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  • How to Not Look Like a Jerk While Traveling Abroad

    I like to buy local clothing on arrival. I discovered in Thailand that being dressed like the locals (flip-flops, Capri pants and "Singha Beer" T-shirt) helped a lot.About clothing, in some countries, shorts, short skirts, tank tops are considered inappropriate. Sometimes there are places that you can't visit if you don't wear appropriante clothing : in Thailand again, you have to wear "closed shoes" to visit the King's palace ; you can rent horrible plastic shoes there, but believe me, you'd rather bring your own.Be careful with hair and beard, too. In some countries, a long beard could refer to a neofascist group (Chetniks in former Yugoslavia), Muslim fudamentalists, or just look cool. Tatoos may refer to criminal groups, too, like in Georgia (Europe) or Japan. Fu...

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    I like to buy local clothing on arrival. I discovered in Thailand that being dressed like the locals (flip-flops, Capri pants and "Singha Beer" T-shirt) helped a lot.About clothing, in some countries, shorts, short skirts, tank tops are considered inappropriate. Sometimes there are places that you can't visit if you don't wear appropriante clothing : in Thailand again, you have to wear "closed shoes" to visit the King's palace ; you can rent horrible plastic shoes there, but believe me, you'd rather bring your own.Be careful with hair and beard, too. In some countries, a long beard could refer to a neofascist group (Chetniks in former Yugoslavia), Muslim fudamentalists, or just look cool. Tatoos may refer to criminal groups, too, like in Georgia (Europe) or Japan. Full-length clothing can help.In countries that were recently at war, you might scare people if you wear military-looking clothes. A Croatian friend of mine told me once that he didn't understand why we would wear cargo pants, as he had to fight in the war and just hated anything military from that time on.How you look like is a form of non-verbal language. Just like spoken language, an effort towards the local norm is much appreciated and open doors to you.

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