There is always a list of "dos" and "don'ts" when you're traveling. For example, in certain cultures, it's customary to take off one's shoes before entering a dwelling. Not doing so could be seen as highly disrespectful. It's important to be cognizant of these things to avoid embarrassing cultural mishaps. Now, if you're in my house, you better be taking your shoes off. Doesn't matter where you're from: Please take off your shoes. The outside world is gross.
After Redditor Skinnysaif asked the online community, "What should tourists NEVER do in your country?" people shared information that travelers should find quite useful.
"Just please stay safe..."
In South Africa when you go on a "safari" (we call it a game drive), you must never ever get out of your vehicle or get close to any big animals because that is why there are stories of people dying because animals here. Just please stay safe and obey the rules to save lives.
"Here in the U.S. ..."
Here in the U.S. in south Utah there are many amazing rock sculptures. Don't. Write. On. Them. They are rare structures formed by thousands of years of erosion, not something to carve your name into.
You don't have to tell me twice.
Do. Not. Touch. The. Snakes.
"It's okay to take pictures..."
Concentration camps are not a place for you get your stupid selfies for your "influencer" profile. Those tracks you're standing on transported many to their death.
It's okay to take pictures for pictures for memories that you came here. But those people who come here to take "sexy" selfies have no place being here.
"Yellowstone is not..."
Yellowstone is not a f***** amusement parks the wild animals are extremely dangerous and will kill you in an instant. Do not step into the hot springs they will melt your flesh completely off your bones and you will die an agonizing death.
"By all means..."
By all means, get off the beaten path and see the "good" and the "bad" if you want to. However, don't f****** go to a struggling neighbourhood to feel better about yourself or learn to appreciate what you have. Poverty is not entertainment.
"Photograph the memorial..."
As a New Yorker, please don't take selfies at the 9/11 memorial. Photograph the memorial, photograph the names, or in the event that one of the names means something to you I'm okay with you snapping a selfie. But the typical smiling-tourist selfies are crass.
"I don't know..."
Germany here, and this mostly goes out to Americans. You should never assume you can talk privately anywhere in public in Germany, just because you speak English.
I don't know if this is different in the US, but here, almost anyone can speak at least 2 languages, and very well. Pretty much anyone can speak english, even more so in the cities.
I usually try to join in to any conversation Americans have in the subway about how weird "those Germans" are!
"Don't speak to us..."
Don't speak to us in Spanish. You are not in Spain. Sincerely, Portugal.
"Attempts, such as these..."
Deigning to smile and greet us jovially in the street.
Attempts, such as these, to connect with us on an interpersonal level shall be met with a sharp look, the profuse muttering of the word "sorry" and possibly a flintlock pistol duel at dawn.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.
"Educate yourself a bit..."
Canada. Don't feed wildlife. Even a deer can kill a person and they do, Elk and Moose will end you, and bears are amoral cannibals that eat each other and tear faces off.
Educate yourself a bit before you go back country or anywhere with wildlife (which means outside of a city). I've seen Chinese tourists crowding around a goddamned bison to take pictures, I was waiting to see one get punted. Our animals aren't tame.
"Don't act like you've seen..."
Don't pretend that you suddenly don't understand how and when to leave a proper gratuity. It's in your guidebooks, ffs. The fast, friendly service isn't free.
Don't act like you've seen the US because you've been to New York. Our country is practically 50 countries; massively diverse from sea to shining sea.
Don't talk politics. We don't care about your opinion any more than you would ours about your home country.
Don't act like where you're from is better than where you're visiting.
"If you're a lone guy..."
I grew up in the south of Spain and witnessed a TON of disconcerting and embarrassing behaviour from tourists.
Guys and girls, please don't:
a) go to topless beaches and snap photos of the women there. We know EXACTLY why many of you do this, and you will incur the wrath of the women, their SOs, and their entire extended family in that same beach.
b) If you're a lone guy, do NOT approach girls and ask them to take a photograph for you. It's an older-than-dirt ploy by perv. Some places have learned to re-trust strangers, but even I was told to NEVER help strangers take pictures unless they had a wife/kids with them.
c) Please visit our north! The Galician and Basque regions are absolutely beautiful (and have very cool history, music, and art) and are sadly overlooked because they're not in the cheap and touristy hot-spots. Their food is also utterly amazing (and should you decide to drive up there, we have plenty of countryside restaurants that do rustic-as-hell food that will blow your mind (Like La Perdiz, which is situated in La Asturias. You know the kind of rural places where the farmers are crazy good at cheese and wine, and keep the best stuff for themselves? La Perdiz is exactly one of those places. Definitely try their manchego and their game dishes).
"They look cuddly..."
Do NOT try to pet a Koala. They look cuddly but they are actually vicious animals with very sharp claws that they'll try to slice you open with if you get too close. That and most of them have chlamydia which they can transmit to you by peeing on you.
