I sincerely believe there are things that people should know not to do. We exist with other people and we must respect them as we would like them to respect us.
These are the top habits that reflect flawed public etiquette: littering, chewing gum, smells; whether of armpits, dirt, dust, unbrushed mouths, "fish" or too much perfume, together with leaving public toilets dirty, "being busy" on cellphones in the company of other people or in non-designated places. As well as urinating in open spaces, smoking in non-smoking areas, and those people in the habit of speaking and laughing too loudly like they are in their bedrooms.
Worse still are ladies who have a habit of pulling out their panties from between their buttocks, in full view of people: they call it "go dakholla panty". They are as irritating as folk who dig snort from their noses with their fingers. People should learn that there is an unwritten code of social conduct, so No, you cannot scratch your crotch in public as I have seen some men do, or have a conversation like you are addressing the whole of Botswana, as some people tend to do.
People who chew gum always look like cows chewing cud. Mouth open, jaw going up and down, making that irritating "mtjekg mtjekg' sound. The person then blows a large bubble and "skillfully" draws it back in with their tongue like a chameleon, before continuing to chew again. They often dispose of it anywhere. Chewing gum is a terrible habit and the lowest point of uncouthness, because there is really no proper way to do it! It’s ironic that people who like to chew gum like "they are selling something", are often mannerless. The type you'd ask to chew properly and they will respond, "Mathata a gago ke eng?". They are also rarely beautiful. It’s tragic to be ugly as it is not a choice, but worse off a tragedy to pick up cringe worthy habits too!
Personal hygiene seems to be a challenge for some people. There are people who consistently have an unpleasant smell. Personal hygiene is one of those not so enjoyable tasks that every adult should abide to. You may not care how you look or smell, but if you are going to interact with people, you must care.
People who smell often seem ignorant to their smell. It is one thing if someone has a weird smell sometimes, but all the time? It is always difficult to tell someone they smell, because you face making an enemy. Human beings are sensitive and people take offense to the most minute things, and so we bear the smells, bow our heads and mutter, "Phoo!" to ourselves.
Smells aren't only bad, even the good smells can be a problem. There are people who use too much cologne and perfume. I know several ladies who always smell like a perfume factory in Calcutta. If a perfume or cologne is yours, there is no need to "fight with it". Worse still is when it is a cheap type. Girls who use those 20 pula "Swankie look" and the like sprays should not overspray themselves, those smells can block your nose! A perfume/cologne etc smell should be pleasant; warm and lingering, not domineering. Some people suffer sinuses and migraines, and these smells aggravate discomfort.
The one other habit many people have is staring. The Motswana who came up with the word, "Go shenama" must have been tired of being stared at. It falls short of vulgar, but best describes it because, batho babangwe be ka "go shenamela" tota! Looking at someone once or twice, or stealing a few glances is allowed. However, gawking at someone is plain shady and suspicious. This is just as uncivilized as those men who see you walking past and make whistle calls or say things like, "Ekse, tlhe mma ema fa." Uhu, itjakg!
People should not be made uncomfortable by other people's uncivilized ways. In everything one does, should wonder, "If I was the other person, would I enjoy being on the receiving end." Perfection, together with attempts at it, was invented for people to put effort in being proper to draw a line between humans and animals.
On the flipside, some people try, some don't. Some folk will always do irritating things. There will always be that person with a weird smell, the person sticking his fingers in his nostrils like he lost something, only to draw out snort and then look at it like he is on the verge of having a conversation with it. How about the person who will draw out a cigarette and smoke anywhere, or the man who rushes before you, sticks out his shrivelled penis and urinates right there, in the open. Eish!