Know Your 'Yuck Factor' When Travelling

Know Your 'Yuck Factor' When Travelling

Hygiene is relative, according to one veteran globe-trotter.

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Hygiene is relative, according to one veteran globe-trotter.

When she first travelled 25 years ago to Mexico, she put herself in virtual quarantine. She wiped the Coca-Cola bottle with a tissue before taking a swig. She ate only cooked vegetables. She said 'no' to ice. She had no fun, and got sick anyway.

Next trip, she ditched the fussiness.

However, striking a balance between good health and over-concern is not easy. While this traveller ate yoghurt from street vendors in Calcutta, and stuck her hand into communal bowls of pilaf, she still had hygienic quirks. Having read that hotels only wash bed-spreads every 60 days, she carefully protects her face from the bed-cover with the sheet.

So what did she do when her prescription sunglasses flew off her head and landed in the murky brown public squat toilet in India? She kept that secret, but did point out that cleanliness is cultural. After all, a Japanese traveller might think it unclean to go slipperless in the hotel bathroom.

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