"Go on poverty tours..."
Go on poverty tours through the townships. Lots of Americans and Europeans do it, and it makes us white folk in South Africa look even more removed and alien.
"The only exception..."
In Norway, never talk to strangers and don't sit next to them on public transport. The only exception is when you're lost, have no idea where to go and your phone's out of battery so you can't call anyone or check Google Maps. And don't pronounce norse words wrong.
"Don't go to a street food stall..."
Singapore. Don't go to a street food stall/hawker centre and question the seller if the eggs are free-range, if the chicken is organic, or the vegetables are pesticide-free. They don't know, don't really care, and probably don't even understand what you're asking about.
"Another shopper's superstition..."
A few things actually. There are all sorts of superstitions in Vietnam and all sorts of unwritten rules, that, if you do not obey, will get you in some hot water.
For one, I hear many stories about foreigners getting scammed in Vietnam, and then they go to their blogs and their Facebook accounts and rant about it. I am not defending any of my countrymen who have scammed tourists, but it has caused a lot of anxiety among tourists who do not want to be scammed. One thing you should not do in Vietnam is falsely accuse some shopkeepers of scamming you. If you are wrong, not only will it embarrass you, it will embarrass the shopkeeper. It's all about saving face.
Another shopper's superstition is that the first customer of the day in a shop must buy something or it will mean bad luck for the shopowners. This is why if you are shopping early in the morning, you will hear many cashiers say that you are the first customer and give you a good price. It's not just a marketing trick.
Hardly believe this needs to be said, but no skimpy clothes in pagodas and temples. Shorts and short shorts are not allowed. Most locals wear loose shirts and pants.
Hope this helped you and have fun in Vietnam (of course, once this pandemic is over)!
"Never use table syrup..."
Two things in Canada.
Wild animals are wild and dangerous. I've seen too many tourists try to get closer to a bear for a better photo. The bear usually has its hackles up and is not happy. If you get too close the bear will get an upset stomach after eating yours.
Never use table syrup if you have the option to use maple syrup. I don't even know why they sell table syrup here, probably for the American tourists.
Sometimes you just don't have any money and you have to make it work. I learned how to make the most out of bargains at the grocery store and know how to make food that is hearty and will last more than a day or two. Beans and rice are your friends, by the way. You'd be surprised by how many delicious meals you can make with just these two basic ingredients.
Being poor requires you to be creative.
Penny pinching is an art, as we were so deftly reminded after Redditor naranja_cheese asked the online community,
"What is the most penny pinching you've ever done?"
"I used to steal..."
"I used to steal half-used rolls of tp when I was a janitor. Lived off white rice and Worcestershire sauce for months. Got a job as a cook & always saved a few scraps while plating people's food so I would have something to eat without paying for a meal. Also worked at a butcher shop& would take home bones to roast and make a stew with. I can share hundreds of things like this."
"I worked part-time..."
"I worked part-time in school, but was pretty broke. I wasn't being paid until the following day, and I needed soy sauce for my extra super tasty stir fry. I literally had negative funds in my account. So I went to the grocery store, grabbed a sushi tray, threw a ton of packets of soy sauce in my pocket (they don't charge you for these), wandered a bit, pretended I changed my mind, and left."
"While at the grocery store..."
"While at the grocery store, putting back that pack of chicken breast that cost $2.98 for the other pack of chicken breast that cost $2.95."
"Things were insanely tight..."
"Used to make my own laundry detergent during a time when we had relocated and our prior home had not sold so we had rent on top of a mortgage for 18 months. Things were insanely tight in those days, to say the least."
I definitely know what this is like.
"I took some cedar boards..."
"I had no money for Christmas gifts. I only had enough to pay rent. I took some cedar boards in the backyard, cut them, burnt them a little black as I had no money to finish them. Then I passed them off as cutting boards."
"One Friday night..."
"One Friday night in college, my two buddies and I had a grand total of $3 to our names. I bought a box of Mac 'n Cheese, a can(!) of escargot, and three Lil' Debbie Star Crunches. We had a full meal with starch, protein, and dessert."
"I lived on pasta..."
"When I was at university my entire budget was less than £40 a week. I lived on pasta and stolen sauce packets from the Students Union. The cafeteria ladies would always take pity on me at closing time and give me free burgers."
"I lost my job..."
"I lost my job and lived in a $1400/month apartment where electricity (which included heat) and internet were ludicrously expensive. $400-450 a month in the winter because the building was an old mill with huge windows and no insulation. Fortunately, gas and water were free."
"I only turned on my lights when I had to, turned off the heat entirely, and heated my apartment by boiling a huge pot of water on the gas stove 24 hours a day and going to the business center to use the free DSL connection to apply for jobs. I ate rice with frozen vegetables and spices for three months."
"It sucked, but I got by."
