All you globetrotters out there will know
that traveling can be a bit of a minefield in terms of knowing what to do or how to act
in certain situations. Customs and cultures vary widely, and so what
is polite in one country might be darned rude in another. If we look at the United States, it’s a
fairy laid back culture, and it would be unusual to get things too wrong. But it’s not that laid back, as many Europeans
might have learned when they didn’t leave a tip at any of the places they ate or drank
at. You can virtually embarrass yourself in any
country, and today we’ll find out how, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Embarrassing
Tourist Mistakes Everyone Makes Around the World. 10. Italy
There are a few things in Italy which you might do wrong or even take offense to. Take staring for instance. Italians do seem to stare at you a lot. This doesn’t mean you should go up to people
and ask the question, “What the hell are you looking at?” As one person writing for the Huffington Post
says, you might well get a good staring at by groups of Italian men standing outside
a “scommesse” (betting shop). The stares are not usually aggressive, it’s
just what people often do. If you’re a woman you might even hear the
words. “Ciao Bella!” You might not like such overt flirtation,
but again, it’s cultural and getting all mad about it may just end-up being embarrassing
for you. This was discussed on Tripadvisor, with one
person writing, “It’s part of the Italian male scene. I suppose you could say that it’s in their
genes.” 9. Japan
Japan is very friendly for the most part, but there are a few things you could do to
upset someone. One thing, and this is the same in many parts
of Asia, is when you accept someone’s business card you should not do it with just one hand. It’s actually quite serious business, accepting
those cards, so you should look grateful and hold out two hands. Another thing, don’t be really loud in public. Loud Americans, listen up. It’s considered really rude in Japan to
talk very loudly in public places, and that includes shouting down your phone so everyone
in the vicinity can hear. If you have a cold, you might not want to
advertise it by coughing loudly or taking a big blow of your nose. The Japanese often wear surgical masks when
they are sick, and they certainly don’t want to be near a person that is obviously
carrying an infection. 8. France
If you’ve spent a fair bit of time in France, you’ll know it’s really not the place
to be shouting your orders or questions in English. Learn some French and understand many people
will resent you if you just think they will understand your English. If you’re invited for dinner, don’t go
crazy on the first course or drink your wine like it’s a drinking competition. Eating in France is often quite the ritual,
with many courses being served and lots of conversation. It’s not about consuming as fast as you
can. “Don’t make a pig of yourself” might
be the appropriate expression. The French already have enough rude-American
and uncouth-Brit jokes. 7. Saudi Arabia
Let’s now go to the Middle East, to a country with a lot of cultural Dos and Don’ts. Well, the first thing is don’t think about
getting into an argument about the merits of Islam. This won’t just be embarrassing, but it
could mean serious trouble for you. If you can do that, people might like you
more. They might even invite you to dinner, which
happens a lot there. Whatever you do, try very hard to say yes. It’s seen as mightily impolite to refuse
a dinner invitation at someone’s house. Oh, and please don’t complain about stores
being closed during what’s called “Azan” (Muslim Prayer calling). That’s just the way it is. Women might also have to accept the fact that
they won’t be allowed to drive or even go to a normal gym. You’ll have to find a woman’s gym. One of those was recently closed down because
pictures emerged showing women there wearing tight-fitting clothes. By the way, the driving ban for women has
been lifted, but so far not many licenses have been issued. If you’re a female visitor, it’s unlikely
you’ll be getting behind the wheel. 6. Thailand
This is a nation where you’ll find hordes of tourists from around the world basking
under the sun on beautiful beaches and trekking through rolling mountains. It’s also a place where the locals take
videos of ‘farang’ (foreigners) breaching cultural Dos and Don’ts. The number one is probably westerners being
a bit too affectionate in public, which is a big no no in Thailand. Or what about westerners turning up to temples
in beach wear, or donning skimpy shorts for a visit to a government office. Perhaps even worse is putting your feet close
to someone’s head, something that is sure to create very hostile feelings. Do these things happen? Yes, and quite often. You might just find yourself starring in a
viral (in Thailand at least) video if you do any of these things. 5. Brazil
Reading tourism websites, we are told that making the “OK” sign in this country isn’t
OK at all. One blogger writes, “It’s VERY obscene! It means ‘screw you.’” So yeah, it’s an easy mistake to make, but
might end badly for you. tells us you should not eat with
your hands in the country as people will think you are uncivilized. And yes, that applies to eating pizza, too. Things that are also embarrassing for tourists
and seem to happen quite often are visitors using the Spanish language, thinking the Portuguese
speaking-people are actually Spanish speakers. Tourists, we are told, should also not call
the USA “America”. Why? Well, Brazil is also America, just South America. If you do this, you’ll look ignorant. 4. Sweden
Let’s venture into Scandinavia and Sweden. One Swedish tourism website tells us that
one mistake people make is thinking everyone here is fluent in English. While Swedes in general are good at English,
just remember not everyone will understand you, especially if you have some broad Scottish
accent or are a fast-talking person from Kentucky. According to one website, the Swedes often
regard some visitors as loud and overly animated in conversation. “This is the quickest way to irritate the
locals, and you can expect to be gently reprimanded if your voice carries over to the next table,”
said the writer. We are also told not to invade someone’s
personal space as Swedes are not keen on that. Keep your distance if possible. 3. China
Over to China and we are told one thing tourists often do to embarrass themselves is greet
people with a bow. You are in China, not Japan. Some people may shake hands, but whatever
you do, don’t apply that strong grip which many people are told is a sign of confidence
or even sincerity. In China it will be taken as you being aggressive. If you eat out, don’t leave your chopsticks
standing like poles in your food. While this might seem convenient, it’s symbolic
in China of incense sticks at a funeral. You might also not want to write with red
ink, for many reasons it is symbolic of death. Many westerners have written someone’s name
in red ink, and we can tell you, it doesn’t go down well at all. 2. India
This is such a culturally diverse nation that customs will change depending on where you
are, but it’s generally accepted that wearing skimpy clothes in public is a no no. The beach, ok, but not walking down the high
street or exploring the countryside. One website tells us, “There’s a common
perception in India that foreign women are promiscuous, and wearing inappropriate clothing
perpetuates this.” Showing a lot of your body may result in a
lot of attention, but despite this many tourists still don’t adhere to India’s conservative
dressing standards. Sticking with clothes, try to remember that
when you go indoors, Indians will generally take off their shoes. If you don’t, you will look rude. Another thing that will not go down well is
passing people things with your left hand. The left is the hand usually used for matters
of going to the bathroom. 1. USA
So, what about the USA, a country that is fairly laid back and if anything is more associated
with cultural rule-breaking than having rules broken. Well, as we said already, tipping for good
service is a big deal in the U.S. You’ll look very stingy if you take a “I
don’t tip” approach when visiting the country. In some parts of the world it’s fairly normal
to see people smoking cigarettes, but in the U.S. you should be aware that smoking in public
is very much frowned upon or even illegal. California has very strict smoking rules,
so be aware. You might also remember that the Metric system
is generally not used in the USA. People won’t be offended if you do talk
in kilometers and kilograms, but they might be confused. We’ve also read stories of some people saying
Americans are overly friendly. Yes, that’s a thing. On Quora this is discussed many times, with
one person writing, “I am from Vienna, Austria. A city where people are known to be grumpy
and ever-complaining. The American friendliness often strikes as
superficial and insincere.” Well, get used to it, and wear your smile. We could have talked about so many more nations,
but why don’t you tell us how tourists can embarrass themselves in your country. We can help each other that way. Let us know some do’s and dont’s in the
comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
Weird Things Americans Do. Thanks for watching, and as always, please
don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time!

