- Don’t pick up or touch insects – or any other kind of animal that you’re not familiar with. You might end up not needing your ticket back.
- DO try to put on an Australian accent. Seriously, it’s hilarious for us.
- This is Australia; you can do whatever the hell you like.
- Stick to the marked walking tracks, don’t drive your car places it’s not designed to go, and if you DO want to see some really wild, memorable places off the beaten track- make sure you have an experienced friend with you, with all the gear you need. If you do have a capable 4wd, make sure you’ve at least used it off-road too before you try something too difficult. Your soccer mum Audi Q7 is not a capable car, leave that shit parked beside the hair dresser where it belongs.
- Don’t compliment them on anything. They’ll spend the next half hour bringing themselves down and assure you everything and everyone elsewhere is better.
- Don’t drink the tap water unless you want to have diarrhea or die.
- Deal drugs, punishment is death
- Do NOT go anywhere without a roll of toilet paper or tissue on you. EDIT: To answer some of your questions and to clarify: I live in a developed city (not hard to guess which one), and I’d say most bathrooms are good to go here without toilet paper. However, remember most of China is quite undeveloped. Yes, most bathrooms outside of big cities are just holes in the ground. To stress how important this tip I gave is: I am a guy and I only use toilet paper for shitting, and I still carry it with me if I am in a smaller town/city. I don’t even want to imagine what it’d be like for a girl not being well equipped going to a bathroom :/
- Do not stand on or walk on our bikelanes. You’ll be yelled at like never before or possibly be run over by an angry cyclist.
- Don’t talk to people on the tube. Got that? The tube is as sacred to us as the shower; it is where we reminisce about our pasts in complete silence. It is a memorial to fallen dreams, a cemetery of missed opportunities, but most of all it is a sanctuary of regret. And you will treat it like a library; Sit down, shut the fuck up, read a fucking book and ignore the tears rolling down the face of the person next to you.
- Don’t tell anybody born north of Birmingham that Thatcher “wasn’t all that bad”.
- We can complain about how shite our country is all we want, but you’re not allowed to. We won’t protest too loudly about it and probably won’t even say anything, but inside we’re consulting our in-brain thesaurus for things to put in the strongly-worded letter we’re going to write, expressing our discontent at your behaviour.
- When on the Paris metro, saying a word or even showing a glimpse of emotion= instant French Death Glare
- DO NOT DO THE HITLER SIGN. It is illegal and you will get fined. I live in USA but I did live in Germany for a total of 4 years. The Germans hate the Nazi’s more than any one.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/8350593/Tourist-arrested-for-giving-Heil-Hitler-salute-in-holiday-photo-outside-Reichstag.html [Original Comment]
- Do not act like a Nazi. Do not do silly things like shouting “U! S! A!”. In general, common sense and common courtesy are the way to go, but it is to be supposed that this applies not only in Germany.
- Also, to you Americans: no right turns on red, unless there is a green arrow!
- Do not stand or walk in bike lanes. Bike lanes are sacred. To add to that: Use the bike lane on the right side of the road if available.
- Don’t drive offroad. Because the tracks will stay for long time in the land. [Original Comment]
- There’s lots of little cultural taboos. But one thing I can remember right now is, never refer to someone older than you by their name. If you are young (below 20-ish), you can refer to middle-aged and older people as ‘Aunty’ and ‘Uncle’, or ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’. It gets slightly confusing when you are around 20 (like I am) and the person is in their late twenties or early thirties. But yeah. Never call someone older by their name.
- Men should not wear shorts in public, it just isn’t done. Do not openly criticize the government/homosexuality, people will shun you and you will attract unwanted attention. Locals may charge you for taking pictures of their towns/countryside – under no circumstances should you feel pressured to pay them. I think everyone knows about the pressures on women. If you are boxom, you may attract catcalls on the street and be openly stared at. Try to ignore and know that no alternative clothing will have prevented it. You may be asked for your social network credentials/password on entry to the country if you make trouble. Before leaving your country of origin, make a fake profile. Enjoy your trip.
- We’ve already heard your “Irish are drunks” joke. We’ve already heard your famine joke.