Hopefully things are much better now.
"If I ate fast food..."
"If I ate fast food or takeout food, I would ask for extra sauce packets or garnishes that they give out for free. I would stock up on them, use them when I cook instead of buying the stuff from the store. For example, a $1 box of pasta, a clove of garlic, and 2-3 ramekins of parm cheese, half ramekin of chili flakes, and a pinch of Italian herbs I got from a pizza place makes a quick meal."
"My local mall..."
"My local mall used to do paid surveys, you'd watch a video or try some new soda or whatever and they'd give you a couple of dollars. Then I'd use that to buy a meal."
Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. It's not easy.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Now, this isn't going to be a long, "Let's all pile on how bad the internet is and only think about the good ol' days when the rocks were soft and we could only communicate using cans with string."
People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?
Many habits we used to possess were made completely irrelevant thanks to the internet. Not that we didn't enjoy doing them, we just started asking ourselves, "What's the point?"
Completely Devoid Of Technological Interference
"Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with."
No One Needs 24 Hours Of Nonsense
"News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew something serious went down."
You Mean We Actually Have To Go?
"It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You'd have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically if you were gonna bail you'd give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they're bailing last second since you're always reachable."
"RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a--hole and everyone knew it."
You can get almost anything on the internet. Almost. Still no sign of real working Lightsabers anywhere out there, but the internet has eliminated many of our purchasing practices.
Just In Time For The Holidays!
"The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys."
"Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn't need ~really~ easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready."
1 Good Song Out Of 15
"When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best."
"There was so much excitement to going to a cd store to buy an album that you only knew one song of or the band/artist name and just listening to that entire cd over and over again picking out which tracks were your favorite while still learning every lyric to all the songs on the album.
Building a cd collection was also fun."
Talk About The "Immediate Gratification" Generation, Huh?
"The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore."
Finally, there's these activities, to difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there. How do you get someone to understand that not having a supercomputer in your pocket at all hours of the day radically changed your life?
Keeping It In Front Of You
"I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds"
"It's so weird. I can only vaguely remember what it feels like to not have a smartphone and to be alone and think.
Wondering what my friends are doing and if they'd like to do something on the weekend. We'd have to talk during lunch break at school and plan it...
Trying to find the answer to a math problem... Having to figure it out by re-reading the problem and explanations 5 times."
There Used To Be A Time When You Couldn't Play Everything
"Not being overwhelmed by choice.
Don't get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could.
Now, its hard to give it more than 2 seconds before i try one of the 20,000 games i have access to.
New game plus used to be cool. Now, I'm happy if just beat the game"
Floundering. Just A Little.
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared sh-tless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.
I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.
I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed."
We can never go back. Not really, anyway. The only way is to keep going forward, be aware of the effect the internet has on us, and do our best to not let it take away the things that really matter in our lives.
Look, unless you enjoy cooking, no one likes spending time in the kitchen longer than they have to in order to whip up something mediocre to eat.
Ordering food or, for the time being, enjoying a socially distanced lunch at an establishment is convenient, but it can take a toll on your wallet.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are plenty of them that do not involve nuking a frozen entree.
"What's your go-to under 5 minute meal?"
These dinner selections are super sufficient.
A Loaded Course
"Two hotdogs and a side of judgement from my fiancé"
In Case You Didn't Know
"Quesadilla. super quick and easy to make and there's a ton of ingredients that you can add without much effort that will make it even better."
"Ramen and an egg, but not the traditional way."
- "Boil roughly half an inch of water (we want just enough water to boil the noodles, with very little water left over when it's done boiling)."
- "Smash up the ramen noodles, while still in the package (optional but cooks MUCH faster)."
- "Open the package and remove the seasoning."
- "Dump the noodles in."
- "While boiling, crack an egg and whisk in a small bowl."
- "Noodles should be done and almost all the water should be gone, if not strain out some.
- Remove from the heat."
- "Slowly pour in the egg while mixing very quickly, try not to let the egg touch the pan."
- "Mix as much of the seasoning packet as you like (I prefer 1/2 - 3/4 because I usually add a salty component at the end.)"
- "Add to bowl and top with some chives, thinly sliced, ripped up ham/salami and/or parsley. Leftover bacon or pancetta are fantastic crunchy components to dial up the texture."
"Easy, fast and checks so many of the 'munchie' boxes for me."
Don't Underestimate Soups
"Tomato soup and add tortellini. I like the spinach ones from Trader Joe's and Progreso creamy tomato with basil. It's bomb and it really makes a decent meal."
For people in a rush, these tasty snacks would suffice.
Goes Well With Veggies And Cheese
"Hummus is such an underrated food. It goes well with a lot of veggies and breads and chips or heck even cheese. All the time I hear hummus being listed as one of those weird, gross foods when its actually an amazing snack, or a meal if done correctly. It's not really unhealthy, either, especially if eaten with veggies (celery and carrots go great with hummus)."
