But I don't understand why people shell out for international travel solely to get drunk/stoned in other countries. And I don't understand why people are so intent on traveling to those countries yet feel no compunction to observe the least of their social conventions.
Why can't the backpackers, who make such a big stink about how important it is to see the world? What those hippies aren't saying is, "...to see the world and trammel its cultures." The garment known as a tank-top in the US and a singlet in other places is a convenient thing for people who want tans, have zero heat tolerance, play sports, or beat women. But it has no place in Laos, despite all the hippies and backpackers who insist on wearing them. It was not a difficult feat in the least to camp out on a sidewalk curb and take pictures of all the foreigners who exhibit complete disregard for Laos' considerations in their wardrobe.
The exposed thighs is another thing. Even when we were traveling through the Muslim-predominant areas of Indonesia, some women thought flaunting their sexuality was more important than preserving their livelihood and staying out of jail (or at least respecting the local culture). Denim short-shorts with the rolled cuffs or the Daisy Dukes are in display throughout SE Asia. I can't say that only Australians violated this code, nor that this was the staple of the Australian outfit, but I can say that most of the time, whenever I saw someone wearing as little fabric as possible to expose as much leg as possible, I thought I detected an Aussie dialect when they spoke. Other nations violated this too, but one could make a strong case that Daisy Dukes and halter tops are standard issue when leaving Australia.
And it's not just women, note. Women frequently exposed their shoulders in thin singlets, exposed their bra straps in a real display of taste, but men were right up there with uncovering as much of their body as possible. Why? There are ample notices (for anyone with the capacity to read) that advise in friendly terms any traveler to Laos that there are certain things you don't do. Why would someone spend all that money to go to another country and not have a basic concern for any local customs they might violate? I'm all about customs and culture when I travel. I want to make sure I do nothing wrong, I don't want to accidentally offend the locals. So I don't understand these hypocritical, callous, and ignorant people at all.