DON'T BE AN

ASSHOLE...

No one wants to be an asshole, but sometimes, when we're unfamiliar with the cultural norms of a place, we can accidentally offend. This site helps you to avoid being an asshole in an unfamiliar country/culture. The information here is intended for use by pleasure travelers. Business travelers should consult a proper business etiquette guide for the country they're visiting.

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Country Category Name Description
ArgentinaVisitingDon't pour the winePouring wine is a complex ritual here. Let someone else do it.
ArgentinaBody LanguagePersonal SpaceWe are touchers and stand close to each other when speaking. Deal with it - don't be an asshole and back away.
ArgentinaBody LanguageTaboo gesturesOnly assholes use the vulgar gestures known as "OK" and "thumbs up".
ArgentinaConversationDon't compare us to rivalsUnless you want to be an asshole don't compare us with the United States or with Brazil.
ArgentinaConversationTaboo Topic - Great Britain or the Falklands (Las Malvinas).Only an asshole would talk to us about Great Britain or the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas), which are sensitive subjects.
ArgentinaConversationTaboo Topic - politics and relitionWe can be very vocal about politics and religion, but don't add your opinions otherwise we'll think you're an asshole.
ArgentinaConversationTaboo Topic - the Perón yearsWe either love or hate the Peróns. Only an asshole would mention them unless we bring it up first.
ArgentinaGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Flowers, candy, pastries, chocolates or imported liquor are good.
ArgentinaGiftsNo personal itemsOnly an asshole gives personal items, including clothing, as gifts.
ArgentinaGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open a gift at once and be appreciative.
ArgentinaGreetingHandshake or hugTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. An embrace and one kiss on the cheek is common between friends and acquaintances
ArgentinaOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole is to raise your hand with your index finger extended.
ArgentinaOutingsTipping10% (or less) is standard and tourists will normally tip more.
ArgentinaPublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to use a toothpick, blow your nose, or clear your throat at the table.
ArgentinaVisitingBe fashionably lateArriving at a party on time is an asshole move. Be sure to arrive 30 to 60 minutes late.
ArgentinaVisitingBe punctualArriving late is an asshole move. Always be on time for lunch appointments, theatre and soccer outings.
AustriaBody LanguageEye contactMake eye contact or we may think you're an asshole.
AustriaBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets
AustriaBody LanguageTouchingWe are reserved and formal in public. Only assholes kiss, hug, or touch in public.
AustriaConversationCompliment minimallyCompliments can embarrass us rather than please us. Unless you're an asshole, compliment carefully and sparingly.
AustriaConversationWe're not GermanDon't be an asshole and treat us like we're Germans. Austrians are not Germans. Austria and Germany have very different customs.
AustriaDiningDon't cut your dumplingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, never cut a dumpling. Instead, hold the dumpling with your knife and break it apart with your fork.
AustriaDiningToastsIf you don't want to be an asshole, maintain eye contact during a toast.
AustriaGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give: flowers (in odd numbers only, except for the dozen--an even number means bad luck?and unwrap before giving to hostess), wine, pastries, chocolates, brandy, whisky. Do not give: red roses, unless romance is intended, red carnations (official flower of the Social Democratic Party), perfume.
AustriaGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open a gift immediately upon receiving it.
AustriaGreetingEntering and leavingWe'll think you're an asshole if you don't greet salespeople when entering and leaving a shop.
AustriaGreetingHand kissOnly an asshole would kiss the hand of an Austrian woman, even though Viennese men may kiss the hand of a woman.
AustriaGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present--men, women and children--at a social meeting; shake hands with women before men. Women should offer their hand first. Shake hands again when leaving.
AustriaOutingsPaying the billJust so you know, we do not appreciate a struggle over the bill. The person who extends the invitation pays the bill in a restaurant. Next time is your turn.
AustriaOutingsTippingMany restaurants include tax and a service charge in their bills, and it is customary to round up the total when paying. Saying "danke" when presenting your payment is our equivalent to saying, "Keep the change." If you are not satisfied with the service, it is not unusual not to tip.
AustriaVisitingBe punctualArriving late is an asshole move. Be punctual for social occasions.
BelgiumVisitingDrinks offeredUnless you want to be an asshole, accept any drink offered by your host and don't ask for a drink not offered.
BelgiumBody LanguageDon't snap your fingersOnly assholes snap their fingers.
BelgiumBody LanguageGesturesIf you don't want us to think you're a dumbass, don't use the North American "okay" sign, made with index finger and thumb, to mean "okay". To us it means "zero."
BelgiumBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets
BelgiumVisitingSeating arrangementsJust so you know, hosts seat guests. Husbands and wives are generally not seated together.
BelgiumVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
BelgiumBody LanguageTouchingOnly an asshole back slaps anyone.
BelgiumConversationSpeak the correct languageWe expect you to speak the correct language for where you are, and if in doubt, default to English. We'll really think you're an asshole if you use the incorrect language here.
BelgiumConversationTaboo Topic - languageOnly an asshole would discuss linguistic divisions with us.
BelgiumConversationTaboo Topic - personal mattersOnly assholes ask personal questions.
BelgiumDiningDon't waste foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, decline food rather than leave it on your plate.
BelgiumDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
BelgiumDiningToastsIf you don't want to be an asshole, wait to drink until your host offers the first toast.
BelgiumDiningToasts If you're the guest of honor, we expect you to offer a toast.
