AS IT is nearly the end of the school year, many of us are ready to pack our bags and travel to different parts of the world. Whether we are travelling to a Western country or backpacking around Asia, there is no doubt that different countries have distinct cultures. In fact, some common aspects of life in Korea might even be illegal in a different country.Remember to look out for surprising laws when traveling abroad or you might end up paying a fine or being locked up during your vacation.
Finish your duty before 10 p.m.
If you really need to use the toilet after 10 p.m., you just might have to hold it in until the next morning. In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 p.m. in an apartment building. As the walls of old buildings in this country are very thin, loud pipes might disturb neighbors trying to enjoy a quiet evening. In fact, after 10 p.m. it is officially Ruhezeit, also known as quiet time. Flushing the toilet, using the washing machine, and taking a shower or bath during quiet time are all against the law. Although there is no specific clause in Swiss law restricting tenants from these behaviors, the Swiss Homeowners’ Society (HEV) leaves it open to the owners of the apartment buildings to set the rules, which also means the exact punishment is up to the owners.
Jailed for chewing
Did you know that you can end up in jail for chewing gum in Singapore? Because the government places a high priority on maintaining a clean image of Singapore, chewing and also selling gum have been illegal since 1992, in an effort to prevent people from sticking gum under chairs and tables or spitting it on the sidewalk instead of disposing of gum properly. The law was revised in 2004, allowing gum to be used only for medical purposes, such as helping those who wish to quit smoking. However, gum cannot be purchased in Singapore without a medical prescription.
No monkey business
Are you the type of person who loves climbing trees? Then Oshawa, Ontario, might not be your ideal Canadian holiday destination. In the city ofOshawa, it is illegal to climb trees. 60% of Canada is wooded and the local government in Oshawa wants to preserve this abundance. The intent of this law was to protect trees from damage and to protect people from falling and getting injured. If caught climbing a tree in Oshawa, you will be fined up to Can$250.
Don’t flick your gold
Is something itchy inside your nose? Then, you might want to carry some tissues with you when visiting the United States. According to state law in Alabama, you are not allowed to flick your booger into the wind. It is not illegal to ‘dig for gold’ or wipe your ‘gold’ under a chair, but you just can’t flick it into the wind. Since there is a possibility of the wind carrying your booger onto someone else, flicking your booger into the wind is inconsiderate, rude, and, at least in Alabama, very much illegal.
Professional help required
Only a qualified electrician is allowed to change a light bulb in the stateof Victoria, Australia, which includes the city of Melbourne. When you callhousekeeping to fix the light bulb, they might bring a professional qualified electrician to do it for you. The state government inVictoria, Australia’s second most populated state, says it’s illegal to change a light bulb unless you’re a licensed electrician. Apparently, people who break this law could receive a fine of up to AU$10.
Put that frown upside down
If you’re ever out in public in Milan, Italy, you should wear a smile at all times, or at least act like you’re having a good time, because it is illegal to frown in this city. Milan requires citizens to smile at all times, or citizens would have to face a fine. However, the local government take an exception to people attending funerals or making a hospital visit. With the goal of portraying Milan as a place of happiness, the government enforces its no-frown ordinance, and anyone caught frowning faces a fine as high as $100.
No photography allowed
If you are considering traveling to Chad in Africa, you might want to leave your camera behind. For most travelers, packing a camera allows them to capture the beauty of various countries.Unfortunately, in Chad, you’ll just have to capture the environment with only your eyes. Due to security concerns, the presence of refugees, and continued oil projects in the southern Doba Basin, a special photography permit is required for anyone taking pictures. Attaining the Special Photography Permit, granted by the Ministry of Communications in N’Djamena, requires an application, in which you will have to provide reasons for taking pictures. The application can be picked up and submitted at the Chadian Embassy. However, taking photos of military sites, official buildings, and airports is strictly prohibited even with the permit. If someone is caught taking photos without a permit or at these specific sites, their film and cameras may be confiscated, often by undercover police.