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What you must know before visiting Cuba

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If you are one of the travelers who had Cuba on their bucket lists for years, and you just had the opportunity and the money to visit it, there are so many things that you should consider prior to your visit. In fact, this is a prime destination for travelers around the whole world. Keep on reading this article so that we can tell you about the things that you must know before visiting Cuba.

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Most People Need A Visa

You must know that, travelers from only 19 countries are able to travel to Cuba without having a visa. However, the rest of the world can purchase need one before they can book their tickets. Americans, it’s a bit more complicated. Moreover, if you are American, you can travel to Cuba for any purpose except for tourism.

Best time to go there

Carmencitta MAgazine - What you must know before visiting Cuba 3In Cuba, from the middle of November until the end of March, you will find the coolest, driest, and busiest season. However, the months of May and June are the seasons of raining, but it is worth going because Cuban tobacco harvesting and carnival, both happen at this time.

Carmencitta MAgazine - What you must know before visiting Cuba 4Cash is the king in Cuba

In fact, most places in Cuba do not take Credit or Debit Cards, especially from Americans. This is why, try to have cash rather than cards. Moreover, Cuba has its own currency, and they will not accept dollars. However, pay attention that they have two Cuban currencies and the difference between them is big, so be careful.

Staying is someone’s place is “illegal”

If you are planning to go to Cuba, make sure that you book a hotel room, because staying over there without paying, is considered to be an illegal act. However, if you have relatives, you can stay at their place but they should go to a specific agency with papers that prove you are relatives.

What you need to know before traveling to Mexico

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Every year, Mexico becomes more and more a perfect travel destination for most people, Especially Americans. Moreover, once you decide to go there, you will start imagining your long days on white sandy beaches, and clear blue waters. However, the culture over there differs from the culture of your own country. Here are the thing you need to know before traveling to Mexico.

Do not believe what you hear in the news

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In fact, for years, we have heard on the news that Mexico is where you can find drugs, and smuggle them from one country to another. Moreover, you cannot expect Mexico, or any country, to be violence free. However, there are a lot of regions in the country that are violence free and too friendly. In the matter of fact, The Yucatan peninsula, where Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations are located, is relatively unaffected by drug-related violence.

Carmencitta MAgazine - what you need to know before traveling to mexico 3Mexican food does not consist of just Tacos

We cannot ignore the fact that Tacos are delicious. However, there are much more Mexican foods that you should try such as: tortas, tamales, and mole poblano. In fact, in each region of Mexico you will find specific local specialties.

Buses are safe and cheap

Carmencitta MAgazine - what you need to know before traveling to mexico 4Do not be afraid to be late for a lunch with friends or a meeting, because in general, buses in Mexico are safe, clean, and on time. Moreover, you will be so relaxed on your trip because you will find in Mexico “executive class” as well as “first class” buses that offer you air conditioning, reclining seats, as well as movies. Moreover, if you have to go to a local place, use the second class buses because they make more stops. Additionally, buses fees are considered cheap because a one day trip can cost about 15$.

Things you should know before going to Italy

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Italy is, despite the communication difficulties, still a very pleasant and beautiful country to visit. However, just like many other countries, there are some things that you should know before you go there. If you are planning to visit Italy, read through the following things that you have to know before traveling, they might be a great help for you!

Carmencitta Magazine - things to go before going to italy. 1jpgDo not expect to eat “Italian Food”

In fact, there is no such thing as Italian food. Whenever we go to an Italian restaurant back home, we expect pasta dishes, pizzas, and tiramisu as a dessert. However, there are some parts of Italy where it is barely impossible to find a single piece of tomato in your plate! Moreover, once you choose the town, try to know what is usually produced in that season, and you will eat the freshest dishes.

 Carmencitta-Magazine-things-to-go-before-going-to-italy.-2Pay Cash rather than with credit cards

In Italy, most people pay for their things on a daily basis using cash. Moreover, they use paper bills to pay for everything, from their morning coffee, to their dinner, and everything in between. However, for those of you who have used to pay for small things at the grocery store with a credit card, do not get offensive when a waiter at a decent restaurant refuses your credit card.

Carmencitta-Magazine-things-to-go-before-going-to-italy-3If a waiter leaves you alone to eat, he is not being rude

You may be accustomed to waiters visiting your table every minute to see if everything was going okay and that you are enjoying your time at the restaurant. However, in Italy, it is different. The waiter actually leaves you alone to eat and waits far for you to call him if you need anything. In fact, this is not the waiter being rude, this is him or her leaving you to enjoy your meal as much as possible.

Things You Should Know Before You Visit Scotland

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Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Moreover, it shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Thinking about visiting Scotland? Those are the things that you need to know.

General Advice

carmencitta Magazine - things you should know before visiting scotland 2First of all, you need to know that Scottish prefer having indirect conversations, such as talking about the weather, traveling, etc… this is why, you need to stick with small talk. Moreover, make sure that you avoid topics like Politics and Religion. Additionally, if you are there to photograph, do not take a picture of someone without the person’s permission. In fact, Scottish are very proud of their country, so never make remarks against them. In addition, always say please and thank you while holding eye contact, as they are very polite and may get offended if you do not treat them the same way.

