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People Who've Gotten In Trouble While Abroad Reveal What Happened

People Who've Gotten In Trouble While Abroad Reveal What Happened

Going abroad is not an automatic pass to misbehave.

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In fact, if anything, you need to keep an extra eye out. Customs and laws vary nation to nation, and if you're in violation, you can and will be held accountable. makes for a fun story.

Redditor Jasper-Collins asked:

Redditors who got in trouble in a foreign country, what happened?

Here are some of the stories.


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Rented a scooter in Cambodia, got pulled for having the headlight on before 6pm. I got taken in to a room and was told why I was there, they then asked for my international driving license (which you don't catually need for a scooter) I lied and told him I lost it in Australia.

He started shaking his head and telling me this wasn't good...first the headlight issue and now no license...

This is when he asked if I wanted to do things the easy way or hard way, i said easy and he gave me a little speech about lights in Cambodia and then proceeded to ask me how much I thought the info about light in Cambodia was worth.

I paid him 10 bucks and went on my way.


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When I landed in Nepal this German guy accused me of plotting to kill him while on the airplane. I was sitting a few rows behind him reading from a tablet. He told the police I had a laser pointer and insisted I was an assassin. He was hysterical. I was scared in this new country and was put in a room while the police searched my bags for a laser pointer. I had none. The guy turned out to be very mentally unstable and was sent away.

The airport police chief gave me his own phone number and told me to call him if I needed tourist recommendations.

All For A Hedgehog

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Imagine being a forienger in Tanzania in the dark kneeling in the dirt in a circle of armed police officers.

I was in Tanzania doing research on the Maasai language. I was working in the city of Arusha, and my first trip I didn't have time to do anything fun like go out to any parks to see wildlife. I was alone, so I'd just talk to everyone. One night, I was coming back from the bar that had reliable internet, when a young man struck up a conversation with me. We were walking down the road talking, when I saw a hedgehog run across the road. I ran after it to get a picture--the only wildlife I'd seen (except a monkey from the train) was a hedgehog in a ditch. It was the one time I'd forgotten my camera, and I was determined to get a picture of one before leaving. Confused, the young man caught up with me standing disappointed by a black plastic bag that had blown across the street. I told him that I just wanted to get a picture of a hedgehog. He told me to meet him the next night (they're nocturnal)--he'd find out where they are commonly seen.

I assumed he didn't mean it (though in Tanazania if someone says they'll call you, they call. If they say you should come meet my family sometime, you go meet their family (even if you were strangers before you sat down at the same coffee stall). The next night I was returning from the bar, and my new friend was waiting.

He took me a bit south of the city to an abandoned or rundown school. We squeezed through the gate, but then a dog chased us out. Did we give up? No. He led me down a dusty street. We peered through dusty grass in the light of my dim phone flashlight.

Suddenly we were illuminated in the blinding light of seven or eight armed police officers with powerful flashlights. In the dark I hadn't realized we were trespassing in people's yards. Wide-eyed I explained in my best Swahili that I was just trying to take a picture of a hedgehog. One guy with an intimidating rifle screamed at me. It took me a second to translate, "I just saw one!" as he ran down the road and dove under a car. He shook his head--it was gone. The police talked briefly too quickly for me to understand and then they were all fanning out with their flashlights. Some crawled on their hands and knees through the bushes and shrubs.

And damn if they didn't find one. Picture me on my knees in the dark in the dust surrounded by a semicircle of armed police officers. They used their feet to herd the hedgehog toward me so I could snap a picture. They realized their lights were scaring it, so they turned them off. My flash kept scaring it, so I never did get a good picture.

A Head-Scheme

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In the 1980s, my father and 2 of his friends decided they'd go on a road trip through some US states. This was the first time my father had gone on holiday to another country, so he was pretty excited. One night, they stop at a bar near the Utah/Nevada border, and get talking to this guy, as one does. The guy (an older gentleman who my father later assumed had served in Vietnam) invited my Dad and his friends to his house for moonshine. The trio took him up on the offer. My Dad and one of his friend's (who we'll call John) get in their car, while the other friend (Harry) got in the car with the guy, the pretense being they'd follow them to his house.

So, as they are following this dude, he crashes his car into the side of a bridge. My Dad said had the guy missed it the car, and Harry, would be at the bottom of a canyon, and probably dead. So, Harry leaps out, jumps in the other car and they speed of into the night, because they'd be stuffed if the police saw how drunk they all were.

They camped in the desert that night, and in the morning, while my father was eating his second hard-boiled egg (something that, due to this incident, my father still has trouble eating), a lot of police cars pull up, and place them all under arrest. So they all get shoved into a police car and taken to the local police station. They are then told that "a guy is coming down from Salt Lake City to interview you guys."

The 'guy' turns out to be FBI Special Agent Joseph 'Joe' Cwik (that was apparently his real name, my father still has his business card, which he recently found and showed me). Imagine what you think a FBI special agent looks like. My Dad said he looked exactly like you imagine a FBI man to look like, with the sunglasses and everything (I imagine him looking like Hudson from CoD: Black Ops). So naturally, my father and his friend's were pretty scared that an FBI special agent was going to be interviewing them separately.

