Thursday, February 22, 2007

Meet the locals

If you’re like most people, you go out to the same few places every weekend. You consider yourself a certain type of person, so you go to a certain type of club, bar or pub.

It’s time for a change.

Where’s the drinking hole you’re least likely to visit? (If it’s because it’s incredibly dangerous, cross it off your list and choose the second-least likely.) This Saturday night, you’re going there.

On your visit, keep in mind the most important tenet of travel: respect the local customs and learn from them.

How do the locals dress? Dress similarly, so as not to offend them (if they wear striped shirts and lots of hair product, don’t show up in your torn Dead Kennedys t-shirt; if they like retro handbags and liquid eyeliner, don’t wear your old tracksuit). Observe their customs and ways of behaving and try to fit in (drink complicated cocktails if that’s what they’re drinking; if they prefer Carlton Draught, so do you). Try to talk to the regulars – you never know what you might learn about horse racing, construction work, snagging a rich husband, beach volleyball or what that guy from Pavement is up to these days.

Be open-minded and tolerant. Just because they do things differently, doesn’t mean they’re wrong. And enjoy your cultural experience.

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