Friday, February 22, 2013

The Odiferous and the Unshod

What gets into some people? I think one of the most important rules to follow when traveling is RESPECT. Respect for your host country, its people, culture, traditions and even societal norms.

People don’t wander the beaches naked, or even topless, in countries where modesty is valued. Please don’t wear shorts and T-shirts around a city where people dress formally. 

A foreign country is NOT your frat house.

We see a few unbelievably obnoxious types, and for me, that includes these kids who somehow think it’s cool to be stinky, unwashed, unkempt and unshod.

First of all, it’s dangerous to be without footwear in a developing country.

“Serves them right to get tetanus,” I think as another ragtag bunch of blonde dreadlock nomads shuffles by.

And then I have to laugh a bit at myself for being so conservatively Japanese -- we think it's rude to go to someone’s house in grubby clothes.

Who knows. Maybe they gave their shoes to some poor barefooted villagers.

I decide to forgive them their shoelessness, if not their cluelessness.

But the stench? When even the poorest local can bathe in the lake? Now, that’s unforgivable.


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