Highest Rated Comments

JoyceEPerrin18 karma

Oh, I've got a good one for that...

I was traveling from Zimbabwe to South Africa by local bus. We stopped at the border and I waited for my bag to be unloaded, but nobody moved a muscle. A local traveler who felt sorry for me explained that I had to go to the counter and pay an extra fee to the customs people and they would give me a slip for the driver to get my bag.

I had no choice, so I plunked down my cash. The man grabbed it up with no pretense of legality or procedure and gave me my slip. I got my bag and took the next bus.

When you arrive by air, none of this happens. There's no "special" tax or fee, which made me upset that only the lower income folks who travel by bus get hit with this extra cost.

JoyceEPerrin14 karma

This is a very interesting question and one I get asked frequently.

My experience out and about was the same as the locals, which meant that as long as I followed the rules and regulations, I was fine. I had to wear an abaya (a black robe worn over your clothes, floor length) and to cover my hair with a scarf. I was not to be out with a male other than a family member. Other than those rules, I was free to move about, to go to the markets, and eat at restaurants (as long as I was with another woman and in the designated women-only areas).

However, us single foreign women could socialize at the various embassies with other males, which isn't something the locals could do.

JoyceEPerrin13 karma

It's a great question.

Children about 2 years old, are similar across cultures, yet when they turn 3, their culture influences their unique differences. I found that very fascinating.

Also, a smile is a smile in any language, especially when you smile with your eyes.

JoyceEPerrin12 karma

Yes. I've been to Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Romania.

They were all interesting places in their own ways and the people were always up for discussing cultural differences. I loved sampling the unique regional foods.

I spent a month travelling east to west in Russia on trains with the locals, stopping to do homestays in various cities along the way. When I got to Moscow, I got lost on the subway and asked if anyone spoke English. Several people responded and I got to talking with one woman who asked if I liked hockey, which, being Canadian, is mandatory. She told me about a game that night, so I got a ticket and had a great time watching the game and sharing some vodka with the woman next to me.

JoyceEPerrin12 karma

Thanks for this question. For the few places I've visited many years apart, the biggest changes were usually the result of war.