Joe Cwik asked the standard questions, who are you, what are you doing here, where are you going, etc. He then left the room, and came back holding a pillowcase with something inside it. He showed the thing to me father.

That thing, my dad later realised, was a machine gun.

Joe asked my dad if he knew what this was. My dad said no, and agent Cwik explained that the person they had had drinks with the night before was known to have a lot of guns in his possession. And, as it turned out, was a bit unstable.

My dad suddenly realised, Oh my God, this dude was taking me and my friends to his house to kill us, and no one would know, and thought that he was being interviewed as an eyewitness or something.

No, he was being interviewed as a suspect. For, you see, this person also sold guns, and apparently had been under surveillance by the FBI. And my dad and his friends were heading west, towards California. Know what was happening in Los Angeles at the time?

The 1984 Summer Olympics.

The FBI saw these three, 20-something, fit, Northern Irish men talking to a man known to sell guns while heading towards LA, and assumed they were a Paramilitary hit squad, going to attack the LA Olympics.

My father and his friends, of course, denied everything. They had never been affiliated with any paramilitary organisation, especially ones that would have the need or resources to hit the Olympics. Afterwards, as they were all waiting outside the station, Joe Cwik came up to them, lit a cigarette, and pointed it to them individually.

"Harry, you can go. John, you can go. Andy (my father)... you need to stay."

My dad said he made a noise he could only describe as like a parrot being hit by a car.

"Just kidding," said FBI special agent Joe Cwik. And with that, they were free to go. They drove all the way to Las Vegas in utter silence. One of the worst days of his life.

To this day, my father is still anxious when going to the United States, as it probably says under his name, "Investigated by the FBI for links to terrorism."

I like to think he and his friends were the most talked about people in the Western intelligence community that day, as Joe Cwik probably called his HQ in Salt Lake City to see if they knew any of the names, who then asked the CIA, who then asked MI5/MI6, before coming back with, "We don't have these names on any of our files."

In Trouble With Whom?

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On our school trip to Germany, our teacher made us sign letters saying we wouldn't drink as we were all below 21 but above Germany's legal drinking age of 16. So of course, immediately when we got there my friends and I started sneaking off to bars after we were done sightseeing. We started off small: like one beer each at a bar very far from our hotel. We probably would've been fine if we stopped there, but we kept upping the ante. Eventually we ended up with bottles of absinthe and Jägermeister in our hotel, along with a bunch of kids we met from Texas who were even crazier than we were. Naturally we got caught and had to make the very awkward "Hey, I'm a terrible son" calls to our parents.

Looking back though it's a hard thing to regret.

Almost Prisoners

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I was travelling across Kazakhstan for work. One thing I failed to notice on my visa / landing card was that after x number of days in-country, I had to go check in with immigration. Whoops.

So when I went to leave the country, the passport control official noted that there was no appropriate stamp, pointed this out to me, and eyeballed me like his life depended on it. While I was being coldly stared at, I was shitting bricks, and I thought "oh, I'm going to spend a few nights in the cells before being fined and deported".

THANKFULLY he said "In future, when you visit our country, you must comply with the law" and let me go. I apologised profusely and got on my flight out.

I haven't been back, but certainly wouldn't rule it out. Just don't go during winter - Kazakhstan is pretty damned cold in November.

Unfounded Accusations

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I was visiting Montenegro a few years ago with my girlfriend (at the time) and another couple. We stayed in this awesome villa in the mountains, our own private pool/garden and not another soul for miles. It was bliss, and we had the best vacation I had ever had.

We were flying home from Dubrovnik in Croatia, however the journey was only a short taxi ride from Montenegro over the border. Our taxi driver wasn't an "official" licensed cab, but the brother in law of the guy we rented the villa from. It was slightly dodgy, but he offered to do the trip for about 50 Euros less than the other cab company so we agreed. We had met him a couple of times during our holiday and whilst he spoke virtually no English, he seemed fine.

The other couple were flying home from another airport, so it was just me and my girlfriend in his cab. It's about a 45 minute journey, basically in silence just looking at the breathtaking scenery out of the window. When he gets in the airport and we're taking our luggage out of the trunk, he indicates to me (in very broken English) that his wallet is missing. I was sat in the front seat next to him, so he obviously thought I had taken it from the dashboard or something. I explain to him that I hadn't stolen his wallet, had actually just paid him 20 Euros more than he asked for as a tip, and even helped him search his car for his wallet for a good 10 minutes.

Eventually I got tired and said "look, sorry you lost your wallet but we have a flight to catch. Good luck." As we walked off, he started getting angrier and angrier, and actually followed us into the airport terminal. He grabbed a Croatian police officer who was just standing around, and started talking to him in their local dialect, so we had no idea what they were saying.

