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Old 07-22-2017, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,077 posts, read 19,019,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKM View Post
This isn't the 80's anymore. Unless you are going to a far flung isolated region, tourists are expected to not know the local customs and usually speak English. .
Ever been to a country that is primarily Muslim? Or the orthodox Jewish part of Brooklyn? They certainly DO expect tourists to know their 'customs,' and they should. I can give you several examples of the outcomes when tourists didn't follow those customs.

(Parts of isreal might be similar the the orthodox Jewish area of Brooklyn, but I've never been there.)
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:28 PM
 
337 posts, read 176,873 times
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I would just use forums like this and Tripadvisor to ask about cultural norms. I don't think anyone will have really a fun time traveling if you are really anxious about looking stupid. I'm at the point where I stopped caring if I look stupid as I'm not rude to people. I know many will disagree with me on this, but it's your trip too. Just be a decent, courteous person and have fun. You want to wear white sneakers with white socks and a fanny pack (yes I know what fanny means to a lot of people)? Do it.

I used to be like you and when I was younger, I would tell people I was Canadian. I felt like a fraud. Be yourself and you will be happier.
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:31 PM
 
337 posts, read 176,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Ever been to a country that is primarily Muslim? Or the orthodox Jewish part of Brooklyn? They certainly DO expect tourists to know their 'customs,' and they should. I can give you several examples of the outcomes when tourists didn't follow those customs.

(Parts of isreal might be similar the the orthodox Jewish area of Brooklyn, but I've never been there.)
Aside from maybe Jerusalem and the Vatican, I'm not sure if that many people really spend a significant amount of their travel time in areas with extremely religious people. Any basic guidebook would tell you that in certain areas to cover your shoulders and wear things covering your knees.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:40 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,231 posts, read 6,335,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
LOL. The only time I experienced rudeness when I didn't speak their language was when I was in Wales. Couldn't understand a damn word those people were saying, and they got peeved with me. Cut my trip short because of that,

The Scots were much nicer. When I had difficulty with their accent, they repeated themselves trying to match my American accent.

I've travelled internationally a lot to many countriestudents, and those are the only two places where I had significant trouble communI caring. My English mother would have been embarrassed.
I didn't understand them either. Had trouble with the Scots and some Northern England accents. It was awful.
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:08 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,947 posts, read 2,895,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Ever been to a country that is primarily Muslim? Or the orthodox Jewish part of Brooklyn? They certainly DO expect tourists to know their 'customs,' and they should. I can give you several examples of the outcomes when tourists didn't follow those customs.
Depends. There are moderate and secular Muslim countries where tourists who don't follow their customs have no problems. and others where it depends which area of the country.

For example, there are a gazillion women walking around in Kuala Lumpur with shorts and sleeveless shirts. Sure many of the locals wear hijabs (and many do not) but nobody is throwing rocks at the tourists women in shorts or tourists eating that street bacon you can buy in Chinatown. On the islands off Kota Kinabalu you see tourists in bikinis splashing around right next to locals with the those Muslim female swim body suit things. No worries.

Indonesia is another example. It's the most populous Muslim country in the world, but on Java (which is Muslim) female tourists walk around Yogya or Jakarta without conservative attire, it's easy to buy and drink beer in public places, etc. Different story in northern parts of Sumatra where there is a much more conservative Muslim culture.

Even the more moderate Middle Eastern countries like Jordan are very tolerant of tourists who don't follow local customs, even in the more conservative northern areas. I wouldn't want to be a woman walking around in Saudi Arabia with a halter top but in Jordan you probably won't get any drama even if they don't approve.

Albania is a Muslim country but you wouldn't even know it from looking around you. The only clue is a few mosques bleating prayers, which are ignored by almost all the locals sitting in cafes drinking beer and being unproductive all day.
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