Originally Posted by Mark Manley
The greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
AWESOME and TRUE!
Good advice...those of us "westerners" really need to learn about their hospitality. There is a strict code of honor regarding guests rarely seen in the west. One can get in trouble quickly through ignorance, but being willing to laugh at yourself and trying to adapt where you can is the best. Even knowing a few basic phrases goes a long way with hospitality. The other day I had a 5 minute conversation with a guy who was looking at my motorcycle (with his wife in the background laughing at him talking to me about the bike). It used all the Russian I knew, but when he realized I'm an American who's trying to learn his language and plans to stay you would have thought I was his best friend. Approach people as if they are friendly and they will probably stay that way. Act scared, suspicious, or hostile and you'll usually find that that's how people treat you.
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