The police officer pulls me into a room with my luggage and asks me to open my case. I do as he says, he takes a VERY quick peek and says "okay, you're free to go." I was like "Umm...there's about four other compartments you haven't looked in. I can unzip them if you want to look properly?" He just smiled and said "no, I know you're not a thief. That guy is an idiot, don't worry. Have a safe flight."

We thought that was the end of the matter, so we check in and we're waiting in the departure gate. The same police officer comes over to us and says "Sorry, I wanted to let you go...but the guy has made an official complaint so I need to bring you in. Sorry, it's gone above my head now."

Now, I'm slightly panicking because I don't know if this is some sort of scam and we're going to be asked for some ludicrous amount of money to make this problem "go away". After what felt like an eternity (probably about an hour, in real time), he brings me and my girlfriend in to see his boss.

My preconceptions about being scammed were totally unfounded. They couldn't have been nicer. They spoke good English and handled the whole thing very professionally. They did a more thorough search of our bags, cracked a couple of jokes and then escorted us to our flight home which we made with about 4 minutes to spare.

With the ordeal finally over, just as we were stepping onto the plane, the original police officer called my name with a serious sounding tone. I turned around thinking "Christ, what now???" and he just looked at me and said: "You have Facebook?"

He never added me as a friend, sadly, but I'll forever be grateful that we didn't get thrown into a Croatian prison for no reason at all.

How Did They Know

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Back in 2010, when I was 18, me and 4 of my friends went on our first all-inclusive vacation to Cancun.

We stayed at Oasis Cancun, which at the time was one of the known spring break/party hotels.

We met a local dude who we befriended hooked up an ounce of pot for a ridiculously good price.

After about 30 minutes, there's a knock on the door. We open it and 3 of the hotel's security guards barge in. The first thing they see is all of that pot sitting on the table in plain sight.

I was nearly s****ing my pants. One of my friends told them we got it from a taxi driver and he said it was legal in Mexico - quick thinking.

The security guards took half the weed and left. That was the end of it.

We're honestly extremely lucky. They didn't extort us (besides taking like 40$ worth of pot), or call the cops.

Some other friends who were there at the same time also got caught smoking pot in their room and each had to give the security guard 200$ for him to let them off, so we are very very lucky.


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Not me but someone we were travelling with. Our school based in Australia had a high school trip across Europe as part of a history/art tour. The jock of the group bought his father some unique gifts, one of which included a replica flintlock pistol. We all told him that this idea was completely and utterly stupid, but gosh damn he wanted it and buying it for his fathers birthday was his perfect excuse.

He seemed to get away with it through the airport and eventually we boarded our plane back to Australia (departing from Rome) Eventually we are waiting for an extended period of time after some announcements I didn't pay attention to, and I look out the window as I see a few members of the police, a customs representative, a baggage handler and the guy from our group. They literally unpacked his bag on the apron just because of his stupid cemented pistol. To this day I don't know how it came to be confiscated at the last possible second, but I'll never forget him standing there looking like an idiot in front of a whole 747 of delayed passengers.

A Shtetl Iz A Heidelberg

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Visiting Heidelberg Germany taking the bus into town after getting off the plane with a few friends. Inside was my passport, laptop, charger, wallet and several other valuables which I so conveniently and dull headed of me decided to take off my back as it was sore. I lay it infront of my seat on a small platform, and when the time came for me to get off, yes, I hopped right off with my bag still on that bus. It must have been an hour after I arrived at our hotel and unpacked when I realized shit. I don't have my bag with me.

Lucky for me my friends relatives live in Heidelberg and managed to call up the public transport company in hopes of getting my valuables back. At this point I was wondering how I was to possibly find a Korean embassy to make a new passport let alone replacing the rest of the things I had lost. But around 2 hours later the driver let me know the bag was there and that he would drop it off to be collected if I waited by the same stop, which is how I managed to get everything back. How lucky I was that someone didn't happen to just take it, or perhaps it speaks of how nice people there are.

Getting By, Thanks Google

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Two weeks into a seven month backpacking trip around South America, my girlfriend got a severe ear infection when we were in Puerto Madryn in Argentina. The pain was so bad she could barely stand and said it felt like her head was about to explode.

Obviously I knew I needed to get a doctor involved ASAP in case her eardrum ruptured, but I'd only been learning Spanish for two weeks at this point. I could about handle formal greetings, but hadn't yet covered medical emergencies.

I sprinted from clinic to clinic, and using the Google Translate app eventually was able to find one that would take her in. After basically carrying here there, the doctor and I basically communicated using Google Translate, passing my phone back and forward as he asked questions and I answered them. It was weird at first but it worked well, the doctor was pretty cool about it (especially considering he was about to leave for the day when we rocked up).

He gave her a STRONG painkiller and a prescription for antibiotics and sent us on our way. My girlfriend was high as a kite and went straight to sleep. I went into the kitchen and drank a bottle of wine.


