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People Share Stories of What NOT to Do While Visiting Their Countries

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Each and every society on this beautiful earth has different rules to follow. In one part of the world, you’re expected to tip for good service. In another, tipping is considered extremely rude. How the hell are we supposed to keep everything straight?!

We took to AskReddit to see what important information our friends around the globe want us to know when visiting their countries. If you’re planning a trip to a foreign land any time in the near future (or even if you’re not!), take a look below for some helpful tips on how to avoid major facepalms and make your stay as enjoyable and safe as possible!

#1. Do NOT tip. OMG.

“South Korea: Tipping is accepted in some places, but generally it’s safer to not tip. It’s seen as offensive and belittling.”

#2. Legally Blonde wasn’t making this up!

“Singapore: chewing or possessing chewing gum is a crime.”

#3. Unless you like piss…

“New Zealander here. If you are going sight-seeing, do NOT go to Auckland. There is piss all there. Highly suggest Taupo or Queenstown.”

#4. Cops = Bad

“Paraguay here. Don’t be a foreigner in front of a cop. DO NOT let cops see your passport or hear your accent. If you have a local friend, let them do the talking when dealing with cops. In fact just stay as far away from police as you can. Expect to cough up about 50 bucks every time you ignore this warning.”

#5. Never stand on the left…

“UK escalators in train/tube stations; never stand on the left, always walk.”

#6. Personal space, people!

“Don’t come to Sweden and sit next to people on buses if there are empty seats available. It’s probably the most valuable thing you’ll need to know.”

#7. Smelly feet? Too bad. Have some tea.

“Turkey: Take off your shoes when you enter the house unless the host really, really expressively states you can leave them on. And don’t refuse the tea. It’s rude.”

#8. Gang Wars

“Glasgow, Scotland. Don’t wear blue or green in the wrong parts of the city. To those unaware, it’s like if a Blood walked into a Crip neighborhood wearing all read, and vice versa.”

#9. Good thing mom taught you to clean your plate…

“In Mexico, it’s very disrespectful to throw away food. People work long hours and get paid nearly nothing. A full plate is a luxury.”

#10. ON YOUR LEFT!!!

“Denmark: Do not stand on or walk on our bike lanes. You’ll be yelled at like never before or possibly be run over by an angry cyclist.”

#11. RUDE.

“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.”

#12. You WILL die.

“It’s not country based, but 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.”

#13. I LOVE English people!

“Wales: Don’t refer to us as English. Ever. Ever.”

#14. C U Next Tuesday!

“Serious one here for Aussies and Brits visiting America and Canada: DON’T SAY CUNT! Even if you mean it as a term of endearment, say motherfucker, cocksucker, slimy bastard and shit head all you want but steer clear of the big C.”

#15. The Unsafe Sex

“I’m ashamed of saying this. In India, if you are female, don’t travel alone.”

#16. Respect religion.

Israel: Don’t show up to a Holy site (Jewish, Muslim, or Christian) in short shorts and a tank top. Don’t attempt to shake hands with religious people of the opposite gender. Don’t walk past a security guard without opening your bag for inspection, especially if the metal detector buzzes.”

#17. We can hear you, and you sound like a fool.

“Switzerland: 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 (I’m foreign myself).”

#18. Fucking HOBBITS. Seriously.

“Middle Earth: Don’t mention the Hobbits. We’re sick of them.”

#19. RUDE IF YOU DON’T

“American here. Please do some research on the tipping etiquette we have here. Many waiters, waitresses, and bartenders earn most of their income through tips. Having worked in the restaurant industry, I can tell you that it is really frustrating to give great service to a table of tourists but then get $2 on an $80+ bill.”

#20. Don’t eat the salsa.

“Mexico here: Don’t eat the salsa if you never have before; salsa in Mexico is actually really HOT!”

#21. Mind your hands, asshole.

“Greece: don’t point your open palm at someone, its an insult and essentially its the same as saying to them “You’re an asshole.””

#22. But what if I WANT to get hit in the face?

“Lithuania: Don’t be in persons personal space (same as northern countries), you might get a hit to a face if you do that. Also don’t randomly smile at people you might get a hit to a face if you do that. Don’t hit on hot girls in the club if some guys are nearby. You will probably get a hit to a face if you do that.”

#23. OFF with their HEADS!

“Thailand: Do not say anything bad about the king or royal family (the crime of lèse-majestè carries a fifteen year sentence). Dress conservatively at holy sites (wats, shrines). Avoid showing or pointing the soles of your feet toward someone. Avoid touching anyone’s head.”

#24. I’m not perfect, YOU’RE Perfect

“Belgium: 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.”

#25. Blend in if you want to live.

“El Salvador, along with many Latin American countries, do not speak English. In El Salvador, there are people who wait for potential tourists and stalk them. If you speak English, they assume you are from America and therefore have money, so chances are you’re getting mugged when they see the opportunity. My uncle recently went there, got on a bus, said “thank you” rather than “gracias” and got mugged right then and there.”

#26. What a fun game!

“Bolivia: Don’t expect cars to stop for you when you want to cross the street. We play real life frogger everyday.”

#27. Don’t even CONSIDER leaving…

Canada: DON’T… forget to have a wonderful time! DON’T EVER… hesitate to ask if you need anything! And whatever you do, don’t even CONSIDER… leaving without trying one of our many, delicious maple-based biscuit treats!”

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