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Embarrassing Tourist Mistakes You Make In Different Countries”

  1. Netherlands: Don't walk/stand on bike paths. We will run into you or hit you with our shoulder while passing. Yes this is on purpose.

  2. Infographics, " The Japanese are fairly nice people."

    They have forgotten all about ww2. Haven't they


  3. People are always saying Americans are overly friendly. I think it depends on where you were raised in the states. I'm from the midwest and you are taught early in life to be very friendly. You don't even realize it really. In the service industry you have to be super friendly as part of your job.

  4. In Norway you should not speak to people you don't know unless it's important. I dont think someone will be mad but that is just not a normal thing to do.

  5. I'm from Australia, even though I apparently have a Irish Accent?, and often tourists will overuse 'G'day' and 'Mate', like yea we sometimes say it, but please don't use slang in every sentence (unless your a eshay lol), and don't even get me started on the Vegemite.

  6. I spent a week traveling France and found English to be quite wide spread. Not once did I find myself trying to speak to a person and they had zero clue what I was saying. A lot of restaurants even have English menus, none of the servers seemed offended when I ordered in English.

  7. In Myanmar(Burma), we hate tourists,who wear very loose clothing and short skirts and pants to pagodas and temples. We deposed those kind of people.

  8. Skinny clothes can be worn during summer in the city in India but don’t wear it if you are visiting a temple

  9. Do not leave something lying down on a public place aslo try to have conversations not just three words with each oter

  10. Many people assume that all asians greet by pressing their hands together and place them in front of their chest. It's mostly in Thailand or if you're greeting a monk. Don't do that in other asian countries,it's not in their culture. It looks very awkward and ignorant.

  11. Of course you an American put yourself on top I am just saying other places should of been on that list

  12. This show rarely comments on African countries,do we perhaps lack content or is just not worth the research?

  13. in japan I heard it's rude to listen to music on the train even if you put it on a low volume a citizen might tap your shoulder.

