Foreign Customs

Foreign CustomsBy Nigel Farthington III

If you are not familiar with the foreign customs in a country you’re planning to visit don’t worry. We’re here to help.

For American tourists who may not be experienced travelers, visiting a foreign country for the first time is usually exciting. However, the trip can also be fraught with the occasional and often embarrassing faux pas. In fact, in some countries a simple act of which Americans may be total heedless just might be illegal, land you in jail and facing a hefty fine … or worse. (What could be worse?)

Do you have a cold, sore throat or just a bit stuffed-up and you’re on your way to visit the Land of the Rising Sun? That pack of soothing, over-the-counter lozenges you bought before leaving home may get you hauled away when you reach Japan. Your sinuses might be clear but you might not clear foreign customs.

In fact, it is always a good idea to check the local rules and regulations concerning any and all medication you plan to carry along … prescription or not.

Have you long dreamed of taking your family to visit the birthplace of democracy? Spoiler alert; it’s not Philadelphia, PA. It’s Greece. Anyway … if you’re enjoying a stroll through the ruins of Athens or a day at the beach on one of the country’s more than 6,000 islands … and an elderly gentleman spits on your baby … what should you do?

  1. Take the next flight home and start a Greek goat cheese boycott.
  2. File an official civil rights complaint with the European Union Court of Justice.
  3. Thank the old gentleman and shake his hand.

The answer is; thank the old gentleman and invite him to share your bottle of Ouzo. After all, your new friend Zorba spit on you beautiful child to bring it good luck.

We have yet to discover what the Greeks do to bring babies bad luck. We’ll keep you posted.

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