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I was a research assistant in an ecology lab when I was 20. My lab group was flying from Seattle to our research site in the remote Canadian arctic, with a stop in Edmonton to change planes. I'd driven across the Canadian border multiple times and just used my drivers license as id. It never incurred to me that I'd need a passport when flying in. The immigration agent gave me this incredulous look and I could feel the shame rising to smother me. He just stared me down for several seconds, then hands my drivers license back and says "You do realize Canada is an independent country, right?" and let me continue. He seemed so defeated by my thoughtless American arrogance.

On the way home,a grad student volunteered at American customs inspection that she'd collected samples of an arctic poppy species that wasn't on her import permit. Like they would ever have known otherwise. She had to leave her samples behind.

The 90s were a more innocent time.

It's All About The Cash

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Not me but I was traveling through Mexico with some guys last week and one of them got pulled over for not having his seatbelt on. The officer that pulled him over wanted him to go down to the station (idk what he called it but that's basically what it was) and pay the fine. But we were already on a time crunch so he just paid the officer $40 in cash and he was let go.

Underage Thinking

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I was 18 visiting Spain from the US. I was with my Spanish friend who was only 17. I wanted to drink alcohol because it was legal for me but not for my friend. I bought us some bottles of beer and we started drinking them out on the street when suddenly the police showed up. They got in our faces but i couldn't really understand what was going on so my friend had to translate.

They said something to the extent that i could be arrested or deported but instead of translating directly, my friend was telling me what was actually going to happen which was that they were going to make us pour them out and maybe write me a ticket that I'd never have to pay. So I'm just nodding dismissing everything and the police started yelling at him. So he turns to me and said, "they want me to make sure you know this is really serious and you can go to jail"

I still wasn't getting it so my friend then adds, "so look scared." I then made this face like i was afraid I'd get in trouble and started acting really apologetic. The police got this satisfied look and kinda stared me down as i poured out our beers. They then finally left us alone.

Side note: my Spanish friend first said to them in English, "I'm American" and for whatever reason tried to do it with a pitiful sounding southern accent (hilarious to me). And it actually might have worked since he had a US drivers license, but when the cops searched his wallet they found his actual Spanish ID card so the jig was up. They said they were sending him a citation in the mail. I guess that was the most stressful part since his parents would have been pretty pissed. Luckily the cops apparently never followed through with it!

Issues At The Gate

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I went once to Russia from Nice(France) by train with my then girlfriend. Obviously, there were frontier controls at Belarus, so we showed our passports with our transit visas (funny enough, we didn't need visas for Russia, but we did need them for Belarus). As none of the guards spoke any language other than Russian, they just gestured that everything was ok, and that was that.

We spent 2 weeks and a half in Moscow and St. Petersburg, using AirBnB. It was pretty good and I genuinely enjoyed the trip.

Then, when we were going back to France (by train again), we stopped again at belarus for exit control, and it was like 2am. We were in a 4 people cabin, and with us was a russian lady and her daughter, she was very kind and we sorta chatted a bit (and then we realized that she had an awful experience with our country, won't give many details here). The thing is, when the guards saw our passports, asked for something in russian again. The lady translated our "check-in documents" or something like that. It turns out that, when you're a foreigner in Russia, you have this sheet of paper that you should give to your hotel to be filled and then hand it back when exiting the country. Nobody told us that, and we were puzzled. The guard say "We're going to take your passports. I am going to talk with my superior".

Then, we spent a tense hour. The lady called her husband, who, as it turned out, worked with some russian ministry and had something to do with migrations. She then grimly explained that the guards could detain us and send us back to Moscow in the middle of the night for not having the required documents. In that moment, we were livid, we had a flight to catch in France in 4 days or so (and the trip by train takes 2 days), we didn't have much money for a last minute flight and the prospect of being detained in Belarus wasn't a pretty one (later I discovered that Belarus is called "the last european dictatorship", so, there's that). I was already worried, my ex was very chill until I kinda explained the situation for her, and then she started to worry as well.

The guard came finally and handled our passports back. The lady asked "What happened? Is everything ok?" and the guy said "Well, my supervisor and I had a great day today, we're in a cheerful mood, so, we won't bother you. You're free to exit the country, have a nice night". We were relieved...

Months later, I found a colleague from Belarus who explained to me "well, next time you slip a 20 Euros note in your passports, and problem solved". The more you know.

Drive Better

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So I was in the US on Holiday, visiting my girlfriend at the time. I was using her parent's car when I got pulled over by the police as I drifted out of my lane as it was the first time I had driven on the other side of the road.

So in Australia, your car registration is all electronic and tied to the number plate, so it can be checked by the police on their computer and insurance isn't required so of course no need for an insurance certificate or proof of it.

Cops walks upto the window, asked me why did they think I was pulled over and for licence, registration and insurance and I freeze, then quickly said to him "Let me just have a look" and without thinking about the fact he might be worried about guns because 'murica, I whack open the centre be greeted by my girlfriend's mum's handgun which she had neglected to tell me about.

Well this is where sh-t went downhill, I instantly hear the sound of the policeman's getting whipped out and him yelling at me to put my hands up, of course I comply because holy f-ck what else do I do.

