Monday, November 17, 2014

Tip of the Day: Treating Your Hotel Concierge to a Meal Just Might Keep You From Being Arrested

From the time I was first was posted abroad with the US Marines, I would like to share a simple, valuable and effective tip with our readers which...just might prevent you from being arrested in a foreign country.

This is really a pretty simplistic tip, yet very rarely is an invitation to a share a meal with me declined

Within a few days of arriving in a country that I'm not familiar with, I make  point of building a personal relationship with the more senior concierge specialists in a country that I'm unfamiliar with (e.g., those staff that were born and raised in the country and know what to do and what NOT to do from the standpoint of social mores and laws.

I have discovered over the years that addressing hotel staff members by their given name is critical, as it establishes that you're genuinely interested in getting to know hotel staff that can be helpful to you.

I invariably make a point of asking every new concierge I meet for their given name and make a note of their name

What I have always found most helpful in remembering names is categorizing concierge staff by unique characteristics such as age, mannerisms, dress, etc.

The technique is simple: I ask the most experienced concierge staff member I can find when their days-off are so that I can invite him/her to a meal as my guest to exclusively query them about ignorant personal behavior that can get you arrested or minimally in trouble with local police. 

COMMENT: The bottom-line is that it is virtually impossible for any traveler to comprehend the endless regulations and laws that govern personal behavior as it relates to foreigners.

My suggestion is that you experiment with this tip and see if it is effective in short-circuiting the strange and often unknown laws that govern personal behavior abroad.

The upside of this process is that you just make one good friend and demonstrate that not all foreigners are ignorant and/or obtuse.

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