BelgiumGiftsHostess giftWe think you should always bring flowers for the hostess when invited to someone's home. Small gifts or candy for children are appreciated. Do not give chrysanthemums, which symbolize death. Don?t give gifts that are extravagant or expensive.
BelgiumGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open gifts in front of the giver.
BelgiumGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children -- at social meetings. Shake hands again when leaving.
BelgiumIntroductionsRepeat your nameTo avoid being an asshole, repeat your name when being introduced.
BelgiumOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole is to raise your hand and make eye contact.
BelgiumOutingsTippingTipping is not common in Belgium. Restaurant bills include the service charge. Service staff in Belgium are well-paid, and do not rely on tips to make up their income. However, if you are very happy with the service you got, leaving a few Euros (or to round up your bill) as a tip is the way forward, but think of 10% as the maximum to leave (i.e. when you receive exceptional service).
BelgiumPublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to sneeze or blow your nose in public. Leave the room.
BelgiumPublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to yawn, scratch or use toothpicks in public.
BelgiumPublic BehaviorDon't be obnoxiousDon't be an asshole in public - we don't like it if you flaunt wealth or be noisy or loud.
BelgiumPublic BehaviorFeet stay on the groundOnly assholes put their feet on chairs or tables.
BosniaOutingsTippingIn most cases the the tip is not included in the bill. If you have excellent service, a 10 % would be appropriate.
CanadaVisitingRecyclingWe like to recycle. Beverage containers, especially, should not be thrown out. We return them for the deposit refund. If you're at someone's house and you have an empty beverage container, look on the kitchen counters for a "gathering" of empty containers. If you don't see one, start one. Others will be glad you did.
CanadaVisitingShoes in the houseTo avoid being an asshole, take off your shoes when you enter someone's house. No one wants what you stepped in on their floor.
CanadaBody LanguagePersonal SpaceWe need a lot of personal space. Stay at least three feet away from us unless you want us to think you're an asshole.
CanadaBody LanguageTouchingWe get creeped out if someone we're not really close to touches us during conversation. Respect our personal space.
CanadaConversationDon't compare us to the USUnless you want to be an asshole, don't compare us with the United States.
CanadaConversationNational IssuesOnly an asshole takes sides in debates about our contentious national issues (especially when they concern such issues the status of Quebec, the place of the French and English languages in Canadian society, etc.).
CanadaConversationOur aboriginals are "First Nations"Only an asshole refers to Canadian aboriginals as "Native Americans". Our indigenous people are called "people of the First Nations."
CanadaDiningToastsIf you don't want to be an asshole, wait until everyone is served wine and a toast is proposed before drinking.
CanadaGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Flowers, fine wine and chocolate are good, but avoid red roses (romance) and white lilies (funeral).
CanadaGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Handshakes should be firm with eye contact.
CanadaIntroductionsHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands and introduce yourself when meeting us for the first time.
CanadaOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole in Quebec is to quietly say "Monsieur" or "S'il vous plait. Say "Mademoiselle" to beckon a waitress. Never beckon a waiter or waitress by snapping your fingers or shouting.
CanadaOutingsTippingOur servers get paid a very low wage and rely on tips to make a living wage. Tips are often shared among all restaurant/pub staff - they aren't just for your server. The convention is 10% of the bill (not including taxes) for poor service, 15% for ok service and 20% for good service.
CanadaPublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to sneeze or blow your nose in public. Do it as quietly as possible using a handkerchief or tissue. If possible, leave the room. Do not yawn or scratch in public. Toothpicks, nail clippers, and combs are never used in public.
CanadaPublic BehaviorDon't litterOnly assholes litter.
CanadaPublic BehaviorRespect the queueOnly assholes violate a queue. It is considered very rude to push ahead in a line.
CanadaShoppingBarteringWe don't barter.
Costa RicaOutingsTippingRestaurants are required by law to add 10% to the bill for gratuity. To show appreciation for good service, top that up by 5% or 10%.
Costa RicaVisitingTippingHotel staff: Tip your housekeeper $1 per day. Tip $0.50/bag to a porter ($1 at a fine hotel).
Costa RicaOutingsTippingTaxis and drivers: Tip your driver a small amount if you have luggage. Tip $1-$2 for a ride from the airport. $2-$4 for a long drive.
Costa RicaOutingsTippingTour guides: Tip your tour guide $5-$10 per person per day.
Costa RicaVisitingPunctualityIt's normal for us to be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more late for gatherings. We're not assholes - we're just observing "Tico Time (la hora tica)"! If we say "ahora" (Spanish for "now") we really mean "later" or "tomorrow".
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorGender IssuesOur culture is still somewhat male-dominant. We aren't being assholes if we greet a nicely dressed woman with whistles and verbal compliments - we're showing appreciation. Try not to be offended if we stare at you, whistle or try a pickup line.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorDon't Confront Us!We are extremely laid back and uncomfortable with confrontation. Don't be an asshole and raise your voice in a public place, or even engage in "playful banter".
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorWe Can't Say NoWe may never say 'no', but that doesn't mean we never mean 'no'. We are loathe to say 'no' and often say 'maybe' (when we mean no) or provide a made-up answer so that we don't have to say 'no' to giving you an answer. We aren't being assholes - we just don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Just remember that if we say 'puede ser', there's a good chance we mean 'no'.
Costa RicaConversationTaboo Topic - SexOnly assholes engage in conversations about pre-marital sex, abortion or gay marriage.
