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9 rude behaviors you can get away with in other countries

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/11/2015 Caroline Morse, SmarterTravel

Nine taboo behaviors you can totally get away with abroad... © Provided by Business Insider Nine taboo behaviors you can totally get away with abroad... Slurping your soup. Spitting in public. Eating with your hands. Some of the behaviors we consider the height of rudeness in North America are surprisingly acceptable—and sometimes even considered polite—in other countries. Here are nine taboo behaviors you can totally get away with abroad.

1. Slurping ramen (Japan)

© Provided by Business Insider Ramen (and not the sad, 10 packs for a dollar kind you lived off of in college—the gourmet type) is huge in Japan, and the best way to eat it involves shamelessly slurping the soup. This method of eating cools off the noodles so that they can be eaten comfortably and with maximum flavor. In fact, eating your Ramen quietly might offend the chef, who may think you're not enjoying the meal.

RELATED: Video: An Inspiring Taste of Food in Japan

2. Spitting (China)

© Provided by Business Insider It's not frowned upon for people to spit in public in China, although the government has made some attempts to change this behavior after finding that Chinese tourists were received negatively abroad.

3. Asking personal questions (Japan)

© Provided by Business Insider You might be dying to know the answers, but you'd likely never start a conversation with someone you barely know by asking how much they make or why they aren't married. (Exception: New York City and asking someone how much they pay in rent.) In Japan, on the other hand, it's fairly normal to ask new acquaintances how old they are and if they're married or dating anyone.

RELATED: 10 Surprising Ways to Offend People in Other Countries

4. Being late (Argentina)

© Provided by Business Insider If you turn up on time for a social event in Argentina, you might find yourself the only person there. It's common and accepted for the time of an invitation to be somewhat fluid, especially if it's an intimate event like a house party. If you turn up at the scheduled start time, you might find your hostess still getting ready.

5. Riding in the front of a taxi (New Zealand)

© Provided by Business Insider Unless you're cramming four people into a standard taxi, riding in the front seat really annoys (and freaks out) most taxi drivers in the U.S. But in Australia and New Zealand, it can be considered rude not to ride next to the driver if you're the only traveler.

RELATED: World's Most Expensive Airport Taxis

6. Not tipping in a restaurant (Japan)

© Provided by Business Insider Stiffing a waiter on a tip is considered a pretty low move throughout America. However, in Japan, the opposite is true—leaving money on the table for your server can be considered rude. This is because the service fee is built-in to your bill, and leaving more can be a dishonor to your waiter.

7. Sunbathing topless (Austria)

© Provided by Business Insider If a woman whips her bikini top off at a regular beach in America, she's likely to get in trouble (or at least plenty of attention). But if you're at the beach or pool in Austria, you'll practically be in the minority if you're a fully covered women. As many as 49 percent of Austrian women say they are likely to sunbathe topless.

RELATED: What Not to Do at a Nude Beach

8. Eating with your hands (India)

© Provided by Business Insider In parts of India, eating with your hands is considered more polite than eating with silverware. Be very careful, though, that you only eat with your right hand (never your left hand), as the left is supposed to be reserved for less hygienic tasks.

9. Invading someone's personal space (Brazil)

© Provided by Business Insider The concept of "personal space" differs across the world. Americans tend to appreciate having a good amount of distance between themselves and strangers, especially in tight spaces like public transportation and elevators. In Brazil, you may find that strangers or people you hardly know standing very close to you while talking or greeting you.


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