He calls for someone else and orders me out of the car, handcuffs me and sits me down on the curb while we wait for them to arrive. As I'm sitting there he asks me where my wallet is and grabs it from me, grabs my license only to notice that it's an Australian license and suddenly changes his tone.

Anyway while we are waiting for the other cop to arrive, he asks me about why I'm visiting, what am I doing driving alone etc etc then asks for the vehicle owners phone number and such to call them.

Thankfully after a 15 minute call with my girlfriend's mum they straightened out things with the fact that there was a gun they had forgot to mention to me and just told me to pay a bit more attention while driving in the US so that I don't drift outside of the lane.

Counterfeit Lesson

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When I was in Germany I got the Police called on me for using fake Euro Notes that I had on my person. I had gotten them as change in a local store. After a brief exchange with several language difficulties before someone offered to translate and they just took the fake notes of me. After writing a statement and them taking my thumbprint.


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I was in Russia, in one of their two main cities, doing my studies. I was a college age male, and American. One day, I'm walking around without my documents, but its like, late September and the police like to hang around the subway stations stopping young adult males and making sure they're not avoiding conscription. So I get stopped, and I speak a bit of Russian because I had been studying it for almost two years at that point, but that was my second mistake of the day! Despite my heavy american accent, the lack of passport plus my penis, age, and fact I knew Russian got me a trip downtown to the local military recruiter's office. I assume I'm about to be conscripted into the military in mere moments, so I pay the guy a bribe and make a phone call to my flatmate and beg him to bring my passport down to the station. He shows up, they see my visa, I get released. That was fun...

Street Fighter

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A friend and I were visiting Krakow about a decade ago. We checked into our hostel (which was really nice) just around dinner time. The host at the hostel, Norbert gave us some food recommendations and a map that wasn't the best (had probably been photo copied hundreds of times), but we figured we could manage. We go and have a great meal/pint and decide to head back to the hostel to rest up for the next day.

By this time, it was dark out and the streets were not very well lit, making the shoddy map even more difficult to read. I noticed what I think was a lit bus map not far down the street and suggested we check that out and at the very least use the light to read the one we had. So, we go over to it, at this point obviously lost tourists when two guys approached us. They were speaking what I'm assuming was Polish. I was pointing at the map and saying the name of the hostel in hopes they would be able to help us when all of a sudden one of the guys tackled my friend and a street brawl ensued. It didn't seem like they wanted anything other than a scrap, but it was still scary looking back. When the fight was over neither my friend or I (or them I think) were seriously injured. I had a split eyebrow and my friend had a small chip in his tooth.

When we got to our feet, we just looked at each other like did that just happen? Some other local (I'm assuming) people came over and were able to speak a bit of English and asked if we were ok and I tried to explained the situation. They apologized and walked us to our hostel and said we'd be better off not contacting the police. We thanked them and parted ways.

People Confess Which Things They've Always Done They Didn't Realize Were Gross

Reddit user one-droplet asked: 'What have you always done, but later found out was gross?'

There's this amazing quote by Maya Angelou that we can all put into practice: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."

This can be applied to anything in life, from learning more about a subject that we're passionate about, to practicing better time management skills, to being a better friend.

But there are some things that we may not even realize we need to do better... until we suddenly know better.

Cringing in anticipation, Redditor one-droplet asked:

"What have you always done, but later found out was gross?"

The Best Ice

"When I was like five or six years old I would love going to the grocery store with my mom because the vegetable and fruit and meat tables always had the best ice to chew on..."

- campio_s_a

"I work in a restaurant, and I try to grab a cup to get the ice before they use it for raw oysters and shrimp cocktails. It really is the best ice."

- AustinRiversDaGod

Toilet Paper Use

"As an Asian, I was always taught growing up to throw used toilet paper in the trash bin. It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Italy and the chaperone mentioned to everyone, 'The plumbing system here isn't as good as the USA so you guys are just gonna have to throw it in the trash bin,' and everyone went, 'Ew.'"

"That's when I learned that it was gross to throw toilet paper in the trash bin since the issue was you're basically having shit bits sitting around in a bin."

- stigma_numgus

Toothbrush Bristles

"All my life, I wiped my toothbrush on the hand towel to dry it up until my sister asked what the f**k I was doing."

- Sark_Doul

"My sister used to scrub the bristles on the faucet where the water came out when she was done brushing her teeth. I guess to dry it off. I still cringe thinking about it."

- Suspicious-Craft4980

That's Not Clay

"As a child, I would dig up bits of clay from the local sandbox. It wasn’t as good as Play-Doh, so I would cast it aside and continue digging."

"Maybe I didn’t have a very good sense of smell at that age, because I was well into adulthood before I realized it was probably cat s**t."

- Blue_Moon_Rabbit

Dirty Showers

"I showered in a dirty tub. Once I discovered how gross it really was, my hoarder mother didn’t like it when I cleaned the bathroom, so I just lived with it til I was able to get a place."

- TrustIsOverrated

"My hoarder mom was like this."

