Brits Breaking Bizarre Rules Abroad
The Brits aren’t known for being the most culturally sensitive folk when abroad, but it’s hard not to sympathise with those caught up in a number of odd laws which the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently shed light on.
Let’s look at camouflaged clothing. Everyone knows that to wear it outside of military barracks (or the theatre of war) will provoke the fashion police, but in Barbados it provokes the actual police. Even kids aren’t exempt.
Across the pond, in Barcelona, you can dress head to toe in combat attire without a sniff of legal repercussion, but the moment you reveal your bare chest or bikini away from beach areas, you can expect to be hit with a hefty fine. If in doubt, follow the example of Amy Childs and her man friend, who last year were photographed in the Catalan capital obeying the law.
The FCO claimed that almost 5,000 of the travellers it assisted last year could have avoided being arrested if they’d researched local laws before leaving home.
Charles Hay, Director of Consular Services, said: “It is important to remember that laws and customs can vary greatly from country to country and what may be perfectly legal in the UK could be subject to a fine or even a jail sentence in another.
“While consular staff will always try to assist British nationals who find themselves in difficulty abroad, we can’t interfere in another country’s legal processes.”
So, you’ve been warned, gappers.
· In Florence it’s punishable by a ‘large fine’ to eat near a church or public building.
· In Japan many nasal sprays are illegal because they contain the banned substance pseudoephedrine.
· In Singapore it is illegal to chew gum on the city’s subway system.
· In Nigeria it’s forbidden to bring mineral water into the country.
· In Fiji it is illegal for women to sunbathe topless.
· In the Maldives it is illegal to publicly observe any religion other than Islam.
Even more extracurricular reading:
Earlier this year the FCO again made our headlines when it revealed some of the more hilarious requests it recieved from British nationals abroad. Think rebel monkeys, absurd wagers and marriage counselling. Full article here.