Avril- Ann Braganza
When planning a holiday, local rules and laws of a country are not something we think about, before embarking on our trip. But maybe we should, as breaking some of them could land us in a whole lot of trouble. Whether these laws are still applicable or not, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. Cultural differences may cause misunderstandings, so here are some laws to think about before you leave on your next trip.
1. The sale of chewing gum has been prohibited in Singapore after authorities noticed a large amount of chewed gum stuck in subways and on cars. However, you are allowed to actually chew gum for medical reasons.
2. In Japan, allergy/sinus medications that contain pseudoephedrine such as Vicks inhalers and Sudafed are prohibited. Medications that contain codeine are also banned and shouldn’t be brought into Japan.
3. It is strictly forbidden to feed pigeons in Venice. Bird droppings on the city’s aging structures not only ruin the experience for gazing tourists, but gives out an awful smell.
4. It is illegal to urinate in the ocean in Portugal.
5. While prostitution is legal in Sweden, it is illegal to buy services from a prostitute. The buyer, of such services, therefore, will face criminal charges if caught.
6. Never talk about the king disrespectufylly in Thailand. Thai people have a deep respect for their King, and even a slight jest at his expense is considered an offense. Respect for him isn’t just polite, it’s the law. Stepping on the Thai baht which carries the image of the much revered King of Thailand is also considered a criminal act.
7. While many holidaymakers head to the sandy beach at Eraclea in Italy to escape the hordes of tourists in Venice, building sandcastles there is forbidden.
8. In South East Asia, the durian fruit has a smell so incredibly strong that it is banned from many hotels and public places.
9. Genrally frowned upon, you can be fined for spitting in Barcelona.
10. In Greece, wearing high heels at historic sites like the Acropolis have been banned for fear of causing damage to ancient monuments.
11. In Canada, do not expect to pay a shopkeeper with a stack of coins. According to the Canada Currency Act, paying in coins for something that costs $10, or even using only one-dollar coins for something that costs more than $25 is not allowed.