Thorsten S.
  • Member for 8 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than 3 years ago
  • Germany
How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?
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225 votes

There is an essay which explains the difference between "polite" and "direct" cultures. First of all: For members of the Anglosphere like Americans, Britons and Canadians the Germans are using the ...

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How to convince airport security that I am not dangerous when having metallic parts in my body?
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98 votes

When I flew from Vienna to Amsterdam and back, my fears were confirmed: The security staff inspected me very precise, and I had to explain them my story. Thank god I have some scars left so they ...

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What exactly is the Bahnhofsmission? What do they do and who uses their services?
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58 votes

The Bahnhofsmission (train station mission, mission in the religious sense) is over 100 years old and began as a Christian network to help out young girls moving into the cities who were searching for ...

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Why are there no seat belts on trains?
56 votes

Because not speed itself, but sudden deceleration causes injuries. The idea of seat belts in cars is clear: A collision occurs, both participants experience a strong jerk and possibly intruding ...

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What can I do if I'm seated next to a person with bad hygiene on an airplane?
49 votes

Well, the solution is an ointment with menthol/eucalyptus. Pathologists are using Tiger Balm, the red variant and apply it under the nose to suppress...well, I think I do not need to explain that. ...

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Flashing headlights on Autobahn
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44 votes

If he/she is coming from behind, it means normally: You are slow, drive faster or change the lane ! The frequency of the light blinking indicate the urgency, a short one after a while means "Please ?"...

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How can I tell if this Polish villa for rent is a scam?
43 votes

At least the most telltale warning signs are missing. First, it contains Polish, German and English which is to be expected because Germans are one of the main tourists (and Masuria is really ...

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Reserved parking for women in Germany
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39 votes

The main reason that women parking places exist is that parking areas are often considered as creepy. At some time they are completely deserted so you hear only the deep humming of the fluorescent ...

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Firearm carried aboard an ocean going sailboat
38 votes

As owner of a yacht there is no problem. I have been in contact with Bobby Schenk, a well-known German open-sea sailor who writes about problems on board, in your case firearms. As owner of your boat ...

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Is LifeStraw a silver bullet water purification solution for travelling in India?
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37 votes

No. Physical filters using pores with 0.2 µm (microfiltration) cannot remove heavy metal contamination (lead, mercury). This is possible with ion exchangers, distillation and nanofilters (see below)....

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What metric to US customary unit conversions should I know for traveling to the US?
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36 votes

Important for car (if you rent one, it will automatically have mph, but it is still useful how fast you are going for e.g. braking distance): All values are rounded for convenience; the most frequent ...

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Which brand of backpack should I carry so as to not stick out in Europe?
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34 votes

For Germany: The most inconspicous backpacks are either Jack Wolfskin or Deuter. Seriously, while traveling it is like a lighthouse: Hello, compatriot ! Other popular brands: Arc'teryx, Eagle Creek, ...

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Why has this dress been met with surprise at the Oktoberfest in Munich?
30 votes

Well...it has no meaning as "dress code", it simply looks wrong. Here a picture of actual "diandlgwand" (girl clothes) with different cuts of colors: and here the short form: All clothes have one-...

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What are some things to know when going on your first international trip?
29 votes

You asked for a more general approach, so: Rule Number One: Inform yourself about your destination. Inform yourself about the people and their customs(!) and the respective laws(!!). This cannot be ...

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How unsafe is it to leave an expensive laptop at a rented apartment or a cheap hotel room? Which precautions should I take?
28 votes

For hotel rooms there is an easy solution: It is called the "hotel safe". Earnestly, do not store important valuables in hotel rooms. Even cheap hotels have very likely a cupboard which is under ...

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Is it dangerous to drive through Death Valley?
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28 votes

I think Death Valley is not more dangerous than other landscapes with some precautions, so some advices with addition from the offical link Drive carefully. The monotonous landscape can easily lull ...

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Can I live on an unoccupied island?
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24 votes

You are asking the wrong question. Finding uninhabiteds island is not a problem, there are countless ones in Oceania or the Caribbean. Marooning was the term of leaving someone on an uninhabited ...

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While driving in Europe, can I move into and share a lane next to a motorcycle?
21 votes

No, you are neither legally allowed in most countries to share a lane with a car (some exceptions exist) nor do motorcycles in general tolerate cars well coming into their lane. I drive myself ...

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Which safety features of the German Autobahn make it possible to have no speed limits as opposed to every other country?
21 votes

There are in fact some key features distinctive in Germany aside from having the cultural attitude: No garbage cans on the street. Cars must regularly be checked every two years by either the TÜV or ...

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Is it legal to turn high beams on when driving on a European highway with fully separated lanes?
21 votes

Because you specifically mentioned the Autobahn, I explain the situation in Germany. The relevant passage is § 17 der Straßenverkehrsordnung über Beleuchtung, Absatz (2): Auf Straßen mit ...

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Sunbathing naked in public parks in Germany
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21 votes

The current law in Germany divides between Exhibitionism (§183 Abs. 1): Only applicable to men (!), there was in fact a constituitional complaint which was rejected by the highest court in Germany. ...

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Sleeping/Narcotic Gas Alarm
20 votes

Seriously, this is not a problem. Why ? The brother of my former girlfriend was an anesthesiologist. I was interested if it is possible to have something for sleeping (I am seasick) and I got a ...

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Am I entitled to air passengers compensation if my flight was cancelled and I did not get a re-route?
19 votes

Oh yes, you have a right to compensation. EU law EC 261/2004 requires not only either the full ticket price or another fly to the same destination, but costs for lodging and a compensation of 200 - ...

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Hotels on the Las Vegas strip: is there a commitment to gamble?
18 votes

I was not in Las Vegas in itself, but in Reno a long time ago which is also a gambling city. Hotels are, as you already indicated, very cheap. While you have absolutely no obligation to gamble and ...

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Crossing roads in Berlin
18 votes

Ok, JoErNanO explained the legal part, now as German I am able to explain the unofficial part. It has nothing to do with a fine. You are disobeying openly a rule while others are present. The amount ...

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Why isn't it safe to swim on Goa's beaches in the "off season" (June-September)
18 votes

The reason is relatively straightforward: June - September is Monsoon time, the prevailing wind switches from southeast to southwest and brings massive amounts of rain and humidity. Goa is on the ...

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Preventing sea sickness?
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17 votes

I have written an article about seasickness, so I will give a resume. Seasickness has nothing to do with willpower. If someone accuses you of that, tell him that Horatio Nelson and Shackleton on the "...

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How to spend a night in an unknown city without a hotel? Is there a guide or resource online?
16 votes

Ok, this is one of the more serious situations which a traveller can meet. It depends where you are and how big the city is. I describe the situations which you can have with growing despair. In big ...

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In countries with a "Keep right/left unless overtaking" rule: May I keep the left/right lane if driving at speed limit?
15 votes

In general, no. Germany e.g. changed the law from the necessity to drive right at all times to allow staying in a lane if and only if there are vehicles on the right side for approximately every 20 ...

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

If I as Westerner need to eat rice with my hand in front of other westerners, I would do the following things: Wash my hands thoroughly. Cut my nails to minimum (Something under the nails is yucky). ...

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