- Always stand your round. People will practically fight each other to be the one to buy the next round of drinks. They will tell you to put your wallet away. Do not listen to them. If you don’t stand your round you may as well call their mother a bitch and shag their wife in front of them, because that is how much of a prick they’ll think you are. Also don’t ever try to do an Irish accent. The major problem is there’s no such thing. There’s a Dublin/Cork/Belfast/etc accent. Try to amalgamate them in to an “Irish” accent and you will sound like a Leprechaun. A leprechaun that’s shit at doing accents. Edit: Right, finding myself copy and pasting replies, so here we go. 1. If someone buys you a drink, buy them one back. Simple as that. 2. This is not gender specific. I am a woman. I earn what the boys earn, I expect to be treated as an equal, why wouldn’t I behave as one? 3. Everyone gets a bit of wandering accent syndrome. What you will probably be mimicking is tonality rather than accent. That’s fine. It’s somebody intentionally and consciously “doing” the accent that makes me want to kick them in the shins.
- Well, I’m an American living in Ireland for about 5 years now. The last thing you want to say is, “Top of the morning to ya” because I can tell you right now that I have never heard any Irish person say that.
- Don’t refer to any drink you order as an “Irish Car-Bomb”. I wouldn’t go to New York and order a “Twin Towers”. Also, you don’t need to tip someone working behind a bar. They get paid a fair living wage. Feel free to tip your wait-staff if you feel they deserve it.
- Don’t lose your receipts. Counterfeiting is a problem, but so is corruption. If you buy a fake piece of shit and don’t have a receipt to prove you got scammed, the police will give you a hard time.
- Do NOT wander too far off the resort unless you have a trusted resort guide or family to be with you. Especially if you’re white or have a distinct foreign accent. Edit: I kinda regret painting Jamaica in such a bad light. It really isn’t as bad as all this. During the recession was worse. Thousands of people go every year and have an amazing time. I’d recommend it to everyone. But just be safe!
- Don’t tip in Japan. Don’t do it. If you try, whoever you attempted to tip is likely going to be a little upset. You are pretty much calling them unprofessional because you think they need that extra help or something.
- I’d say the worse faux-pas is not being on the correct side of an escalator. :/ It’s something so godamned obvious and yet tourists have this incredible ability to not notice that the left side is for standing and the right side is for oh-shit-I’m-late-gotta-go. Unless you’re in Osaka, where it’s opposite.
- Specifically Riga, don’t climb the monument of freedom (or probably any monument). The police arrest you and will probably hit you with a batton. Source: Batton Edit: Sorry ‘Baton’ is how I should have spelled it. Thanks for letting me know.
- -Don’t go to the south and let everyone know that your foreign. -Don’t expect the busses to be on time. -Don’t even try to speak Maltese if you have absolutely no idea how to. -You will hear the word LIBA a lot – it means sperm, for some reason we say it loud and as often as possible. -Other than that – The beaches are beautiful, the women just as beautiful and the night life is incredible, make sure you go to Pacevile (main party strip) on a Friday and you’re in for a good time 😉
- To the new wave of study-abroaders who just showed up: don’t wear cutoff jean shorts (dudes too!), tank tops or miniskirts in the middle east. you will get looks you don’t want at the very minimum.
- Don’t sit next to people you don’t know on the bus. Actually, let’s change that. Don’t interact with strangers unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Don’t rent an RV and then drive slowly on all our tiny one lane mountain roads. Then when you are camping for the night, don’t empty your septic tank in the middle of a field by a rest stop. Also, don’t bring a month’s supply of food from your country. Buy food here and support local economies.
- Do not, under any circumstances come to Scotland and: Call anyone English. Shout “FREEDOM” expecting a reaction (seriously saw someone do this once at Edinburgh castle). Turn down a drink – the measure of a man is directly proportional to how much alcohol he can consume.
- Do not cut the queue in Sweden. You will not get shouted at or any angry stares, but you might cause someone writing a very, very angry facebook status and their friends will be upset too.
- Don’t sit next to people you don’t know on the bus. Actually, let’s change that. Don’t interact with strangers unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Don’t talk to anyone you meet in town, in stores or on the street if it’s in the middle of the day (unless it’s only for directions). Always sit as far away as possible from other people while riding in a public transport. If the only available seats are next to someone else – Keep standing instead. Bonus: When talking to a swede – avoid bringing up the question of what their net income is or which political party they vote for (especially when other swedes are within earshot).
