Being able to travel and visit the most remote places on our planet is truly awesome. However, wherever you go, it is important to remember to respect not only the local people, but also the very places you are visiting. Internet users from different countries talked about the habits of tourists that annoy and confuse them. They hope that discussing these problems will solve at least some of them.
We at Bright Side totally support the idea of respect and peace all around the world. So, we want you to use this information to help you avoid awkward situations abroad and remind you of how to behave responsibly in everything you do.
- No, we don’t have pineapple pizza, fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti with meatballs, or other American stuff that is thought to be Italian. It is not. Deal with it. Many apologies.
- No, we’re not all related to the Mafia. 99.5% of Italians have nothing to do with it and struggle with it every day, hearing about corrupted politicians, and complaining about their own country has become their national hobby.
- Don’t expect the Italians to speak fluent English: guys, Italy is a Latin country. Italian has been used as a lingua franca for ages. It is the language of poetry, art, and classical music and we’re very proud of it. We’re aware that English is a world language, but you can’t pretend we speak it as fluently as the Dutch, for example.
- Foreigners, in particular, Americans, are really convinced that every conversation with an Italian must be conducted with this hand-gesture. This gesture means, “What do you want?” and cannot be used in every single conversation. It won’t make sense. Stop it.
- Dear tourists, remember this information. We have 3 lanes: one for pedestrians, one for bikes, and one for cars. Please, before you stop to take photos or drop your giant luggage on the road, spend one second to find out which lane you are in. Bikes are the main way of transportation here and we like to ride fast. So, if you don’t want to be run over at a high speed, please, check the road signs. © Andreas Rosendahl Hansen
- Many tourists drive on the wrong side of the road… and then complain that Australians drive on the wrong side of the road. No, actually you are the one who is wrong! You may have preconceived notions about Australians, but we are not all white. We are one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Black, white, red, or yellow, we are all Australian if we are from here. Don’t question us repeatedly on it, we know where we are from. It is deeply offensive. Implying our cities must be infested with insects, scorpions, snakes, and other wild, dangerous creatures because they saw it on TV. Our cities are completely safe. As modern as New York or London and much, much safer.
It is hard to make German angry when it comes to tourists. But there are 2 things that you shouldn’t do no matter what:
- Taking selfies at concentration camp memorials or memorials for the victims of that regime in general. Especially doing funny poses, victory signs or bad (or good, it doesn’t matter), and Hitler impersonations.
- Another thing that could lead to very real trouble for you is to open your Hitler imitation game and raise your right arm in a Nazi-esque manner. This is called “den Hitlergruß zeigen” and it is verboten. Forbidden. By law. We take this very seriously and you can get at least a fine for it, at worst a prison sentence.
- British people are the worst in the morning. Just tell yourself, don’t make any loud noises and avoid all eye contact. Nobody goes on the subway for fun. We stand in line a lot. Like a lot. If you think you’ve stood in line a lot in your life, you’ll think differently once you come to Britain. Our lines come in all shapes and sizes. If you see what you think might be a line, it’s probably safe to assume that it is. We’re in Britain after all. If you’re unsure, just ask. The only advice I can give you is that you shouldn’t say the word ‘Brexit’ in front of anyone in Britain. Just trust me. It won’t end well. Don’t do it.
- Speaking loudly and assuming no one can understand them in their native tongues. I get it, NZ is an English speaking country and sure, we have only moved from the supposedly Bi-cultural to the nowadays multi-cultural in bigger cities and towns. Most kiwis should only speak English, or Maori, right? Wrong. Kiwis are increasingly multi-lingual, if not from their dedicated learning of foreign languages or travels, at least from immigrants they picked up along the way in the 90s! Those kids and adults who moved here back then often dress and act like ordinary kiwis: hoodies, jandals, and whatever not. You can be from China and some random old white lady can understand your bashing of NZ shop opening hours, because she herself spent her teenage years there in the 60s. You can be from Germany and some goth Asian kid can understand you complaining about how there is no good bread here, because they went on exchange to Cologne at some point in high school. So please don’t air your personal dirty laundry in public, especially at a volume that everyone within a 10 meter in radius can hear.
- It seems so annoying and silly that foreigners come to India searching for peace and their inner self and end up with these funny and business-minded gurus who teach them to wear Indian ethnic clothing, and know nothing about meditation and yoga. Chanting anything in Sanskrit, getting Shiva tattoos, and wearing lots of Rudraksha Beads will not help you in any way to achieve nirvana. It will only help you to look cool in your Facebook selfies in your country. You will never find Indians who are seriously meditating or doing yoga in these silly Ashrams.
- They take photos of beggars and underprivileged children and then they go back home and show how poor Indians are. It is their personal life so don’t intervene with it. And we have better districts in other places around the country. The entire world is split into poor and wealthy.
- If you come to South Korea please do not leave your suitcase behind with your old belongings in it. Yes, lots of tourists do this, but I won’t mention which country. By Korean law these suitcases must be stored for at least a year by the police in case the owner decides to return otherwise it takes a huge amount of space until it can finally be discarded. Please remove your shoes before you enter your hotel room or if you visit a Korean person’s house. It’s not so much annoying as it is gross to think about the dirt and all the other foreign substances that can be on the streets outside. Just realize that you walk near bird, dog, or other animal feces nearly all the time. This applies to nearly all Asian countries because yes we have lots of animal-related outbreaks and some people still sleep on the floors.
- Some will insist on climbing over fences or other barriers to get into the restricted areas of archaeological sites for silly selfies. You are not allowed in there because we’re trying to preserve the site!! A few of the crazier ones have even tried to make off with artifacts or pieces of a site! I still can’t believe this, even though I’ve seen it.
- Some people take pictures of absolutely everything. Including random people. It’s really disconcerting when you’re just walking along and there’s somebody trying to get a nice photo with you in it, for some reason..
- Don’t put yourself at risk by trying to take cool selfies in dangerous places. In Norway, we don’t put fences around everything that is dangerous. You are not a child and you should know where you have to be careful.
- You are in a different country, so be aware that people behave differently. We may stand up closer to you when talking and we might be a little touchy (or not, depending on where you come from). Moreover, we do like to talk with a lot of people, and we do like to talk about personal stuff after a few minutes, which doesn’t mean we are interested in flirting with you or being your friend. You are in another country, try to be open-minded about other people’s culture.
- I lived in Manhattan for 4 years, and the thing that always bothered me the most about tourists is when we’re all walking on a busy sidewalk and they just STOP out of nowhere to take a picture or look at their phone or a map or something. It’s so sudden and you almost walk right into them. Like, the idea of maybe stepping to the side doesn’t even come to mind for them. They just stop dead in their tracks, right in the middle.
- If you are planning on doing any traveling soon I would politely ask that if you visit another country, at least make an effort to be polite and follow their customs. Please, don’t throw trash everywhere, and don’t break or damage anything.
Where are you from and what annoys you about the behavior of foreign tourists in your town?