According to Petter Brenna Rian, “Don’t visit if you expect to befriend lots of Norwegians. They tend to be quite aloof and cold. We have a saying in Norway: ‘If a stranger smiles at you on the street, he or she is either a crazy person or American.’ Norwegians only talk to people they know (unless they’re drunk).”
Rian also says that in Norway, “Everything is expensive.” He cites the “Big Mac Index,” according to which a Big Mac in Norway costs $5.67, making it the second most expensive Big Mac in the world. According to him, “Unless you’re the 1%, Norway will annihilate your wallet.”
With a large, diverse population, India can be a tricky country for travellers at times. Balaji Viswanathan shared some “non-obvious” advice, starting with a warning against kissing in public.
He said: “In some jurisdictions this can get you into jail under ‘public obscenity’ (a lot of our laws are stuck in the Victorian era). Although the law enforcement cuts some slack if the couple is married, if the couple is unmarried things can get really messy.”
He also said to not “touch anything of respect with your feet. If you stomp over a book, national flag, image of a deity etc, you can get into trouble”.
Taylee Rowlingson and Jessica Brinley say to forget cute koalas and kangaroos (which can both be dangerous themselves), and warn about dingos, poisonous frogs, poisonous snakes, sharks, and crocodiles, as well as many other local animals that could end your life.
Eric Worrall agrees, saying that “People don’t appreciate how dangerous it is. The people are nice (mostly), but even aside from sun and thirst, and the risk of getting stranded if you go on a long drive into the outback, many of the world’s most dangerous poisonous species live here — Australia is like nowhere else. From the age of 4 Australian kids are indoctrinated in how to survive — how to deal with snakebite, tick bite, mosquito diseases, bad water, crocodiles (depending on where you live).”
If you’re visiting Italy, you’d better forget your usual order at Dominos — you’re likely to encounter a derisive response if you ask for chicken or pineapple on a pizza, or even order a cappuccino after breakfast.
“Expect the ‘tourists, pfh!’ gaze when you order cappuccino during lunch or dinner,” warned Marco Brandizi.
“Cappuccino is for breakfast, we can’t understand how it is that you keep ingesting milk together with tomato sauce and you haven’t yet died of ulcer.”
He added: “Similarly, expect to be frowned upon when you cut spaghetti with the knife. We eat them by rolling them around the fork.”
Sam Amato warns that travel to the US, as well as within it, is extremely expensive for foreigners (as well as locals). “Transportation between American cities can be ridiculously expensive, especially considering how cheap flights are between cities in Asia, and cities in Europe can be,” he said, adding that hostels, meals, etc. are generally also pricey.
Amato says, “My last reason why you shouldn’t visit the US, is the American ignorance of the outside world. A lot of Americans simply do not keep up on what’s going on around the world. Our news stations, and papers are generally dominated by local and national news. Geography is not a subject well known by most Americans. According to the Department of State, only about one third of Americans have passports. I have friends that were unaware that Africa has cities with skyscrapers, metro systems, and shopping malls.”
When talking to Germans, expect indepth conversations with a lot of analysis.
Andre Hennen warned that you “shouldn’t expect easy conversations” — particularly during chats about religion, politics or the environment.
“Yes, there will be words. A lot of them. Everything will be analyzed from almost every angle [sic]. This can be tough. But it’s never a personal thing. It’s always about the topic.”
Judith Meyer reminded travellers that personal space is also very important to Germans.
“Don’t stare. You’d appear either uneducated or mentally ill. Then, if you want to make friends with Germans, don’t strike up conversations with strangers at a supermarket or the like; that’s creepy.”
Carlos Eduardo Souza Lopes cites the Crime Index by Country 2017, and says that Brazil is in the top 10. “Simply put: being in a large city in Brazil is risking a mugging, armed robbery, or even a ‘flash kidnapping’ (where the criminal takes the victim to multiple ATMs to take as much cash as they can before releasing them).”
Don’t expect so see much of the country on a short trip. “Visiting Brazil is like planning a visit to all countries in Europe” Souza Lopes says. “Everything is very far apart — it is a gigantic country.”