Americans Describe The Things They Don't Really Understand About Europe
Ronile from Pixabay

Culture shock is a thing, which is why these Americans figured they'd ask the questions that boggle their minds every time they encounter a European in their midst.

What is up with all that tea they drink in the U.K.? And why the hell are suburban areas in Paris so weird?


These questions and more are giving Americans quite the conundrum thanks to Redditor samatha1995, who asked:

"Americans of Reddit, what do you not understand about Europe?"

"Your suburban areas..."

Your suburban areas are really, really weird. Especially in Paris.

bigdipper80

But Paris is beautiful! Let it be as weird as it wants to be!

"The fact that you guys..."

The fact that you guys see nationality/ethnicity and not race. Is a Frenchmen in the east really that different from a German in the West? To me, no, but to Europeans, definitely.

alaweseman

Giphy

The racial caste system is fairly unique to the United States – and continues to confound even us.

"Why do Europeans..."

Why do Europeans always want to talk about the US and Americans?

Lived in France for 3 years. I swear every person I met would talk to me about the US constantly. Some people that was the ONLY relationship I would ever have with them.

The only person who didn't ask me, I (literally) married.

avocadopixels

So you married someone who didn't ask you? Sounds like you found the love of your life.

"And yes, I understand..."

First: Are there any serious "Holy Rollers" in Europe? In America we hear a lot about evangelicals (and they have a tendency to make everything just a little bit worse) but you almost never hear about them in Europe. Like do you guys have a Westboro Baptist Church type group?

Second: Having grown up in an extremely crime-ridden neighborhood in a major American city I always feel like even the most crime heavy area in Europe is Disneyland compared even the "eh, it's not really that bad" parts of most cities over here. I guess that's more of a statement than anything but do Europeans have a legitimate "if I go there it's possible I could get killed" fear when they think about high crime areas?

Or is it more or less exaggerated? Or do you not have any fear of being killed simply because you go to the wrong neighborhood? And yes, I understand that statistically speaking it's pretty rare to get killed as the victim of a crime in America but there's a segment of the US population that has a story of say, going to the gas station only to find out it's closed because some dude was shot and killed while filling his tank.

I'm part of that segment. So I'm unusually paranoid where crime is concerned. And I wonder if there's people like that in Europe.

PunchBeard

The ubiquity of guns in the United States definitely doesn't help this.

"I grew up..."

Paying for public restrooms. Not talking to strangers. I grew up in Texas. We kinda always talk to people whenever we're waiting around or something. I've heard this gets weird looks across the ocean. Why the hell did I encounter four different dialects while traveling for like 20 minutes? I have to drive to a new state or get on a plane to come across a new accent.

mig2433

Hey, Americans definitely have different accents! Don't sell yourselves short.

"Then again..."

The Balkans.

Then again from what I know even you guys don't understand the Balkans.

I've heard it's kind of like our "Florida Man" in that it's best to just not ask questions and observe from a distance?

AlphaTangoFxTrot

The Balkans have a complicated history. Florida merely continues to baffle those living through increasingly ridiculous current events.

"How most of you..."

How most of you Europeans seem fluent in English but I can't speak a lick of any other language even after taking 3 years of Spanish.

pjd512

Many Americans would truly find their perspective of the world changed for the better if they learned another language or two.

"How popular smoking..."

How popular smoking cigarettes is. Even with the recent boom in vaping and e-cigs in the US, I would still say that they're not even close. Every outdoor cafe in Europe has at least half of their patrons smoking. My buddy that lives over there says it's just part of their social culture.

Doesn't really bother me either. It's just interesting to me that it's so looked down upon here in the US and so popular in most parts of Europe.

WhiteOnRye

If anything, the United States has done a lot of work to make smoking as undesirable an activity as possible. It's difficult to find a spot to light up to begin with!

"How can Europeans..."

How can Europeans tell what nationality people are from based on appearance alone?

In books and stuff, European people are always like, "Oh, the Italian man over there." I can't even notice but have always been curious.

manymanybagels

It's magic, okay? Magic!

The United States may be populated by many people who emigrated from Europe, but it seems some forgot their roots.

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