Interacting with locals is so often the highlight of your trip. But get lost travel magazine suggests you might want to think twice before taking part in these five fanatical local past-times…
1. Soccer – Bolivia
It sounds like an easy challenge: a game of five-a-side against a woman as old as your grandma in an ankle-length skirt and a bowler hat. But in the world’s highest capital city, La Paz, you’ll be gasping for air before the game’s even started. For Bolivians, futbol is the source of life. For you, it’s the source of extreme humiliation.
2. Boozing – Ireland
It has the highest binge-drinking rate in Europe, and pubs populate every inch of it. If you’re still silly enough to suggest a game of fluffy duck in Ireland, then get ready to toss any etiquette out the door. Your greatest test? Trying to keep up as you’re sliding face first down the bar.
3. Mahjong – China
A game that’s as complex as it is killer competitive. Likened to the card game rummy, but played using tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols. Casualties have included: the elderly (OD’ing on cocaine that’s supposed to keep them going) and a man who was pronounced dead at the table while everyone else still played on!
4. Singing – South Africa
Singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa) catapulted Africa’s ‘clicking’ languages into the spotlight with her song ‘The Click Song’. A beautiful, rhythmic and almost impossible song to master! Although, it still won’t stop any African inviting you to try.
5. Zumba – any Colombian, anywhere
The Colombian dance craze that’s taken over the world. It combines almost every move known to man: from merengue to samba, belly dancing and beyond. You’ll need staying power to keep up with any hip-swinging Colombian you meet – whether it’s on your travels or in your local gym!
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* photo by Isabel Rossen – Intrepid Photography Competition