How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Thailand

Monday, 6 June 2011

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Thailand

Most people around the world are not aware of the laws of even their own country. But laws are made for the comfort of people. Laws are not made to be broken but somewhat they were forgotten by people. Only a few people like judges and police officers remember laws around the world.
But if you break one while traveling and have the bad luck to run into a cop with a long memory, woe betide you! Here are some oddball ways one can break the law around the planet. Forewarned is forearmed.
Be careful where you step. Because the king’s face is on the currency in Thailand, you could tangle with the law if you accidentally put your foot on a coin or bill. You won’t run the risk of stepping on gum though; throwing it on the street incurs a fine of several hundred dollars. A strict dress code is also written into the law. Not wearing underwear in public, or driving without a shirt on, are punishable offenses.

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: The United Kingdom

If you’re planning to visit Parliament, remember the dress code, which makes it illegal to wear your suit of armor into the chamber. Beachcombers should be aware that whale remains are considered property of the crown; the head goes to the king and the tail goes to the queen so she can use the bones for her corsets. Gotta go? If you’re pregnant, by law you can relieve yourself anywhere in the United Kingdom, even in public. Finally, if you send a postcard home, be sure the stamp is right side up. Putting the monarch’s head upside down is considered an insult to the royal family.

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Italy

Scotsmen take note: Wearing any form of skirt, if you’re not female, can get you arrested on “The Boot." So can feeding the birds in Lucca or in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, or building a sandcastle in the small, seaside town of Eraclea. And if you’re traveling in a group to Rome, watch your conduct in public: It’s against the law for people in groups of three or more to sing, drink, eat or dance in the streets.

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: France

Kissing is a national sport in France. It’s not uncommon to see young couples canoodling at street corners, in parks, in restaurants and in any other passably romantic spot. Call the cops, though, if you see someone kissing on a train, as that’s illegal. But don’t take photos of the gendarmes if they show up: In France, it’s against the law to snap photos of policemen or police cars. That applies even if the law officers are in the background.

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Bolivia

How much wine is too much? The government in Bolivia has an answer — at least when it comes to women tippling. An old law, but one that’s apparently still on the books, forbids people with two X chromosomes from ordering more than one glass of wine in restaurants or bars. 

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: The United States

Each state has its own legal peculiarities. In Arkansas, it’s unlawful to mispronounce the name of the state. Cleanliness is key in Kentucky: Every resident is required by law to shower once a year. Those behind the wheel in Ohio should know that the state driver’s manual commands drivers to honk when passing another car. Be very careful before proposing in South Carolina; any male over 16 who seduces a woman with a promise of marriage, but doesn’t go through with the wedding, can be found guilty of a misdemeanor. And don’t giggle, but it’s illegal to tickle a woman in Virginia.

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Canada

Ditch the small change. In Canada store owners, by law, have the right to refuse payment in pennies if the item costs more than 25 cents, in nickels if the item is more than $5 and in dimes for things priced at more than $10. Climbing trees is unlawful in Oshawa, Ontario. And get ready to learn some new tunes; by law, one in every five songs played on the radio is by a Canadian-born artist. 

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Australia

Only the "Queen’s English" is allowed in Queensland, Australia. People who use profanity can be hit with fines of between $100 and $300. If you’re visiting the Northern Territory, leave your oboe at home; it’s illegal to play a musical instrument on a bus there. And forget about souvenirs if you’re visiting one of the country’s national parks. Removing anything, even a seashell or a pebble, from these protected areas can result in a major fine. 

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Denmark

Thirsty? Restaurants in Denmark can charge you for water, but only if it has ice or a slice of lemon in it. Before you rent a car, know that you’re required to check brakes and steering and honk the horn before turning the key in the ignition. As in many Scandinavian countries, the government requires drivers to have their headlights on whenever the car is in operation. 

How to Break the Law in 10 Countries: Singapore

Rules, rules, rules. Littering of all kinds in Singapore is a huge no-no, incurring fines. After several offenses, public humiliation is the punishment; repeat offenders clean streets wearing “litterer” signs around their necks and can be caned. Also, anything smacking of pornography is strictly verboten, from bringing adult magazines into the country to mooning someone — even walking around one’s own home naked.
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