While Eating

carmencitta Magazine - things you should know before visiting scotland 3If in your country you are used to waving or snapping your hand at waiter, do not do that in Scotland. Moreover, for them, if you can afford eating at a restaurant, you can afford buying food for later meals, so don’t ask to take home food as leftovers. When it comes to tips, there is a customary tip of 10% with every meal and it is not expected of you to leave more. However, if you really enjoy your meal and your service, you can always leave more if you choose to do so.

If You Are Invited To Someone’s House

 

Make sure that you bring something over to their house as a gift. In addition, don’t mention that you don’t like the host’s food, and try to eat everything on your plate. Additionally, wait for the host to make a toast to the guest of honor first before eating.

 

Read this before visiting japan

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Visiting Japan comes with some rules and customs, which you need to better understand so that you don’t feel like you offended Japanese people.

A bow to show respect

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Bowing, for Japanese people, is considered something that has to be done whenever you see someone you know and you respect, to show how much respect you have for them. The length of time the bow needs to endure depends on the second person. For example, if he or she lasts only for 2 seconds, you need to last for that time also.

While on the table

Carmencitta-Magazine-Japan-3.Table manners are an important aspect of Japanese customs. There are a few things you need to know before dining with them. First, if you are invited to a dinner party and there were drinks available, wait before you drink so that someone takes the lead, make a speech to welcome guests, and then raises the glass. Second, the small cloth you receive at restaurants, is not used for your face, but for your hands and just your hands. Finally, you should say “itadakimasu” which means “I will receive” before eating.

Do not offer tips

Carmencitta-Magazine-Japan-4When it comes to tipping, Japanese people find it insulting. For them, any service you ask for is covered by the price they give you.

The slippers

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Remember to always take off your shoes when you are planning to enter someone’s house, business, or company. Usually, there is a pair of slippers waiting for you at the door. In addition, do not use at home the same slippers you used in the bathroom.

Public Bathhouse

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These are available in a large number in Japan. They can be found in small areas in Japan, as well as large areas. They are used if you have already showered, and feel like you need extra minutes soaking in hot water.

Here’s a Brief History of Alarm Clocks

Since its inception, the alarm was known as a device based on the
principle of an ascending or descending counting of a watch, as the main goal of the invention is to alert human in order for them to wake up at time. Alarms used to work mechanically through small toothed wheels, as they are linked with each other for the alarm to ring at a specific time.

In early nineteenth century, Citizens in European cities used to
assign an “alarm guy” whose main job was to wake them up at a specific time, as he appeared with a long stick and a small bell, in which he hits their windows for them to wake up.

 

As a matter of fact, alarms, in different shapes and mechanics, have always been used in the ancient times but in 1847, the Frenchman Antoine Redier, has re-designed it so it can be set at a specific time. Therefore, he is considered as the main inventor of mechanical alarms and his name was mentioned in the record register. However, in America, alarm clocks were certainly used but they were always set on the same time and people were unable to edit it. Therefore, Antoine Radier had added a huge modification in the alarm industry by adding the possibility of adjusting time.

In the twentieth century, many inventions in the industry of the alarm have appeared, including modern alarms that have been created by the major industrialized countries Japan and China. However, Alarms have appeared with digital screens as they were developed in order for it to be set and used easily.  Nevertheless, alarms developments have progressed until alarms have entered the software systems on computers, televisions and radios. This development has been crowned with the entry of the alarm to the phone and portable Pad adding numerous adjustments and developments such as timers and digital numbering systems for athletes.

 

 

There is no doubt that the alarm clock has become an integral part in the life of every employer, manager, teacher,  doctor, etc. as it saves us from falling in a deep sleep and, therefore, our body would be accustomed to a certain awakening pattern. However, doctors recommend us not to use the cell phone alarms by putting them beside the bed because it may adversely affects the brain and the nervous system activity, as they prefer to use the old version alarm clocks or digital alarm clocks.

The Story of The Mongolian Nomads and Their Tents

Nomads, the existing tribes at that time, used to travel from place to place in search of food and water for survival. They had no permanent homes, they lived in tents.
Tents was their major possession. They were made of goat hair with curtains to divide the tent into two parts (male and female sides) and carpets for the floor. Rugs and carpets became essential in their lives as they served the purpose of rough Nomadic life. Their tents were thickly knotted to protect them from harsh climates and the rugs so they don’t have direct contact with the ground.
Armenians where the first to weave carpets, and eventually became an artisan-ship for the Mongolian Nomads to follow in their daily lives to build their tents. They maintained the culture and eventually, it became a trade between East and South of China. It is from there where the world followed. It later evolved into artistic pieces. 

