It has long been said that travel broadens the mind. Travel has also been said to be the university of life. I’ve found those statements very accurate when describing what happens to someone who has spent time in another country or area; learning about the people, culture & cuisine. I don’t think of myself as a particularly intelligent individual & there are very many things that I don’t know. So naturally, I have learnt & continue to learn a great deal from my time in various parts of the world. I decided it would be fun to compose a list of things that I didn’t know or hadn’t thought about until I began traveling.
The Georgian script is fascinating.
I’m not talking about the state of Georgia in the US, but about the country bordering Russia & Turkey. If this is the first time hearing of this country, then you’ve learnt something already. Their language is interesting sounding, but perhaps the way the language is written is what will get your attention.
Iraqi cuisine is delicious.
Iraq is constantly in the media & all of us will have heard about the country, but for all the wrong reasons. I had honestly never given a thought to Iraqi cuisine until I ate it. I’m not a food critic or food blogger so if I tried to describe it, I wouldn’t be doing it justice. All I can say is if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out.
Tax is not included on price tags in the USA.
Now I understand that this is completely normal for you if you are from the States, but it is so strange for the rest of us. An item will be marked as a certain price on the shelf, but when you pay for it, tax is added to the shelf price which obviously increases the amount you pay. I do not understand why it is done this way & I haven’t done any research into it, but I was very surprised to learn this.
Tipping in the USA.
While I’m thinking about the US, I want to point out a cultural difference I’ve noticed here. Waiters & waitresses in the US are so much more vocal about tips than in other parts of the world. Tipping is an entirely different topic & how it varies in different parts of the world becomes quite complex. In the country I come from, waiters & waitresses usually earn their income from tips like it is in the US, however it would be highly unusual to see a server complaining to a patron about the lack of a tip.
Koala bears are not cute.
If you’re a traveler to Australia, you’ll most likely want to see kangaroos & koala bears during your trip. I don’t want to take anything away from this tourist attraction or change your viewpoint of these creatures, but I was utterly shocked the first time I ‘met’ a koala bear. They smell really bad, have sharp teeth, make a terrifying sound & have claws which can cause a bit of damage to a person. A real life experience with them was a far cry from the cuddly, teddy bear idea I had of them.
Penguins are found in Africa.
Admittedly, I’ve known about this since I was a child because they are found in South Africa, but almost every person I speak to who has visited Cape Town mentions the penguins. So yes, there is a species of penguin that lives in Africa.
Budapest is riddled with ruin bars.
A ruin bar is an establishment selling alcoholic beverages out of a run down or dilapidated building & that is how it gets its name. I was surprised to find that what seemed like almost every street in the Hungarian capital had a ruin bar. This is quite the surprise for someone looking for a “normal” bar.
I could continue with this list, but the post is already too long & I would run the risk of my readers finding out how little I knew about the world before I started traveling.
Keep traveling, keep safe.