Costa RicaVisitingTaboo - Feet on FurnitureOnly assholes put their feet on furniture that is not intended for feet.
Costa RicaConversationOur Favorite TopicsWe love being asked about our families and about Costa Rica. We love to discuss the local culture and history, and the beauty of Costa Rica.
Costa RicaConversationTalking PoliticsWe won't think you're an asshole if you want to talk about politics - that's an acceptable topic here.
Costa RicaConversationTaboo Topic - ReligionIf you don't want us to think you're an asshole, don't engage in conversation about religion.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorNo Boasting!Only assholes boast.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorDon't Be ImpatientWe will probably think you're an asshole if you're acting impatient.
Costa RicaGreetingUse a HandshakeHandshakes are our most common form of greeting. We don't embrace as much as people in other Latin countries.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorDon't Fidget!We hate it when someone fidgets with their hands or feet.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorTaboo GestureA fist with the thumb sticking out in the middle is offensive to us.
Costa RicaShoppingDon't Barter!Bargaining and bartering is not allowed in stores or markets. Don't be an asshole... just pony up the price.
Costa RicaPublic BehaviorDon't Bribe!Offering bribes to a police officer or official is prohibited.
Costa RicaConversationUse the FormalWhen addressing someone, please use the formal usted in most instances, otherwise we will think you're an asshole.
Costa RicaConversationPura VidaOur favourite expression is Pura Vida, which means "pure life"! To show us that you're not an asshole, use it liberally in your conversation, s a greeting, exclamation or adjective.
CroatiaOutingsTippingServers make a living wage so tipping is not required, but a tip for good service is appreciated.
Czech RepublicPublic BehaviorPublic toilets are pay to useJust so you know, expect to pay for most public toilets, especially in major touristy areas (usually around 50 cents equivalent but might vary)
FranceVisitingDon't numb your palateUnless you want to be an asshole, do not ask for a martini or scotch before dinner -- they are viewed as palate numbing.
FranceBody LanguageGesturesIf you don't want us to think you're a dumbass, use the "thumbs up" sign to mean "okay", and not the North American "okay" sign, made with index finger and thumb, which we use to mean "zero."
FranceVisitingHost eats firstUnless you want to be an asshole, never start eating until your host and hostess have begun.
FranceBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets
FranceVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
FranceBody LanguageTaboo gesturesYou'd have to be an asshole to slap your open palm over a closed fist, which to us is a vulgar gesture.
FranceBody LanguageYour legsSit up straight with your legs crossed at the knee, or your knees together. Only assholes sit with their legs spread or put their feet on tables or chairs.
FranceConversationAddressing peopleWe don't think you're an asshole if you address people as Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle without adding the surname.
FranceConversationComplimentingWe're not really comfortable with compliments. We'll probably refute a compliment rather than say "thank you."
FranceConversationHumorOnly assholes tell jokes. We prefer intelligent and satirical wit, or funny stories of real life situations.
FranceConversationKnow about FranceWe'd sure appreciate it if you'd demonstrate some knowledge of history, politics and French culture.
FranceConversationMadameUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, address all adult women (except waitresses) as Madame. Address your waitress as Mademoiselle.
FranceConversationTaboo Topic - personal questionsOnly assholes ask personal questions related to occupation, salary, age, family or children.
FranceConversationThe word "you"Unless you want us to think you're an asshole, use "vous" when addressing almost everyone. You can use "tu" with children, family members and close friends.
FranceDiningCut your foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, cut almost all food with a fork and a knife.
FranceDiningCutting cheeseUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, cut cheese vertically. Do not cut off the point of cheese.
FranceDiningDon't cut your breadUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, never cut bread. Break bread with your fingers.
FranceDiningDon't cut your saladUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, do not cut your salad with a knife or fork. Fold your salad onto your fork by using your knife.
FranceDiningDon't waste foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, decline food rather than leave it on your plate.
FranceDiningDrink accompanimentsWe're fussy about what to drink and when. Before dinner, we may offer you pernod, kir, champagne, or vermouth. Wine is served with meals, and after dinner, liqueurs are served.
FranceDiningEating fruitUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, never eat fruit whole. Fruit should be peeled and sliced before eating.
FranceDiningLeave your glass fullWe do this funny thing where we will keep refilling your wineglass. If you don't want more refills, keep your wineglass almost full.
FranceDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
FranceDiningTaste everythingIf you don't want to be an asshole, taste everything offered.
FranceDiningToastsIf you don't want to be an asshole, wait until toast has been proposed before you drink wine.
FranceGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. If possible, send flowers the morning of the party (popular in Paris). Otherwise, present a gift to the hostess upon arrival. A gift to the hostess will probably not be unwrapped immediately (unless no other guests are present or expected). Give candy, cookies, cakes and flowers. Do not give gifts of 6 or 12 (for lovers); gifts of odd numbers, especially 13; chrysanthemums or red roses; or wine unless it is exceptional quality. A gift should be of high quality and wrapped beautifully.
FranceGiftsThank you noteUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, send a thank-you note or telephone the next day to thank hostess.
FranceGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present when arriving and leaving. A handshake may be quick with a light grip.
FranceGreetingKissesTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. When family and close friends greet one another, they often kiss both cheeks.
FranceOutingsTippingCafes and restaurants in France directly include a 15 percent service charge in your check, although a small extra tip is always appreciated.
FrancePublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to sneeze or blow your nose in public. Leave the room. Do not yawn or scratch in public.
FrancePublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to use toothpicks, nail clippers, or combs in public.
FrancePublic BehaviorDon't be obnoxiousLower your voice behave graciously if you don't want us to think you're an asshole.
FrancePublic BehaviorNo gumWe think it's disgusting to chew gum in public.
GermanyVisitingEat then scramUnless you want to be an asshole, don't stay long after dinner. The honored guests are expected to make the first move to leave.
GermanyVisitingGuten AppetitUnless you want to be an asshole, wait for the "signal" to start eating. Guten Appetit is said before eating and means "enjoy your meal". It is the host's way of saying, "please start". Guests can respond by saying Guten Appetit or Danke ebenfalls, which means, "thank you."
GermanyBody LanguageGestures - Good luckYou won't be an asshole if you make your hands into two fists, thumbs tucked inside the other fingers and making pounding motion lightly on a surface, which to us expresses "good luck."
GermanyVisitingHost drinks firstUnless you want to be an asshole, don't drink at a dinner party before the host has drunk. The host will raise his glass to the woman on his right and then toast to the health of the group. Thereafter, people may drink as they see fit.
GermanyBody LanguageGestures - Thumbs upWe think it's fine to use the "thumbs up" gesture to indicate appreciation or agreement.
GermanyBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets, or shakes hands with the other hand in their pocket.
GermanyVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
GermanyBody LanguageTaboo gestures - "crazy"You'd have to be an asshole to point your index finger to your head, which we find insulting.
GermanyBody LanguageTaboo gestures - "okay" signWe'll think you're an asshole if you use the "okay" sign (index finger and thumb jointed together to make a circle), which we consider very rude.
GermanyConversationCompliment minimallyCompliments can embarrass us rather than please us. Unless you're an asshole, compliment carefully and sparingly.
GermanyDiningAlways use your utensilsUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, use eating utensils at all times, including to eat sandwiches, fruit and most food.
GermanyDiningAvoid your knifeUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, do not use a knife to cut potatoes or dumplings, which suggests the food is not tender. The general rule is whatever does not need a knife, should not be touched with your knife.
GermanyDiningCutting your fishUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, never cut fish with anything but a fish knife. If a fish knife is not offered, two forks are acceptable.
GermanyDiningDon't waste foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, do not leave any food on your plate when you are finished eating.
GermanyDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
GermanyDiningToastsWhen toasting as a guest, hold the glass only at the stem, clink your glass with everyone near you at the table and say Prosit, then take a drink. Then look into the eyes of someone at your table and lift your glass just slightly, then bring your glass down to the table.
GermanyGiftsFlowersFor a large party, we think you should send flowers before the party or the next day. Give an uneven number of flowers (unwrapped, not 13), yellow roses, tea roses or chocolates. Do not give red roses (love symbol) or carnations (mourning). Yellow and white chrysanthemums and calla lilies are given for funerals only.
GermanyGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give books, bourbon, whiskey or classical music. American-made gifts are very appropriate. Do not give pointed objects like knives, scissors, umbrellas (considered unlucky), personal items, extravagant gifts or wine (Germans are very proud of their wine cellars).
GermanyGiftsThank youUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, do your "thank yous" in person or with a telephone call.
GermanyOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a waiter without being an asshole is to raise your hand and say, "Herr Ober." To beckon a waitress, raise your hand and say, "Fräulein."
GermanyOutingsTippingYour server is working for a living and depends largely on tips! Often a waiter's basic salary depends on the volume of business that day. Depending on the service you received, you should tip about 15% or so. Don't leave your tip on the table or some asshole might take it.
GermanyPublic BehaviorDon't be obnoxiousDon't be an asshole in public - we don't like it when you shout or be loud, put your feet on furniture or chew gum in public.
GermanyPublic BehaviorKeep your coolDon't be an asshole in public - we don't like it if you lose your temper publicly. This is viewed as uncouth and sign of weakness.
GermanyPublic BehaviorWe'll advise youWe aren't being assholes if we correct your behavior (i.e., taking jacket off in restaurant, parking in wrong spot, etc.). We see policing each other as a social duty.
HungaryOutingsTippingIf no service fee has been added to your bill, tell your server of your tip (10% to 15% of your bill) - either how much to add to your credit card, or how much cash you expect in change.
IrelandVisitingDrinks offeredUnless you want to be an asshole, when we offer you a drink, accept it. We perceive a drink refusal as an insult.
IrelandBody LanguageTaboo gesturesOnly assholes use the obscene gesture "Reverse V for victory".
IrelandBody LanguageTouchingPDAs make us really uncomfortable. Unless you want to be an asshole, control your public displays of affection.
IrelandDiningDon't waste foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, eat everything served to you in a private home.
IrelandDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
IrelandDiningThe peeling plateIf you don't want to be an asshole, use the small plate next to a dinner plate for peelings removed from boiled potatoes.
IrelandGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give flowers (lilies are for religious occasions only; red and white flowers symbolize death), chocolates, a bottle of wine or continental cheeses. Do not give expensive or ostentatious gifts.
IrelandGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Handshakes should be firm with eye contact.
IrelandOutingsBuy a roundTo avoid being an asshole, always buy your round of drinks.
IrelandOutingsTippingTip 10%-12.5% of the bill (check to see if there's already a service charge included), based on the quality of service. If you receive exceptional service you can tip higher.