 

The Origin of the Olive Tree is Lost in Time

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The olive tree is known to be among the oldest trees in the world, which for years governed the destiny of mankind and left their imprint.
Olive leaf fossils have been found in Italy. Fossils have been discovered in North Africa, and pieces of wild olive trees and stones have been found in excavations during the Bronze Age in Spain. The existence of the olive tree therefore dates back to the 12th millennium BC.

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The wild olive tree originated in Asia Minor (the peninsula also called Anatolia, the modern part of Turkey and the Armenian highland). Most people there today speak Turkish. The seas surrounding Asia Minor are the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
So, the birthplace was Asia Minor some six millennia ago. It appears to have spread from Syria to Greece to lower Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, Palestine, Iran, the Atlas Mountains to certain areas of Europe – the entire Mediterranean Basin.

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In the 16th century BC the Phoenicians introduced the olive to the Greek isles where its cultivation increased and gained great importance in the 4th century BC when Solon requested decrees in olive planting. Another study though, shows that from the 6th century BC onwards the olive spread throughout the Mediterranean countries reaching Tunis and the island of Sicily, Italy.
The Arabs brought their varieties with them to the south of Spain and influenced the spread of cultivation so much that the Spanish word for olive (aceituna) has Arabic roots (azeitona).

With the discovery of America (1492) olive farming spread beyond its Mediterranean confines. The first olive trees were carried from Seville to the West Indies and later to the American Continent. By 1560 olive groves were being cultivated in Mexico, then later in Peru, California, Chile and Argentina, where one of the plants brought over during the Conquest – the old Arauco olive tree – lives to this day.

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In modern times the olive tree has continued to spread outside the Mediterranean and today is farmed in places as far removed from its origins as America, Africa, Australia, Japan and China.
But… where the sun permits, the olive tree takes root and gains ground.
 

The Legend of The Wedding Rice


Have you ever wondered when you were a child and attended weddings with your parents, why people throw rice at the newlyweds as they went out of the church?

Until this scene became something usual and you stopped asking. You grew up and attended several weddings, some did not throw rice after the ceremony.
After doing more research, we found out that it’s a custom dating to ancient Rome and is done to wish the spouses good luck, fertility and abundance in their new life as a couple.

 

Food is always a popular option, because it symbolizes an abundant harvest. Seeds and nuts symbolize fertility, because from a small seed, a large plant grows. Grains like wheat or rice were thrown at the newlyweds in old times so the couple would be prosperous and have many children to help them farm the land.
In other countries, different foods are thrown during weddings. For example, in Morocco, newlyweds are showered with figs and raisins to ensure a fruitful union. Italians traditionally throw candy and sweetened nuts. In Korea, the groom’s father throws red dates at his new daughter-in-law to attract fertility. In France, they prefer wheat, while in other European countries they even throw eggs!
Even today, some people think raw rice can explode in birds’ stomachs and for this reason, some churches allow it and some not because they believe that throwing seeds of rice would kill the birds. In other cities, the custom is simply forbidden outside courts and churches because of the nuisance of picking up the rice and because it can cause falls and other accidents.

Probably you have talked to some of your girlfriends who were showered with rice at their weddings and are still married. They told you it’s uncomfortable and even painful to feel the grains falling on their heads, faces and the worst part, inside their clothes.

Whatever the story is, don’t you think that this tradition is good to hold on to, still get showered with rice and candies too perhaps? 🙂

 

Things to know before you visit Rome

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 “When in Rome, do what the Romans do”, of course, you have heard this saying, at least once in your life. In fact, people in Rome are well used to tourists, since it is a highly touristic location. However, there are things that are acceptable in your country, but necessarily in Rome! This is why, we have teamed up with our travel specialists, and found for you some things that you should know before you visit Rome.

Do not accept gifts from strangers on the street

 

Carmencitta-Magazine-Things-to-know-before-you-visit-Rome-2You might be surprised when a man, or a boy approaches you and handles you flowers just because, without any reason. In fact, those folks offering you flowers, small toys or trinkets, bracelets, and miniature holy pictures, actually expect money in return. The best thing you can do is refuse what they offer you with a “no grazie”, “no thanks” and keep on walking towards your direction. Moreover, you can give them a few coins so they stop bothering you. Otherwise, if you take the gift, and not pay, you will find yourself getting yelled at.

Keep an Eye on your Purse and Wallet

 

Carmencitta Magazine - Things to know before you visit Rome 3Pick-pocketing happens very often in Rome, the capital of Italy. This is why, it is very important that you  keep an eye on your wallet, cell phone, camera, or purse at all times, and never leave your money in an accessible backpack or pants pocket. Moreover, pick-pockets will try to strike as you get on and off buses by brushing up against you or snatching your bag and running as buses unload.

Fountains are not for feet washing in Rome

 

Carmencitta-Magazine-Things-to-know-before-you-visit-Rome-4.jIt is essential that you try, as much as you can, to keep your feet out of the fountains. In fact, Romans find it very disrespectful to dip your feet into a fountain. Even if you had a long day of walking, do not dip your legs in fountain water. Moreover, not only is it a sign of disrespectful, it’s actually forbidden.

 

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