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old Spanish customs

Unorthodox, unregulated, or unauthorized practices that are nevertheless widely accepted and long-standing. Because this department existed long before all the new regulations came into effect, there are quite a few old Spanish customs held onto by the more tenured staff that, while not in the service of efficiency, aren't likely to disappear anytime soon.
See also: custom, old, Spanish

so many countries, so many customs

There are around 200 countries in the world, and each of them has a unique set of social rules about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Just be aware that what you've been taught to consider rude might not be the same elsewhere. In China, for example, it's considered very rude to stick your chopstick upright into a bowl of rice, but spitting in public is considered perfectly acceptable. So many countries, so many customs.
See also: custom, many

so many countries, so many customs.

Prov. People in different countries have different ways of behaving. In the last place I visited, it was considered rude to put your hands on the table at dinner, but here, it's rude to keep them under the table. so many countries, so many customs.
See also: custom, many

old Spanish customs (or Spanish practices)

long-standing though unauthorized or irregular work practices.
This expression has been in use in printing circles since the 1960s; it is often used humorously to refer to practices in the British newspaper printing houses in Fleet Street, London, formerly notorious for their inefficiency. The reason for describing such practices as ‘Spanish’ is not known.
1998 Spectator [Outsourcing] can do much for flexibility and more for costs and it is a proven cure for quaint old Spanish customs.
See also: custom, old, Spanish
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ghani ministers and senior officials listened to a presentation from Faisal Lutfi on Dubai Customs experience in promoting customs procedures and services, and its global distinctive role in innovating new customs services and products.
Mezyad Customs Centre recorded the largest number of seizures, which amounted to 1,447 illegal substances, followed by Abu Dhabi Central Post Customs Centre with 1,425, Al Ain Central Post Customs Centre with 914, Al Ain International Airport Customs Centre with a total of 839, and Madheef Customs Centre with 658.
Additionally, increased European Union oversight over customs processes, the cumbersome T-1 process itself and the challenges that T-1 use created, meant that both the DoD and the German government were ready to return to Form 302 use via an improved duty-free customs clearance process using the CPA-NATO system.
2) The defendants were convicted of violations arising from payments to Haitian officials to reduce the Company's customs duties and sales tax assessment.
To stop that traffic, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other organizations in June 2003 launched a coordinated international effort that emphasizes more efficient training for customs officials on the front line.
Failure to recognize the significance of customs duty issues during business planning could cause missed opportunities worth millions and create a duty or customs penalty exposure if not properly addressed.
Coast Guard, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Customs, Transportation Security Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Secret Service, Federal Protective Services, Federal Emergency Management and other U.
Customs Service shifts from interdicting smugglers to preventing terrorism.
Customs Service agents violating the rights of African American travelers?
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