IrelandPublic BehaviorBe reservedDon't be an asshole in public - we don't like loud, aggressive and arrogant behavior
IrelandVisitingChildren welcomeJust so you know, children will be included in family entertaining.
ItalyVisitingHostess goes firstAllow hostess to begin eating before guests.
ItalyBody LanguageMake eye contactMaintain eye contact while talking, otherwise we'll think you're an asshole.
ItalyVisitingTour of the homeJust so you know, we are proud of our homes and love to give tours. Feel free to ask for a tour when invited into someone's home.
ItalyDiningPizza etiquetteWe expect you to order a whole pizza to yourself, and eat it with beer or cola. Don't be an asshole and order anything else (like salad) with your pizza.
ItalyOutingsMeet outsideIf you don't want to be an asshole, wait in front of the restaurant for all members of the group to arrive before you enter the restaurant.
ItalyDiningOrdering BeerTo avoid being an asshole do not order a beer for yourself. Order a bottle for the table and pour it into tiny plastic glasses.
ItalyVisitingBe punctual in the NorthTo avoid being an asshole, be on time or 5 minutes early in the North of Italy.
ItalyVisitingIt's ok to be late in the SouthIn the South of Italy, we're usually at least 15 minutes late. We're not being assholes, it's just the way we do things. You can too.
ItalyConversationTaboo Topic - personal questionsOnly assholes ask personal questions.
ItalyConversationThe word "you"Unless you want us to think you're an asshole, use "lei" when addressing almost everyone. You can use "tu" with children, family members and close friends.
ItalyDining(Almost) always use your utensils Don't be an asshole and use your fingers to pick up pieces of cheese to put them on your bread or cracker. Use your knife! Unless you're an asshole, you should eat fruit with a fruit knife and fork, except for grapes and cherries.
ItalyDiningEating pastaUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, don't roll pasta on your spoon. Roll pasta with your fork on the sides of your pasta plate.
ItalyDiningLeave your glass fullWe do this funny thing where we will keep refilling your wineglass. If you don't want more refills, keep your wineglass almost full.
ItalyDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
ItalyGiftsFlowersWe think you should send flowers before or after a party.
ItalyGiftsGive generouslyWe are very generous gift givers. Don't be an asshole and give a "cheap" or practical gift.
ItalyGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give chocolates, flowers (an uneven number) and pastries. Chrysanthemums are a symbol of death, red roses are symbols of love or passion. Don?t give knives or scissors, which are considered bad luck. Give attention to or bring a small gift for children.
ItalyGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open gifts in front of the giver when received.
ItalyGiftsThank you noteUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, send a thank you note after being entertained or given a gift.
ItalyGiftsThank you noteUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, send a thank-you note after receiving a gift or being a dinner guest.
ItalyGiftsWrap beautifullyUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, wrap gifts beautifully. Do not wrap a gift in black with gold ribbon, which symbolizes mourning.
ItalyGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving.
ItalyGreetingKissesTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. Friends may greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks.
ItalyOutingsDrinking in moderationTo avoid being an asshole, don't drink without eating. Hard drinking is unusual and not appreciated - even mild intoxication is considered ill-mannered.
ItalyOutingsGetting the billJust so you know, when you're finished eating, ask for your check otherwise it may not be brought to you.
ItalyOutingsPaying the billTo avoid being an asshole, if you invite, you pay.
ItalyOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole is to raise your index finger and make eye contact.
ItalyOutingsTippingWe don't tip, but you'll usually have to pay to come in and sit down.
ItalyPublic BehaviorDon't burpWe think it's disgusting to burp in public.
ItalyPublic BehaviorDon't yawnCover your mouth if you must yawn, but try not to yawn.
ItalyPublic BehaviorKeep your shoes onOnly assholes remove their shoes in public.
ItalyPublic BehaviorRemove your hatUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, men should always remove their hats when entering a building.
ItalyVisitingBe fashionably lateArriving at a party on time is an asshole move. When invited to a home, arrive 15 to 30 minutes after the stated time.
ItalyVisitingDon't help yourself to secondsUnless you want to be an asshole, wait for hostess to offer second helping.
ItalyVisitingDon't leave the tableUnless you want to be an asshole, don't leave the table until everyone is finished.
KoreaConversationNo red ink for namesWe only write the names of dead people with red ink. Only an asshole would write the name of a living person with red ink.
NetherlandsBody LanguageBe coolWe are reserved. Only an asshole displays anger or extreme exuberance in public.
NetherlandsBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets
NetherlandsBody LanguageMake eye contactMake eye contact when speaking with us, otherwise we'll think you're an asshole.
NetherlandsVisitingStart with a little bitTo avoid being an asshole, take a small quantity of food to start with. We'll offer you a second helping, and it is polite to accept.
NetherlandsVisitingStick around for a whileTo avoid being an asshole, plan to stay for an hour or so after a dinner gathering.
NetherlandsVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
NetherlandsBody LanguageTaboo gesturesYou'd have to be an asshole to tap the center of your forehead with your index finger, which we take to mean you think we're crazy.
NetherlandsVisitingWe probably won't feed youJust so you know, we don't consider food to be a big part of hospitality like other cultures do. We won't serve you a meal unless the invitation specifically mentions a meal.
NetherlandsBody LanguageTouchingWe are reserved and formal in public. Only assholes kiss, hug, or touch in public.
