1. You shouldn’t wash vegetables or fruit in hot water, even if you’re working in an outdoor kitchen and it’s freezing outside.
2. Despite all attempts to convince me otherwise, folding fitted sheets is still impossible.
3. No matter where you’re headed, it is never a bad idea to bring a water bottle.
4. In the Pacific Northwest, blackberries grow like weeds. They are very tasty.
5. It’s easier to talk about deep subjects with someone you’ll probably never see again.
6. If you keep a couple of ducks on a farm, they will eat the slugs that demolish your gardens. However, the ducks will also eat seedlings, so you have to keep the beds covered with a translucent fabric.
7. Making a family recipe for someone is one of the best ways to have a cultural exchange.
8. You should always ask the bus driver where your stop is, even if he rolls his eyes and gives you the you’re-an-idiot face.
9. Goats are a lot more independent than sheep, so herding them can be difficult.
10. When chopping vegetables, it’s important to keep the knife blade in contact with the cutting board, and tuck your fingertips under.
11. All churches with a website should post an honest dress code on their site (“We welcome everyone, but most of the gentlemen wear three-piece suits and the women wear full-length dresses and Sunday hats”), or else include pictures of the congregation to show what people typically wear.
12. The bus/train going to or from an airport is a good place to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
13. Compost toilets are actually a lot less gross than port-a-potties.
14. Most people don’t mind if you ask them for favors.
15. It’s unsafe to assume that shelf-stable sausage remains shelf-stable when you open the package.
16. “Mint” is the name of a family of plants, not a specific variety. When people say they want “just plain mint,” they probably mean spearmint.
17. When walking, you should always carry extra layers in case of a sudden change in weather.
18. Washing the grime off your face, arms, and legs can make you feel instantly cleaner.
19. In a country that doesn’t speak English, it’s important to learn both translations of “Excuse me”— as in, “Sorry I bumped into you” and “May I have your attention?”
20. It is always worth it to give the buskers your bus money.