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Rude people. Oh how we can count the ways you’re rude; picking your nose in public, farting, texting while walking / driving, belching loudly, slurping your food, putting your bare feet on tables, spitting on the street, not wearing enough deodorant, wearing too much deodorant … the list goes on.
Ok, so your mom never taught you table manners, and like an old dog that can’t learn any new tricks – you loudly slurp your soup / noodles at every meal. No problem, just take yourself on over to Japan, home of the Ramen bowl, where slurping your Ramen not only cools it while your eating, while maximizing its flavor – but if you don’t, deciding to eat it quietly – you actually may offend the head chef. So slurp away far away in Japan.
Do you enjoy a good spit on the street, or worse, a ‘farmer’s blow’? Well good for you, and book your next ticket to China please and thank you. In China it’s not frowned upon to spit and blow your mucous and saliva everywhere. Although, as of late, China’s been trying to curb this behavior as other countries have been complaining profusely about Chinese tourists and this absolutely disgusting habit. So book those tickets quick!
Asking Personal Questions
So… how’s your mom’s weight loss coming along? How about your ex’s new boyfriend – is he good in bed? Oh, and I heard you lost your job recently and are being kicked out of your apartment – is that true? Can you imagine some stranger asking you these and many more super personal and private questions? Well if you don’t mind answering them, or even enjoy asking them, then back to Japan we go where these questions are a normal part of every conversations. Just prepare to have a good answer as to why you’re not married yet, still overweight, or you smell like *insert foul odor here*.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when someone’s late. The person clearly doesn’t respect my time, and I have no time for people that can’t be on time. However in Argentina, if you’re on time, you might find yourself standing there all alone. In Argentina, time is seen as something more fluid, not a fixed point set in stone. So go ahead, book that trip to Argentina tardy people. Just, don’t be late for your plane.
Riding Shotgun In A Taxi
Unless you’re a party of 4, sitting in the front seat of a cab in New York both annoys, and freaks out your cabbie. But if you’re going to Australia or New Zealand – and you don’t sit up front (especially when traveling alone) – then you’ll totally be seen as rude.
I remember once I forgot to tip in New York and the waitress actually came outside after me, demanding an explanation. You’ll never experience this in Japan, however. In fact, if you don’t leave a tip there, the wait staff won’t even mutter a nasty word under their breath or roll their eyes at you. Why? Because tips are baked into the bill, and leaving any more money actually dishonors your waiter or waitress.
Now here’s an iffy one. I mean if you’re a supermodel with a super pair of you know whats, then few will consider you prancing around topless on the beach rude. But if you’re some old hag whose breasts are down to her knees – then yeah, gross! But in Austria, 49% of female sunbathers go topless. So if you go there, and you’re female, and you don’t take off your top – you’re essentially going to stand out for covering up.
Eating With Your Hands
Given how unhygienic India is, it doesn’t surprise me that eating with your bare hands is perfectly acceptable – even encouraged. Yes, it’s actually considered more polite to eat with your hands than with a fork or spoon. But, and here’s an odd caveat, you can only use your right hand, as your left is reserved for more unsanitary tasks – whatever those are. Sorry lefties.
Invading Personal Space
Despite what you’re used to, personal space varies greatly from country to country. Here in America (especially New York) it feels like anything under 10 yards is annoying. But in Brazil you can totally expect while riding public transit, or in an elevator for the person standing next to you to be standing, well, right next to you.