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Crazy Laws Around the World That Could Get You In Trouble Abroad

No doubt, there are no shortages of strange laws around the world. After all, up until a few months ago, it was illegal for women in Saudi Arabia to drive. There are many countries with strict laws regarding normal things like drug trafficking, which some travelers can get in trouble for.

Then there are countries (even the U.S.) that enforce strict punishment for seemingly minor infractions. It’s probably a good idea to be aware of them before embarking on your next trip. Here are five strange laws from around the world you should be aware of:

1 – No Spitting or Sneezing in Singapore

Got a cold? You better keep the sneezing and spitting in check while walking around Singapore. That’s right, Singapore has outlawed spitting and sneezing in public spaces. To be exact, it is illegal to “expel mucous from the nose in a public space.” So keep a Kleenex handy and make sure none of your bodily fluids end up on the sidewalk. The penalty for breaking this law? Up to $1,000 for first-time offenders.

2 – Winnie the Pooh is Not Welcome in Toszyn, Poland

On your next adventure to Tuszyn, you’ll definitely want to leave the Winnie the Pooh gear at home. The city has banned the beloved character from playgrounds and “children’s areas,” deeming him an “inappropriate hermaphrodite.” I don’t know about you all, but I think a cartoon bear with graphic genitalia would probably be more “inappropriate” on a playground than Winnie the Pooh.

3 – When Nature Calls, Don’t Answer

If you feel the need to relieve yourself in the Atlantic Ocean, don’t get caught doing it in Portugal. That’s right, it is illegal to pee in the ocean in Portugal. How they enforce this rule is beyond me. After all, how do you do you know if someone’s done it? How do they even prove it? That is the most contemplation I’ve ever done on this topic, so it’s probably time to move on…

4 – Carmel’s Strange Fashion Law

If you’ve ever visited Carmel, California you’ve probably noticed its charming cobblestone streets. Well, those streets are why the city has outlawed wearing heels that measure more than two inches in height. It’s probably a good idea anyway, considering heels aren’t the most comfortable footwear for some of those steep treks around town. If flats just don’t go with your outfit, don’t worry – the city does issue permits without a charge. I don’t know which one is stranger – the law banning heels or the fact that the city issues permits for wearing them.

5 – If It’s Yellow, Don’t Let It Mellow

Singapore has some of the toughest laws regarding pretty much everything (don’t cane me, I still love you Singapore). So it’s no surprise it has earned two entries on this list. This one regarding bathroom etiquette – if you’re caught not flushing a public toilet in Singapore, you can face fines of up to $150. I don’t know how a law like this would be enforced. Is there a member of the police force dedicated to monitoring bathrooms and if so, what is the starting pay and benefits package because it might be easier than the sh** I put up with at work sometimes. ;)

 

There’s an endless array of strange and downright idiotic laws out there. You can probably avoid most of them by being aware of them. Or simply freeze in position as soon as you see a police officer – that seems to be the safest option.

 

[Image: Francisco Anzola/Wikimedia Commons]

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7 Comments
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pointchaser February 6, 2018

@anirudh666 No plans to drive in SA, or any country where I'm not licensed to do so...for everyone's safety. ;) @anirudh666 Though to be fair, depending on who the president is, that stuff doesn't fly very well around here either. (Think, journalists during the Bush era, Rosie O'Donell, everyone mean tweeting Trump, etc.) @pdsales Then I guess it's a law targeted towards stupid people (as most laws are, I guess). @CaliforniaSteve But should common courtesy be legally enforced? That said, kudos to Singapore for making public spaces less gross. @GBM.flights Dead on!

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oa424 February 6, 2018

"There are many countries with strict laws regarding normal things like drug trafficking" LOL

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GBM.flights February 5, 2018

On topic 3 – When Nature Calls, Don’t Answer Reminds me of the old joke, -Sir, you have been banned from our club as you were peeing in the swimming pool. - Well, that's unfair, everyone does it! - It may be so, but you were the only one doing it from the diving board...

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CaliforniaSteve February 5, 2018

I don't consider a law that says you can't expel mucous onto the sidewalk (Singapore) to be a "crazy law". It's common courtesy.

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pdsales February 5, 2018

"If you feel the need to relieve yourself in the Atlantic Ocean, don’t get caught doing it in Portugal. That’s right, it is illegal to pee in the ocean in Portugal. How they enforce this rule is beyond me." Well, if you are standing at the end of a pier at the time, you are probably at risk.