Keep your faux pas to a minimum.
* * * * * * *
L OOKING FOR A WAITER IN A VIENNESE RESTAURANT? JUST POINT YOUR INDEX FINGER IN THE AIR. THAT’S WHAT THE AUSTRIANS DO. ------ BUT IF YOU’RE IN BRUSSELS, NEVER POINT AN INDEX FINGER AT ANYONE. THE GESTURE IS CONSIDERED IMPOLITE.
In Bulgaria, nodding your head up and down means “no,---~~ and shaking your hçad from side to side means “yes.” Misunderstandings can be avoided by just visiting the Web of Culture (www.webofculture.com), a unique site that now explains the meanings of body language worldwide. Here are some other very useful Web sites for travelers.
Universal Currency Converter.
(www.xe.net/currency) If you just received an invoice for 1 million lira for the charming Italian villa you plan to rent for a week in Tuscany, don’t panic. A few clicks on this Web site will let you know that’s only $550. You can convert almost any foreign currency on this site.
Automated Teller Machines .
www.visa.com/atms or www.mastercard.com/atm) Whether you’re traveling in the United States or abroad, don’t leave home without this indispensible list of the locations of ATMs at your destinations.
Foreign Language Translator
(babelflsh.altavista.com) Want to send a letter to someone in his or her native tongue? Just type it in English, hit the “translate” button, and your messages comes up in your choice of several European languages. You can also convert foreign documents to English.
(www.facstaffbucknell.edu/rbearddiction.html) When you want to know how to ask for a taxi in Thailand, or how to say “thank you” in Swahili, this address links you to more than a thousand dictionaries in 200 different languages.
Driving in the U.K.
()www.theaa.co.uk) If you’re p1anning to tour the United Kingdom by car,
this site reports current traffic and construction problems.
Speed Trap Registry
()www.speedtrap.com) It’s expensive to speed in France, especially on the Autoroute toll roads. Nonresidents are fined on the spot—usually in cash.
Speed traps in 36 countries are listed here, along with helpful driving tips.
(pavel.physics. sunysb.edu/RR/rnetrohtml) From the major cities in Azerbaijan to those of the United States this site lists schedules, travel times, and fares for major subways, buses, and other forms of local transportation.
()www.worldclimate.com) What is the weather normally like? This site gives you the answer for tens of thousands of locations.
What Time Is It?
()www.tirnezoneconverter.com) Check here if you want to find out the correct time anywhere on earth.
Leaving Home for Good
(www.escapcartist.com) During your travels abroad, did you locate the perfect place to live? For tips on moving there and finding employment, check this site. —Mark Wexler
MODERN MATURITY Magazine
January-February 2000 (Pg. R)
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