Writer, critic, and game-show host, Clifton Fadiman, once wrote,
"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."
This is an important caution for travelers. You will be in alien territory, where things may be done very differently. Be prepared to negotiate these differences and certainly don’t think that you’re going to change the culture. The entire "Ugly American" personna, is a common example of people who disregard this fact. I remember a group of these "uglies" who marched into a restaurant in Cordoba, Spain, berating the maitre d’hotel about the fact that people were smoking in the restaurant and demanding a no-smoking table. Who did they think they were? People like this give all Americans a bad name and reputation. They should simply stay home!