When traveling abroad one will go through an array of emotions as they enter new and unknown territory. Emotions that can vary from excitement and anticipation, to amazement and joy, and even fear and frustration at times. It’s a real mish mash of emotions, and that’s why we love it so much! You never know what to expect, although you might have planned every detail down to which underwear you’ll wear on which day, and which meal you’ll eat at which restaurant. Ok, perhaps that’s for the more OCD-type of traveler.
As we all know, different cultures abide by different norms and laws, and this sometimes includes laws that may seem a little kooky to some of us. Below is a list of some unusual laws you might want to look out for, so you don’t have an unplanned tour of the local watch house.
If you cut down a cactus in Arizona, you could find yourself behind bars for up to 25 years! That’s right folks, stay away from the cacti! (I just love using that word)
In Thailand and Singapore spitting your gum on to the sidewalk will cost you a hefty fine, as will littering or spitting. These are two places that really enforce this law as well. Singapore also has strict laws to do with smoking in public or chewing gum on public transport.
It’s against the law to use public transport or attend a public event within four hours of eating onions or garlic in Indiana, so beware garlic lovers!
Watermelons are banned in Brazil, so don’t expect any watermelon eating games or watermelon flavored refreshments in between Sambas.
When in Bolivia and Ecuador be sure not to litter, and be kind to mother nature. Mother Nature has been given rights as an actual citizen in both countries. The Goddess of Nature, as known in the local indigenous cultures, has more rights than a corporate entity.
In Indonesia, masturbation is met with the death penalty, so make sure you are not caught with your pants down!
In the UK, it is illegal to place a stamp of the Briitish monarch upside down. God save the Queen… from hanging upside down.
In the state of Victoria in Australia, only a licensed electrician is allowed to change a light bulb. Pretty pricey if you have a large house.
We all like a good flirt when traveling, but in San Antonio, Texas, flirting is against the law… so beware boys and girls!
If you’re visiting Japan, be careful of what is in your toiletries bag as allergy and sinus medication are illegal, as are Vicks inhalers and Sudafed.
Whatever you do, when you order that delicious gelato or crunchy margarita, don’t sit on the church steps to eat it. In Italy it is against the law to eat on church steps.
If you’re looking for that great tan on your getaway to tropical Fiji, just beware ladies, as topless bathing and any form of public nudity are illegal.
The last thing you might think about when heading on your tropical getaway to the Maldives is your reading material. However, when heading over there be sure to leave your Bible, Torah or Bhagavad Gita at home as they are prohibited. Only Islamic reading materials are allowed.
When in Kazakhstan, do not get too camera happy when you land as photography is illegal in and around airports. It is also illegal to take photos of official buildings, the military or police.
While many people think of Bob Marley, reggae and ganja when they think of Jamaica, don’t be fooled! Marijuana is actually illegal in Jamaica and can even end in a long stint in jail. You’re better off heading to Uruguay if that is your thing.
In Barcelona, it is illegal to walk around in a bikini (or any kind of swimsuit) on public streets, so make sure you cover up before hitting the streets.
If you are driving in France, make sure you carry a portable breathalyzer with you at all times, or else you’ll have to pay a fine and have a little chat with the gendarme if you get caught!
Sometimes an international getaway with that special someone can mean lots of hand holding, serious smooching, and lots of… Ok, stop there! In the UAE tourists have been arrested and thrown in the lock up for kissing in public and holding hands. So make sure you keep all PDA for the hotel room.
If you’ve been saving up your pennies in a Piggy bank, don’t deliver them to a cashier in Canada. Customers are not allowed to pay with more than 25 pennies at one time.
After a few drinks and some crazy Mykonos partying, if you and your friends are thinking of mooning someone, think again! This carries a large fine in Greece, and in some cases jail time.
Written for thereadersbureau.com