Travelling is a huge part of learning and we all hope to make trips around the world. For some of us, we travel to explore food and scenery. Others do it to learn about history and that’s all fine and good. What sucks is that, unlike Nigeria where pretty much any rule can be bent, or “Abeg” can get one out of a lot of troubling instances, in other places rules and laws are strict and “I didn’t know” does not mean you won’t pay a huge fine or even get some jail time.
Every single item on this list seems like a silly thing to be arrested for but do not say you were not warned. Here are 9 things you wouldn’t believe are Illegal in some part of the world.
9. Chewing gum is not allowed in Singapore.
There are a number of laws in Singapore that are quite odd. One is that importing chewing gum into the country is banned. The penalty isn’t just a slap on the wrist either — people face fines of up to $100,000 (SGD) and a prison sentence.
This is worthy of note because I know how much we love chewing gum here in Nigeria especially when we think we are bored so it is quite easy for a Nigerian – especially the slayQueens to find themselves n a Singapore prison if they were to visit.
Only certain chewing gums are allowed for medical reasons, according to the BBC.
8. No lacy underwear in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
2013 regulations in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan effectively banned lacy lingerie. The regulations require clothing that directly touches your skin to contain at least 6% cotton, according to CNN.
So I like to imagine some of us Nigerians who went to Russia for the world cup and hoped to hit the stores to buy lacy lingerie only to realize that not only were they out of stock, but out of the law as well.
The ban was put into place because of health concerns that the fabric isn’t breathable for the skin.
7. You can’t get drunk in a Pub
Seriously I wonder where one is allowed to get drunk if not in a Pub but there you have it. In the UK, it is illegal for a bar man to give you a drink after you’ve been drinking for a bit and get this; If you attempt to buy a drink for a friend who is drunk, you will have questions to answer and if you are lucky; maybe some jail time too.
6. Don’t paint your car army green in Nigeria
If you like say you weren’t warned. Under the “Prohibition of use” act, it is illegal to paint a private car with Army Green colours. The same law makes it illegal to dress up n a camouflage when you are a just a
breaking this law will get the defaulter a good beating from the Army should they be caught but I ampretty sure that in NIgeria, any law enforcement officer who catches you in a “camo” will beat you up even if they are not in the Army.
5. Wearing heels on ancient grounds is illegal in Greece.
Again this is for my selfie-hooked slayQueen. Step away from the Acropolis and switch out of your high heels. Shoes with high heels aren’t allowed at historic sites in Greece since 2009, according to NPR.
The point on heeled shoes can put a surprising amount of pressure on the ground, and can chisel away at the architectural sites.
4. Breaching a marriage promise is illegal in Nigeria
This one is absolutely great news for Naija ladies. You are free to sue your Ex if he promised to marry you and then failed to fulfill that promise.
This is not a joke people. The Nigerian constitution clearly states that a person who promises to marry another and fails is going to face the full wrath of the law.
3. There’s a limit on how much you can use ketchup, mayo, and vinaigrette in French schools.
Many media outlets have reported that France has some sort of agenda against ketchup. But Quora user Vincent Dupuy says that is just not true.
“The goal of this text was to improve the dietary quality of the meals served in French schools,” he says. “In article 2 it is stated that all sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup, and vinaigrette) must not be in free access but served according to the dish.”
French schools are just looking out for the health of their students: The government issued this 2011 restriction to cut fat intake.
2. Certain baby names are banned in Denmark, Iceland, and Portugal.
Certain countries around the world all have specific rules in place to protect the names of their children.
A Portuguese law, for instance, restricts “names that raise questions about the sex of the registrant.” People in Portugal can actually look at a government approved list of baby names that are mostly traditional and clearly state which sex the baby must be for the name to be appropriate.
In Denmark, their “Law on Personal Names” exists to protect children from names that can affect them psychologically. According to the Huffington Post, you can petition to have a different name approved rather than choosing a gender specific one from this list. This, however, isn’t easily done.
Iceland’s controversial rule is eerily similar but also requires parents to give their kids at least one, no more than three, forenames. New names are consistently added to the official list.
1. Nigeria says you can’t advertise a reward for return of stolen property
In Nigeria, advertising a reward for the return of stolen or lost property and stating that no question will be asked, or that the person producing such property will not be seized or molested is illegal.
There we have it. We have come to the end of out list and we can see that though, these laws are strange, they are still the law and you falter at your own risk in these countries. So let’s do our best to be careful about these laws and more importantly, do our best to find out more of them so we are safe when we travel and even here in Nigeria.