Monday, March 10, 2014
Weirdest laws around the world that could get you in trouble
In Bhutan, which has the most restrictive anti-smoking laws in the world (and the earliest ones, passed in 1729), it is illegal to produce or sell tobacco. Violators are looking at three years in prison. People can import small amounts of tobacco for personal consumption, but if they’re caught using, they must produce receipts to prove they paid import duties (which run from 100-200%).
Wandering and eating street food are two undeniable Italian pleasures. But be careful about where you stop to scarf down that awesome street pizza. Having a meal on the steps of any church in Florence is illegal. Just keep walking, and you’re sure to find a stone bench or the steps of a fountain to enjoy your snack.
You’d have to be a terminal fashion victim to want to tour archeological sites in stilettos, but in case common sense hasn’t prevailed, the law in Greece might. It is illegal to wear high heels when visiting the Acropolis and other historical sites, as those fashionable spikes tend to damage the ancient monuments.
Singapore is widely ridiculed for have having some of the world’s most stringent behavioral edicts. There are all kinds of laws prohibiting public uncleanliness in this spic-and-span city-state. Spitting and littering will cost you a fine, vandalism will get you a caning, it is illegal to sell chewing gum, and don’t even think about declining to flush a public toilet.
I’m too sexy for my house: not only is pornography illegal in Singapore, but the country has an oddly expansive definition of pornography. It is illegal to walk around your own house in the nude.
Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square in Venice are a seemingly permanent part of the scenery, but the city is trying to change that: it is unlawful to feed them, and fines go up to $790. Tourism is such a huge moneymaker for the city that pigeons doing their business all over the monuments isn’t, well, good business.
Drivers in France should know that they’re required to have a breathalyzer on hand, and violating this rule was intended to carry a fine. But last year, implementation of the fine was delayed indefinitely; therefore, for now the rule is purely theoretical. So breathe easy (as long as you don’t inhale booze before you take to the road).