- Best_Eggplant_9259

"When I tried to wash the nicotine off the walls in my bedroom, my hoarder parents were not happy."

- obviouslyanni

Fresh Towels

"I waited until a towel smelled weird to swap it out."

- DrippyFlames

"Look, the towel forgets everything before the next shower."

- gljivicad

Self-Service Assorted Candies

"I used to really like those self-service lollies/candy buckets with the scoops. They were in most big box stores in Australia, like Kmart, Target, Big W. So much fun mixing and matching."

"But then one day I started working at Target. Every single day I caught old people and kids with their hands directly inside grabbing them out and munching down all slobbery-like. That turned me off forever."

"Though not too long after they started disappearing from businesses so obviously someone got the unsanitary message."

- blahblahrasputan

Not Flushable

"I flushed my tampons my whole life until I was about 30. No one had taught me they weren’t flushable. I stupidly thought they were like toilet paper."

"One expensive and embarrassing plumbing problem later, I never did it again."

- Ew_fine

Dental Habits

"Not brushing my teeth when I wake up. I would only brush my teeth after breakfast, and I would rarely eat breakfast."

"So most days I would only brush my teeth at night. I figured, 'Well, I brushed last night and haven’t eaten anything since, so why should I brush again?'"

" Then I learned about all the bacteria that feed on the tiny bits of food left in your teeth and they literally expel gas and feces in your mouth as they consume it. And this is what causes awful morning breath."

"So I have this mental image of bacteria poop and farts coating my mouth and have brushed every morning since regardless of eating breakfast or not."

- scatteredwardrobe

"Brush at night to keep your teeth, and brush in the morning to keep your friends."

- coykoi314

Not Just Yellow Snow

"Eating snow. Just take the same handful of snow you might see a kid stuff in their mouth and let it melt in a glass. Bet you wouldn’t willingly drink it!"

- Affectionate_Cloud86

Don't Visit Everyone's House

"I sit on my couch butt naked when I’m alone watching TV at night. I mean I’m relatively clean but I feel sorry for anyone else that sits there."

- Rich-Abbreviations25

Letting the Hair Fall Where It May

"I'm suffering from hair loss at the moment (51 Female) and I'm often absent-mindedly raking a hand through my long hair, glancing at what comes out and then dropping the strands on the floor."

"Just read on another sub that that's pretty disgusting to other people. In my defense, I work exclusively from home in my own small office and would never do it in public, but even so, maybe my husband thinks I'm gross."

- RadioDorothy

Shoes Indoors

"Wearing shoes inside. My family was not a shoes off family and they always wore outside shoes inside."

"I remember a few friends' homes were strict shoes-off homes, but I thought that was the minority."

"I was about 27 years old before I realized it was disgusting and people were definitely judging my etiquette."

- MyDogAteYourPancakes


"Double-dipping snacks. Pretty logical but only found out recently that’s very bad etiquette."

- AggravatingDriver559

"Double-dipping is only acceptable if you’re not sharing the dip with anyone."

- froderenfelemus

Fair Lessons

"Some things I've learned:"

"Wash my bedsheets every week, including bed, pillows, and covers."

"Only use the same bath towel twice before washing it."

"Use a new toothbrush head every month."

"Always wash my hands coming back from a store or public transit."

"And NEVER EVER go into a resort pool with a swim-in bar."

- freddg_mtl

This conversation was so cringe-worthy and left us wanting a shower in the worst way.

At least for most of these Redditors, now that they knew these are gross habits, they've chosen to do something better.

Bags of movie theater popcorn
Corina Rainer/Unsplash

Sources provided by health experts informed us to eat fruits and vegetables in order to nourish our bodies with energy, and to drink milk to ensure we grew up with strong bones and muscles.

However, nowadays, consumers are confused.

There seems to be conflicting information every day regarding the benefits, or harm, of eating the foods we were always told were detrimental to our health.

Curious to hear from strangers online about our misconceptions regarding the foods we eat, Redditor Meerkate asked:

"What are some foods that aren't as unhealthy as people make them out to be?"

People discuss everyone's favorite movie snack.

Pass The Popcorn

"Popcorn. For how good it tastes, it has almost nothing bad in it."

"You add the salt and butter of course, and those arent great, but you're not getting a super high amount of those."

– mithridateseupator

"Adding in decent quality butter (not margarine) and a few shakes of regular salt is not unhealthy at all. The problem is with the sh*t that movie theatres put in popcorn."

– puffy_capacitor

Careful With The Seasoning

"My body started rejecting movie theater popcorn butter when I was about 25. That stuff will make you sh*t your pants and miss the end of the movie. Just salt for me thanks. Real melted butter at home or at Alamo Drafthouse."

– jesusbatman

Healthy Suggestion

"I love popcorn."

"You probably buy the kernels too but for those who don't, it's significantly cheaper and healthier to buy just a big container of popcorn kernels."

"Pop them on the stove top with a small amount of oil and sprinkle some finely ground salt (that's what movie theaters use for that magic flavor) and you're golden."

