We go to see other countries with hopes that they’re different from our homelands. Well, that may be more true than you imagine – including some of the laws. You can be surprised by the things that can attract the long arm of the law on your holidays. Here are some of the crazier ones – better watch out!
- Chewing gum in Singapore
OK, it’s not that crazy: you’re not gonna get shot on the street for chewing gum like some physical incarnation of a philistine tourist rube. Singapore only bans the import and sales of gum, except for medical reasons and via licensed vendors. Tourists, being none of those things, are allowed to bring two packs per persons.
Where does the Singaporean hate for chewing gum stem from? Vandalism. As far back as 1983, rogue gum was causing maintenance problems in high-rise public housing apartments. It escalated in 1987, when the $5 billion Mass Rapid Transit train system started running. The vandals upped their game from sticking spent gum in mailboxes, keyholes and on lift buttons to putting it over train door sensors. Thus chewing gum ate a ban!
- Wearing High Heels In Ancient Sites In Greece
Greece is a hot country and walking around tourist sites is something that’s generally not pleasant for your feet. So you’d think that high heels wouldn’t have been much of an issue in ancient sites like the Parthenon. Alas, there was a need to institute a ban of such footwear in 2009.
“Female visitors must wear shoes that do not wound the monuments,” Eleni Korka, Director of Greek Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, said back in 2009. “These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that.” So yeah, by wearing heels, you’re not only risking fall injury, but also chipping away the ancient history of Europe. Get some stylish sandals, especially if you can find ones in Greek style!
- Facebooking in China
With the recent scandals involving Facebook, you’d think you wouldn’t want to use it anyways. Alas, no other social media website rose up to take its place as a forum for our daily misery and mass data sales. However, if you go to China, you might find yourself experiencing an involuntary Facebook holiday.
The website won’t load, the app won’t refresh and Facebook Messenger won’t work. This is because China began blocking the social media site in 2009. That year saw a series of riots in Urumqi, the western capital of the Xinjiang province. Independence activists, mostly Muslim Uyghurs, supposedly used Facebook to coordinate, and that’s why it got the axe.
- Wearing Flip Flops In Capri
Capri is an Italian island in the Gulf of Naples. It’s a site beloved by tourists… which, to be fair, is an apt description for any place in Italy that’s isn’t a flaming garbage dump. However, many a tourist will be surprised to learn that the island bans noisy footwear – including flip flops.
So while it’s understandable why you won’t be taking your hobnailed Commemorative Singing Wall Bass Cowboy Boots With Authentic John Wayne Spurs, you won’t be wearing flip flops either. The local authorities even arrested a couple to make the point. Apparently, the locals value their peace and quiet more than you cheap plastic shoes, hence the law.
So while you try to navigate strange local laws, we’ll be making airlines comply with EC 261/2004. This means that if you encounter flight delays, cancellations or overbooking while flying to your vacation spots, you’ll be able to submit a claim to Skycop and possibly win a compensation of up to 600 EUR!