Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 10:11 pm
I cherish little differences you find in other countries - and some really good ideas are in place in in other places for example:

In Spanish pet shops it is illegal to have the pets viewable from the street - you have to enter to see them. The logic being this cuts down on impulse buying of pets, and parents succumbing to transiently smitten children.

What things have you seen on your travels you think would work in your habitat?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,073 • Replies: 10
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cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 10:18 pm
@hingehead,
While in Central Asia last May, the children stood up in the trains so us seniors could sit. When we visited their high schools or saw them in public places on their last day of the semester, they spoke to us in English. We talked to them and took their pictures, and some took ours. Other young men approached us on the street or in the bazaars to talk with us, and some told us they spoke six or seven languages.
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 10:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I noticed in Italy that lots of Italians could get by in English, Spanish and German (sometimes French) but for visitors from Eastern Europe they stuck to English. Interesting. I regret being a monolinguist. Although if I didn't speak English I think I'd learn it, out of necessity.

The Parisians amazed me with their English. I'd heard stories about people being hit with shoes on buses for speaking english, and the French being upset if you couldn't speak French properly. Total myth from my experience. I would always approach locals trying to converse in French and they invariably would reply in English (how they could tell what I was saying, or where I was from is beyond me) I was never made to feel bad or awkward. Mrs Hinge said it was because I had at least made an attempt to communicate in their language and not just assumed they'd speak English.

Paris rocks! So does Rome! And Barcelona! Great little planet we got here.
islandgirl
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 08:52 am
@hingehead,
In the caribbean, you give a quick flash of your headlights to let the oncoming car know that you are giving them the right-of-way. A responding "honk" means thank you.
sublime1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 09:04 am
@hingehead,
I thought it was interesting that you had to provide your own bag and also bagged your own groceries in Vienna. It is starting to become more common in Trader Joes and some other small stores here but is far from being the standard.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 10:49 am
@sublime1,
More stores are having self checkouts which I use. Also, some drugstores don't even have you sign the credit card charge. Interesting changes happening in retail.
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hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 04:23 pm
@islandgirl,
Thanks Islandgirl - that could come in handy. In Australia a flash of headlights means that the oncoming traffic is about to come across a road hazard (dog, dead car, policeman, etc) or that your high beam is on...

In Italy car horns had tw0 purposes:
1) You sound them as you approach a blind single lane hairpin (terrifying)
2) Something to play with in traffic
islandgirl
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 03:52 pm
@hingehead,
Another crazy honk I encountered in the Bahama's is whoever honks while approaching a stopsign get's to go first.

Stateside we usually flash our lights when you find a speed trap with a policeman waiting.

Hingehead, hoping to get to Australia within a year or two to snorkel and dive the reef's anything I should know about local customs.
islandgirl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 03:53 pm
@islandgirl,
Another thing about the caribbean, always great with good morning, good afternoon or good evening. It is considered very rude to the locals and you may even be ignored.
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hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 04:02 pm
@islandgirl,
Quote:
Another crazy honk I encountered in the Bahama's is whoever honks while approaching a stopsign get's to go first.


That is terrifying - but in Australia we have roundabouts, where the basic rule is you give way to whoever's already on the roundabout. There are two kinds of people, those who are terrified and overcautious about roundabouts and those who race to get on them.

Quote:
Stateside we usually flash our lights when you find a speed trap with a policeman waiting
Same in Oz.

Quote:
Hingehead, hoping to get to Australia within a year or two to snorkel and dive the reef's anything I should know about local customs.


If you're coming to the reef you'll be dealing with people who deal with tourists from all over the world, so I doubt you'll be doing anything culturally abhorrent. But that said, a smile, a hello and a thank you are all great ways to make life very pleasant.

Just don't come over in your winter (our summer is also our wet season) this time of the year is perfect.
islandgirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 11:16 am
@hingehead,
Thanks Hingehead
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