When traveling around the world, it’s not always a bad idea to do your research on local laws and traditions. Not only could this keep you out of trouble, but it can also help you get the most out of your holiday. However, there are some weird and wonderful rules that surely nobody is expected to follow.
But whether you are akin to having a sleeping donkey in your bathtub to enjoying eating somewhere that’s on fire, it pays to be clued up.
1. Only a qualified electrician is allowed to change a light bulb in Victoria, Australia
How many mechanics does it take to change a light bulb? None, in Victoria.
Australia’s second most populated state says it’s illegal to change a light bulb unless you’re a licensed electrician. Apparently, rebels who defy this law could receive a fine of up to AU$10 (£5.50).
2. Milan requires that citizens must smile at all times, or face a fine
Milan in Italy states that it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits. Frowners could face a hefty fine.
3. In Florida, it is illegal to pass wind in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays
5.59pm is fine. You would be deemed to have been causing a public nuisance, so you best run home first to do it in a little bit of privacy.
4. In England, it is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
This was voted the most ludicrous law in the UK in 2007. A spokesman for the House of Commons said: ‘The people who know about these things here say there is no basis for such a law, not to say it does not exist somewhere in writing.’
5. In Oklahoma, it is against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm
Great if your donkey is awake and just enjoying a bit of relaxation time. Not so good if it has snoozed off in a lava of bubbles.
6. In Canada, by law, one out of every five songs on the radio must be sung by a Canadian
Great for Justin Bieber fans, not so great for the sane. Part of the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) that for both types of programming there has to be at least a fifth by Caadian performers.
7. It is forbidden to be fat in Japan In the country that brought us sumo wrestling
It is illegal to be fat. In 2009, lawmakers set a maximum waistline, meaning every man aged over 40 must not have a waistline measuring over 31ins, and every woman cannot measure over 35ins.
8. Flushing the toilet after 10pm is illegal in Switzerland
Flushing the loo after 10pm in an apartment building is illegal in the country of Switzerland. The Government consider it noise pollution.
9. In Chicago, it is against the law to eat in a place that’s on fire
No matter how good the pizza tastes, if the restaurant sets on fire – you can’t stick around!
10. Running out of petrol is illegal on Germany’s autobahn, and so is walking along it
So those who do break down must pull over and use their horn to attraction attention. The penalty is €80 (£65) for endangering other drivers.