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10 Odd Laws Travelers Abroad Must Know

We travel to different countries to have new experiences, wash our eyes and take in fresh sights. But every culture has its quirks, so if you prefer tasting the best local cuisine to learning a new legal system, follow the laws, however absurd they may seem to you as an outsider.

We're products of culture and conditioning, so what seems strange in one place may make perfect sense in another setting. You don't have to approve of everything you see abroad, but you do have to follow the rules in the places you visit. So take a minute to review this list of 10 laws, compiled by Smarter Travel, that might strike an American as strange and that you should be aware of if you're going abroad.

France Bans Too-Skinny Models -- Next in the US?

Feel free to eat all those Christmas cookies and cakes and pour yourself an extra cup of eggnog. There are more than just holidays to celebrate and no need to watch your weight. Next year, fashion models working in France will need to prove they weigh enough and this should, theoretically, help women who model themselves on those ideals of beauty presented in magazines and on the runways.

France -- following the passage of similar laws in Italy, Spain, and Israel -- is cracking down on excessively thin models by demanding that they show medical certificates proving overall good health and an appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18 or over, according to Hint Fashion Magazine.

Texas Man Criminally Charged for Freeway Marriage Proposal

Romance means different things to different people. Some people propose marriage on one knee at the beach with a diamond ring in hand, others pop the question in sky writing, or deliver it in a singing telegram.

For Vidal Valladares of Houston, Texas a romantic engagement means a freeway full of furiously honking cars. He now faces criminal charges for his marriage proposal to Michelle Wycoff on Interstate 25 last Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

How the 12 Days of Christmas Run A-Fowl of the Law (Part II)

Now we bring you Part II of our series on the painful illegalities of the beloved Twelve Days of Christmas.

As noted in Part I, at FindLaw, we have a minor tradition of discussing some of the legal issues that can crop up around cherished holiday traditions. So, without further a-do, we return to the terrible, terrible ways the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts, pear tree and all, run a-fowl (excuse the repeated and repeated pun) of modern law.

How the 12 Days of Christmas Run A-Fowl of the Law (Part I)

It's that time of year, when the world falls in love ... sadly, these days, with the best deals on Amazon. But still, there are traditions to be cherished. Mulled cider. Little white lights. Caroling.

Here at FindLaw, we have a minor tradition of exposing some of the very interesting legal issues that can crop up around holiday traditions. Take, for instance, the Grinch. Pointing out all the ways that green gangsta broke the law is now a FindLaw holiday tradition in its own right. In keeping with this new tradition, let us now examine the terrible, terrible ways the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts, partridge and all, run a-fowl (excuse the repeated pun) of modern law.

Despite not being a selfie at all, so-called "ballot selfies" are now legal in New Hampshire. A federal judge struck down the state's ban on posting photographs of filled-out voting ballots, which are obviously not the face of the person taking the picture.

The judge overturned the law on free speech grounds, which apparently means everyone is free to call any old photo a "selfie" these days.

What's a nudist resort without a pool, and what's a pool without water?

Glyn Stout and his wife Lori Kay Stout, owners of a California nudist resort, have been arrested for stealing water from a nearby creek to supplement their water supply during the state's long standing drought. If convicted, each defendant could face up to three years in prison.

Every year, school officials request that family members hold their cheers and applause until after all graduating students' names have been called. Every year, nobody listens.

This year, one school Superintendent got serious. He pressed criminal charges against one student's family members for cheering.

That was not a typo.

Life lesson of the week: "No good deed goes unpunished." - Wicked

In Georgia, Michael Hammons, hero to animal lovers, saved a dog from a hot car, and was awarded with a pair of handcuffs. This debacle all started when Hammons and a group of shoppers noticed a dog left inside a Mustang convertible on a hot day. While other shoppers called police, Hammons, an Army veteran, jumped into action. He used his wife's wheelchair leg to smash the window and save the dog.


Man Pays Ticket With Origami Pigs

Americans are great at passive aggressive protest. We've all heard of those people who think they're so cool sticking it to the establishment and paying their bills or fines in pennies. A Utah man paid his $25 doctor's bill with 2,500 pennies.

But, one man got a bit more creative. A Houston man was very unhappy when police gave him a $137 ticket for an expired inspection ticket. So to show his dissatisfaction, he folded 137 dollar bills into origami pigs, put them into two Dunkin' Donuts boxes, and went to pay his fine. (He claims that he folded the dollars into pigs because that's the shape of piggy banks, but I think he's referring to something else.)

Unsurprisingly, the teller refused to accept the piggy money.