NetherlandsBody LanguageYou have a phone callDon't think we're assholes if we move our index finger around our ear. We mean you have a telephone call (not "you're crazy")
NetherlandsConversationGive opinions, including criticismOnly a liar, or someone who is simple-minded will never offer criticism. Don't worry about hurting our feelings.
NetherlandsConversationHumorWe think slapstick humor is stupid. We prefer subtle humor.
NetherlandsConversationTaboo Topic - money and pricesOnly assholes talk about money or prices.
NetherlandsConversationTaboo Topic - personal questionsOnly assholes ask personal questions.
NetherlandsConversationUnderstated complimentsWe offer compliments sparingly. If we say something is "not bad", we're not being an asshole, we're actually praising it.
NetherlandsConversationWe're directWe speak directly and use a lot of eye contact. We're not being assholes - this is just our way of communicating.
NetherlandsConversationWe're not "Holland"Don't be an asshole and call the Netherlands "Holland". Holland is a region within the Netherlands.
NetherlandsDiningAlways use your utensilsUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, use eating utensils at all times, including to eat sandwiches, fruit and pizza.
NetherlandsDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
NetherlandsGiftsFlowersWe think you should send flowers before or after a party.
NetherlandsGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Bring children a small gift or candy.
NetherlandsGreetingDon't shoutOnly assholes shout greetings. Just wave if greeting someone from a distance.
NetherlandsGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Instead of saying "Hello", say your last name.
NetherlandsIntroductionsIntroduce yourselfTo avoid being an asshole, identify yourself. Introduce yourself if no one is present to introduce you.
NetherlandsGreetingMake the first moveWe're not being assholes if we don't speak to you. We value privacy and seldom speak to strangers. We'll probably wait for you to make the first move. Don't be afraid to come say hi.
NetherlandsOutingsPaying the billJust so you know, we will make it clear that you are our guest if we intend to pay the bill, otherwise expect to pay your fair share. Splitting the bill is common.
NetherlandsOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole is to raise your hand, make eye contact and say ober (waiter) or mevrouw (waitress)
NetherlandsOutingsTippingService charge is not included in the price. 5 to 10% tip is common, except when the service is quite bad.
NetherlandsPublic BehaviorNo gumWe think it's disgusting to chew gum in public.
NetherlandsVisitingDon't leave the tableUnless you want to be an asshole, don't leave the table during dinner (even to go to the bathroom).
PortugalBody LanguageBeckoningUnless you're being an asshole, beckon someone with the palm of your hand down and fingers or whole hand waving (as patting someone on the head).
PortugalBody LanguageGesturesWe don't use a lot of body gestures. Only assholes are overly demonstrative with hand gestures or body language.
PortugalVisitingFood service styleJust so you know, food is served family style. The guest of honor serves him/herself first and passes dishes around the table.
PortugalVisitingLeaving some behind is okUnless you want to be an asshole, allow your host to open the door when it is time to leave.
PortugalBody LanguageTaboo gesturesOnly an asshole points with their finger.
PortugalConversationWe are not SpanishDon't be an asshole and treat us as though Portugal is part of Spain. We are not Spanish, nor are we in any way similar to the Spanish in culture. We do not speak Spanish or Brazilian.
PortugalDiningEating fishUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, eat your fish with the special knife and fork.
PortugalDiningLeaving some behind is okUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, leave some food on your plate when finished eating.
PortugalGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Flowers for the hostess and table wine for the host are recommended gifts. Give expensive chocolate and expensive flowers (not chrysanthemums).
PortugalGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open a gift immediately upon receiving it.
PortugalGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving.
PortugalGreetingHugging and kissingTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. Men may embrace each other when meeting (friends and family only). Women may kiss each other on both cheeks.
PortugalOutingsTippingThe bill at the restaurant only charges for what you eat (they don't add a service charge). It is customary to leave a tip of 10% or more.
SloveniaVisitingDrinks offeredUnless you want to be an asshole, when we offer you a drink, accept it. Only refuse a drink if you have a very good reason.
SloveniaVisitingInvitationsExtended invitations are genuine and should be accepted. Expect a mid-day invitation to include a substantial meal, while an evening invitation will be snacks.
SloveniaVisitingRSVPTo avoid being an asshole, give a written reply when you are invited to a group gathering.
SloveniaVisitingShoes in the houseTo avoid being an asshole, take off your shoes when you enter someone's house. No one wants what you stepped in on their floor.
SloveniaConversationTaboo Topic - WW2Only an asshole would talk to us about Twentieth Century history, especially World War 2.
SloveniaConversationThe word "you"Unless you want us to think you're an asshole, use "vi" when addressing almost everyone. You can use "ti" with children, family members and close friends.
SloveniaDiningCommunal saladWe eat salad directly from a communal salad bowl. Please join us.
SloveniaDiningToastsWe'd really like it if you'd look us directly and warmly in the eye and say "Na zdravje!" (health) when clinking glasses.
SloveniaGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Wine or chocolate are good. Flowers are good, but beware of the meaning of certain flowers. Red roses are for romance only, chrysanthemums are for the dead. Don't bring an even number of flowers - an odd number of flowers is for the living.
SloveniaGreetingEntering and leavingWhen entering and leaving an elevator, restaurant or shop, be polite and say "Dober dan" (hello) and "Nasvidenje" or "Adijo" (goodbye).
SloveniaGreetingHandshake or kissesTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. In some places near the Italian border, though, we do the kisses on the cheek.
