I actually wanted to talk about the different rules in effect all around the world but looking at that headline I think that is awesome – travel does rule. It is one of the most stimulating, illuminating, annoying, satisfying, and frustrating experiences of our lives – and we just keep doing it.
No, I wanted to talk about the rules of the different places you travel to. We all spend a lot of time looking up the rules for entering a particular country – make sure we have the right vaccinations, up to date passport with more than six months validity etc. etc. But what about when you get to your destination? Do you pay any attention to the local laws – some of which might sound really bizarre?
In Venice sitting is banned in certain places – like St Marks Square and the Rialto Bridge – and if they catch you it might mean a fine of up to $850. Now before you say anything – yes I have seen lots of people sitting in St Marks Square – but they actually happen to be sitting on chairs at cafes and restaurants surrounding the square and by the time you have had a bite to eat and a glass of wine you might well be looking at paying out $850.
Surprisingly, in Amsterdam, you can get fined if you drink alcohol in the streets. It does sound odd when you think that Amsterdam is the home of pot when it was banned all over the world, but there you go! Very different from London where it is quite common to see crowds of people standing outside the pub, beer in hand.
One thing they won’t tolerate in the UK, however, is talking on your phone while driving. They are really strict about this which I think is a good thing as it discourages drivers from even thinking about taking a phone call while driving. Statistics say that over 400,000 injuries occur each year in the States due to texting and driving.
If you travel to Switzerland to go hiking don’t think about taking your clothes off while doing so. I am not sure who would want to do that but it has happened. Local villagers in the alps called for a ban on naked hiking – but I guess it all depends on who is doing the naked hiking – if you know what I mean.
Oh and by the way – one more rule which is handy to know – leave the camo behind when you travel to the Caribbean. You won’t be fined but they will be confiscated if they are found – even in your luggage.