Ready In Seconds
"All I do is get a paper towel, and put 5 Oreos on it."
"Then go back and get the whole package."
Peanut Butter Fantasies
"Peanut butter sandwich."
"If I'm feeling extra froggy I'll add nutella to the peanut butter and honey sandwich and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Goes down about as well as a popeye's biscuit though."
"It's like cheating the system. You eat sweets and call it healthy."
Start your day without all the hassle of a fancy breakfast.
Put It In A Bowl
"Oatmeal or cereal."
"Cereal is definitely underrated as a meal outside of the breakfast dynamic."
"A very simple recipe my grandma prepared for me when i was a kid."
"It's basically scrambled eggs...but before adding the egg she would cook sweetcorn (from a can) with a little bit of butter, add the eggs and then when the eggs were almost ready, add small cubes of cheese and cook for a minute or until the cheese start to melt (she was using fontal, but any swiss or white cheddar will do). Just a little black pepper and salt."
"Takes 5 minutes to do but it's absolutely delicious, fill you up, not so unhealthy and I feel my late grandma with me."
'I tried variations with chives or spring onions, paprika or other stuff. Still good but nothing as good as a simple "uova strapazzate con mais e formaggio.'"
I consider yogurt a healthy snack/lunch option.
I like having a bowl of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey.
It's packed with nutrients and gives me a nice boost of energy.
Yogurt also makes for a perfect chip dip. I sprinkle some onion soup mix and stir in the mixture. Who knew quick and easy food prep could be so delicious?
We all like to assume that a big old scar has an amazing, hardcore story behind it: maybe a valiant fight or some life threatening-escape.
But despite what Hollywood would have us think, that is so rarely the case.
Usually, some kind of bizarre accident leaves us with the biggest scar of our life. There's no action movie story behind it, just a careful mixture of foolishness and bad luck.
Clearly not put off by some gruesome anecdotes, Redditor fluffybear45 asked:
"People with scars, how did you get them?"
For many, it was the wild antics of childhood that left them slightly maimed. With many years now separating the Redditor from the event, these were pretty hilarious.
Out of Nowhere!
"I was playing on a swing and then my leg got stuck in barbed wire." -- Soviet_God-Emperor
"I feel like we missed a couple steps here, or your local park had some serious issues." -- Henfrid
"Yo that went from 0 to 100 real fast" -- IHaveButt
"2nd grade, defective slip-n-slide." -- AdmiralAkbar1
"I'm pretty sure the general design of the slip'n'slide was defective. Those stakes weren't covered originally, so you had to be straight down the middle of the slide or else....." -- Q-burt
"Could you refer to this incident in a gravely voice while staring into the middle distance, pausing only to shudder and sip your scotch?" -- CaptValentine
That's Why You Need an Axe Yard
"My dad hit me with an axe (bladed side) in the face. Stupid 10 yo me just had to look over his shoulder while he was hammering in herrings for our tent."
Others talked about freak accidents that came not from the stupidity of childhood, but the bad luck of mistakes made as an adult.
Bad Conditions for Practice
"Dad gave me a folding knife for Christmas"
"I read online that you could flick it open with one hand"
"So I practiced it, after my hands were greasy from eating a burger"
Take Your Pick
"Multiple long scars on my back are from falling onto a old soviet steel welcome mat ( i dont know how to describe it in english but its meant to wipe dirt of your shoes with triangle shaped steel beams."
"Medium sized one on my forearm is from a barbed wire fence, another one next to it is from a motorcycle accident and one on the base on my thumb is from a cars hood slipping and cutting me."
One Heck Of a Fall
" 'This one is from a skateboard, this one was a truck accident, and this one was a fire hydrant.' "
" 'Oh really? I bet each one has a very unique story.' "
" 'Not really, I skateboarded off of a truck into a fire hydrant.' "
Last, some people talked about the medical procedures that left them with the big gash. These stories had some ninth grade words and not nearly as much stupidity.
"A rare auto immune disorder called pyoderma gangrenosum twice... Don't google If you don't like gore... I had to have daily wound care and high doses of medical steroids"
"My intestines telescoped on themselves 8" scar on my belly." -- Anom8675309
"I never wanted to see the words 'intestines' and 'telescoped' together. Ouch." -- LadySygerrik
"I was born 2 months premature. I wasn't born with an esophagus so drs. cut my stomach open and used parts of my colon or intestines and created a new one for me. I have a huge scar on my neck and my stomach is one big scar. Also had a stomach feeding tube for quite a bit and heart surgery at 2 days old."
"I love science. I wouldn't have experienced life if it hadn't been for advances in medical science."
So if you've been sitting on an embarrassing backstory for one of your scars, feel free to share. You're hardly alone.