Laws that Are Unbelievably Strange Yet Exist in this World
Traveling lets us explore the world from the perspective of others. We get to try different cuisines, languages, clothing, lifestyles, and meet interesting people. But one thing new travelers don’t expect is the presence of bizarre laws in countries they are visiting, and not knowing the law is no excuse to evade it.
This is one of the biggest reasons why so many people get into trouble in foreign countries doing things that are completely legal in their home country but worthy of five years in prison elsewhere. Here are five such laws to help you get an idea of what to expect.
In Japan, You Cannot Be Fat
This may come as a shock to many of you who have associated (rightfully) sumo wrestlers to Japan, who are known for their protruding bellies and broad structure. But Japan in actuality is very weight conscious, as the country made it law in 2009 to have a waistline below a certain benchmark: 31” in the case of men and 35” in the case of women. Thankfully, the law is only applicable to those who are above the age of 40.
Switzerland Does Not Allow Flushing of Toiler After 10pm
The premise behind this law is noise pollution. The Swiss believe that flushing the toilet is disturbing to the neighbours after 10pm, and to make people avoid doing it, they passed a law forbidding the practice.
The law is only applicable to people living in apartments for now but may extend to those living in other public spaces as well. Getting caught may seem impossible but bear in mind the neighbors have the right to lodge a complaint against you if they hear it.
Forgetting Your Wife’s Birthday is Bad, In Samoa it is Illegal
This small island is known for its rainforest interior and waterfalls, and many people visit its beautiful Aganoa Beach every year. But one little fact that most travelers are not aware of is that, if they forget their wife’s birthday while on the island, they are in violation of local law. Locals are aware of this and take extra steps to ensure they do not forget it, because if their wife complains to the authorities, it could spell trouble.
Autobahn in Germany Forbids You from Running Out of Fuel
Germany is known for its amazing cars and road infrastructure, and the Autobahn is the crown jewel. The intricate highway system allows vehicles to travel at 81mph in some patches, but many patches have no speed limit at all.
This makes it a road that speedsters love to travel on. However, if your car is low on fuel, it is highly recommended that you stay clear of the Autobahn highway. Running out of fuel will result in fines as it is considered a criminal offense by the authorities.
Why Knowing the Local Law Is Important?
Frequent travelers are cautious to keep themselves updated with the local law of the land they are about to visit, as ignorance of law is not a valid defense in court. A simple google search regarding local law is good education, but if you are about to do something that you know it might not be legal in the land you are about to visit, make sure you check its legality online first.
Stories of people that got jailed in foreign countries are regular news in frequently traveled destinations, for crimes both big and small. For example, drinking alcohol is legal in the US, but even possessing it is illegal in many countries, especially Muslim countries. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
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