Quiz: Are You Polite When You Travel?
See how high you can score on fraught questions of international interpersonal relations
You’re a seasoned traveller, but how familiar are you with international etiquette? Should you slurp your noodles in Japan? What’s the one thing you should never do while waiting in line in Britain? Take this quiz to see how much you really know.
0–3 correct answers: Keep the nearest Canadian embassy on speed-dial. You’re an international incident waiting to happen!
4–7 correct answers: Well done. You can safely travel most places without worrying about causing a diplomatic row.
8–10 correct answers: Congratulations! You’re a cultural chameleon—you can fit in anywhere.
Challenge your globetrotter status
If you consider yourself a world traveller, test your smarts about our home planet with this quiz that spans from New Zealand to Turkmenistan.
As always, stay protected with CAA Travel Insurance for complete peace of mind while travelling in Canada or abroad.
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1B: No. Slurping, especially when eating noodles, like udon and ramen, is perfectly acceptable.
2B: No. In Egypt and many Middle Eastern countries, you are supposed to use your right hand to eat or serve food. Using your left, which is traditionally used for, ahem, cleaning yourself after going to the bathroom, is a big no-no.
3B: No. While Finns are comfortable steaming in their birthday suits, they understand that many foreigners aren’t.
4B: No. Thailand has a strict lèse-majesté law, which makes it a crime to mock the royal family.
5C: Bread and salt. The custom is reputedly one of the oldest in Russia. The bread is said to symbolize plenty, and the salt was believed to ward off evil.
6C: No. In squeaky clean Singapore, all drinking on the subway is forbidden. Violators face a fine of up to 500 Singapore dollars, or about $470 Canadian.
7B: Tell them your get-together is at an hora inglesa, or English hour. The term will let your guests know that you’re expecting them to be punctual, as opposed to arriving at the more flexible hora peruana, or Peruvian hour.
8D: Sticking straight up in your bowl of rice or soup. This is the ultimate dining faux pas. Pointing upward, your chopsticks will resemble incense sticks, which many Chinese families use in offerings to the dead.
9A: Complain about how long the line is. Grousing about what the Brits call “queuing” is seen as wimpy. Waiting without complaint is considered a sign of character.
10B: 5 per cent. Service charges are usually included on your bill, according to TripAdvisor, so tipping in France is a much more subdued affair than in North America.