There's little more exciting than an American's first visit to Europe.
There is so much to take in between the famous sights, the delicious food, and the vastly different cultures and ways of life.
Most American tourists have no problem jumping into some popular customs and activities, such as afternoon tea in England, or a soothing sauna in Finland.
Other customs and behaviors, however, some Americans usually choose to leave to the locals.
Redditor Mark-Zuckerberg- was curious to hear which European habits or ways of life were truly bizarre to Americans, leading them to ask:
"Americans, what do you think is the weirdest thing about Europe?"
Where's the kitchen?
"Rental apartments in Germany often come without a furnished kitchen."
"Sink, refrigerator, stove and cabinets."
"Because these are almost always provided in rental apartments in the US, it was shocking to me as an American looking at rentals in Germany that I would have to buy and install those things."
"Having read so many interesting comments about kitchen expectations in different parts of the world, let me ask this question."
"Do any of you know of places where rentals don't come with bathroom equipment either, and it's expected the tenant will purchase and install their own toilet and sink?"- AmbitiousPeanut
Differing levels of intimacy
"Depends which countries."
"I’ve always found it weird that a lot of them think hugging is more intimate than kissing someone on the cheek."
"I know it isn’t actually 'kissing' someone on the cheek most of the time."
"I’m referring to how someone touches your face with their face that is extremely intimate."- LadyValenciaLA
"The way people drive."
"The laws don’t seem to matter at all in Italy, only a little in France."
"Then the Germans are a completely different story."- jesusmansuperpowers
"OMG the toilets."
"In the US every toilet I've ever come across has a flush lever on the left of the tank or, in public restrooms, a sensor or a button on the top."
"In Europe every single toilet has a different flush mechanism."
"Every. Single. One."
"It's like an escape room challenge."
"Foot pedals. Cranks. Pull knobs."
"Things attached to the sink."
"I was once stuck in a bathroom for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to flush the toilet, it turned out to be a pulley on the other side of the room."- Yellowbug2001
Not for Night Owls
"The oddest thing I found in Copenhagen was that when we tried to go get food around 9pm, nearly everywhere was closed."
"We were in a busy part of the city but it took us so incredibly long to find a place open late."
"I don't live in a huge city but I can throw a rock from my house and it will bounce off half a dozen places open until midnight or later."
"This is not a complaint, just an observation."
"I loved Denmark."- Ginger_Chick
Just how old are we talking?
"Can't wrap my brain around that."
"I live in a farm house built in the 1920s and that is considered old."- Necessary_Sir_5079
"The sheer grasp of language I've seen from some Europeans is wild."
"Back in the early days of minecraft I used to play on a server with an English kid and a German Kid."
"The English kid would randomly speak Welsh and the German could jump between German, French, and English all the time and I was there like 'Guys, I can barely English, can we dumb it down for the yankee'."- CYNIC_Torgon
"We've been working on the railroad..."
"Trains go to every major city."- CoolIceCreamCone
Balmy summer nights
"Our hotels had ac but it was just room temp air."
"That heatwave must have been brutal I hate sleeping when it’s hot."- Slowmexicano
Some things that might seem strange at first might just take some getting used to.
Though power to any American brave enough to drive through Europe.
Particularly on the wrong side of the road in the U.K.!
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
TipsSeason 23 Reaction GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.
When we set a goal to put some money aside to allocate for luxury items, vacations, or just for an emergency, we do our best not to waver.
Consumers will typically wait for an item to go on sale, but sometimes, they make exceptions and spend the extra money on something that is worth the quality.
So, just what are these items or experiences that customers don't mind shelling out their hard-earned cash for?
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor Icky_the_Eskimo asked:
"What things are 100% worth the money?"
These are conveniences that are worth the money and can make life so much easier.
Helpful Household Tool
"A good vacuum cleaner. You don’t need to buy a Dyson, but get something better than the $89.99 basic model."
"Edit: I recently bought a Shark. I wasn’t about to spend twice what I paid for that on Dyson. I’m very happy with it. The amount of dirt it pulled out of my carpets was significant."
"Good brand Duct tape."
It's more than about keeping up with appearances.
If The Shoe Fits
"Good quality shoes."
"Yeah, I had to get boots with a harder and thicker sole to wear while walking and doing normal tasks. The ground here is rough, a thin and soft sole is going to cause me issues. Plus, I don’t slip in rocks anymore and find walking uphill much easier. It all depends on what terrain you’re on though."
Choosing The Fashion
"well made clothing that:"
"fits you properly"
"can be used in a variety of uses (social, professional, recreational, etc..)"
"is designed to last, or can be repaired."
"A well fitted and well made bra."