  14. How to get embarrassed in America:
    -cutting up pizza and eating with a fork
    -existing with another language
    -saying Americans are overweight (even if you don’t say it in a rude way)

    Asking for a gun randomly

  15. In my experience the USA smoking thing only applies to California. Can't even vape without people complaining.

  16. USA- most american thing ever is to sit in ur truck at a gas station with a nerf gun and a bucket of chiken and diebetes…..AMERICA!!!!!

  17. #1 Tipping is a thing in Canada too! 😛 I met some European who offended some waiters for not giving any because they didn't know

  18. Hey we’re overly friendly sue us also if you are in a pub or bar don’t know how you say it in England don’t put your beer glass upside down because it means the queen is dead any one from that area want to correct me go right on ahead

  19. Im from Canada, and its considered rude to not pet the polar bear when you walk by them. Dont worry, they just look like they can tear you limb from limb when in actual fact, theyre very cuddly and love human interaction.

  20. If you ever go to El Salvador, never discuss religious matters in public, nor the socio-politic situation (gangs, corruption, etc.) This could get you in big trouble, and when I say bug trouble, I mean you getting kidnapped, getting beat downed, or even shot. And don’t complain too much about people breaking traffic rules, it’s as common as fast food in the US.

  21. Don’t just go bumping in to people in New York and saying IM WALKIN HERE only we can do that to tourists not the other way around

  22. Europeans are cheap and they have terrible body odor. Most countries in Europe have very unfriendly people. But I’ve found Asians to be very friendly indeed. I can’t speak about the Middle East or Russia.

  23. In India, just ask! Every state (or province as some understand) is too different to make common judgement. Many understand English unless you're in an extremely remote area, and most people tend to help (except be skeptical when it comes to paying, sorry about that)

  24. I live in the netherlands and for me it's very rude to even think about someone asking you for a tip in America or anywhere dont get me wrong here in the Netherlands we also tip people when we can/want to but I cant imagine people asking you to give them a tip..

  25. In the UK, don't speak in a cockney accent because barely anyone does that and don't say all British people love tea because not all of us do. Tips if you have a holiday in England for six months or something bring clothes for heat and cold because we have brutal cold winters and blistering hot summers

  26. Netherlands: don’t expect the whole country to be like Amsterdam. In most public places alcohol/drug use is frowned upon and can result in a ticket. Not all drugs are legal.

  27. Canada: Some tourists expect it to be snowy all year round everywhere. Some tourists expect everyone to know everyone else (I've been asked about Greg from Calgary etc more times then I can count and I live on the other side of the country) Comments about our bills looking like Monopoly money (yes, we know it does, the joke was funny the first 10 million times, now not so much) Asking about how much money you make at your job (although this seems to be a Western culture thing more then Canada specifically). American tourists extorting the virtues of Starbucks over Tim Hortons (yes we have Starbucks here as well, it just isn't the cultural icon that Timmies is) People from Middle East (generally) countries trying to haggle the price of goods, while it may be common custom there to haggle at the bazaar for the price, here the prices are set by the corporations and we cannot negotiate it, leading to long arguments and frustration on both sides.

  28. Malaysia: Don't shake hand with your left hand.Don't touch anyone head.Don't cursing too often.Don't talk loudly.Never wears bikinis in beach unless it is private beach.Lastly we are Malaysian take off our shoes or slappers when entering people house

  29. I think the people of Canada are highly obsessed with maple syrup…
    There r a lot more tasty nd costly things dude
    Come on grow up

  30. Actually it's perfectly fine to speak loudly in Sweden. However, when it's late it could cause people to get annoyed.

  31. Brazil here.

    I guess most people in the southern parts of the country – like myself – would be a little shocked by someone eating with their hands, but it depends on the environment. Usually people don't eat pizza with their hands around here, much less in a restaurant, but I do it anyway. I find it there are foods you can't just eat properly with tableware. It's not offensive, though, it's just that people don't usually do it and it may denounce your foreigness.

  32. 🇧🇿In Belize you must have manners or else youre gonna get lots of stares and you also should not talk about our culture or languages. Some people speak Spanish, English, British Creole,German,Cantanese and others for our culture is quite diverse. Lots of people get mixed up with British Creole as Patoi or Hatian Creole .The worst comment that we get is "Creole is just broken up English."🇧🇿

  33. Travel guide for Scottish people : when travelling to an English speaking country that isn’t in the uk, put on an accent otherwise they won’t understand you

  34. Canada: comparing us to the USA, not saying sorry after bumping into/being bumped into while walking, as well as saying thank you for everything (including to the driver when getting off public transport)

  35. Offensive things in germany:
    1. Talking loudly
    2. Throwing your in germany bought bottles in the bin instead of turning them in (And getting 25 cents) in the Pfand machine you can find in every super market
    3. Walking over a red light in front of children

  36. I’m Swedish and that personal space tip really applies, also we don’t really do small talk. So basically, mind your own business lol

  37. Ok so in America speaking Spanish in public is kinda considered rude bc we kinda ignorant I’m ngl

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