How many Brits will take this as advice on what to do, instead of what not to do?

Great Britain – the people who brought us hooliganism – are hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics. I’m sure they’ll do a fine job, or at least as fine a job as any other nation does.

Part of that job is: dealing with such a wide variety of cultures. So:

Britain’s national tourism agency issued guidelines Wednesday on the etiquette of dealing with the hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors who will be coming to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Seeking to help the country’s sometimes snarky citizens…

…a whole nation of bloggers?

…offer a warmer welcome, VisitBritain has updated its advice for anyone likely to work with travelers arriving from overseas – from hotel staff to taxi drivers.

I’m sure Britain isn’t the first Olympic host country to do something like this. Idea: how about a brochure, printed in umpteen-dozen different languages – about British culture, and what visitors should expect? Not that the hosts shouldn’t try to be accommodating, but tipping visitors off to British customs could help avoid some misunderstandings, just like tipping Brits off about other customs could.

Just an idea.

Anyway, I thought the “tips” were interesting.

Don’t go around asking Brazilians personal questions.

Only ask personal questions when they come to you.

Never be bossy with visitors from the Middle East.

Say this: “Excuse me, so sorry, don’t mean to be a bother, but if you could possibly see your way clear to biting me…” Not this: “Bite me.”

Polish tourists are likely to be hurt by stereotypes that imply they drink excessively.

They shouldn’t drink so much, then.

The French are notoriously picky in restaurants.

I’m betting that’s not the worst item about the French in a British how-to book.

Brush off common Argentine jokes about a person’s clothing or weight.

What about the uncommon ones?

Belgians take offense at people snapping their fingers.

So keep them away from drag queens.

Australians are fond of coarse language.

So buy them a t-shirt.

Japanese people consider prolonged eye contact impolite…

Then why would they hold eye contact with you?

Indians … don’t like being touched by strangers…

Hey, all Indians aren’t New York cab drivers.

…and may be suspicious about the quality of British food

Aren’t we all, though?

Travelers from the Middle East are likely to be demanding with staff and “are not used to being told what they can’t do,” the guide warns.

I’ll still have to ask you to leave the explosive vest in your room, sir.

Guests from China and Hong Kong may find winking or pointing with an index finger rude.

They should stop acting so funny, then.

Workers are advised against discussing poverty, immigration, earthquakes or the Mexican-American war with visitors from Mexico – who prefer to chat about history and art.

The Mexican-American war is, I’m fairly sure, history.

And finally:

Canadian tourists are likely to be quite annoyed about being mistaken for Americans, the guide suggests – urging workers to keep an eye out for maple leaf pins or badges on tourists’ clothing.

That’s why I never, ever wear one.

Note: I’ve got dibs on the multi-lingual cultural tips brochure idea if Chicago ever does get the Olympics.

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