"I second the Nordstrom tip. They have a huge selection for all sizes & styles and once you find a brand & style you love, you can order from the manufacturer if Nordstrom no longer carries your fave. Plus, they will not be undersold. Wacoal probably offers the best support but their bras are not sexy. Elomi makes a perfect t shirt bra and Glamorise makes killer racer back w/front closure bras for large breasts"
"Ex Officio, tight, not loose. Sports material that is just amazing in hot weather, feels like silk, and stops your legs rubbing together if that’s a problem. Great for humid climates and travelling. God, I love them, they changed my life ! Too much underwear-related ranting, but I recommend them to everyone."
Good services are well worth paying for.
"Hiring a moving company."
"You do all the small packing yourself and then hire somebody to move the large pieces of furniture. It’s amazing and removes so much of the stress of moving."
Regular House Cleaning
"Once a month maid service. Probably the best thing I’ve ever spent money on."
Life experiences can create valuable memories for a lifetime.
See Some Sights
"Traveling. If you wanna go somewhere, do it. I’ve never said to myself 'man I wish I never went to that place and spent that money.' I’ve got memories and stories now. Experiences that I’ll hold onto dearly for a long time. That’s worth more than any dollar amount. (Obviously be smart about your planning… but yeah. Just travel as much as you can)."
"Solo traveling is fantastic. I get to please myself and answer to no one but myself. If I want to spend 3 days looking at art I can. If I want a rest day, I'll have one. Best thing ever."
I can't agree with the above more.
Traveling is definitely worth spending money on. Seeing the world will open up your perspective, being exposed to different cultures can be inspiring, and the friendships you make alone your journey is priceless.
There are ways to travel on a budget, so the excuse that being a tourist is too expensive is moot.
Also, much of the world have reopened their borders following the pandemic, so traveling to many destinations are now possible.
If you've always had the travel bug, what are your waiting for? Get out there and find your adventures.
As morbid as it is, death is the inevitable yin to life's yang.
The inevitable end of our mortality looms ahead for all of us, but hopefully it's not for a long time.
That doesn't mean there are close calls along the way.
Not everyone is fortunate, but there are the lucky few who somehow managed to cheat death and lived to talk about their close calls.
Curious to hear from those who were granted another chance at life, Redditor CrownedBird asked:
"What moment made you say 'Yep, I’m definitely dead', but survived with no major injuries?"
I Exist Because Mom Ducked
"Not me, but my mom before I was born. She was riding in a convertible with a friend of hers. They came to an intersection and the friend wasn't paying attention and lost control of the vehicle. There was a big rig going through the intersection and they went right under the trailer. My mom ducked, the driver didn't not. Driver was decapitated, my mom was lucky and only ended up with a scalp full of glass and some serious psychological trauma. She had to get over 200 stitches in her scalp But nothing else significant."
"I think about it all the time and think how close I came to never being born at all."
"I was at the end of a 2 hour journey about 10 mins from home, pretty rural and I was probably complacent because I took that road everyday. I took a bend at 40MPH (legal limit was 60MPH so wasn’t breaking any speeding rules) which I’ve done many times before, probably faster which looking back was really reckless."
"Didn’t see until it was too late that a car had spun out on the other side of the corner and another car had pulled up to help. I slammed on but I wasn’t going to stop in time before hitting the cars pulled up/crashed. I was hurtling straight towards the other cars and people who where stood in the road from the other crash."
"It was like time slowed down and I was at a cross roads; in my mind I had three choices. Continue on my path and hit the other cars and people, veer to the right and go into a field but there was oncoming traffic and there was a chance I’d hit them or veer to the left and fly into a wooded area. I chose the last option, and in that moment I knew the chances of me surviving or not being seriously injured after a 40MPH head on collision to a tree in a 10 year old Ford KA was pretty slim. I just felt a complete peace come over me, turned the wheel and woke up slumped over the steering wheel to some poor man shouting ‘OMG I THINK SHES DEAD.’"
"Turned out I passed out from shock or something before the impact so when I hit the tree I was completely floppy and this contributed to me having no serious injuries. The front of my car was completely disintegrated, after coming to I tried to put my clutch down to take the car out of gear out of habit and my foot hit the tree trunk. The tree was absolutely fine. I drove past that tree everyday for years after and you could see the chunk my car took out of it."
That Strange, Calm Feeling
"I was a passenger in an accident where the car went airborne and was flipped into a concrete ditch, and knew on the way down that I was going to die. Had that same feeling of peace and just accepted it. Crossed my arms, closed my eyes, and felt so bizarrely calm. We hit, opened my eyes, and realized I was upside down but completely fine. Rest of the car was smashed flat, and driver had been thrown into my passenger 'safe bubble,' so he only had minor injuries. That feeling of peace you described is what made me comment. It makes me feel more at ease about my eventual death, hopefully will have that same calm feeling."
The result of peer pressure can be a matter of life or death.
"I had an idiot friend and we were hiking. We got to this waterfall and he goes 'dude let's climb it!' I said no f'king way. He says 'well I'm gonna do it and if I fall and die it's on you for not coming.'"