SloveniaGreetingWhile hikingWhen we're hiking we expect the person going up to be the first to greet ("Dober dan"). When we get to a hilltop hut, we greet anyone who is already there.
SloveniaOutingsPaying the billJust so you know, our servers prefer exact money in payment. Please do not pay for a little thing with a large bill.
SloveniaOutingsPaying the billJust so you know, if you extend the invitation for an outing, we expect you to pick up the tab for everything. Next time will be my turn.
SloveniaOutingsTippingWe don't really tip, although it's common to "round up" the bill so that the server isn't expected to make change.
SloveniaShoppingBarteringWe don't barter, although it doesn't hurt to ask for a discount on a large item (over ?100) if you're paying cash.
SpainBody LanguagePersonal SpaceWe stand very close when talking. We're not being assholes, but we might think you're an asshole if you back away.
SpainBody LanguageTouchingWe are uncomfortable being touched by people we don't really know. Only an asshole would touch, hug, or back slap us (unless we touch them first).
SpainConversationWe interruptExpect to be interrupted when speaking. We're not being assholes - it's just what we do.
SpainDiningDon't waste foodUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, decline food rather than leave it on your plate.
SpainDiningToastsWe'd really like it if you'd attempt to give a toast in Spanish. Be brief when toasting.
SpainGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give: pastries, cakes, chocolates, flowers (red roses connote passion, yellow roses infidelity; give an odd number of flowers). Do not give: chrysanthemums, dahlias or 13 flowers (unlucky number).
SpainGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open a gift immediately upon receiving it.
SpainGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving.
SpainGreetingHugging and kissingTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands when greeting someone. Men may embrace each other when meeting (friends and family only). Women may kiss each other on the cheek and embrace.
SpainOutingsTippingTip everyone for everything.
SpainVisitingBe fashionably lateArriving at a party on time is an asshole move. It is acceptable and common to be late by 30 minutes in southern Spain and 15 minutes in northern Spain for social meetings.
SpainVisitingBe punctual for bullfightsNever be late for a bullfight.
SwitzerlandBody LanguageHands stay out of the pocketsOnly an asshole talks to others with their hands in their pockets
SwitzerlandVisitingRespect the elderlyUnless you want to be an asshole, show great respect for elderly.
SwitzerlandBody LanguagePostureWe don't like poor posture. Only an asshole would stretch or slouch in public.
SwitzerlandVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
SwitzerlandBody LanguageTaboo gesturesYou'd have to be an asshole to point your index finger to your head, which we find insulting.
SwitzerlandDiningAlways use your utensilsUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, use eating utensils at all times, including to eat fruit.
SwitzerlandDiningSalt and pepperIf salt and pepper are not on the table, don't be an asshole and ask for them.
SwitzerlandDiningSoft foodsDon't be an asshole and cut potatoes, soft foods and salads with knife. Use a fork.
SwitzerlandDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
SwitzerlandDiningTry everythingIf you don't want to be an asshole, sample everything offered to you. Try to finish everything on your plate when dining in someone's home.
SwitzerlandGiftsFlowers and thank you notesWe think you should send flowers to the hostess before a large party or the next day with a thank you note.
SwitzerlandGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Bring a small gift for children. Give candy (good quality), pralines, flowers (unwrap before presenting, odd number), pastries. Do not bring large or expensive gifts. This is considered vulgar and makes receiver uncomfortable. Don't give red roses or carnations (these imply romance). White chrysanthemums and white asters are for funerals only.
SwitzerlandGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Handshakes are firm with eye contact.
SwitzerlandOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server in the German parts of Switzerland without being an asshole, is by saying Herr Ober, and a waitress by saying Fräulein. It is rude to wave your hand.
SwitzerlandOutingsTippingServers here are paid decent salaries, so we don't really tip. If you are satisfied with your meal feel free to round up the amount to the nearest five to ten francs. If you are really delighted with the service or you are in a larger group, add a little more.
SwitzerlandPublic BehaviorBodily functionsWe think it's disgusting to chew gum or clean your fingernails in public.
SwitzerlandPublic BehaviorDon't litterOnly assholes litter (we will scold you publicly).
SwitzerlandVisitingBe punctualArriving late is an asshole move. Be punctual.
TurkeyOutingsTippingYou will NOT be an asshole if you do not tip period! If you get room service or a Pizza delivery follow your heart but you do NOT need to tip. Never Tip a Taxi or any Shuttle service unless you received unimaginable service/help. If you do you are just out money and easily an asshole. Only Tip at the most expensive places. At your Hotels....NEVER! You may see ‘Tip Boxes’ but consider them decoration for other assholes.
TurkeyPublic BehaviorRecyclingWe scorn recycling. If you try it we'll treat you like you're an asshole. Even if you use the Sponsored Bins in the bigger cities you'll still be an asshole. We bag everything, even your purchased plastic bags.
TurkeyVisitingShoes in the houseDon't even think about wearing your shoes in our house or we'll think you're a complete asshole. We will probably offer you some slippers to wear. Put them on unless you want to be an asshole.
TurkeyBody LanguagePersonal spacePersonal space? Sure we like some personal space when talking to one another, but beyond that, we scoff at personal space. When standing in line expect some feet on your feet, bellies touching, boobs touching and getting bumped from front and back. When sitting, we will probably sit almost on top of you. If you react to these things you are an asshole!
