5,872
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
64 votes

Is wearing a mask in public a no-no (making one look weird)?

Wear the mask when you feel the need. It is unfortunate that people sometimes react that way but they do with many other things than masks too. Too bad that few people outside of Asia understand than ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 44.5k
61 votes
Accepted

Do flight attendants prefer I press the button or walk to the back? (Long-haul flights)

There is no specific preference, it depends on the person actually. Some do not like to be interrupted while they are at their position (usually the galleys) because it is sometimes the only place ...
Nean Der Thal's user avatar
59 votes

Do I have to whistle really loud to hail a taxi in NYC?

Grew up in New York City, and the only people who whistle for taxis that I have seen are doormen—and they do it with an actual whistle. Even then, I suspect they are only doing it for effect or maybe ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 1,015
56 votes

Is it good courtesy to leave the bed made when checking out of accomodation?

It's very considerate of you to want to do the right thing, but it is certainly not rude to leave your bed unmade when checking out. Any accommodation beyond the most dubious and disreputable will be ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 86.3k
55 votes
Accepted

Walking 14 km on a pilgrimage road where footwear may be considered disrespectful

I have personal experience of walking around the mountains of Thiruvannamalai on a full moon day along with other devotees. Most of the devotees walk barefoot and so did I. The asphalt road is used ...
boroxun's user avatar
  • 1,750
51 votes

How can I avoid ordering multiple bottles of water at a restaurant?

In my experience, places where waiters may frown upon customers ordering tap water will happily accommodate you if you order a paid drink with it. Just order yourself an aperitif or a glass of cola / ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
50 votes
Accepted

Is it impolite to ask for an in-flight catalogue with no intention of buying?

Put it this way. Suppose they kept copies of Nature Magazine for passengers to read on request. Would it be impolite to ask for a copy? You have no intention of buying anything, since in our fantasy ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar

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