"It's super easy. I don't even add butter."

"You can also pop kernels in the microwave in a paper bag or in a bowl without buying the pre-bagged stuff. You'll never go back to those once you've popped your own kernels."

"An air popper works too of course, though that will definitely require butter."

– VralShi

Redditors talk about the health benefits of eating certain kinds of fat.

Not So Fat

"Fat in general (not the trans ones tho)"

– LenkaSky

"The low fat craze of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s has A LOT to answer for. My mom is still ridiculous about it. Yeah, moderation is good, but you can add some butter to your food so it’s edible and still live a long life."

– burgher89

Fat Is Your Friend

"Fat is a great source of sustained energy that doesn’t boost your blood glucose like other options."

– honorificabilidude

"You really, really need fat in your diet for proper hormone regulation and other important body processes!"

– aledaml

Go easy on the carbs.

Hey Spud

"Potatoes got several countries through famine! Probably alot of people associate them with fatty fries or crisps."

– Meerkate

Get Starchy

"Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew"

– DokiDoodleLoki

"Exactly this. High satiation and low cost. You can wash out a lot of the starch if you're worried about it."

– The_Quicktrigger

Let's discuss fruity.

Nature's Candy

"I’m so tired of hearing people talk about 'all the natural sugar in fruit.'”

"I guarantee you this banana is healthier than potato chips and cookies."

– Sharyn913

"My mom has done basically ever fad diet ever, but one thing I do like about the 'new' Weight Watchers is that fruits, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken breast are zero points. I think the logic behind it is that there is no f'king way you're going to eat enough carrot sticks and apples to make yourself gain weight, so they're trying to encourage people to default to that stuff when they're hungry even if they're out of points rather than just starving until they give up and eat a bunch of unhealthy foods. Weight Watchers doesn't really work long term, but that detail is nice."

– standbyyourmantis

Saving Grace

"I think its the fiber in fruit that makes it not as bad. Also, it has nutrition to make up for it unlike the cookie that's just all refined flour and sugar."

– Tangerine_memez

Calorie Count

"There are scientific studies suggesting that not all the calories in nuts are bioavailable, so you might only get 75% of the calories! There are also studies showing they contribute to weight loss even despite being high in calories."

– kazzah31

When I was told butter is actually a better alternative to margarine–which is known to contain trans fat–I started cooking more with butter.

I believe we can eat anything in moderation, so as much as I love smearing pads of butter on my English muffin, I take it easy.

When it comes to baking with it and putting it on toast, nothing beats the flavor of my favorite dairy fat.

It goes without saying, that when we pay a visit to a hospital, either as a guest or as a patient, we only see a very small portion of all the working parts of a hospital.

While countless doctors, nurses and orderlies will be seen roaming the halls, their hands more than full, there are also lab technicians and administrators who are every bit as busy, just not as visible.

Knowing this does rather make one wonder what goes on in a hospital that we don't see, or don't realize.

Or, for that matter, what we patients are actually entitled to, that they may not realize.

A question possibly best left unanswered.

Even so, Redditor SingLikeTinaTurner was eager to find out, leading them to ask:

"Hospital workers of Reddit, what happens there that's hidden but that we should know about?"

If You Know, You Know...

"Not really hidden and kinda minor but I’ll say it anyways."

"I deliver food to patients and it’s not hard to tell when someone is on their way out."

"Could be simply not being hungry, or could be the inability to eat."

"Had one patient who hadn’t eaten anything off their tray for 3 days straight."

"The last time I delivered to them, they smiled and gave me a wink."

"Next day, they were gone."

"It’s rough seeing these things happen in real-time."

"I’m a grown @ss man who doesn’t cry often, but it always leaves me feeling extra empty picking up the untouched trays and replacing them with another tray that I know will stay untouched as well."- jgss2018

Hidden In Plain Sight

"Sometimes when people die we just put an oxygen mask on them and wheel them through the corridors."

"Less distressing for other patients and visitors to think they are asleep rather than see a body with a sheet over it."- dont-believe-me-·

Know Your Rights

"You, as a patient, have every right to refuse any test or treatment or even leave."

"At any time."

"For any reason."

"Unless a harm to self or others- that's different, at least in the US."

"Added bonus you should know: leaving against medical advice DOES NOT mean insurance will not pay for the care you've received."

"Your insurance will still be billed the same as anyone else who stayed the whole time till discharge."

"But if you leave with an IV in your arm we will call the police to find you and bring you back to remove it, because of drug abuse."- Suitable_Sorbet_8718

Peeking Not Recommended

"The hospital I work at has these big square covers."

"When I first started, I would see transport staff pushing these things around the halls."

"I thought they were food trays, or large boxes of hospital equipment."

"Turns out it’s a structured bed cover, so when they are transporting a deceased patient to the morgue, it doesn’t look like a person under a sheet."- rajortoa9

The Flashing Lights Only Get You So Far

"An ambulance ride is not a one way ticket to the front of the line."