TurkeyConversationDon't compare usWe're unique! Don't compare us to any place else. If you want to be an asshole, compare us to Greece or Africa. We are very tolerant, we just don’t know about anyplace else because we are the best.
TurkeyConversationNational interestsIf you do NOT talk about our national interests, you are not only an asshole but a complete fool, ignorant, and stupid. Especially if you have landed here more than 3.5 days.
TurkeyGiftsHostess giftA cheap gift to share with others, like small cookies, is great, but if you are invited for lunch and tea and you bring Whiskey and Steak you really are an asshole. You are OUR guests.
TurkeyGiftsOpening giftsGive generous gifts, but don't expect them to be opened right away. Only an asshole would open a gift upon receipt. We set the gift aside an open it later... as in much later, like when you're gone. Don't be an asshole and ask us to open the gift immediately!
TurkeyGreetingHandshakes and moreTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Handshakes should be normal pressure with eye contact. Take your hands off your hips and out of your pocket and get ready to share some germs with anyone. Do NOT be distant when making contact. Also be prepared for the cheek to cheek kiss or head-butt while shaking hands.
TurkeyDiningSummoning your serverIf you don’t make some noise to get a server's attention you are not only an asshole but just out of service. Do it politely but don’t wait for servers or you’ll find your tea glass empty! If you are too passive, you're just weak. Turks are soft but persistant. You should be too, but in a very nice way.
TurkeyPublic BehaviorSpitting and pissing and teeth, oh my!Cover your entire mouth if you clean your teeth with a toothpick. Spitting on the ground is o.k. and so is pissing behind a tree but don’t pick your teeth like the rest of the world. Who knows why?
TurkeyPublic BehaviorSocial mediaWalk around with your ‘Selfie camera pole’ and you are not only an asshole but also laughed at. Turks are a natural people and living inside a 4 inch box means not having 6 inches of cerebral cortex on the other side!
TurkeyPublic BehaviorClothingAnything goes in Turkey. Wear it, don’t wear it! Show your belly, butt, breasts, high heels. If you do NOT you are really an asshole. Tops off at the beach, butt’s hanging out of shorts, 10 inch high-heels....really, we see it everyday. Especially as a guest, being afraid of your normal lifestyle is just like being an asshole.
United KingdomBody LanguagePersonal SpaceWe need a lot of personal space. Don't stand too close to us or put your arm around our shoulder unless you want to traumatize us.
United KingdomVisitingTour of the homeTo avoid being an asshole, do not ask for a tour of your host's home.
United KingdomBody LanguageTouchingWe're pretty uncomfortable with back slapping, touching and public displays of affection. Unless you want us to think you're an asshole, don't hug, kiss or touch us unless you know us well.
United KingdomVisitingBe punctual in Scotland and WalesIn Scotland and Wales, arriving late is an asshole move. Arrive on time.
United KingdomConversationDon't assume our heritageThe United Kingdom is comprised of four countries - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can refer to anyone from those countries as "British", but only an asshole uses "English", "Scot", "Scotsman", "Welsh", "Irish" or "Northern Irish" if they're not absolutely certain.
United KingdomConversationTaboo Topic - moneyOnly assholes talk about money.
United KingdomConversationTaboo Topic - personal questionsOnly assholes ask personal questions, such as where a person lives or what a person does for a profession or job.
United KingdomDiningTable mannersIf you don't want to be an asshole, keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal - not in your lap, and keep your elbows off the table.
United KingdomDiningToastsIf you don't want to be an asshole, let the host or hostess initiate the first toast, which is usually only given at a formal dinner.
United KingdomGiftsFlowersWe think you should send flowers in advance of a dinner party. Do not send white lilies, which denote death.
United KingdomGiftsHostess giftWe think you should bring us a gift if you are invited to our home. Give flowers, chocolates, wine, champagne or books. Present the gift upon arrival.
United KingdomGiftsReceivingUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, open a gift immediately upon receiving it.
United KingdomGiftsThank you noteUnless you want us to think you're an asshole, write a thank you note to the hostess.
United KingdomGreetingHandshakeTo avoid being an asshole, shake hands with everyone present -- men, women, and children. Shake hands again when leaving. Handshakes are light -- not firm. Women should extend their hand to men first.
United KingdomOutingsSummoning your serverThe best way to beckon a server without being an asshole is by raising your hand. Don't wave or shout.
United KingdomOutingsTippingA service charge (tip) of 12.5% to 15% may be added to your bill. If service is included, you are not expected to add anything further but you may want to add a small sum for particularly good service or extra attention. If service is not included, plan to leave a tip of 12 to 15 per cent.
United KingdomPublic BehaviorDon't stareDon't be an asshole in public - we don't like it when you stare.
United KingdomPublic BehaviorHold the doorTo avoid being an asshole, you should always hold the door for a person following behind you.
United KingdomPublic BehaviorMannersDon't be an asshole in public. Be polite, reserved and restrained. We are courteous, unassuming and unabrasive.
United KingdomPublic BehaviorRespect the queueOnly assholes violate a queue. It is considered very rude to push ahead in a line.
United KingdomVisitingBe fashionably late in EnglandWhen invited to someone's home in England, arriving on time is an asshole move. Arrive at least 10-20 minutes after the stated time.
United KingdomVisitingDon't dive inUnless you want to be an asshole, wait for your host to begin eating before you eat.
VenezuelaConversationIt's better to lie than disappointWe'll think you're an asshole if you deliver disappointing news. It's better to tell a "polite lie" instead.