- Don’t assume that people can’t understand you if you speak English, EVERYONE speaks English. I’ve heard many foreigners speaking too loudly and vulgarly in public (Im foreign myself)
- Take off your shoes when you enter the house unless the host really, really expressively states you can leave them on. Don’t refuse the tea. It’s rude. EDIT2: If you are a westerner and meet new people of the other gender, let them make the first move. If they want to greet you with a handshake or a cheek-kiss, go along with it, else smile and say something polite. Don’t touch a person of the other gender in any way unless he/she touches you first. Goes especially for men. EDIT: This is if you are a westerner. Let the Turkish make the first move. Don’t say anything against Atatürk. Even the most progressive, liberal and anti-authority Turkish will suddenly transform into a raging patriot.
- Dont push in line. Don’t ever push in. We will never say anything but it will fucking ruin our day.
- UK here from London Don’t be so disrespectful to the queen’s guards & do not get in their way while they’re marching or this will happen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UOKv6-wzbk [Original Comment]
- For the love of all that’s holy, do not cut into a queue here in the UK. You’ll get a tutting at like you wouldn’t believe
- Don’t cut the queue. Don’t go to the 10 items or less checkout without having 10 items or less. Don’t forget to give the “big hand” and nod when being given right of way on the pavement or road. Always, always, always apologise to furniture and objects when you accidently walk into them. Don’t stare at anybody too long. Don’t misspell anything. Wanker, bollocks, bastard, fanny, dick, cock, arse, jesus titty fucking christ, slag, slut and I believe even motherfucker are acceptable to be used jovially and heard in most public areas. Do not say cunt unless you want raised eyebrows* edit 1: It has been pointed out that I misspelt “arse” with “ass”. I deserved #6 being followed by #7. edit 2: *Cunt is acceptable in Scotland. A lot have suggested that its fine in all of the UK, particularly up North. I would go on the reaction of a stranger, say a shopkeeper, to hearing “cunt” being negative. However, I only like to use it when I get to give it some passion (trapping a finger in a drawer or standing on a plug), it can then be satisfactory yelled. But what do I know, I’m a cunt.
- Do not piss on our Remembrance Day Poppies. Edit: Sorry, only just checked back. If you haven’t found it yet it’s this story http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1220579/Carnage-Shame-drunken-student-caught-urinating-war-memorial-mass-pub-crawl.html [Original Comment]
United States of America
- Never, ever touch other people’s children, especially if you are a stranger to them. I took a bunch of Argentinian friends to a mall once and they were patting little kids on the head, which is common in their country. We almost got arrested.
- Don’t be freaked out when strangers talk to you. It’s normal to interact and make small talk with people you don’t know here.
- DO NOT use the term colored/coloured. Over here, it’s a very dated term–you’ll get funny looks at best, and at worst people will take offense.
- Don’t joke about being a terrorist or having any weapons, especially a bomb, while trying to board a plane in the United States. They won’t think it’s funny and you’re likely to be taken to a special room just for you and a few TSA agents who will check you thoroughly to make sure you’re not serious about having anything dangerous on you. Or in you.
- Western United States: don’t drive into the deserts in summer without water and a good map, not GPS. Same for the mountains in winter. If you go exploring, tell someone where you are going, how you will get there, and when you will be back.
- If you come visit Alaska, for the love of all that is holy, DON’T WALK ON THE MUDFLATS OUTSIDE OF ANCHORAGE. It is quicksand and you will get stuck, then the tide will come in and you will die. Seriously, it happens to one or more tourist every summer.
- This place is huge. Visiting for a week? You don’t want to drive from Boston to NYC to Florida. You will spend all of your time in a car – particularly European tourists don’t seem to grasp how long it will take.
- Don’t try and visit NYC, Washington D.C, Disney World, Chicago, Grand Canyon, Hollywood, and Hawaii all on your weeklong vacation. You’re gonna have a bad time
- Never walk in the streets specially at night. Never trust to any police officer. Never take a taxi in the streets. Never show your money in public. Never use cellphones in the streets.