"You still get triaged and could be rolled right to the waiting room if you’re non-emergent."- dozerdude1995

emergency ambulance GIFGiphy

Whatever Gets Them In The Zone...

"Surgeon here."

"We listen to music in the OR."

"Most people seem surprised when they hear that."- johnnyscans

Hide And Seek...

"I got a fast bleep (ie. drop everything you’re doing and attend this emergency please) one night to a side room on the ward to find no patient in the bed."

"Was just about to leave the room and go back out to the nurses station, where there had been a bit of a hubbub when I’d dashed past the first time, when something caught my eye."

"Looked up to see a face with wide, slightly wild 'psych eyes' peering down at me from a gap in the ceiling tiles."

"She was a lady waiting for a bed in the psych hospital who’d clearly thought the ceiling was the best place to hide from the people trying to poison her."

"Honestly can’t think of another occasion that I’ve been quite so terrified."

"Worst thing was that I had to walk (well, dash) back out underneath her to get help from the nurses and security to get her down."- Leas-Pe·

Speaking In Code...

"If you register in the ER and tell the triage nurse that your problem is 'personal' we know you’re here because of something genital or anal related."

"A lot of we healthcare workers have seen a lot."

"If you’re not truthful at triage, your care might be less prompt when it’s a true medical emergency."

"It is possible to die of embarrassment."- DocWednesday

Hide Reaction GIF by florGiphy

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Them

"If you come into the ER drunk there is guaranteed a pool of bets on your blood alcohol level, possibly with odds if there's a pharmacist available to do the math for us."- K-Tanz

Ensuring They're Surrounded By Love

"In the ICU you spend a lot of time keeping corpses alive until their family comes around or their body gives out."

“'Oh Jesus ain’t ready for her yet!'”

"Yes, Jesus is ready for her; we’re just actively delaying it."- gamerdudeNYC

Maybe Not Just At Hosptials... Just A Thought...

"Not hidden, per se, but for the love of all that is holy, if you insist on bringing your kid into the hospital, do NOT let them crawl or play on the floor."

"The amount of literal blood, urine, poop, and vomit that has been on it and hastily (not thoroughly) cleaned up is, well, a lot."

"The hospital, especially the floors, is NOT a clean environment."

"Added to that, think of all the rooms nurses, doctors, housekeeping staff, etc. have walked into."

"Rooms that have COVID or Norovirus or group A Strep."

"We walked into those rooms and those same shoes walked into other rooms."

"Tl;dr hospital floors are disgusting as f*ck."- duckface08

Baby Crawls Face First Across The Floor GIF by ViralHogGiphy

Not An Exact Science...

"Hospital lab worker here."

"Not particularly scandalous, but most people don't realiZe their lab tests are just very accurate guesses, and have an error range."

"When we say your 'X' is 10g/L, we might actually mean it's 10g/L ± 10-20%."

"I see too many people get extremely worked up about small fluctuations in blood test values that aren't actually in excess of the reference change value, and so technically aren't genuinely different from a previous value."- Hayred

A Decision No One Wants To Make...

"You are doing your 90 year old grandmother a great disservice by making her a full code, she will not survive CPR and her death will be significantly more traumatic because of it."- singlenutwonder


"I help patients to the bathroom nonstop all day."

"The amount of patients that just leave the bathroom without washing their hands is disgusting."

"If I didn’t hear the sink or soap dispenser your a** is getting led right to an alcohol hand station."- Madamiamadam

Wash Hands Water GIF by Jared D. WeissGiphy

More goes on in a hospital than we're ever likely to know.

If you check out from a hospital healthier than you were when you checked in, that's probably all you need to know.

Even if it's understandable to ask what song the doctor was listening to when you were open on the operating table.

red throw pillow on white couch
Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.

At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.

During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.

Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.

I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:

"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"

​Preparing For Sights

"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."

– hoffarmy

"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."

– sewahyelah

Show Me The Truth

"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."

– Fatguy73

Temperature Check

"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."

"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."

– Sp4ceh0rse

"I do this in every hotel."

– jubilee__

Sweet Relief

"Set bags down."

"Look at room for cleanliness."

"Take a dump."

– PuzzledCitron8728

"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."

"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."

"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."

– coreylahe

"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."

– scarfknitter

Disney Magic

"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."

– TyWiggly

"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."

– weisblattsnut

Always Check

"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."

– triceraquake

"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."

– Chatterbxer


"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."

– Gubble_Buppie

"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."

– oppernaR

"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."

– Vacation_Kinkycouple

The Things We Find

"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"

– Deathbot-420

"We found an axe under the bed once."

– Punkstarbabe


"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."

– whatever32657

"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."

– DuchessofSquee

"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."

– ModestMeeshka

It's A Process

"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."

– dontknowafunnyname2

"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."

– Pheobe0228

Check For Monsters...People Monsters

"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"

– HeadInTheClouds916

"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"

– pdxmikaela

Today I Learned

"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."

"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."

– slappymasterson

"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."

– CatsInTrenchCoat

And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.