"So I climbed it with him. Got stuck halfway up on a slick a** rock. Pinched a nerve in my shoulder, so my right arm was useless. I thought I was certain to slip off the rock to my doom, but we managed to get me unstuck. That was the beginning of the end for that friendship."
Jill Came Tumbling After
"I nearly died following a friend who took a crazy route down a hill on a hike. It's crazy how strong that peer pressure can be."
"We were up on a mountain and he slid down the snow of this one section as a short cut. He went down in a crouch with one foot out front. When I tried to do it I ended up a starfish pose just spinning around as I came down. My legs rolled over a bunch of rocks and I came to a rest with my head in a snowbank."
"I had to hike down hill for like 4 hours after that and every step was excruciating. I just kept thinking if it was my head or back going over those rocks if I would have made it out. I still have scars on my leg."
Fortunately, there are heroes among us who don't want us dead.
The Guardian Angels
"Wife was pregnant and we went away for the weekend to house we rented in the mountains. Second day she went to bed early and I stayed up drawing. At 3am she comes downstairs and says she’s in a world of pain and is worried about baby (2 months before due date)."
"We head out and there is no cell reception. By the time we can call her doctor we realize the time needed to get to a hospital that has the right level NICU we might as well head back to our hospital. Two hours later we are there and due to Covid restrictions I can’t come in."
"It was freezing outside and they wouldn’t let me be anywhere in the hospital where I could lay down so I talked my way into some room in the lobby and tried to sleep while sitting. Got kicked out of there and just bummed around waiting for an update. Around noon they say they’ll be keeping her for observation but I still need to clear out from the rental."
"Driving back two hours and it starts snowing pretty hard. It’s a semi rural area and if they do plow the snow they haven’t gotten there yet. I’m being careful and fighting off sleep. The roads are super winding and high in the mountains. At some point car starts drifting across the double lines."
"I did my best to even out but it completely got away from me. Slide through the opposite lane and continue to the shoulder. I see the ledge and realize if the car doesn’t stop I’ll plummet to my death. Have a brief moment where I think about my daughter and the kid in my wife’s belly I haven’t met yet. Felt like a stab in my heart and that second go off the road completely."
"Fortunately there was enough snow in the space between the ledge to trap my car. I passed out in the crash but luckily a couple was a minute or two behind me and their honking snapped me out of it. They pulled me out of the car and went to get help (no service on the mountain). A couple of other people stopped including a guy who had a big pickup. We dug the car out some and rigged the rope so he was able to pull me out."
"Despite Covid I had to be physically removed from both these guys because I was hugging them so tight. I was able to make it back to the hospital without anyone knowing. Told them after the kid was born. Sent my guardian angels pictures and $100 gift cards as if that’s adequate."
Rescue With Assistance
"I was a senior in high school, and the student club I was in organized an unofficial beach trip towards the end of the year; no teachers or official permission, leaving me and a few other seniors in charge of supervising everything. After a couple hour’s worth of fun, one of the other students came running up to me and said that three of the younger members of the club had been swept out by a riptide and couldn’t get back towards the shore."
"Me and two other of the older students, all experienced swimmers, immediately went to go help them; my friends got two of the three kids in trouble and started guiding them parallel to the shore to get them out of the current, but the guy I went for was panicking, barely staying above the water, and started dragging me down with him almost immediately. I yelled for people to get a lifeguard and tried to keep both of us afloat, but after a few minutes (maybe five, maybe ten, it felt like forever) I was getting exhausted, having trouble keeping both of us above the water, and I couldn’t see anyone coming to the rescue."
"I started getting big mouthfuls of water and my leg muscles were starting to cramp up, and I remember thinking 'Holy sh*t I might actually die right here, right now' as the current started pulling us further and further away from where everyone was."
"Thankfully for everyone involved, one of the students on the beach had flagged down a couple of surfers, who made their way out to where we were as quickly as they could and hauled first the younger student and then me onto the front of their boards and took us back to shore. I’ll always be thankful and appreciative for those strangers who put themselves in the dangerous position of rescuing two drowning swimmers."
"Edit: As several people have pointed out, it’s not uncommon for people to die doing what I did, i.e swimming into the water to rescue a drowning swimmer without training or equipment; there are a few techniques for rescuing someone drowning in the comments that everyone should learn if they’re ever in the unfortunate situation of having to use them. I should’ve used them, but I was 17 and not thinking straight at the time and almost paid the price because of it."
I nearly got smashed by a 18-wheeler driven by a drunkard who was swerving in and out of his side of traffic.
I had to decided to either swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a more devastating head-on collision or into the row of parked cars on the busy street.
I chose the latter just as the semi clipped the rear corner of my vehicle and spun me 180.
I didn't hit any parked cars, but my vehicle was inoperable. The semi was nowhere to be found but I was more focused on the fact that I came out of that scary situation completely unscathed.
I continue counting my blessings to this day.